Safeminds defends treatments the FDA deemed “dangerously misleading”

18 Oct

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that they had sent warning letters to eight groups who were promoting chelation products without prescriptions and with unproven claims of efficacy.

Chelation is a mainstay of many alternative medical practitions, especially in autism. There is a hypothesis that autism is caused by mercury poisoning. Autism symptoms don’t look like mercury poisoning and multiple studies have been performed testing the hypothesis and shown no link. But the idea lives on. Autistics, mostly children, are subjected to chelation “therapy” to remove heavy metals from the body. After over a decade of this practice, there is still no demonstration that chelation does anything to help autistics. There are studies on Peruvian hamsters which are used to support the idea that autism is caused by mercury poisoning. No, seriously, one of the supports for the mercury/autism link is a study on Peruvian Hamsters. Just goes to show how tenuous the “science” backing chelation is.

Here is part of the FDA statement:

Federal regulators are warning eight companies to stop selling so called ‘chelation’ products that claim to treat a range of disorders from autism to Alzheimer’s disease.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says the companies have not proven their products are safe and effective in treating autism spectrum disorder, cardiovascular disease, macular degeneration, Parkinson’s disease or any other serious illness. Some of the companies also claim their products can detect the presence of heavy metals in the body in an attempt to justify the need for chelation therapy.

One of the more vocal organizations promoting the mercury/autism “link” is a group called SafeMinds. So it isn’t a surprise that they would respond to the FDA warnings..

Here is the opening paragraph from the SafeMinds response:

The FDA issued a media release and held a press conference on over-the-counter chelating products. A recording of the press conference was made available this afternoon (recording available at 800-839-7073). FDA issued warning letters to 8 companies promoting over-the-counter nutritional supplements for chelation therapy (HERE). Chelation is a method of removing heavy metals from the body. The FDA warning has no bearing on prescription chelation drugs which are used under the supervision of medical professionals.

“Nutritional Supplements”? How does a chelator count as a “nutritional supplement”? The human body does not produce chemicals like DMSA which are used for chelation. SafeMinds is well aware of the falacy of the “nutritional supplement” argument after the recent debacle over the chelator turned “supplement” OSR, which had to be pulled from production.

So, SafeMinds starts downplaying the fact that chelators are drugs and, as such, should be regulated.

But they quickly change the tune and acknowledge that these are drugs: “The FDA warning has no bearing on prescription chelation drugs which are used under the supervision of medical professionals.”

As I read this, I had to ask myself “Why did SafeMinds chose such imprecise language?” Let me explain:

Assume a medical professional, say a chiropractor or a nutritionist, “supervises” my use of the prescription drug DMSA, but sells the drug to me without a prescription (as these professionals can not write prescriptions). That would fit into the SafeMinds interpretation, but is clearly not the intent of the FDA statement.

Here is an accurate statement: The FDA warning does not have bearing on the use of chelation drugs prescribed by and supervised by a medical professional.

Continuing with the SafeMinds statement:

In its press conference, the FDA implied that chelation products were being used by parents of children with autism without a doctor’s supervision, but on questioning by reporters, FDA representatives were unable to back up the claim with any evidence of use of OTC chelation products by autism parents or of their use without medical supervision. The FDA asserted that the OTC products being promoted were dangerous and could lead to kidney damage, dehydration and death. On questioning by reporters, the FDA admitted that it had received no reports of adverse reactions to the products or to chelation in general, other than 1 death 5 years ago which was due to a medical error and in which a prescription drug was used.

Note that SafeMinds chose their words carefully. They don’t state that the practice doesn’t occur. SafeMinds just states that the FDA didn’t have the evidence on hand of the “use of OTC chelation products by autism parents or of their use without medical supervision.”

Is Safeminds so out of touch with the online autism community that they can’t find groups promoting over-the-counter (OTC) chelators by autism families? The practice is common. Surely SafeMinds members peruse the exhibitor booths at the parent-conventions (like Autism One).

Google search: “how to buy DMSA without a prescription”. Lot’s of hits.

Here is hit #2: dmsachelation.com/autism/. Pretty clear they are targeting autism treatment there, just from the URL. The blurb on Google for this site? “This page IS intended to show you where to buy DMSA without a prescription. You can get DMSA prescribed, however the cost will range from $2-3 per pill. …”

I didn’t capitalize “IS” in that statement, they did. They wanted to emphasize that one could buy chelators without a prescription.

