Seth Mnookin responds to Andrew Wakefield on CNN

6 Jan

Seth Mnookin is the author of the upcoming (next week) book “The Panic Virus“. As someone who spent 2 years researching the issue of the vaccine/autism hypothesis, he was chosen to respond to Andrew Wakefield on CNN.

They note this in the story, but I will point it out again here: Andrew Wakefield would not appear together with Mr. Mnookin. This isn’t new. Last year the program “The Doctors” had a program with Jenny McCarthy, J.B. Handley, Dr. Jerry Kartzinel and others–where they only agreed to go on air if the there were no people with opposing views present.

Mr. Mnookin points out that Mr. Wakefield tried to frame the story as a single reporter (Brian Deer) “out to get him”.

He has framed this consistently as this one renegade journalist who’s out to get him. In fact, there was a British — the Medical Research Council, which licenses doctors in the U.K., spent two-and-a- half years looking into his work. It was the longest investigation they had ever done.

On the subject of Mr. Wakefield’s scientific credibility:

GUPTA: No, I think that — I think this is a pretty big deal, what’s happened today.

But, you know, he didn’t — he hasn’t had really credibility within the scientific world for some time. I mean, as you pointed out, he’s been stripped of his medical license. The paper has been retracted. His co-authors all essentially left the paper.

The problem is that Mr. Wakefield’s audience is not the scientific community. The damage he does is not within or to the science community. The damage is to public health and to the autism communities. I am hopeful that this paper in the BMJ will reduce what credibility Mr. Wakefield still has and the damage he is causing.

Mr. Mnookin has a blog post of his own on the BMJ article and editorial: The problems with the BMJ’s Wakefield-fraud story

Here is the transcript:

COOPER: Also joining us right now is Seth Mnookin, author of “Panic Virus.”

Andrew Wakefield would not go on the program with you.


COOPER: He would only go on if Sanjay and I were — were asking the questions.

What do you make of what he said?

MNOOKIN: I find it — I find it upsetting and — and disturbing.

He has framed this consistently as this one renegade journalist who’s out to get him. In fact, there was a British — the Medical Research Council, which licenses doctors in the U.K., spent two-and-a- half years looking into his work. It was the longest investigation they had ever done.

And that was the group that stripped him of his right to practice medicine and — and said that he had displayed a callous disregard for children.

There have been dozens of studies.

COOPER: They said a callous disregard for children?

MNOOKIN: Callous disregard for children.

COOPER: That’s why — and that’s — in stripping him of his — of his license?

MNOOKIN: Well, the — the — there were several reasons they listed. The callous disregard had to do with performing unnecessary tests on children who had been brought to him to support this point, including spinal taps, invasive examinations, colonoscopies on very, very young children.

They also found that there was — his evidence couldn’t be backed up. His — his data couldn’t be backed up. So, for it to be portrayed by — by — by Andy Wakefield as this being one person out to get him, you know, I think what he’s banking on is that people won’t actually look and see — look and see what the reality of the situation is.


COOPER: When you read this report by — by Deer…


COOPER: And I don’t know this guy Deer at all, but, I mean, I have read his entire report. It’s — it’s — it’s pretty exhaustive.

MNOOKIN: Not only is it exhaustive, but, if you took out everything that Brian Deer had ever written, there would be exhaustive evidence that — that this was not trustworthy.

Dozens of researchers in dozens of countries have studied literally millions of children around the world. And this notion that there’s some sort of conspiracy between public health officials, doctors, journalists, drug companies, researchers around the world, you know, it — it would be the most brilliant conspiracy that had ever been hatched.

And — and — and Andrew Wakefield’s setting himself up as this one renegade or this band of renegades, you know, sort of fighting against this is — is, I think, laughable.

COOPER: Sanjay, does he have any credibility?

GUPTA: No, I think that — I think this is a pretty big deal, what’s happened today.

But, you know, he didn’t — he hasn’t had really credibility within the scientific world for some time. I mean, as you pointed out, he’s been stripped of his medical license. The paper has been retracted. His co-authors all essentially left the paper.

COOPER: But, you know, let me just say one thing. Because there — there is so much distrust of big pharmaceutical companies, there are going to be a lot of people watching this who say…

GUPTA: Well, that…

COOPER: … you know, we’re all in the pockets of big pharma, or, you know, that — that there is this conspiracy.

GUPTA: That’s what I was going to say. I don’t know that it’s going to change people who are still going to be very concerned about vaccines.

And the reality is that, if we had a great answer as to what causes autism, I think that would — that would change this debate altogether. But we don’t. So, you — it’s trying to prove a negative, obviously, an impossible thing to do.

But, in his case, I — I don’t think that it — while as big a deal as this is in science today, I don’t know how much this changes the debate overall, because his — his — his science has been discredited in the scientific community for some time.

COOPER: But — but, I mean, it’s understandable. Look, parents — look, we don’t know about — a lot about autism, and — and the numbers are growing. And that is — is of concern. And it’s understandable parents would latch on to anything.

But — but in terms of just facts, and we do — you know, I believe in facts a lot on this program — I mean, Seth, are there peer-reviewed scientific reports that — that indicate a link between…


COOPER: … between vaccines and — and autism?

MNOOKIN: No. And not only is there not peer-reviewed work, this is probably the most studied public health issue involving children over the last 20 years.

COOPER: Would public health officials have an interest in — in hiding a link, if there was?

MNOOKIN: Public health officials, I think, would have an interest in keeping children safe.

