Autism Speaks:  The results of this research are clear: Vaccines do not cause autism…but doesn’t let that statement stand alone.

26 Mar

Autism Speaks has come out with some very strong statements about autism and vaccines.  And the back peddled. 

First, here is a statement by Robert Ring, Chief Science Officer:

Over the last two decades, extensive research has asked whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism.  The results of this research are clear: Vaccines do not cause autism.  We urge that all children be fully vaccinated.

Rob Ring
Chief Science Officer, Autism Speaks

 
In the past Autism Speaks had been sympathetic towards the idea that vaccines cause autism.  More than sympathetic, some would say.  Such a clear statement as above would have been unthinkable from Autism Speaks only a few years ago.
I wish they had made these statements earlier, but I am glad they are making these statements now.  The vaccine hypothesis has been the most damaging idea in autism since the refrigerator mother theory.  With Autism Speaks position as a well known autism organization, perhaps even fewer families will get caught in the vaccines-cause-autism trap in the future.Here’s the way the Autism Speaks vaccines and autism page looked just last year.  It includes many problematic statements and concludes: “A list of publications that used VAERS information to study associations with autism can be found here“.  “Here” is a link to pubmed with the search terms “vaers” and “autism”.  No surprise, it’s a list that is padded out by works by Mark and David Geier.  The Geiers have been performing poor research for years and have been discussed here at Left Brain/Right Brain many times.


The above statement by Mr. Ring was picked up by the press in February as it was so clear.
Next, Bob Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks:
 

Over the last two decades extensive research has asked whether there is any link between childhood vaccines and autism. Scientific research has not directly connected autism to vaccines. Vaccines are very important. Parents must make the decision whether to vaccinate their children. Efforts must be continually  made to educate parents about vaccine safety. If parents decide not to vaccinate they must be aware of the consequences in their community and their local schools.

Bob Wright
Co-founder, Autism Speaks

It’s a fairly stilted paragraph in my read.  It comes across as though Mr. Wright is trying to appear to ride the fence while at the same time pulling back dramatically from the clear statement by Mr. Ring.  Scientific research has not directly connected autism to vaccines?

Even with that, I can’t imagine that admitting that vaccines are “important” will go over well in some circles.  Close circles.  Even “important” is to positive a word for some.  But, seriously, here we have an invention that has saved more lives that possibly any other in medical history and we get “important”?

Yes, Mr. Wright, efforts must be made to educate parents about vaccine safety.  That’s what your chief science officer did.  Sadly, you can’t let Autism Speaks be a science led organization.

By Matt Carey

Note: I accidentally published an early draft of this article yesterday.

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9 Responses to “Autism Speaks:  The results of this research are clear: Vaccines do not cause autism…but doesn’t let that statement stand alone.”

  1. reissd March 26, 2015 at 14:34 #

    Family tensions can certainly put one in a tough spot. But silence and letting Dr. Ring speak would have better served children than a statement like this that won’t be enough to solve his problems and undermines the message.

  2. lilady March 26, 2015 at 18:10 #

    It’s time for Bob and Suzanne Wright to stop making statements which interfere with this positive statement from Rob Ring. It’s a shame that Katie Wright’s anti-vaccine opinions and activities have influenced their public statements.

    https://www.autismspeaks.org/science/science-news/new-meta-analysis-confirms-no-association-between-vaccines-and-autism#comment-1394827598

  3. brian September 24, 2015 at 14:59 #

    Autism Speaks has spoken: the comments by its Chief Scientific Officer have been deleted; only the garbled response from Bob Wright remains.

    • shay September 24, 2015 at 16:52 #

      “The shouting and the tumult dies, the captains and the kings depart.”

      Sorry, that quote just seemed very apropos.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) September 24, 2015 at 22:21 #

      Thanks for that heads up. Just put out a short article.

      “Autism Speaks” hasn’t spoken. Bob Wright has. Likely lobbied by his daughter.

      Donate to autism speaks. They are based on science. Except they aren’t.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Autism Speaks: The results of this research are clear: Vaccines do not cause autism…but doesn’t let that statement stand alone. | Autism Gazette - March 26, 2015

    […] Left Brain & Right Brain Autism Speaks has come out with some very strong statements about autism and vaccines. And the back […]

  2. Autism Speaks founder Bob Wright’s opinion is more important than science | Left Brain Right Brain - September 24, 2015

    […] vaccines.” And that was sad.  A sad move by Autism Speaks.  A sad move by Bob Wright. But I’ve already written about that.  Why bring it up again now?  Well, because a reader here alerted me to the fact that Bob Wright […]

  3. What’s going on here? Andrew Wakefield’s antivaccine documentary to be screened at the Tribeca Film Festival – Respectful Insolence - March 22, 2016

    […] to the view that vaccines cause autism, although of late Bob and Suzanne Wright were never as much on the side of the vaccine-autism concept as their daughter Katie. In any case, Robert De Niro is known to have a son with special needs, but […]

  4. The Republican Party is on the verge of nominating an antivaccine loon named Donald Trump – Respectful Insolence - May 3, 2016

    […] To which Bob Wright added: […]

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