SafeMinds states that the FDA has received no reports of adverse events from chelation in general. I find this odd. The FDA must not follow online autism parent groups such as those on Yahoo. The FDA must not have read transcripts of the Omnibus Autism Proceeding, which included a description of a child who regressed after being given chelation therapy (under the watchful eye of a prominent alt-med doctor). The FDA must not have performed a google search on chelation deaths with site set to CDC.gov.

First hit, “Deaths Associated with Hypocalcemia from Chelation Therapy — Texas, Pennsylvania, and Oregon, 2003–2005“.

When it comes to the question of “why” adverse events are not commonly reported I am again reminded of the OSR fiasco. The company that sold OSR specifically told their clientele to contact the company in case of adverse reactions. No mention was made of contacting the FDA (which can be done here). I guess I could search the websites of the groups that promote OTC chelators to see if they inform their clients of the ability to report their drug/supplements to the FDA. Somehow I feel confident that I would be able to find groups (possibly many or most) do not give that information.

SafeMinds posted their statement on the blog they sponsor, The Age of Autism. Another sponsor of that blog is Lee Silsby, a compounding pharmacy. They list chelators such as DMSA and EDTA under the category “autism treatments” (Specialties | Autism Treatments | Transdermal DMSA Cream, or Specialties | Autism Treatments | EDTA (calcium)). Not under “heavy metal poisoning” treatments, autism treatments.

The Autism Research Institute, a group which promotes much in the way of alternative medicine as therapies for autism, has a chart that is often used to promote chelation. In their survey, they claimed that over 70% of parents reported that their child got better with chelation. The survey has been often criticized as being unscientific and very biased. Even with this biased sample, 3% of parents reported that their child “got worse” with chelation.

A couple side notes are worth mentioning. First, in that survey the ARI list chelation under “Biomedical/Non-Drug/Supplements”. Non drug? Supplement? I doubt the FDA will agree. Second, the ARI survey lists secretin therapy as beneficial for autism. Secretin hit the news in the 1990’s as a potential autism therapy and has since been shown to be no more effective than a placebo. The survey is very, very biased towards “biomedical” treatments.

Surely SafeMinds is aware of this survey. As in, definitely they are aware of it. Just as Safeminds are certainly aware of the child in the Omnibus proceeding who suffered after chelation. But SafeMinds pretend as though there are no adverse reactions. It is disingenuous, to say the least.

SafeMinds ends their statement with this paragraph:

SafeMinds agrees with the FDA that products being promoted as drugs and biologics should have thorough and unbiased assessments for safety and that parents should work with their healthcare professionals when considering health interventions. SafeMinds feels that FDA has tried to cast autism parents in a negative light without any supporting evidence, by implying that autism parents were giving their children dangerous products without medical oversight. Only on questioning by the media did the FDA have to back off from its wild claims. SafeMinds feels the FDA owes the autism community an apology.

Basically, SafeMinds have taken the Human Shield defense. Rather than actually discuss the facts, SafeMinds attacks the FDA for “wild claims” and claims that the FDA owes the autism community an apology.

From the perspective of this autism parent I would say, yes, the FDA owes us an apology: for taking so damned long to address this issue. The abuse of chelation as a “treatment” for autism has been going on for many years. It is about time that the FDA cracked down and made the “wild claim” that a prescription drug should be given by perscription.

Heck, the FDA isn’t even making the “wild claim” that toxicology treatments should be performed by toxicologists. Just someone with a prescription pad.

Why isn’t SafeMinds telling autism families to seek out medical toxicologists to test and treat heavy metal poisoning? The answer is painfully clear. The methods of diagnosis and treatment that groups like SafeMinds promote do not compare to the methods used by those trained specifically to treat heavy metal intoxication.

Should make one pause to wonder.

40 Responses to “Safeminds defends treatments the FDA deemed “dangerously misleading””

  1. Chris October 19, 2010 at 04:37 #

    Back in the day when I was on the listserv from my son’s disability I always wondered why certain parents would tell me that vaccines were bad, but then tell me chelation was good!

    One even wrote that her son would feel tired and sick after he took the chelation tablets.

    I got nasty grams when I wrote trying to fathom why anyone would put those drugs into their kid. I finally quit when I found out one of the prime pushers of chelation as actually employed by the DAN! doctor referenced above.