Even if there — if there was a link and it was discovered, I think public health officials would — would have an interest in doing whatever they could to protect children. This notion that everyone’s trying to — to — to cover their butts and — because they have already been — been perpetrating this scam, is — to distrust the motives of that many people around the world, you know, you would need to assume that — that everything going on is in some ways out to get you.

I think Sanjay’s point about our not knowing what causes autism is really in some ways the crucial one, because it’s so frightening to parents. The numbers are rising. And here’s something that you can point to. And because it occurs at the same time, you always get vaccinated when you’re a child, and autism is diagnosed when you’re a child, so it’s easy to understand why patients would latch on to that as a connection.

But it has no more validity than — than if I said microwave popcorn causes autism. The numbers have gone up since we have started eating microwave popcorn. There’s just — there’s absolutely no evidence supporting a link.

COOPER: Do — do you agree with that?

GUPTA: Yes. I mean, and I think…


COOPER: And, as a parent, what do you tell other parents?

GUPTA: Well, I — I have three children. I got my kids vaccinated on schedule, on time. So, you know, I mean, that’s — I think the proof’s in the pudding in my case, because I had to make that decision.

But I think, also, you know, that I — you could get a sense of where the debate goes from here. Wakefield’s paper may be discredited, but we still don’t know. We give more vaccines now. We give them in different schedules. Could there be something new that’s possibly causing this uptick in autism?

And — and — and I think the question is going to remain out there, despite what’s happened today. You know, the smallpox vaccine, when it was given, it causes an immune response to the body. It was a — a really profound immune response, more powerful than all the vaccines that we give today, and yet the autism rates are higher now.

So, if it’s the vaccine itself, why wasn’t it happening when we gave these really, really powerful vaccines so many years ago?

COOPER: And, Seth, the report that is out today by this journalist Deer, it indicates that he had a financial — that Wakefield had a financial motive.


COOPER: What was the financial motive?


MNOOKIN: Well, there were a couple of things.

One, he had filed a patent application for an alternate measles vaccine several months before the paper came out, which he did not disclose at the time. It was precisely the vaccine that you would have wanted if you stopped using the three-in-one MMR vaccine. It was just for measles.

So, that’s one very obvious thing. He also was — his work was being funded by a law firm that was involved in potential vaccine litigation. And a number of the children in this study were also involved with that law firm.

So, the — for — for him to say, you know, “I had no financial connection, and, to prove it, you should read my book,” you know, it — it’s — it’s sort of like saying, no, no, I swear I’m a good guy, and, to prove it, listen to me.

It — you know, it just doesn’t hold up.

COOPER: I read — I read in “Newsweek” this week in an article you wrote about kids who have died because they haven’t been vaccinated…


COOPER: … died — died from things that they shouldn’t have died of. MNOOKIN: Yes.

COOPER: Whooping cough.

MNOOKIN: In 2010 alone, 10 infants died of whooping cough in California, which is astounding that that is happening today.

There are children that have died of Hib, diseases that I have always assumed were definitely in the past in this country. There was a measles epidemic several years ago in California, in San Diego, that cost $10 million to contain, and resulted in a quarantine of dozens of children.

That meant that those parents then had to find some way to take care of those kids, either not go to work or pay for day care. So, even when you have a case like with that measles epidemic, where it’s true that children didn’t die, you had one infant that was hospitalized for a serious amount of time, and dozens of families that had to pay an enormous amount of money because of this.

COOPER: This is maybe an unfair and an impossible question to answer, is, do you believe Wakefield believes what he’s saying?

MNOOKIN: I talked to him several times over the past several years. Mostly in the context of these conferences that he was referring to where he’s surrounded by people who adulate him.

I think that it’s certainly possible that, at this point, he’s been living in this for so long that he thinks it’s true. I have talked to other people involved in that community who have told me candidly that they wish the conversation could move on from that, because they understood that the science is not…

COOPER: Has the media played a role in perpetuating this? Because you see in a lot of TV shows, you know, on this subject, several sides represented. You have the people who believe the vaccines cause autism and the people who don’t. And it seems to give equal credence, you know.

Or you have a famous person, you know, like Jenny McCarthy, and nothing against her personally, but you know, who is going to get a lot of attention. Has that made the problem worse? Has that given the — this side more credence?

MNOOKIN: I think absolutely. And an example I use is there are people who believe the earth is flat. Most people obviously do not, but if you had one person who believed the earth is flat and one person who said, “No, it’s actually round,” and they were discussing the issue together, it would seem that the consensus was split 50/50.

So here you have a situation in which you have millions of doctors, public health officials, all coming down on one side, and then Andrew Wakefield and a very small number of people who are associated with him, a miniscule number of people, saying, “No, this is what’s actually going on.” But because we can’t present millions of points of view or millions of people, it ends up sounding — there’s this false equivalency. It ends up sounding on the one hand, on the other hand, when there really is only one hand in this case.

COOPER: Do you agree with that, there is only one hand in this?

GUPTA: Yes, and I mean, the one thing I would say with the earth, flat earth, round thing, is we know the answer to that now.

One of the things that again has made this discussion so difficult is that, at the end of the discussion, no matter how much you disagree with the other person, if they come back to you and say, “So what does cause it?” We still don’t have that great answer. It could be some environmental unknown with a genetic predisposition. Who knows? But that, in part, has made this difficult.

Also, you know, just as a parent, I can tell you, it’s so deeply personal. And that also, despite what’s happened today, I think many parents who are dealing with this right now are still believing this, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

COOPER: It’s a fascinating topic. I appreciate both you guys being here with your expertise. Thank you. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Seth Mnookin.