    Then a couple of weeks later Roy Kerry killed a kid in his office by forced chelation (one of the cases in the 2005 link). Kind of makes me wish I stayed on that email group for another of month, it would have been interesting.

  2. Tammy Swarek October 19, 2010 at 09:12 #

    Being new to this site, but oh SO “vested”, I just have one question. Are there any treatments for Autism, or it’s immune related medical issues that you actually condone?

    • Kev October 19, 2010 at 11:17 #

      Tammy – totally depends on a) efficacy and b) safety. If a hypothesis is proven safe and proven effective then I say – go for it. For example, Melatonin for sleep issues seems to have a growing body of evidence regarding its efficacy and safety.

  3. Julian Frost October 19, 2010 at 10:57 #

    Tammy:

    Are there any treatments for Autism, or it’s immune related medical issues that you actually condone?

    Firstly, learn to punctuate and use grammar (“its”, not “it’s”) correctly. Secondly, what evidence do you have that Autism is related to immune disorders?

  4. daedalus2u October 19, 2010 at 13:22 #

    The best treatment for children with autism is the same as that for children without autism, TLC, tender loving care. People with autism may not respond as easily to TLC as do NT children, which may disappoint some parents. What that means is that children with autism need even more TLC.

    This treatment is completely safe, is completely supported by all of my nitric oxide research, but cannot be tested in a trial because denying anyone TLC is so damaging, and is enough to bring on autism-like symptoms all by itself.

    If a parent has difficulty supplying the TLC that their child needs, they should work on their own ability to supply it better, not try to reduce their child’s need for it through chemical treatments.

    I am not saying that autism is caused by insufficient TLC, it isn’t. But more TLC is always beneficial. It has health benefits for the persons supplying the TLC too. Those are also mediated through nitric oxide.

  5. Roger Kulp October 20, 2010 at 03:37 #

    Secondly, what evidence do you have that Autism is related to immune disorders?

    Not directly.Autism can occur side by side with metabolic disease,and metabolic disease often leads to autoimmune disease.

  6. Julian Frost October 20, 2010 at 06:39 #

    Roger:

    Autism can occur side by side with metabolic disease,and metabolic disease often leads to autoimmune disease.

    I said related to, not comorbid.

  7. RPClarke October 29, 2010 at 02:50 #

    The opening post here is so grossly biased, consisting of such outrageous sloppy falsehoods, in such quantity and concentration, that one has to wonder whether its author can really believe what he is writing. The author starts off showing a touching gullibility towards the propaganda put out by the FDA, and it goes even more downhill from there on. Its gross falsifications of the reality might not matter were it not that these words serve to abet the most outrageous crime of covering up a major medical crime AND then preventing the victims from obtaining the proper treatment. If the author really believes his rant here, then all the sadder. Such sloppy completely-reality-unhinged work does not warrant anyone’s corrective attention. There are plenty better places to turn our eyes to. Well, best wishes anyway.

  8. Sullivan October 29, 2010 at 04:45 #

    RPClarke,

    you are welcome to point out what “sloppy falsehoods” I have written. That way we could actually have a discussion.

    If you want to claim that chelation is “proper treatment” for autism…well, you are wrong. Autism isn’t mercury poisoning. You are free to search this blog for the many, many (too many) discussions on that point.

  9. leslie December 19, 2010 at 19:45 #

    Warning: autistic children taking depakote or valporic acid are at high risk for hyperammonia which can worsen autistic behaviors like self-injury or aggression. Google depakote and hyperammonia. Abbott pharmaceuticals sent out warning letters regarding this and few neurologists or psychiatristis even check for hyperammonia

  10. RPClarke December 21, 2010 at 01:39 #

    Dear Sullivan, sorry for not replying sooner (doesn’t this blog have a notification system?).

    If you want to claim that chelation is “proper treatment” for autism…well, you are wrong. Autism isn’t mercury poisoning.

    But I have more than adequately explained why you are 102% wrong, at
    http://www.autismcauses.info/search/label/chelation
    and
    http://www.autismcauses.info/search/label/corruption.
    And you can find some of the reality about certain supposed great experts at
    http://www.autismcauses.info/search/label/autism%27s%20false%20prophets
    and
    http://www.autismcauses.info/search/label/michael%20fitzpatrick
    Here’s wishing you a merric Christmas etc.