62 Responses to “Seth Mnookin responds to Andrew Wakefield on CNN”

  1. Sayer Ji January 7, 2011 at 02:41 #

    When Mr. Mookin says “there is absolutely no evidence supporting a link [between autism and vaccination]” he is at best technically inaccurate, or worse misrepresenting the truth. For peer-reviewed medical research on the top of just thimerosal’s connection with autism spectrum disorders and related neurodevelopmental conditions:

    For more peer-reviewed information on vaccination-induced adverse events this database collates the information so the public can make an informed decision as to what is really going on

  2. Chris January 7, 2011 at 04:06 #

    You seem to be flogging your own website, and the only interesting thing about is that it requires several key clicks to find out that you are using papers from the Geiers, who have also been discredited.

    In the future just post the actual papers in comments, or at a minimum the PubMed identification number. Don’t make us go to your website. It makes you look dishonest.

  3. Chris January 7, 2011 at 04:19 #

    I forgot to add, the study that Wakefield committed fraud on was on the MMR vaccine, which has never contained thimerosal.

    Oh, my word… your website has one of the most horrible designs I have ever seen. It would be a good example of anti-user-friendly! So, again, in the future just refer to the actual papers (and make sure they are not almost twenty years old!).

  4. Sayer Ji January 7, 2011 at 04:25 #

    How has Geiers been “discredited” and by whom? Also, why would I spend 30 minutes copy/pasting the ncbi citations with multiple urls when its all on one page already and takes literally 1 second?

  5. Sayer Ji January 7, 2011 at 04:42 #

    Oh, and discrediting a website that contains peer-reviewed medical information does not change the fact that the information exists. You are in fact doing the exact same thing that CNN did to Andrew Wakefield in this interview: discrediting the messenger, in order to distract from the message, namely, THERE IS a connection between vaccines and neurological injury, to say the least. If there is a credibility problem here, it is yours and not mine. What research are you providing to counter with?

  6. Chris January 7, 2011 at 04:50 #

    So you favor their Lupron protocol which is a form of chemical castration on children? You can read up on their misdeeds here:

    They are also professional “expert witnesses”, but that hasn’t worked out so well lately since the court has found their expertise lacking. So check out this order from the US Court:

    I did not offer any opinion on whether petitioner can establish vaccine causation of her condition, only that I found that the articles authored by Dr. Geier unpersuasive and not scientifically sound, based on my prior reading of the articles and critiques of them. I am also aware that Dr. Geier is trained as a geneticist and obstetrician, not an immunologist, epidemiologist, or rheumatologist, and that my fellow special masters and several other judges have opined unfavorably on his qualifications and testimony as an expert.

    If you were unaware that the Geiers were unqualified and have had their research rejected, I see no reason why I should slog through your website. And you do not need to post several URLs, just the PMID or the journal, title and date of the paper.

  7. Sayer Ji January 7, 2011 at 04:56 #

    I take it Chris you believe that vaccines are safe and effective a priori, so there is no reason to continue this conversation, is there?

  8. Chris January 7, 2011 at 05:20 #

    Mr. Ji, is that the type of logic and argument you learned in getting that degree in philosophy? If so, I would suggest you become familiar with Massimo Pigliucci, professor of philosophy at City University of New York. Read his blog, and listen to the Rationally Speaking podcast.

    First: you need to know the real risks.

    What are the risks to the vaccine (and yes they do exist), versus the risks of the actual diseases? Since my son became permanently disabled due to a now vaccine preventable disease, you are going to have to work harder than using whimpering excuses for linking to that horribly designed website, and that ridiculous strawman. Since we know that one out of thousand cases of measles results in a major impact like blindness, mental retardation, deafness, etc… and even death — what are the real risks of the MMR? (the MMR has been used in the USA since 1971, so there forty years worth of data)

    Second: You need to focus on the real issue.

    The issue here is that Wakefield committed fraud, not the safety of vaccines. It was obvious you were just doing a knee jerk reaction by even mentioning thimerosal, when the study in question was on a vaccine that never contained it!

    Third: You need to present a statement and provide the evidence.

    All you did was link to a website that is just a bunch of links that at some point get you to a link. Now if that link was an actual article with references, that would have been acceptable. But, no… you want people to slog through a bunch of nonsensical clicks.

    Actually address the issue. This was about fraud and the fear it perpetuated. Real children have been disabled and killed due to outbreaks of measles, mumps, Hib and pertussis. It is about Wakefield lying.

    Perhaps your little website can clarify what Dr. Mercola actually thinks what causes autism. The following is the list from that link, do tell us what the real cause is, please (links removed):
    * Pasteurised milk
    * Flouride
    * Aluminium
    * Mercury (of course)
    * MMR
    * Malnutrition
    * Lactose
    * Glutamine
    * “An excess of grains, sugars, underground vegetables, and any fluid other than water” in the diet (Mercola lies about achieving “near miraculous improvement” by following his advice.)

    Oh, and I really want to know how one avoids aluminum! It is a major component of soil (it is the most common metal element in this planet’s crust). Do you grow your organic gluten free veggies hydroponically? Or would that expose them to too much dihydrogen monoxide?

  9. Chris January 7, 2011 at 05:44 #

    I have a comment in moderation. Shorter version: I have a child permanently disabled from an actual disease. You need to show the relative risk between vaccines and the diseases. Your website is a mess, it would be better if you linked to an article that spelled out your evidence instead of a link heavy hard to use database of silly papers.

  10. Chris January 7, 2011 at 08:07 #

    Ah, my moderated comment has come through. Thank you!

    Now, Mr. Ji, you have not commented on the Geier’s Lupron protocol. Does this mean you approve of chemical castration of children with autism? Because if you do, that is very disturbing.