  11. Chris December 21, 2010 at 04:07 #

    Mr. Clarke, muckraking is not how one presents real evidence. Producing the science, rather than website deriding persons you dislike would be much more effective. Do not bother referencing your own website, just give the Pubmed index numbers, preferably with the journal, title and date of the articles.

  12. daedalus2u December 21, 2010 at 04:28 #

    Sullivan, I looked at RPC’s links and nothing that hasn’t been well hashed over. Nothing new and nothing based in solid science.

    RPC, why don’t you read up on what was called Pink Disease. It was a serious disease of children in the first half of the 20th century. It was a leading cause of death, with about 23% of child deaths attributed to it. Eventually it was realized that it was actually mercury poisoning from teething powders. Many of the teething powders that were produced and sold had a grain of mercurous chloride in them. Yes, a grain. If you don’t have the conversion factor handy, that is 65,000 micrograms per dose. Yes, 65,000 micrograms of mercurous chloride per dose, and many children were given multiple doses. Many tens of millions of doses were sold, with a single company reporting sale of 30,000,000 doses in one year.

    Many tens of millions of children received many thousands of times more mercury from teething powders than ever received from vaccines. Mercury from teething powders gave many children pink disease and killed over a thousand. Where is the autism from the first half of the 20th century when children were given so much mercury that over a thousand were killed by it?

    Look up pink disease on PubMed. Lots of open access citations that go into great detail. Here is a good start.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14821416

  13. RPClarke December 21, 2010 at 08:08 #

    daedalus, Thanks for your suggestion, which I will discuss below here.

    Nothing new and nothing based in solid science.

    But you fail to give any indication of what might be unsound about it. All you do is raise the matter of pink disease (aka acrodynia). And yet pink disease has zilch to do with my explanation of any autism causation, or the data I will be citing in relation to mercury. The key causal variable posited in my update review is constant inhalation of elemental mercury vapor. It matters little how many tons of mercurous chloride were applied to infants, as Hg2Cl2 is a very different chemical from mercury vapor. The former is a substantially stable solid, whereas the former is a highly reactive gas. Indeed it’s well-known that chlorine (gas) strongly counteracts the toxicity of mercury gas, rendering it far less toxic in chlor-alkali plants.

    I’ve previously pointed out that trying to have a useful discussion here becomes a waste of time because the audience is so religiously convinced of its false notions about autism not having anything to do with mercury. The touching notion of the FDA as being a credible authority reflects that religious, scientifically-vacuous, faith here. Huge numbers of people would incline instead to find any condemnation from fascist oppressors such as the FDA to be an endorsement and vice versa. I look forward to the day when you catch up with them!

  14. RPClarke December 21, 2010 at 08:31 #

    Chris,

    muckraking is not how one presents real evidence. Producing the science, rather than website deriding persons you dislike would be much more effective.

    On the contrary there is plenty of science and real evidence on my site (and yet more in the update review not on the site), just it’s not in accordance with the positions held by those who find a home at lbrb.

    As for the concept of muckraking, you can see that in truckloads in the supposedly wonderful books by Offit and Fitzpatrick. My above-linked commentaries on them consist instead almost entirely of critiques of their outrageous cheap scientific errors. I do point out such things as the very peculiar citation system used by Offit which so conveniently hides from readers his lack of documentary support for his key assertions. That’s not muckraking, more like exposure of very serious deceit aimed at distorting understanding of the science. Whether that was a deliberate deceiving ploy by Offit or instead he just naturally inclines to such defectiveness I wouldn’t know, but it certainly warrants pointing out anyway.

  15. Chris December 21, 2010 at 20:00 #

    I don’t care what is on your site. All I see is you complaining about people in the too long bits to read. I have absolutely no interest in your opinion of other people. If you want to argue the science, then post the science. Do not post links to your site, to a news articles or similar ilk. Post the journal, title, date of the papers (like a review) that supports your argument. Nothing else.

    If you have evidence that the DTaP vaccine has more risk than pertussis, tetanus or pertussis… please present it. If you have any evidence that a child being subjected to a particular variety of chelation, present the science.

    Unfortunately, the prevailing science shows that children who have had real heavy metal poisoning severe enough to require chelation, do not have the neurological damage repaired. A classic paper on that is: Pink ladies: mercury poisoning in twin girls:

    Before admission the twins had regressed developmentally and were unable to feed orally, sit or walk. Over the 8 weeks in hospital they showed some minor neurocognitive improvements, but their long-term prognosis is uncertain.

    Here is a review paper on lead: Dimercaptosuccinic acid (succimer; DMSA) in inorganic lead poisoning.:

    However, DMSA did not improve cognition in children < 3 years old with mild lead poisoning, presumably because lead-induced neurological damage occurred during development in utero and/or early infancy.

    In the future, if you wish to be taken seriously, you would stick to posting actual papers that can be found in a medical school library.

  16. Chris December 21, 2010 at 20:12 #

    I should also add, Mr. Clarke, on skimming through your blog posts you seem to think the NIH actually is responsible for the papers at PubMed and controls the data. You also dismiss the outcome of the biochemists and others whose conclusions do not agree with your concept of reality. Now tell us what scientific discipline you have a doctorate in, and what your doctoral thesis was about. Where is your laboratory and how is it funded?

    By the way, Daedalus2u does have a doctorate and is involved in real biomedical research, so I give his opinion more weight and respect. Here is the link to the full paper he referred to on deaths from Pink Disease.

  17. daedalus2u December 21, 2010 at 20:40 #

    Actually Chris, I do not have a doctorate, but I have something more valuable than a doctorate, the ability to read and understand scientific papers and the access and time to read a great many of them. My master’s degree is in engineering, from MIT.

    Someone needs to spend at least 10,000 hours studying something before you can become an “expert”, and then you need to have the background to understand it (and be able to reject stuff that is bogus) before you start. I have spent several times that much on my NO stuff.

    • Sullivan December 21, 2010 at 21:11 #

      daedalus2u,

      I hate to use your comment to point this out: but people can spend far more than 10,000 hours on a subject and come to a bad conclusion. Mark Blaxill, Dan Olmsted, Andrew Wakefield and many others come to mind.

  18. daedalus2u December 21, 2010 at 22:08 #

    Sullivan you are correct. You need the background to understand what you are studying, and the intellectual integrity to reject that which is wrong. That last part is what most people lack.

    10,000 hours is a lot of time, that is 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year for 5 years. I don’t think that Mark Blaxill, Dan Olmsted, or Andrew Wakefield actually put that kind of time into reading the literature on autism. Certainly they couldn’t have when they first started because they didn’t have time. Since they haven’t changed the naive misconceptions they first had, either they haven’t put in the time since or lack the intellectual integrity to change their understanding.

    There was an excellent comment by titmouse over at ERV, which reflects on being able to change your understanding of things scientific.

    http://scienceblogs.com/erv/2010/12/xmrv_erv.php#c3033939

    “A conclusion based upon available evidence isn’t the same thing as “bias.” New evidence will lead to revisions of previous conclusions. No big whoop.”

    “In science you don’t get gold stars for being “right all along” like in the movies. You only get points for weighing the *available* evidence appropriately.”

    “If you bet against the available evidence and it turns out you’re right, that’s just dumb luck. It’s not impressive.”

  19. Chris December 21, 2010 at 22:11 #

    Thank you, daedalus2u, for correcting me. Yes, Sullivan, you are correct. It is much like the little girl my daughter sometimes had violin co-lessons. She had difficulty learning to read music (and later it turned out she was dyslexic, so she had trouble learning to read, period), but she loved to play the violin. So she practiced, and practiced… but sometimes she made mistakes, over and over and over again. So her next lesson with the violin teacher was to correct those mistakes (in retrospect a Suzuki teacher would have been better for her). Well, at least she was willing to be corrected (and it probably in a high school orchestra, unlike my daughter who only picks up the violin or sits at the piano when she feels like it). I don’t see Blaxill, Olmsted, Wakefield or Mr. Clarke being able to admit a mistake.

  20. RPClarke December 22, 2010 at 00:28 #

    Chris wrote:

    I don’t care what is on your site.

    Which quite well encapsulates your negative, hostile, nitpicking, prejudiced, arrongant, drivel-barrageing attitude. There are other writers more deserving of my time.

    All I see is you complaining about people in the too long bits to read.

    You there utterly misrepresent my site. Your “seeing” it that way is merely the consequence of your lack of objectivity. Anyone who takes the trouble to check can see for themselves that it is concentrated on the science with some additional appropriate discussions of the political context. You are unable to counter any of it with reason or evidence so you blame the messenger as is traditional for irrational denialists.

    If you have evidence that the DTaP vaccine has more risk than pertussis, tetanus or pertussis… please present it.