  11. b January 7, 2011 at 08:13 #

    Big pharma has been caught using aborted fetuses for vaccines for years. Google it. Even uneducated simpletons can agree theres something fishy about the whole thing. Let me tell you one thing , mothers do all the raising and they know when something doesn’t sit right with their child, listen to them, there is something about this that is all too familiar. Everyone can agree that theres a downside to every medicine, the weird thing is, no one appears to be curious about the cautions. People fear the warnings on their birth control pills more than they question adverse reactions in these things, does anyone see how weird this is? Why aren’t these vaccines being challenged? Every facet of medicine is challenged in one way or another to improve our knowledge about it, but it is like we are discouraged to question their safety? Why? Every other medicine in the country faces some sort of opposition. What about chemistry? What about research on improving them? What about teaching ordinary people about the biochemistry involved and how medicine affects our body in good and harmful ways. An unbiased scientific objective review, we are after all dealing with very precious little lives. We want the best , not just as good as it gets. Thats why scientific research exists. We are all smart enough as a species to come up with a happy medium for this debate , maybe we could do research on certain phenotypes to see which might be more susceptible to reactions. These people don’t have the credentials or wisdom to cover this article from a scientific perspective. When did the opinions of MD’s matter in the development of any medicine. Molecular chemists are far more qualified to be examining these things. What are we talking about ? In the scheme of things folks, we really don’t know anything.

  12. Amy January 9, 2011 at 06:40 #

    I have one word for this… Paranoia.

  13. Duncan February 7, 2011 at 17:58 #


    Can you show the studies for 2-polyoxyethelene’s safety in vaccines? It’s in the ones we give our infants at 2, 4 and 6 months. In addition the aluminium in our soil, isn’t that what we put through our digestive system? Does the aluminium in vaccines have the same method of entering our bodies?

    I’m so very sorry that you had a tragedy in your life, losing a child must be the most awful thing a parent could ever go through. Did your child have any pre-existing immunodeficiencies or where they suffering from anything else like leukemia at the time?

    • Sullivan February 7, 2011 at 19:23 #


      you really need to read for content and accuracy. I’ll let Chris respond further.

  14. Chris February 7, 2011 at 20:15 #


    Does the aluminium in vaccines have the same method of entering our bodies?

    Have you never scraped a knee in the dirt or on the sidewalk? Or scraped against an aluminum chain link fence? I still have a scab on one knee and elbow from slipping on the front steps a couple of weeks ago. Are you going to tell me that there was no aluminum on the ground, and that it did not get past the skin?

    Actually, how about you coming up with the studies that show 2-polyoxyethelene is dangerous, starting from where you got that word. Because it is not included in this list of vaccine ingredients. I would guess it is a misspelling of some sort (after Google tried to correct me a few times, I found it in a comment in jabsloonies). Even using the Google suggested “2-polyoxyethylene” I come up with nothing.

    Now there is this … which says it is a non-toxic anti-freeze, and is used in medicine:

    PEGs and methoxypolyethylene glycols are manufactured by Dow Chemical under the tradename Carbowax for industrial use and Carbowax Sentry for food and pharmaceutical use. They vary in consistency from liquid to solid, depending on the molecular weight, indicated by a number following the name. They are used in industry as surfactants, including foods, cosmetics, and pharmaceutics; in biomedicine, as dispersing agents, solvents, ointment, and suppository bases; in vehicles; as tablet excipients; and as laxatives. Some specific groups are lauromacrogols, nonoxynols, octoxynols and poloxamers.

    But I went back to the vaccine ingredient wiki, and it was still not there. And I consider that to be a dubious list. Because it does show up here (2-polyoxyethylene did not!). Now that you know what the real word is, I think you should go and tell me how a food additive is dangerous.

    And yeah, you really need to work on reading comprehension. I don’t know how you got “lost” from “permanently disabled.” Kids have seizures for no apparent reason, and they also get them in greater frequency and danger from the actual diseases. I think it is up to you now to show me how seizures from vaccines are worse than seizures from diseases. Be sure that you include the journal, title, date and authors of those studies. Here is an example (and the same goes for that “vaccine ingredient”):

    Encephalopathy after whole-cell pertussis or measles vaccination: lack of evidence for a causal association in a retrospective case-control study.
    Ray P, Hayward J, Michelson D, Lewis E, Schwalbe J, Black S, Shinefield H, Marcy M, Huff K, Ward J, Mullooly J, Chen R, Davis R; Vaccine Safety Datalink Group.
    Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2006 Sep;25(9):768-73.

  15. Duncan February 14, 2011 at 01:49 #

    It is 2-phenoxyethelene

  16. Chris February 14, 2011 at 05:53 #

    Okay, now show us where it is listed as a vaccine ingredient. Along with this request:

    Actually, how about you coming up with the studies that show 2-polyoxyethelene is dangerous, starting from where you got that word.

  17. Duncan February 27, 2011 at 18:17 #

    It is listed several times in that list of vaccine ingredients. Perhaps you could try hitting “EDIT” > “SEARCH” or “FIND” and typing in “2-phenoxy” and that should help you a little bit. I understand not all users are great with internet tools, but “FIND” is definitely a useful one.

    U. MuBhoff, M. Madeja, N. Binding, U. Witting, E.-J. Speckmann. 2-Phenoxyethanol: a neurotoxicant? Reply. Arch Toxicol (2000) 74: 284-287 Reply. Arch Toxicol (2000) 74: 284-287

    In summary, we found an antagonistic effect of 2-phenoxyethanol on the NMDA responses in voltage-clamp experiments with the Xenopus oocyte expression system. Since most of the NMDA antagonists exert profound neurobehavioural and neurotoxic effects, we discussed the possibility that 2-phenoxyethanol also possesses a neurotoxic potential, a conclusion which certainly is fully justified when considering all our and other published data.

  18. Chemmomo February 27, 2011 at 23:05 #

    February 7th, 2011 17:58:20: 2-polyoxyethelene
    February 14th, 2011 01:49:11: It is 2-phenoxyethelene
    Today, February 27th, 2011 18:17:04: your abstract is about 2-phenoxyethanol

    I realize that not everyone has studied organic chemistry, and if you haven’t some of the names can be confusing, but if you can’t name the chemical correctly, don’t blame us for not knowing what you’re talking about.

  19. Duncan March 1, 2011 at 19:20 #

    Yes some of the names can definitely be confusing, especially when you’re used to just typing 2-PE which is the abbreviation for 2-phenoxyethanol.

    However that people would lambast others for their own reading comprehension, then the closest to 2-PE that could be ascertained from the list of ingredients that was provided being PEG’s is also quite humerous, if not a bit hypocritical eh?

  20. Chris March 1, 2011 at 20:30 #

    Okay, now show us which vaccine that deadly chemical is in!

  21. Natural VERITAS March 5, 2011 at 09:07 #

    Chris…who do you work for?…are you a ghost writer? working for whom? are you one of pharma’s ‘blackwater’ mercenaries?

    What has a website’s design good or bad have to do with autism and MMR…and this discussion?

    Thanks Sayer…for sharing your wisdom and research….we need more dot connectors and whole lot less pharmaceutical cupidity and stupidity making a perpetual pension plan for physicians and professionals to clean up their messes.


  22. Kev March 5, 2011 at 09:25 #

    Natural VERITAS – are you aware of how utterly ridiculous you sound?

  23. Chris March 5, 2011 at 19:07 #

    Oh, good grief. Just because I am asking Duncan questions? Could you guys come up with something more original than the “Pharma Shill Gambit”, like perhaps answering the question and giving real evidence?

  24. Duncan March 10, 2011 at 02:06 #

    Chris seriously? You provided the link to the list of vaccines and their ingredients and now you cannot find doing a simple search where 2-PE is used?

    DTaP (Daptacel)
    DTaP (Infanrix)
    DTaP-HepB-IPV (Pediarix)
    DtaP-IPV/Hib (Pentacel)
    Hep A (Havrix), Hepatitis A vaccine
    HepA/HepB vaccine (Twinrix)
    IPV (Ipol), Polio vaccine

  25. Chris March 10, 2011 at 04:20 #

    Duncan, you made the claim, you must support it. Do not tell me to do the search, because I already have. I even told you I looked and could not find whatever the evil ingredient you said (and I included several spelling) in the reputable vaccine websites (that is a link, go back and read for comprehension).

    Now, show me which vaccine that 2-phenoxyethanol in part of (and do not use the abbreviation, because of the confusion between poly and pheno). Make sure it is a reputable website.

  26. Duncan March 12, 2011 at 03:53 #

    Um…Chris, there are seven vaccines that include 2-phenoxyethanol all listed in the previous post that you just responded to. Are you the same guy chastising people for reading comprehension? Lol!

    “What you did was read something scary in an anti-vaccine website, and you lack of chemical education got you in trouble as you tried to tell us how horrible it was.”

    Wow, so now PubMed is an anti-vaccine website, that’s golden brother, don’t stop!!

  27. Julian Frost March 12, 2011 at 14:20 #


    Um…Chris, there are seven vaccines that include 2-phenoxyethanol all listed in the previous post that you just responded to.

    Have you ever heard the phrase argument by assertion? Because that is what you are arguing. Where is your proof that the vaccines listed have 2-phenoxyethanol in them?

    Wow, so now PubMed is an anti-vaccine website, that’s golden brother, don’t stop!

    If you got that data off PubMed, please list the paper in PubMed where you found it.

  28. Duncan March 12, 2011 at 14:28 #

    Julian, now you’re suggesting that those vaccines, taken from the link Chris provided, may actually NOT contain 2-PE? F-me Freddy, that’s incredible. PubMed – the NIH links are all on this page.

    Pentacel product monograph:

    After reconstitution, PENTACEL® [Haemophilus b Conjugate Vaccine (Tetanus Protein – Conjugate) Reconstituted
    with Component Pertussis Vaccine and Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoids Adsorbed Combined with Inactivated
    Poliomyelitis Vaccine] is a uniform, cloudy, white to off-white (yellow tinge) suspension.
    Each single dose (approximately 0.5 mL) after reconstitution contains:
    purified polyribose ribitol phosphate capsular
    polysaccharide (PRP) of Haemophilus influenzae type b
    covalently bound to 20 ?g of tetanus protein 10 ?g
    pertussis toxoid (PT) 20 ?g
    filamentous haemagglutinin (FHA) 20 ?g
    fimbrial agglutinogens 2 + 3 (FIM) 5 ?g
    pertactin (PRN) 3 ?g
    diphtheria toxoid 15 Lf
    tetanus toxoid 5 Lf
    poliovirus type 1 (Mahoney) 40 D-antigen units
    poliovirus type 2 (MEF1) 8 D-antigen units
    poliovirus type 3 (Saukett) 32 D-antigen units
    aluminum phosphate 1.5 mg
    2-phenoxyethanol (not as a preservative) 0.6% v/v
    polysorbate 80 10 ppm (by calculation)
    bovine serum albumin ?50 ng
    trace amounts of formaldehyde
    trace amounts of polymyxin B and neomycin may be present from the cell growth medium

    Here is the link that Chris gave –

    Those listed vaccines are all taken from that very same list. You’re starting to give new meaning to the word disingenuous.