    I and my site have nothing whatsoever to say about DTaP or other vaccines, except that they clearly didn’t cause the autism increase. You have the nerve to write this trash about my site without having bothered to study it first.

    If you have any evidence that a child being subjected to a particular variety of chelation, present the science.

    I have already posted the link above to my careful explanation about chelation. You should be ashamed of yourself for such outrageous arrogant timewasting drivel-barrageing here.

    Unfortunately, the prevailing science shows that children who have had real heavy metal poisoning severe enough to require chelation, do not have the neurological damage repaired. A classic paper on that is: Pink ladies: mercury poisoning in twin girls:

    But that is nothing to do with the effects of inhaled mercury vapour causing autism. Different chemical, different intake route, very different consequent injuries.

    Here is a review paper on lead: Dimercaptosuccinic acid (succimer; DMSA) in inorganic lead poisoning.:

    Again, Lead this time which is entirely different from what I am talking about.

    You have here indulged in far too much drivel-barrageing . Not to mention the very nasty arrogant attitude you express in it. You should be ashamed.

  21. RPClarke December 22, 2010 at 00:45 #

    I should also add, Mr. Clarke, on skimming through your blog posts you seem to think the NIH actually is responsible for the papers at PubMed and controls the data.

    Skimming – yes I can believe that bit. Meanwhile I’d be grateful if you could clarify where I do “seem to think” the above – I’m not aware of it myself. Or what difference it would make anyway.

    You also dismiss the outcome of the biochemists and others whose conclusions do not agree with your concept of reality.

    Please tell me where, how, what you are on about here. And again why is it so important.

    Now tell us what scientific discipline you have a doctorate in, and what your doctoral thesis was about. Where is your laboratory and how is it funded?

    How pathetic. You have open access to all my reasoning and evidence but you prefer to salivate over other things instead.

    By the way, Daedalus2u does have a doctorate and is involved in real biomedical research, so I give his opinion more weight and respect.

    How pathetic. (My site provides reasoning and evidence rather than any assertion of expert opinion.)

    Here is the link to the full paper he referred to on deaths from Pink Disease.

    Thanks for helpful link, but I have already explained it is irrelevant. There’s plenty enough reading of just the relevant things.
    You have now even more exceeded your drivel-barrageing quota. I suggest you learn to show some respect for those whom you just happen to disagree with.

    • Sullivan December 22, 2010 at 00:56 #

      RPClarke,

      you can spare us all the “How pathetic” and other types of comments. People aren’t interested in reading you rehash old, failed hypotheses.

      Frankly, I am tired of you using this discussion to post links to your blog posts. You haven’t added anything new for quite some time in this discussion–here and elsewhere I will add.

      Chris can skim your blog and obtain a valid opinion quite easily. Chris has been reading and commenting on the science behind the vaccine/autism discussion for quite some time. One doesn’t need to waste (, again, spare me the hurt responses to that) time reading your posts in depth to see that you are offering nothing new and are avoiding the very real science that discounts your position.

  22. Chris December 22, 2010 at 00:52 #

    Why do you think a barrage of insults is a valid substitute for actual evidence? I also see you did not even read the posted article on the little girls with mercury poisoning from teething powder. Also, I used that study on lead poisoning because it was on DMSA, which is mentioned in this posting.

    I don’t think I am the one doing the drivel barraging.

    So what makes you qualified in biochemistry to determine if those studies are valid or not?

  23. Chris December 22, 2010 at 00:54 #

    Thanks for helpful link, but I have already explained it is irrelevant. There’s plenty enough reading of just the relevant things.

    Yes, your website is not relevant. It would be nice if you posted the relevant science if you wish to be taken seriously.

  24. RPClarke December 22, 2010 at 00:59 #

    People can spend far more than 10,000 hours on a subject and come to a bad conclusion.

    I’ll certainly agree with that. I’d even argue that the more they are emotionally-invested on one subject the more they are liable to get emotionally derailed within it.

    “A conclusion based upon available evidence isn’t the same thing as “bias.” New evidence will lead to revisions of previous conclusions. No big whoop.”
    “If you bet against the available evidence and it turns out you’re right, that’s just dumb luck. It’s not impressive.”

    Ditto. But seeing the available evidence through an undistorted lens appears to be the problem!

  25. RPClarke December 22, 2010 at 01:08 #

    I note the further responses from Chris and Sullivan.
    As I’ve found previously here, it is an exercise in trying to teach colour-coordination to the blind. You appear to be equalled in this blindness only by the vax-blaming true-believers over at AoA.
    I hope you’ll learn to see the reality before unkinder people arrive to parade you as a laughing-stock, but I don’t have much expectation of it. Best wishes anyway.

    • Sullivan December 22, 2010 at 01:14 #

      RPClarke,

      I have already been told by the unkinder people that I will be a laughing-stock. Thankfully, you are not as prone to profanity as that gentleman. That gentleman didn’t have to wait long to find out that he was the one making a fool of himself. The data are already in front of you, though, and you still don’t accept that your “autism causes” website is narrowly focused on already failed ideas.

      I would wish you good luck, but given that the ideas you repeat are dangerous, I will skip that and say fare well.

  26. Chris December 22, 2010 at 01:32 #

    I just have one more observation and question. From Mr. Clarke’s link on chelation blog posts I copied these quotes:

    “Meanwhile, in the real world, yes there are all those many videos of recovered children, which a lot of “experts” seem incapable of even mentioning, including for instance Simon Baron-Cohen, and “Research Autism” which pretends to be a charity trying to help autistics.”

    “And yet parts of the med establishment and their slimey assistants such as Ben Goldacre insist on just churning out yet more lies and patently pseudo-science reports such as the SCENIHR one.”

    “Oh, and now we have this further would-be contribution: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19027035, which purports an ignorance of even the most basic principle of chelation therapy (namely removing the toxin from the body) and substitutes a straw-man fallacious in-situ “detoxification” concept of its own.”

    As to the last comment, I want to know how Mr. Clarke is more qualified than the authors who are from the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Marquette University.

    This is what can be expected from Mr. Clarke’s blog, and why I asked him to provide the journal, titles and dates of the papers that support his views. So, I agree with Sullivan: it is not worth anyone’s time to peruse his blog any further.

  27. Gray Falcon December 22, 2010 at 02:04 #

    Let me just add, that the “videos of recovered children” have been addressed. That autistic children make progress is expected, to claim that chelation is responsible for their improvement requires a certain level of evidence. To give you an idea, nearly every crime committed, the criminal had eaten bread in the last 24 hours. Correlation is not the same things as causation.

  28. RPClarke December 22, 2010 at 02:10 #

    So, sadly this anonymous ‘Chris’ here doesn’t know when he has rolled past the end of the rails and is merely flying in the air beyond the cliff. The concept that just because something comes from a university it can still be utter b.s. is seemingly beyond his/her/its grasp.

    “Oh, and now we have this further would-be contribution: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19027035, which purports an ignorance of even the most basic principle of chelation therapy (namely removing the toxin from the body) and substitutes a straw-man fallacious in-situ “detoxification” concept of its own.”

    As to the last comment, I want to know how Mr. Clarke is more qualified than the authors who are from the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Marquette University.

    As I’ve explained in my post about drivel-barrageing , it is unreasonable to expect me to provide a public free remedial education service to just anyone who feels I ought to for some reason. However, I’m more patient than I ought to be, so here goes (for the last time anonymous Chris, any further drivel-barrageing from you any reasonable editor will remove from this site).

    There is in science a generally-accepted concept that argument ad hominem is no substitute for properly addressing facts and reasonings.

    That paragraph quoted by “Chris” does not depend for its persuasiveness on any qualifications of myself. That is because it calls on extremely-well-known facts and well-demonstratable facts which are not seriously in question except by complete and utter (words moderated by myself here). “Chris”, the question you need to ask yourself is not “what qualifications has the writer got?”, but rather: “What if anything could be untrue in that sentence?” So perhaps you’d like to go ahead and show us what you think to be the untruth there.

    For those who can cope with slightly longer lengths of text, I’ll paste in here the full paragraph that “Chris” excerpted from there.

    “Oh, and now we have this further would-be contribution: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19027035, which purports an ignorance of even the most basic principle of chelation therapy (namely removing the toxin from the body) and substitutes a straw-man fallacious in-situ “detoxification” concept of its own. It is just as impossible to carry out a test of chelation in vitro (or in this case “in tissue”) as it is impossible to venture out on a test drive of a car engine which is standing isolated from the car body on a mechanic’s bench. When a dentist drills your tooth it instantly creates more pain than was there already. But we don’t validly infer from that that dental treatment is counterproductive; because the treatment has to be evaluated as a whole.”
    Bye, and thanks S.