  29. Chris March 12, 2011 at 14:39 #

    Because, as I noted, those pubmed cites Duncan posted before were not on vaccines.

  30. Duncan March 12, 2011 at 15:29 #

    “Because, as I noted, those pubmed cites Duncan posted before were not on vaccines.”

    So by that logic it’s okay to put Adder venom in a vaccine because the only studies showing it to be lethal to humans are not relating to vaccines. Gotcha!

  31. Chris March 18, 2011 at 03:09 #

    Actually, Duncan there are medications made with snake venom. As I noted even water is deadly if the dose is big enough. You still are just scaremongering.

  32. AutismNewsBeat March 18, 2011 at 12:37 #

    Chris, sorry to hear you lost both of your legs on your front porch.

    ; -)

  33. Chris March 18, 2011 at 16:10 #

    ANB: ?

    (by the way, Duncan missed where I said the wiki article was not accurate)

  34. Dedj March 18, 2011 at 17:47 #

    It would be a trivial matter for Duncan to use the average volume of 2-PE in a vaccine and compare its mumol concentration when injected at reference dose into a modal client and see whether this exceeds the threshold concentration for the neurotoxic effects.

    0.6% of 0.5 ml at a mol mass of 138.16 with a density of 1.102 g/cm3.

    Not my field at all, but shouldn’t be too hard for an expert like Duncan.

  35. Duncan March 19, 2011 at 02:42 #

    Chris – King of misdirection, that’s all you could come up with in six days?

    Chris: “(by the way, Duncan missed where I said the wiki article was not accurate)”

    By making this statement after the Pentacel product monograph had already been added one can only presume you’re suggesting that the pharmaceutical company themselves can’t even get the ingredient list right? (PS – that’s another example of misdirection on your part)

    • Sullivan March 19, 2011 at 16:47 #


      most people aren’t engaging you. It isn’t because of your debating skills. You couldn’t even remember the correct name for the chemical compound you are fixating on. You didn’t fully respond to Chris’ query for accurate information (which was impossible for her to obtain due to your mistake) and you seem to think you can turn that around as an attack. Clearly you are trying to provoke responses. It’s obvious and it’s dull.

      You are playing the old “vaccines have ingredients with scary names” gambit. Yes, they do. Many (all?) have some sort of preservative. Guess what–preservatives have some level of toxicity. They kill bacteria, after all.

      So, let’s look at this vaccine ingredient.
      “Toxicological Data on Ingredients: 2-Phenoxyethanol: ORAL (LD50): Acute: 1260 mg/kg [Rat]. DERMAL (LD50): Acute: 5000 mg/kg [Rabbit].”

      Let’s look at BHT, a common preservative added to foods:
      Acute oral toxicity (LD50): 650 mg/kg [Mouse].

      OK, I have to compare toxicity in Rats and mice, but it looks like BHT is twice as toxic as your scary vaccine ingredient.

      Have you eaten any potato chips lately?

      I refuse to be frightened by vaccine ingredients. If you have data rather than misremembered chemical names, and you can show an understanding of what you are talking about, feel free to continue the discussion.

  36. Chris March 19, 2011 at 17:08 #

    Duncan does seem to be confused.

  37. Dedj March 19, 2011 at 18:34 #

    Yes, Duncan does seem to be confused.

    All he has to do is show that the volume of 2-PE in an average vaccine is enough to reach the concentration threshold level detailed in the studies he provided earlier.

    0.6% of 0.5 ml at a mol mass of 138.16 with a density of 1.102 g/cm3.

    Hop to it, boy.

  38. Duncan March 19, 2011 at 22:27 #

    Dedj – you shouldn’t be frightened of vaccine ingredients, you’re obviously not 2 months old with an undeveloped blood-brain barrier.

    As for potato chips, yes I have had some recently. Here’s the ingredients:

    Organic potatoes, dehydrated vegetables (organic tomato, organic onion, organic garlic, organic jalapeño pepper), organic pepper, organic chili powder, organic chipotle chili powder, organic parsley.

    They were absolutely delicious, thank you.

    As for 2-PE, we’re not talking about 200lb 35 year old people, we’re talking about 2 month old babies.

    I refuse to be frightened by benign diseases when in healthy children the only deaths that have occurred can be put down to the management of the disease, not the disease itself.

    Chris wanted to know what vaccines contained 2-PE, after providing the ingredients of Pentacel from the product’s own monograph it was pointed out that the wiki was inaccurate. That’s misdirection, plain and simple. You can call it obvious and boring all day.

    • Sullivan March 20, 2011 at 06:13 #

      Ah Duncan,

      I like the “let’s play on two different playing fields” gambit. You aren’t worried about “benign diseases” (which is in itself an oxymoron). But we have to count toxins for 2 month old babies.

      Let’s take the 2 month old for the moment. Which vaccine preventable diseases are “benign”?
      Hepatitis B?
      Haemophilus influenzae type b?

      My guess is that you are chomping at the bit to claim that there is no reason to give HepB to such a young child…don’t move that goalpost just yet. The next target would be Rotavirus, claiming that in the US, few children die of it. Few isn’t really benign, is it? And what about those children with inborn errors of metabolism (e.g. mitochondrial disease)? I guess they can just suffer irreparable harm?

      Claim and others on that list are “benign” and demonstrate to all that you really have no idea what you are talking about.

      Back to the adults:
      Nice chips there. Did they remove the glycoalkalods from the potatoes? I searched around, and the LD50 for solanine is “For a-solanine, the oral LD50 dose is 590 mg/kg (0.68 mmol/kg) for rats”. About 1/2 that of the 2-PE which you seem to have a fixation upon (and, yet, can’t recall what it really stands for).

      I too am a fan of Chili. You are aware that chilis contain toxins too, right? They contain capsaicin. LD50 in mice is 47.2 mg/kg

      My guess is that you ingested far more “toxins” in that bag of chips than are in the 2-PE exposure from a vaccine. And yet it seems you thought you dodged the toxins by going organic.

      Misdirection? You have the temerity to call out someone on misdirection? Spreading fear of vaccines because they contain a preservative, which in vastly larger dosages, yes, are toxic? Please, read what you write with an eye towards self-criticism. In other words–you, sir, are a hypocrite.

  39. McD March 20, 2011 at 07:17 #

    @Duncan, watch out consuming those organic foods. In the absence of externally applied protections, the organicly grown plants bump up their own production of pesticides (after all, to most plants, humans are pests). One (of many) to watch is Salicylic acid – great for some people, but deadly for others (like children and infants, people with some bleeding disorders, and those on blood thinning medication):

    Crickey, the LD50 (oral for rats) is a mere 200 mg kg-1

    I hope you aren’t feeding organic food to children, or, lord forbid, infants, nursing mothers, or pregnant women. Remember, for saliclic acid, we’re not talking about 200lb 35 year old people, we’re talking about 2 month old babies.

  40. Duncan March 20, 2011 at 16:29 #

    @ McD – what kind of an imbecile feeds a 2 month old anything other than D3 and mother’s milk?

    @ Sullivan – I think you mean “champing” at the bit? You should try to get popular sayings down pat if you’re going to lambast others for misspelling a chemical no? As for capsaicin, it’s a proven anti-cancer, I take cayenne in powder form as a supplement. There are all sort of benefits for it without reaching toxicity levels, one can’t say the same about 2-PE which, as has been noted several times throughout the last couple days, stands for 2-phenoxyethanol. But you clearly enjoy being disingenuous!

    • Sullivan March 21, 2011 at 02:06 #

      “I think you mean “champing” at the bit?”

      No, I meant what I wrote this time. It’s the way I’ve said it my whole life. People understand what I’m saying, which is the purpose of language. Doesn’t mean I don’t make mistakes. Your point would be better made anyway if this were a discussion about horses, or a discussion about common phrases in the English language. Much more, you would also have a better place to complain about my usage if you hadn’t been so sarcastic towards those who corrected you.

      But, all in all, a nice diversion, comping/champing. Not a surprise. Your entire 2-PE discussion was a troll and a diversion from the topic of this discussion. I don’t know if you enjoy being disingenuous, but I know you are being disingenuous now.

      This is a nice one: “2-PE which, as has been noted several times throughout the last couple days, stands for 2-phenoxyethanol”. I know it. You are the one who had problems with it. Again, disingenuous and diversionary.

      As a warning–use a term like “imbecile” again in this discussion and it will be your last. Since you seem to take accuracy in language so seriously, you obviously know the origin of the phrase, and it’s meaning in current usage. If you think it appropriate to use a term for profound intellectual disability as an insult, take your business elsewhere.

      There is no shame in disability. There is shame in having the gift of reasonable intelligence and not applying it well. Yes, I’m talking about you, sir.

      “As for capsaicin, it’s a proven anti-cancer, I take cayenne in powder form as a supplement.”

      So, a toxin can be beneficial? There is no benefit for 2-PE? So, the problem is the supposed lack of benefit? Nice new story, that. If I point out that you are moving goalposts, will you tell me my use of the phrase is incorrect? Tell me, what is the purpose of 2-PE as used in vaccines? It’s a preservative, no? Is there no benefit in preventing bacterial growth in vaccines? Please.

      I see you totally avoided the “benign disease” discussion. I’ll ask again, for your hypothetical 2-month old, which vaccine preventable diseases are benign? The clear answer to all reading this is “none”.

  41. Dedj March 20, 2011 at 22:18 #

    “Dedj – you shouldn’t be frightened of vaccine ingredients, you’re obviously not 2 months old with an undeveloped blood-brain barrier.”

    Yet the studies you linked to earlier were clearly not in non-adult subjects.

    You therefore clearly think that adults should be scared of vaccine ingredients, or you didn’t read those studies properly.

    Also, you’re not doing what I pointed out you should be doing.

    Get to it.

  42. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. March 20, 2011 at 22:44 #

    “Also, you’re not doing what I pointed out you should be doing.

    Get to it.”

    Dedj …. with that one, you haven’t a prayer!

  43. sharon March 20, 2011 at 23:48 #

    I wonder how much aluminium was in the soil that grew the potatoes Duncan?

  44. Chris March 21, 2011 at 03:03 #


    @ McD – what kind of an imbecile feeds a 2 month old anything other than D3 and mother’s milk?

    Someone whose infant has a seizure disorder and needs medication to prevent more seizures. Do you have something against treating babies with real medicine? Or is it just limited to objecting to disease prevention?

    A reminder that you need to stop using “2-PE” as an abbreviation. It is quite confusing. This person thinks it stands for 2-polyoxyethanol.

    • Sullivan March 21, 2011 at 04:05 #

      Someone whose infant has a seizure disorder and needs medication to prevent more seizures. Do you have something against treating babies with real medicine? Or is it just limited to objecting to disease prevention?

      It is also incredibly naive to think that breast milk doesn’t contain substances from the food a mother eats. If the mother is eating potato chips or taking capsaicin supplements, it’s a good bet the child is exposed to the toxins in those foods. Of course the real question is “at what level”. Dose does make the poison.

  45. Chris March 21, 2011 at 04:34 #

    Or that the D3 supplements are not adulterated or mixed in a way that could poison a child with an overdose (like what happened to Gary Null).

  46. sharon March 21, 2011 at 05:00 #

    Iv’e always said “chomping” too, for what its’ worth.

  47. Duncan March 21, 2011 at 12:42 #

    Hi Sharon,
    I don’t inject potatoes into my veins, so I’m not sure how that’s relevant. I also don’t think 2 month old babies scrape their knees in soil or run up into chain link fences regularly like Chris does. As an aside, if everyone says “pacific” instead of “specific” does it make it right?

    Hi Chris,
    Consumers should choose D3 supplements wisely. Mine have only Olive Oil as the other ingredient.

    The original statement was regarding healthy babies. If you have a baby with a seizure disorder I wouldn’t classify that as healthy. If your baby’s healthy, mother’s milk and D3 are all that’s necessary.

    Hi Sullivan,
    I’m sure you’d like to use any reason to limit further participation in this discussion. You like to use terms like hypocrite, but here’s the main fact in a nutshell – you have still not shown 2-PE (it’s okay Chris, I think it’s been long ascertained now what we’re talking about so you can can the redundant asides) to be safe as it is used in vaccines. If you think the onus is on someone to prove it’s not safe…WOWZA! We’re in worse shape than I thought. All this nattering about anything BUT 2-PE as it pertains to vaccines in infants at 2, 4 and 6 months old. Quite telling indeed. Once you can do that, we can revisit any other questions you might have.

    So…get to it?

    • Sullivan March 21, 2011 at 18:33 #

      I’m sure you’d like to use any reason to limit further participation in this discussion.

      Duncan, you are “sure” of many things which are untrue. I don’t need a reason to limit participation by you in this discussion. I can ignore you or I can delete your comments. Had I wished to limit your participation, you would know it already.

      I don’t “like” the term hypocrite. It is accurately applied to you, though.

      Vaccines are tested as a whole. Vaccines with the preservative have been tested, as a whole. As you have been far from clear as to what your point is, don’t blame others for not answering your non-question. What you have failed to do is present anything which would suggest that this particular preservative would have anything to do with autism. The “it’s a toxin in large doses” argument has failed miserably, as you have shown quite clearly.

      What I want “WOWZA” or not, is a real discussion. Not your straw men. Not your dodges. Not your insulting behavior. What I don’t want is someone coming here to sharpen his internet debating skills at the expense of what I really want to do–better the life for my kid. To that end, I will ask: are you autistic or the parent of an autistic? I will also point out that pretending to have technical knowledge by quoting a chemical name only works when you get it right.

      “Once you can do that, we can revisit any other questions you might have.”

      Not your blog. You don’t make demands here. You have dodged direct questions repeatedly. As such, you don’t really have the standing to make demands on anyone. For example, I will remind you once again of your assertion that there are “benign” diseases. I will remind you of the list above of diseases for which a 2 month old receives vaccines. I will remind you once again that those are all potentially fatal to said 2 month old. I will remind you of the fact that you made repeated mistakes and responded with sarcasm. And yet, you act as though you are being put upon.

      Since I feel it likely that you will claim that I have not addressed the issues you have put forth, I will assume that this is the last comment from you on this blog. Should you wish to actually address the questions pertinent to this discussion, you are of course welcome to return. Otherwise, I wish you and your junk-science fueled hypocrisy good day.

  48. Chris March 21, 2011 at 16:00 #


    I don’t inject potatoes into my veins,

    Explain exactly which vaccines are injected in veins, and why.

    Consumers should choose D3 supplements wisely. Mine have only Olive Oil as the other ingredient.

    You must not think much of Gary Null. Why would I give olive oil to an infant?

    (it’s okay Chris, I think it’s been long ascertained now what we’re talking about so you can can the redundant asides)

    Be sure to do and correct Steve, and your original source of that nonsense.

  49. jaron March 21, 2011 at 16:02 #

    am i the only one that sees a double standard in duncan being reprimanded for using imbecile when the article here is about an ex-junkie that calls parents who want further safety studies done on vaccines “total a%%holes”?

    • Sullivan March 21, 2011 at 18:06 #


      let me explain something here. This is a disability focus blog. I am the parent of a child with intellectual disability. Ibecile is a term which intends to insult a person by claiming that person has low intelligence. Further, the term originated as a clinical term for profound intellectual disability. It is no different that calling someone a retard. To me, it is as insulting as if one used the “n” word to describe a person of African heritage.

      “total assholes” is an insult. But the term does not denigrate a group of people like imbecile, moron, idiot, retard, or, for that matter, spaz, or other terms which imply that a group of people are somehow worth less due to their disability.

      Duncan was given the opportunity to claim he made an honest mistake. He chose a different route. From this I gather that insulting my child is of no great importance to him. He is a man who has the gift of intelligence and he is spending it poorly.

      I have much more respect for an intellectually disabled person of integrity than for the Duncans of the world.

      I hope that clarifies things.

  50. Chris March 21, 2011 at 16:29 #

    jaron, yes, it is just you. Because Mr. Mnookin is honest about his past and is willing to learn. Duncan, on the other hand, is not being honest, has avoided answering Dedj’s question about levels, and even forgot he kept changing the name of the chemical (and never explained where he got the information from in the first place).

    But we have noticed a double standard lately. One where Wakefield’s retracted study of a dozen kids is considered more valuable than the epidemiological studies covering hundreds of thousands of children in several countries on three continents.

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