    • Sullivan December 22, 2010 at 02:42 #

      RPClarke,

      you keep saying goodbye, but you always come back. You state that you don’t want to give us a “free remedial education”, and yet you keep coming back to provide us with your knowledge. One might speculate that your goal is to have the last word.

  29. RPClarke December 22, 2010 at 03:08 #

    Last word … to the extent that I object to having a falsely defamatory portrayal of my thesis left otherwise unchallenged, yes. About the only emotion I have is an intense dislike of unchallenged untruths.
    Cheers, (and lets hope C finally shuts the etc up, and starts putting his questions to himself instead!).

  30. Gray Falcon December 22, 2010 at 03:19 #

    Oh, and now we have this further would-be contribution: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19027035, which purports an ignorance of even the most basic principle of chelation therapy (namely removing the toxin from the body) and substitutes a straw-man fallacious in-situ “detoxification” concept of its own. It is just as impossible to carry out a test of chelation in vitro (or in this case “in tissue”) as it is impossible to venture out on a test drive of a car engine which is standing isolated from the car body on a mechanic’s bench. When a dentist drills your tooth it instantly creates more pain than was there already. But we don’t validly infer from that that dental treatment is counterproductive; because the treatment has to be evaluated as a whole.

    So, just because the engine exploded, doesn’t mean the car won’t still work? Should we just test everything on live subjects just to make sure they work? In vitro testing exists for numerous reason, including ethics. You’ve only managed to dig yourself deeper.

    Also, saying things like “it is unreasonable to expect me to provide a public free remedial education service to just anyone who feels I ought to for some reason” comes across as saying “I have no idea what I’m talking about, so I’ll try to substitute arrogance for information.”

  31. RPClarke December 22, 2010 at 03:30 #

    Yet another drivel-barrager here, this time hiding under the name Grey Falcon. Again he fails to answer the key question of what was untrue in that supposedly debatable sentence.

    I repeat, for the last time, at this site it is like trying to teach colour-coordination to blind people. No, “Grey Falcon”, it is not reasonable to expect me to provide endless replies to your half-baked anonymous assertions. Ask yourself instead. If you can.

    • Sullivan December 22, 2010 at 03:49 #

      RPClarke,

      you have left your passive-aggressive attacks on the other commenters here for a more direct and crude attack. Does this advance your cause in any way? I ask this rhetorically as it clearly does not. Once again, you are telling us “for the last time”. Are you sincere in this or are you just trying to draw attention to yourself? The “I’m leaving” tactic is well established in this regard.

      You have not presented anything new in this discussion for some time. That is why you are not getting a real discussion. You avoid the very clearly damning evidence that the mercury hypothesis is dead. That is your right. If you are frustrated that your arguments fail to convince people, perhaps it is time to turn the mirror on yourself, and consider your own half-baked assertions.

      I do not consider it reasonable for you to continue to respond with ever increasing levels of insult. Perhaps you should make good on your assertion that you are wishing us all good bye.

  32. Chris December 22, 2010 at 07:30 #

    Mr. Clarke:

    As I’ve explained in my post about drivel-barrageing , it is unreasonable to expect me to provide a public free remedial education service to just anyone who feels I ought to for some reason. However, I’m more patient than I ought to be, so here goes (for the last time anonymous Chris, any further drivel-barrageing from you any reasonable editor will remove from this site).

    Wow. Is that because I asked how your education made you more qualified than a set of authors at the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Marquette University? (they were a grad student, a technician and professor of pharmacology) I see you did not answer that question, but again resorted to a string of insults. Interesting. Oh, and good bye.

  33. fast easy ways to make money online November 16, 2013 at 02:48 #

    Unquestionably believe that which you said. Your favorite justifiation
    appeared to be at the web the simplest thing tto have in mind of.
    I say to you, I definitely get annoyed at the same time
    as folks think about issues that they just do not recognize about.
    You controlled to hit the nail upon the top and
    also outlined ouut the whole thing with no need side-effects , other people could
    take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thank you

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention Autism Blog - Safeminds defends treatments the FDA deemed “dangerously misleading” « Left Brain/Right Brain -- Topsy.com - October 18, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kev, Brandon Blietz and Catherina+ScienceMom, Alltop Autism. Alltop Autism said: Safeminds defends treatments the FDA deemed “dangerously misleading” http://bit.ly/dsOaoe […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: