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Dr. Andrew Wakefield launched autism vaccines scare in 1998 with a paper in the Lancet medical journal. It was recently found that he faked the data and was paid off to make the publication. The scare led to lower vaccination rates in turn leading to at least 2 childhood deaths. The Lancet medical journal has just retracted Dr. Wakefield's original paper.  (Source: Daily Mail)
Messy case of malpractice is now expunged from the research records

Autism is one of most unusual and painful diseases to face mankind today.  It is unclear what causes autism, but studies have shown its rates to be on the rise.  Potential suggested causes have included parents having children at an older age and increased chemical exposure.

One unusual cause was suggested in 1998 by British doctor Andrew Wakefield.  He suggested that the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine might be causing not only late-onset autism, but bowel disease as well.  Backed by the findings of his junior doctors, Dr. Wakefield published a study in the prestigious Lancet medical journal.

The public was shocked.  It wasn't long before autism advocates like Jenny McCarthy were decrying the evils of vaccination.  In Britain, thanks to the scare, vaccine rates dropped from 92% to below 80%.  This led to the number of measles cases in England and Wales to soar from 56 in 1998 to 1,348 in 2008.  Two children died as a result of the disease.

Something wasn't adding up about the vaccines link, though.  Try as they might, researchers couldn't replicate Dr. Wakefield's results.  And the children he evaluated were found to have no signs of bowel disease when a second opinion was obtained.

Then came shocking allegations, starting a couple years ago.  It was revealed that Dr. Wakefield had his subordinates falsify data, obscuring that the children studied had already shown signs of autism pre-vaccination.  He also had them record that children had bowel disease when they had none.  And worst of all, he apparently did it for profit.

In 2004, it was revealed that Dr. Wakefield had been approached by representatives from the UK's Legal Aid Board (now the Legal Services Commission), a law firm that was preparing a suit against vaccine manufacturers.  Lacking scientific evidence, the firm essentially bought it, paying Dr. Wakefield £55,000 ($88K USD) to falsify the data.

Dr. Wakefield also was rewarded in other ways.  Even as children died or became terribly ill from his fraud, in November 2001 he became a fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists.  And after allegations emerged in Britain, he fled to the U.S., where he now serves as Executive Director of Thoughtful House Center for Children in Austin, Texas.

At the end of last month, some justice was finally served.  On January 28, Britain's General Medical Council found that Dr. Wakefield had "failed in his duties as a responsible consultant", shown "callous disregard" for his patients' trust, and had behaved "dishonestly and irresponsibly".  The council is still mulling over disciplinary actions, but is possible his medical license will be revoked.

On February 2, the Lancet medical journal finally retracted the paper [PDF] that launched the vaccines controversy.  The journal released a statement, commenting, "It has become clear that several elements of the 1998 paper by Wakefield ... are incorrect.

Many physicians are angry that it took so long for the veteran journal to retract the study. States Adam Finn, professor of pediatrics at Bristol University, "This is not before time. Let's hope this will do something to re-establish the good reputation of this excellent vaccine."



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A better question to ask...
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 2/3/10, Rating: 0
RE: A better question to ask...
By Leper Messiah on 2/3/2010 9:21:33 AM , Rating: 5
You are not very smart.

Have you ever heard of a little axiom that says Correlation does not equal causation?

It's far more likely that the rates of autism are "increasing" because its being diagnosed more accurately.


RE: A better question to ask...
By tlbj6142 on 2/3/2010 9:33:26 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
It's far more likely that the rates of autism are "increasing" because its being diagnosed more accurately.
I think this is the real issue. Sort of like the explosion of ADHD kids. "In the old days", many of these "soft" disorders were treated like uncommon but otherwise "normal" behavior, now it seems like 50% of the kids have one or more labels on their foreheads by the time they reach 3rd grade.


RE: A better question to ask...
By Leper Messiah on 2/3/2010 9:40:47 AM , Rating: 1
I generally tend to agree with you when it comes to ADD/ADHD but autism is far more severe of a disorder than ADD will ever be. You can't just give a kid with autism some speed and send them on their way. Are there some kids who have been diagnosed with mild autism who might not have it? Of course. Are the rates anything like ADD is where it seems like half the kids in elementary schools are on ritalin or adderall? Definitely not.


RE: A better question to ask...
By 306maxi on 2/3/2010 10:51:10 AM , Rating: 4
I think Autism is also being better diagnosed now though. My wife is a school teacher and it now seems that there are 1 or 2 children with 'mild' autism in every class. Not to say they aren't autistic but a while back we'd have just called them 'a little different'


RE: A better question to ask...
By brshoemak on 2/3/2010 8:40:23 PM , Rating: 2
Auspergers is a mild form of autism that would be counted in the count of diagnosed autism cases that can manifest as physical symptoms but also only as mental symptoms. For example, some people with Auspergers seem normal physically but not interact well with others socially or be able to empathize with others emotional state. Most people would never notice any difference in someone with Auspergers unless they interacted with them often.


RE: A better question to ask...
By Regs on 2/3/2010 10:53:05 AM , Rating: 1
We're in a bad time period when the awareness of these diseases and syndromes grow exponentially, yet the treatments and cures are either non-existent or too expensive. Just makes you appreciate life and good health that much more.


RE: A better question to ask...
By Ammohunt on 2/3/2010 2:57:22 PM , Rating: 1
I am convinced the ADD and ADHD were created for one purpose and thats to sell drugs that otherwise would have no other clinical use. if you area drug compnay spending tons and tons of cash to come up with new drugs only to find a compound that fixes a problem that doesn't exist you would want to get your money back somehow.


RE: A better question to ask...
By porkpie on 2/3/2010 3:09:44 PM , Rating: 3
"I am convinced the ADD and ADHD were created for one purpose and thats to sell drugs that otherwise would have no other clinical use"

If you can spare time from your hunt for proof that Elvis is still alive, I suggest you research this a bit more carefully.

BTW, the #1 and #2 ADHD drugs both were discovered over half a century ago and have long since had any patent protection expire.


RE: A better question to ask...
By omnicronx on 2/3/2010 5:44:08 PM , Rating: 2
Its true, these days its the generic's that profit off of methylphenidate (better known as Ritalin), almost nobody prescribes brand name Ritalin these days.(basically nobody does unless for whatever weird reason you have some kind of reaction to something in the generic, such as dye color etc)


RE: A better question to ask...
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 2/3/10, Rating: -1
RE: A better question to ask...
By Fracture on 2/3/2010 9:49:46 AM , Rating: 3
Don't feed the trolls.

Anyone that starts off with an insult is trying to overcome an insurmountable gap of intelligence.


RE: A better question to ask...
By Leper Messiah on 2/3/10, Rating: -1
RE: A better question to ask...
By The Raven on 2/3/2010 2:04:28 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
You are not very smart.


That is not an insult? Wow!

Ok, while we're making observations based on empirical data, you, sir, are a slimey douche. STFU.

The guy makes one comment and makes some relevant points about the article (whether you agree with them or not) and he is not very smart?

This is Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, right?

quote:
Have you ever heard of a little axiom that says Correlation does not equal causation?


Oh and by the way, you did type this, right? Because you don't seem to understand it. Part of this axiom is that correlation can be a lead to find causation. This just states that just because there is correlation, you canstop doing research. The guy said that there would be a "strong argument" and not that the search for a cause is over. I'm so glad their are smart people like you who don't know how to read to explain it all to us dullards.


RE: A better question to ask...
By Leper Messiah on 2/3/2010 3:26:31 PM , Rating: 4
If you don't believe that children should be vaccinated against common childhood diseases, as his post insinuates, and that there might actually be a link between said vaccinations and autism despite the fact that no one has ever been able to replicate the connection, as this article states, then yes, I think I can say with certainty that you are not very smart.


RE: A better question to ask...
By Kurz on 2/3/2010 7:40:28 PM , Rating: 5
He is saying nothing of the sort in his original post.
He just wishes there was a third party investigating this.
He is open to vaccinations as long as autism isn't a factor.
He hates the fact that there is so much to gain by vaccine manufacturers to strike that article from publication.

All of those are correct regardless of the connection of the disease.

There is always a trade off you can make, between taking a drug and the consequences of it. Side Effects and the intended purpose. Side effects for many drugs are worse than the disease itself.

God I wish "smart people" could comprehend the English Language.


RE: A better question to ask...
By Leper Messiah on 2/4/2010 9:41:34 AM , Rating: 2
What are you his parachute account or something here to save face?

The fact that the report was redacted because NO ONE ELSE could reproduce the results /is/ third party investigation!

When someone makes snide comments about "only 2 kids dying in 10 years" and wondering if the vaccines are needed at all, it just shows sheer lack of logic and a callousness that makes you wonder if he isn't touched by a bit of autism himself. Because I mean, if no one was vaccinated against a communicable disease it wouldn't spread or anything right?


RE: A better question to ask...
By Kurz on 2/4/2010 10:23:41 AM , Rating: 2
Nope I have no relation to him I just hate people who put words in other people's mouths. Or this cause typing.

Like I said before most of his post stems from the skepticism of all the parties involved. From the people who invalidated his paper to the author (Wakefield) himself.

His comment wasn't snide. Most of these vaccinations are for diseases that have an extremely low mortality rate. That's why he is stating that, so clinical trial is not as evil as you think it is. Look at Swine flu... I've seen how they manipulated the public with a low supply of the Vaccine.

There is a difference between someone trying to make a point in an internet post, they have to in little words possible convey their ideas. Note I didn't say emotions, emotion is hard to interpret online. I doubt he is as callous as you think he is. So concentrate on what he said instead of jumping into a tirade.

The whole issue I have with all this is we are disregarding possibilities of how Autism is formed. Since Autism itself is such a mysterious disease. No matter wither or not we could replicate it, Autism is not a straight forward illness.

Lastly there is many unethical things going on in the world.
Its best to keep a mind open to the possibility of you getting swindled. I often face it everyday since I deal with money (Work at a bank).


RE: A better question to ask...
By The Raven on 2/4/2010 3:43:18 PM , Rating: 2
Congrats! You simultaniously claim to be more compassionate than those who see 2 deaths in 10 years as a pretty good statistic, and then insult those with autism in the same post!

Look, sometimes we need to assign a value to the priceless as heartless as it sounds...
http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,180...

I'll try to steer clear of insulting your intelligence in an effort to help you decode the little characters that we've been posting on these interwebs.

Do you know how many diseases are out there? If there was a vaccine for all of them available are you saying that you would pay out of your own wallet/go into debt to buy all of them for yourself. I'm sure you wouldn't, because the chances that you get/die from one of them is so low that you wouldn't bother. The choice you have to make is based on the chances that you run.

If my chances are 2 in every 1,000,000 (my estimate based on 700k births/yr x 15% unvaccinated (just guessing))(and based on this article, I don't even know if those 2 had good medical resources) I MIGHT be willing to roll the dice with my life. Of course this decision would be based on scientific research (as was mentioned) but just from reading this post, my curiousity has been peaked.

Having said that, I CHOSE to vaccinate my 2 kids based on the research that I had available. After hearing about this news I am unswayed. This is why my reply addresses the stats and not this particular "research" by Wakefield.

I didn't just let the docs vaccinate without researching it. There is a lot to contemplate when you have a kid and there is a lot of unnecessary crap they want you to do. And whether you abstain because of financial reasons or safety reasons you have to decide. There are a lot of stupid people that have gone to medical school. Just ask my doctor friends or look at some of the people that we had to deal with when my wife gave birth last time.


RE: A better question to ask...
By porkpie on 2/3/2010 3:33:29 PM , Rating: 2
"The guy said that there would be a "strong argument" "

His statement was a clear implication that the 'strong argument' would be for a connection between vaccination and autism. Which is, as the previous poster points out, not a very smart thing to say at all.

You also forget the OP followed up that statement with a few ignorant remarks insinuating conspiracy by drug companies, forgetting that the real problem in this particular case was a firm of ambulance-chasing tort attorneys...a group responsible for countless other similar scares. Where's the outrage against the real culprits here?


RE: A better question to ask...
By The Raven on 2/4/2010 4:14:53 PM , Rating: 2
This is what he said:

quote:
However, a better question to ask would be did the number of new autism cases drop from the previous ten years , in respect to the number of reduced vaccine users? If yes, then I would say there is a strong argument. If no then we are in the same spot .


He is said that IF the evidence is found that along with this drop in vaccinations the cases of autism also dropped, THEN there would be a strong argument.


RE: A better question to ask...
By erple2 on 2/5/2010 2:34:29 PM , Rating: 2
No, that just suggests that there might be a connection. I can also say with certainty that in the past 10 years, my salary increased. That is a fact. Are you therefore implying that if the cases of autism in the last 10 years has decreased, then the fact that I make more money is a strong argument to the decrease in autism cases?

Based on the original research that was shown to be more or less completely fabricated, my conclusion is just as valid. There was, and continues to be, no provable causation between vaccinations and autism.

That's what correlation does not imply causation is all about.


RE: A better question to ask...
By The Raven on 2/4/2010 4:24:17 PM , Rating: 2
Also, it is not a conspiracy if drug companies want to turn a profit. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't keep an eye on them.

This guy isn't supporting this sleaze. He is just saying that we should watch those who are pushing the vaccinations, too. If you disagree I guess you think that the FDA is a waste of money, because that is what they are supposed to do.

Personally, I didn't comment on the 'real culprit' here because I don't see why anyone would think he is a victim.
Do you want us all preface our posts by stating the obvious?


RE: A better question to ask...
By Lord 666 on 2/3/10, Rating: -1
RE: A better question to ask...
By Iaiken on 2/3/2010 10:23:06 AM , Rating: 2
One of my co-workers at the ISO was a nuclear physicist and startlingly bright. Yet he didn't realize he was supposed to change the oil of his car at all, let alone every 10k kilometers.

High in intelligence is not the same as high in knowledge.

The fact remains that for all of our advancement in medical research we really do know very little compared to what is left to be learned.

In the case of the "Autism Boom", there haven't really been any studies into the possible correlation of increased physician awareness of the disease and increased diagnosis. I'll need to find it, but there was an interesting survey of retired doctors and newer doctors where it showed that over 20 years the retired doctors saw/diagnosed fewer patients with autism than the current batch do in a month per capita.

So either autism is a rising pandemic problem or there is something wrong with peoples perception of the situation.


RE: A better question to ask...
By oab on 2/3/2010 10:28:25 AM , Rating: 2
They say to change your oil every 5k, not 10k.

However, you can easily push it to 8k.


RE: A better question to ask...
By Mojo the Monkey on 2/3/2010 11:14:24 AM , Rating: 3
Did you forget about the kilometer/mile conversion? Great job. Do you work for NASA?

Even then, if you look at the manufacturer's manual on many new cars, they recommend an oil change every 10K miles - its the dealer that wants your money every 3-4K.


RE: A better question to ask...
By ClownPuncher on 2/3/2010 11:21:17 AM , Rating: 2
You change your oil every 10,000 miles? Remind me not to buy used from you.


RE: A better question to ask...
By Mojo the Monkey on 2/3/2010 11:30:00 AM , Rating: 2
No. but I was just commenting that it was right in the owner's manual of my last car. I still used synthetic and changed every 6K.

the old "every 3K miles" mantra is dated, but probably still applies if you're driving around a 1991 dodge truck or something.


By Pneumothorax on 2/3/2010 12:31:26 PM , Rating: 2
We're getting way off-topic here, but today's oil AND engines are much cleaner and less likely to sludge. The oil-life monitors on many cars are pretty good these days and backed up by used oil analysis.


RE: A better question to ask...
By porkpie on 2/3/2010 12:39:47 PM , Rating: 2
The manual in my car says change every 7500 miles, not 10K...less if you're experiencing tough driving conditions.


RE: A better question to ask...
By Samus on 2/4/2010 12:47:50 AM , Rating: 2
motor oils are one of the most commonly misunderstood things in society. a lot of people don't realize there are friction modifiers in oil that time-release. if you change your oil TOO often, you'll do more damage than good. in any vehicle its safe to use oil for 5,000 miles, whether its an 75 nova, an 85 mustang, a 95 camry or a 2005 focus.

it's been commonly argued that the 3,000 mile recommendation was a push from the maintenance industry, not manufacturers. basically jiffy-lube wanted your business more often, and to this date, most oil change fronts still recommend changing your oil in less than half the time neccessary, which can result in long-term engine damage!

follow what your owners manual tells you. and never buy a car from somebody that says they change their oil every 3,000 miles. they likely have no idea what they're talking about, or they've done some unintentional wear to their engine by not letting the oil treat the metal.


By Mojo the Monkey on 2/4/2010 1:48:54 PM , Rating: 2
exactly. my old car was an eclipse V6 (2002). The manual said 10K, but the dealer said 3K to keep up warranty. Funny, because part of the warranty conditions were that i had to take it to a Mitsu dealer. What a racket. I would have had it out with them if they tried to tell me that was a reason for a repair that they didnt want to warranty.


RE: A better question to ask...
By Kurz on 2/5/2010 9:24:56 AM , Rating: 2
There was a long term test that there was more wear metals accumlating in the beginning of a new batch of oil.
The accelerated wear diminished after 3000 miles.

http://neptune.spacebears.com/cars/stories/oil-lif...

Linkage!

I personaly change my oil myself (Not thats an accomplishment just it saves money so I can go for Mobil 1).
For my Rav4 I usually go for 7500-8000 mile changes.
Just make sure you use a quality filter, FRAM is not one of those.

I go for PureOne since its a nice trade off in Quality/price. Get it from Amazon much cheaper and qaulifies for Free saving shipping.


RE: A better question to ask...
By Kurz on 2/5/2010 9:28:20 AM , Rating: 2
SORRY LINKAGE FAIL

http://neptune.spacebears.com/cars/stories/mobil1....

Go down to Interpreting wear metals.


RE: A better question to ask...
By clovell on 2/3/2010 12:47:03 PM , Rating: 2
Right - and an '06 Rav 4 4-banger says every 5k right there in the manual. They're all different, but I've gotta say this is the first time Ive ever heard 10k....


RE: A better question to ask...
By nct on 2/3/2010 1:20:59 PM , Rating: 2
I have an '03 Acura RSX, and the service interval in the manual is 10k. Actually, that is oil only; filter change interval is 20k. I'm chicken though, and do 5k with synthetic.


By chunkymonster on 2/3/2010 2:14:18 PM , Rating: 3
My Jetta TDI gets a full synthetic oil change every 10K miles and I've got over 250,000 miles on it. It runs great! I'm pushing for between 400K-450K miles before trading it in or giving it to my teenage son to drive in a couple of years, whichever comes first.


RE: A better question to ask...
By Iaiken on 2/3/2010 1:40:24 PM , Rating: 2
It depends on who 'they' are, on the type of oil and on the kind of engine.

quote:
Depending on driving style and frequency, the oil in the MINI doesn't need to be changed until 20,000 km (approx. 12,000 miles) are on the clock. After that, the oil needs to be changed roughly every 30,000 km (approx. 20,000 miles). The rev counter tells you how long to go before the next oil change is due.


That is directly from the manufacturers service information.

My dealer's service department also is in line with this message in addition to asking me to check it periodically and to top it off if need be.

It's the dealers prerogative to make money off me so if they aren't trying to jack me for extra oil changes then the car likely doesn't actually need them until the stated intervals.

The one thing I like most about my car is that all the ECU data is stored in duplicate on my cars key fob so they can check my rev counter/avg and any engine codes that have been raised.

Cars have come a long way since my parents Ford Tempo.


RE: A better question to ask...
By Ammohunt on 2/3/2010 3:01:08 PM , Rating: 2
Back on topic what i really want to know is how often should an Autistic change his/her oil?


RE: A better question to ask...
By Iaiken on 2/3/2010 3:58:43 PM , Rating: 2
I think the real question is:

Can they save on fresh baby oil by squeezing their own?


RE: A better question to ask...
By Regs on 2/3/2010 10:54:29 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe he was just lazy?


By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 2/3/2010 11:26:57 AM , Rating: 2
Well, almost genius (so close, though), if no one got the vaccine, then there would be general outbreaks of those diseases in the entire population of children in the UK, not just those 1348 unvaccinated kids that got it over the data period. Given the same percentage death rate over the entire child population of the UK, let's say over the same time period (without an increase in the child population), that equates to 17,908 deaths without the vaccine. Does that answer your question regarding the efficacy of the vaccine?


RE: A better question to ask...
By banthracis on 2/3/10, Rating: 0
RE: A better question to ask...
By porkpie on 2/4/2010 12:36:35 AM , Rating: 2
Not sure who rated down your excellent post, but it simply confirms my opinion that education (if not average intelligence itself) is dropping off.


By chunkymonster on 2/3/2010 2:10:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Actually with an IQ of 137 I'm much smarter then the average person.


Taking those IQ tests advertised in banner ads do not count!


RE: A better question to ask...
By Aloonatic on 2/3/2010 9:44:44 AM , Rating: 2
Quite right.

Also, parents are much more aware of these things too, and what a diagnosis can mean. I have relatives who work in the education system and apparently, if you can get officially diagnosed with disorder in the autism spectrum, then they get a lot of help and extra funding in schools, which isn't to be sniffed at.

There are a lot more people looking a lot harder for signs of this somewhat fuzzy disorder/illness than even 10 years ago.


RE: A better question to ask...
By inperfectdarkness on 2/3/2010 10:33:52 AM , Rating: 2
well put. it's like the relationship between drug abuse and mental illness. one does not necessarily cause the other (rarely ever does) but the two "seem correlated", due to the propensity of the mentally ill to self-medicate.


By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 2/3/2010 11:31:33 AM , Rating: 3
Ice cream sales are correlated to higher crime rates. There is absolutely no causal relationship, and the correlation is totally meaningless. (Higher temperatures are the real cause / facilitator of both.)

As you say, the causality may go the other way, but correlations can be clues to other causal factors. For example, bottled water use was supposed to prevent birth defects since birth defects were lower in mothers who drank bottled water. The real issue is that mothers who can afford bottled water can also afford better health care.


RE: A better question to ask...
By wiz220 on 2/3/2010 11:16:49 AM , Rating: 3
The debate started over a derivative of mercury being put in vaccines as a sort of preservative (if memory serves me). It was proposed that this was causing autism. The problem was that the mercury derivative had been taken out of vaccines many years ago and rates of autism were still going UP. From what I've read (which is a little more than most people becuase I have a family member with autism) there was no correlation found. Reducing the number of vaccinated kids was having no impact on the number of kids diagnosed with autism, in fact it was the opposite. This is why it has been accepted by the wider scientific community for years that it was almost impossible for vaccines to be the cause of autism.

The true travesty here is that now you have a world less accepting of science and the value of vaccinations. This is extremely dangerous. There is a sort of critical mass with vaccinations, a certain percentage of the population has to have them for it to be truly effective. Now, because of this fiasco, we have diseases that were well controlled or thought to be basically eradicated making a comeback all over Africa and now even in Europe.


RE: A better question to ask...
By tastyratz on 2/3/2010 11:30:52 AM , Rating: 2
your ALMOST right.

The preservative Thimerosal is a mercury containing compound, and it still exists today in several vaccines... including your standard flu shot. Its only been eliminated in some vaccines while the FDA is trying to eliminate it completely.
We know mercury is a neurotoxin that's bad for development (pregnant women aren't supposed to eat fish because of it)

There are a few links that are currently being debated.
Why would the FDA want to eliminate Thimerosal if it was safe?
Why would Thimerosal be "safe" if mercury is not safe and it contains mercury?
weed through the FUD and there are still some legitimate voids in this story which is at the very least plausible.

One thing is for sure - I disagree with the vaccination schedules starting as early as they do. Your supposed to be shot up by 18 months here in the usa to engage in child care/school system/etc. I am sorry but before 18 months I really don't want to pump a child full of ANY drugs no matter how save someone somewhere claims. That is just too early in the development to risk.

I also disagree with the chicken pox vaccine and it being required in the school system now. Nobody gets their boosters as adults and chicken pox/shingles can be a real problem in adults while minor as kids. Let them get chicken pox when they are young and not worry about it for life.

There is a lot of FUD concerning any vaccination at all though as a result of that paper, and I am not educated enough on it to formulate a 100% opinion... I am just sharing the facts I DO know and encourage interested people to learn the TRUTH.


RE: A better question to ask...
By MozeeToby on 2/3/2010 12:23:17 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Why would the FDA want to eliminate Thimerosal if it was safe?
Because fear mongering idiots who don't understand statistics have successfully convinced 20% of parents that it causes autism, leading to them not getting their kids vaccinated and putting the whole population at risk.

quote:
Why would Thimerosal be "safe" if mercury is not safe and it contains mercury?
Mercury that causes a problem is dangerous because it stays in the body for long periods of time, allowing it to build up over time. This is why predatory fish have high levels of mercury (it builds up from the fish they eat) and also why eating such fish regularly can cause mercury poisoning. The compound in therimisol does not share that property, your body passes it very rapidly, not to mention that it is present at levels well below what is considered damaging. Finally, and this is key, autism is not a symptom of mercury poisoning , if it were we would expect to see higher autism rates in other groups that have low level mercury exposure; and for the record, we don't.

The entire 'controversy' was based of this paper, a paper written by someone with a vested commercial interest in it's findings, done with no control groups, with a non-random sample, and written in such volatile, emotional language that every media source picked up on it. A study that has been refuted by dozens of larger, better designed, better controlled studies over the past couple decades. The controversy itself is the FUD, there isn't one, it was dreamed up by a guy who wanted to get rich and saw a good, if unethical, way of doing it.


RE: A better question to ask...
By porkpie on 2/3/2010 12:43:16 PM , Rating: 2
"Why would the FDA want to eliminate Thimerosal if it was safe?"

"Because fear mongering idiots who don't understand statistics have successfully convinced 20% of parents that it causes autism"


I don't normally waste time replying to people I already agree with, but you deserve a six for that one.

ANYTHING is a poison if you take a large enough dose. Some mercury compounds are very dangerous. Some are not. Pure mercury itself can be drunk by the pint with little to no bad effects (true story...doctors in the 1800s used to regularly dispense mercury pills for a large number of diseases)


RE: A better question to ask...
By Riven98 on 2/3/2010 12:40:18 PM , Rating: 4
You're ALMOST right.

The preservative Thimerosal IS a mercury containing compound, but it is metabolized to ethyl mercury in the body. While ethylmercury does have toxic effects, it does not build up in the body like methylmercury, which is the "bad" mercury that builds up in fish. Very few studies have really investigated the effects of ethylmercury in the body. Most effects are based on data extrapolated from methylmercury, which has been better studied and can have severe effects. This incomplete, but seemingly damning data, is why Thimerosal is being removed from vaccines.

As for the Varicella zoster (chickenpox) vaccine, it hasn't been around long enough to determine if boosters are needed. Don't think, however, that it isn't being evalauated. There are some studies that suggest it may need a booster every 10 years like the tetanus vaccine. If a company can make more money off the product by adding such an indication, they would pursue it. Note also that the vaccine is currently indicated for the prevention of shingles.

<Disclaimer> Works in the vaccine industry.


RE: A better question to ask...
By tastyratz on 2/3/2010 5:46:49 PM , Rating: 2
Good to know from someone directly involved.

What you said right there is damning enough to me though:
quote:
Very few studies have really investigated the effects of ethylmercury in the body.

If we know mercury is bad, and we know ethylmercury does have toxic effects... I don't want to inject children in early development to "find out" what happens and what levels are safe or have what effect. I would rather we have plenty of controlled irrefutable studies under the belt proving its safety very much in advance BEFORE any mandating. If you want your child to have a provided education your not given a choice in the American school system.

Since chicken pox and shingles go hand in hand I figured the vaccine likely did as well. My point is the alarmingly low rate of people who WOULD get a booster shot means most likely a substantially increased median age group for people who contract chicken pox. At a young age chicken pox is not a big deal. When your older its a VERY big deal.

I can also understand mandatory vaccines for horrible diseases like polio... but make chicken pox optional. I would rather take the old approach of sticking my kid in a chicken pox sleepover party while the Lysol wielding germaphobe monkeys can test the vaccine out. Requiring a nonfatal new vaccine to go to school is just crap to me (again with pumping unnecessary drugs).


RE: A better question to ask...
By foolsgambit11 on 2/3/2010 8:56:22 PM , Rating: 2
Stop right there with "If we know mercury is bad...." The chemical properties of elements can change dramatically in compounds. Hydrogen is explosive, but we drink water all the time. Nitrogen, hydrogen, sodium, oxygen, and chlorine can all be ingested just fine in certain compounds, but I wouldn't ingest NH3 (ammonia) or NaOCl (bleach), and I certainly wouldn't combine them. C2H5OH is ethyl alcohol, found in adult beverages. Switch the ethyl alcohol with methyl alcohol (CH3OH) in a single beer, and you'll go blind. I'm not saying that we know everything about how the body handles ethylmercury, but different compounds are, well, different, and even small changes can make the body handle a compound in a dramatically different way.

Besides, did you not read where the OP said that most vaccines don't even contain Thiomersal anymore. If you're concerned about it, specifically ask your doctor if the vaccine your child is scheduled for contains Thiomersal. If you don't trust your doctor to give you the truth, do the research for yourself, or, better yet, just bleed your baby with leeches.


RE: A better question to ask...
By tastyratz on 2/3/2010 10:37:34 PM , Rating: 2
I did read what he said. I very much appreciate the insight from someone qualified in the field as well. But he specifically said
quote:
While ethylmercury does have toxic effects


That sounds like reason enough for me to be cautious right there (read, not alarmist but cautious enough to research thoroughly beforehand)

Can you cite an example where mercury is indeed completely harmless to the human body in any other compound?

I also acknowledged that all vaccines are not containing Thiomersal, if you read what I posted. Many in fact have eliminated it... but its still used so it still deserves attention.

I am actually quite pro vaccine for debilitating and fatal diseases administered to children slightly farther along in development (aka not finished multiple series of injections BEFORE 18 months). I just don't think a "pill for this" and a "shot for that" during early development is very wise... especially some things with no proven long term trials and testing. I take way too many pills with very little caution to the wind but I am a grown adult, a child is a different ballgame.

Chicken pox is a joke. Whats next for federal mandate, a hangnail vaccine? cure for dandruff?


RE: A better question to ask...
By porkpie on 2/4/2010 12:52:28 AM , Rating: 2
"Can you cite an example where mercury is indeed completely harmless to the human body in any other compound?"

Can you cite ANY element that's entirely harmless in the body? I can't. Even pure oxygen will destroy tissue...and a few people die each year from water poisoning (not drowning). The dose determines the poison. Many elements and chemicals that are actually NEEDED by the body become poisonous in larger doses. I wouldn't suggest trying to eliminate them entirely though.

Both my parents had their heads full of mercury-containing fillings their entire life. Never hurt them. As I pointed out already, people used to DRINK quicksilver (pure metallic mercury) without any ill effects.

Your irrational fear of any stray atom that comes along is admittedly getting more common these days...but its still rooted in ignorance and superstition.


RE: A better question to ask...
By tastyratz on 2/4/2010 2:17:00 PM , Rating: 2
Then enlighten me. I will accept well written findings that are based on conclusive studies.
Any compound certainly can be toxic when overdosed, some require gross amounts some quite finite.

The Mercury compounds in question are still considered a neurotoxin in low levels.

There is no arguing that a neurotoxin can have a negative influence on a child pre-development whether it be autism or anything else. You can overdose on anything but there just isn't a track record out there now that makes me want to choose just how mentally handicapped I want my child to be. That's not ignorance, that's someone who takes more caution than you personally believe necessary.

Asbestos was considered safe when it came out for a long time too.

Your parents likely did not drink quicksilver or get those mercury fillings on their first birthday... a very pivotal point in someones life. Some vaccines are injected within 12 hours of birth...


RE: A better question to ask...
By porkpie on 2/4/2010 3:58:48 PM , Rating: 2
"I will accept well written findings that are based on conclusive studies"

Here's a bunch here. The FDA considers ethylmercury to have the same dosage limits as methylmercury, though every one of the (admittedly few) studies done shows ethylmercury to be considerably safer.

http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/SafetyAv...

"Asbestos was considered safe when it came out for a long time too."

And absestos is safe, when used properly. So safe that people live in California counties that have asbestos levels 100 or more times higher than EPA guidelines, from the asbestos found naturally in the air and water. So safe that much more than half of all absestos miners who breathe concentrated levels many tens of MILLIONS of times times higher than a person would receive from asbestos-based insulation, never develop symptoms, even after breathing the fibers for 30 or more years.

Is absestos 100% safe? Nothing is. But you know what? I'd much rather spend my days working in a tall office building protected by asbestos than any of its inferior replacements. Had the WTC been fully protected with asbestos, its highly likely it would still be standing.


RE: A better question to ask...
By tastyratz on 2/5/2010 11:00:54 AM , Rating: 2
That link isnt helping the pro side

quote:
Lacking definitive data on the comparative toxicities of ethyl- versus methylmercury, FDA considered ethyl- and methyl-mercury as equivalent in its risk evaluation

So we aren't even operating on studies on the product in question, just a similar one. What about the results?

quote:
These studies reported local necrosis, acute hemolysis, disseminated intravascular coagulation, acute renal tubular necrosis, and central nervous system injury including obtundation, coma, and death.

anywhere from 3mg/kg to 100mg/kg (easily reached ranges in infants).

20mg/kg is letal to rabbits, 45mg/kg lethal to rats (methylmercury).

I did see a positive study saying ethylmercury is not as dangerous as methylmercury, and another monitoring how quickly it is metabolized/disposed of.

The longest of the 2 was 190 days - not enough to monitor long term development in a child.

quote:
However, depending on the vaccine formulations used and the weight of the infant, some infants could have been exposed to cumulative levels of mercury during the first six months of life that exceeded EPA recommended guidelines for safe intake of methylmercury.


One last note. None of these studies which speak of "safe levels" disclose whether or not they are using figures generated for adults, or figures generated for babies/infants. That link certainly had points from both sides of the argument, but ultimately I believe was more detrimental to the image of Thimerosal safety.


RE: A better question to ask...
By clovell on 2/3/2010 12:45:02 PM , Rating: 2
It is? I'd think that's just about as hard to say wihtout much more to go on. A better question to ask is how many of the 56 MMR cases in 1998 were previously vaccinated versus the same ratio in 2008. Fisher's exact and done.

This would imply a causal effect, though the cause could be confounded by other factors, such as diagnostic practices. Correlation is not causation, but time only moves forward (for now).

Which is, at this point, pretty far beside the point - the evidence (not the scientific stuff, but the legal stuff) is pretty damning against this schmuck - ironic that the legal system is what got him into this shenanigan, and it'll be the same thing that brings him down.

Gotta love Karma.


RE: A better question to ask...
By JIMMY2SHOESQ1 on 2/3/2010 9:37:32 AM , Rating: 3
This "doctor" caused the rate of measles in young children to increase by over 2400% in 10 years. He did this by falsifying data and being a douchbag. None of his lab test have been replicated by other scientific groups

You cannot look at statistics over the past 10 years and use this to make any scientific judgment. There are no controls in the real world.


RE: A better question to ask...
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 2/3/2010 9:54:29 AM , Rating: 2
Falsifying data is being a douchbag and correct you are not in a control environment to get a perfect result. However you have a small group of people who did not use vaccines. You should be able to use this information if nothing else to see if further test are worthwhile.

I do not run tests in the scientific world of course (not my field)... but it seems you should be able to gain some knowledge from this data. After all many things are learned by accident or mistakes. Of course gathering the data would require a lot of work...


RE: A better question to ask...
By Aloonatic on 2/3/2010 10:29:59 AM , Rating: 2
In this case, I don't think it was a case of falsifying data as much as reading far too much into an incredibly small sample. Something like 11 or 12 cases or something, if it's the same one that all the fuss was about a while back.

The Lancet should have been more rigorous before publishing it in the first place too, but sadly it seems that even professional/academic publications are falling for the lure of sensationalist headlines and stories.


RE: A better question to ask...
By quick000 on 2/3/2010 11:01:46 AM , Rating: 5
Let me use your own argument. Autism rates have been increasing over the past couple of decades, while vaccination rates have been decreasing. Thus I conclude that vaccines prevent autism.


By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 2/3/2010 11:34:51 AM , Rating: 2
Boo-yaa!


RE: A better question to ask...
By The Raven on 2/3/2010 1:28:20 PM , Rating: 1
Not to sound insensitive, but only 2 kids?

What percentage of unvaccinated v. vaccinated kids died? Of course I'm assuming the vaccinated wouldn't die of measles, but if they were diagnosed with any other ailments at a higher rate, I would be interested in not vaccinating my kids with the MMR. 2 kids doesn't sound bad at all.

It would be like those ads you see where the side effects are worse that the initial ailment. It is a choice you have to make.

I mean if there are 700,000 kids born every year in the UK and only 2 died. That is 0.001% or 1 in every 70,000 unvaccinated (since 20% weren't vaccinated). That's pretty good odds. And this is a low estimate because it is data for only one year, add data from the other 9 years and the picture gets multiples better.

Of course there are other problems other than death, but I'd like to know what the deal is before I blindly do what the drug companies tell me.

But you're right, 2 deaths in 10 years should tell us something.


RE: A better question to ask...
By porkpie on 2/3/2010 3:38:07 PM , Rating: 3
"What percentage of unvaccinated v. vaccinated kids died? "

Um, if you get vaccinated, you don't get the disease. That's the point. Two children died from measles...both were unvaccinated. The first of those 2 deaths happened in 2006...and was the first person to die of the disease in over 14 years.

" but I'd like to know what the deal is before I blindly do what the drug companies tell me."

God, pick up a friggin history book sometime. Do you have any idea how many children died in the era before vaccines? In most areas, 75% of ALL KIDS died before their 18th birthday...and that was assuming no serious plague came along.


RE: A better question to ask...
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 2/3/2010 4:05:38 PM , Rating: 2
Now for the Flu I know people who were vaccinated but still came down with a bad case of flu that year... I now many types of Flu, it's just a point that being vaccinated does not make you free and clear of sickness.

I'm for many vaccines, I just ask a simple question. At what point are we pumping to many chemicals into our bodies? Right now a child has a crazy number of vaccines before age 5 verse 100 years ago about 0. Todays child will be exposed to tons of chemicals from the food we eat (steroids in the beef we eat, pesticides and so on). So, what is to say the combination of all these chemicals is not the cause of the problem... In the 60's it was OK to smoke and drink when a female was pregnant, today we'd say said she was selfish and uncaring of her unborn child. So what are we doing today that is tomorrow "NO, NO"?


By Harinezumi on 2/3/2010 8:06:09 PM , Rating: 2
At what point are we pumping to many chemicals into our bodies?

I'm sorry to be the one to have to tell you this, but everything you'll ever eat, drink, or breathe will contain chemicals. Beware dihydrogen monoxide, it's a real killer.


RE: A better question to ask...
By porkpie on 2/4/2010 12:44:40 AM , Rating: 3
"I now many types of Flu, it's just a point that being vaccinated does not make you free and clear of sickness."

If you got a flu shot and still got the flu, you simply caught a variant you weren't vaccinated for. Some vaccines are not perfect. But the measles vaccine is pretty damn close. In the US, I don't know of a case in the last 50 years where a vaccinated child got sick.

" At what point are we pumping to many chemicals into our bodies? "

You have any idea how many hundreds of millions of billions of different chemicals are already in your body? And how many millions you ingest on a daily basis? Even a cup of a coffee has around 1200 different chemicals in it...most of which have never been tested for carcinogenic, teratogenic, or other malignant effects.

I read your post and here nothing but the same old Luddite ignorance behind the "natural is better" religion sweeping the US and Europe. Seriously, research the topic ... denying yourself (or much worse, your children) the benefit of ANY vaccine is just plain daft.



RE: A better question to ask...
By The Raven on 2/4/2010 4:06:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What percentage of unvaccinated v. vaccinated kids died? Of course I'm assuming the vaccinated wouldn't die of measles , but if they were diagnosed with any other ailments at a higher rate, I would be interested in not vaccinating my kids with the MMR.


You might want to reread that one before you reply.

quote:
God, pick up a friggin history book sometime.


Maybe you should pick up a newspaper. Medicine in the UK is scads better than it was during the dark ages you speak of. An immunization back then is worth more than it is now.
Infant mortality for example:
(and this is worldwide, mind you)
1950: 15%
Today: 5%
We've reduced it by 66% in only 50 years.

I don't have the numbers and I am just speculating here, but mankind's knowledge of how things (like measles) can be treated and how they spread have improved likewise.


win for science-based medicine
By Stacey Melissa on 2/3/2010 8:57:01 AM , Rating: 4
The lies of Wakefield and the delusions of McCarthy and crew aren't innocent. They have a body count. Maybe after this belated win for real, science-based medicine, a few less people will take them seriously, and a few less kids will needlessly die.




RE: win for science-based medicine
By The Raven on 2/3/2010 1:31:02 PM , Rating: 4
Hey don't blame McCarthy because this guy is a sleeze. Regardless of her own conclusions, she has help raised awareness a great deal. Granted she's not the smartest one out there, but you've got problems if you are looking to her when it comes to science.


RE: win for science-based medicine
By chunkymonster on 2/3/2010 2:01:57 PM , Rating: 1
I agree that Jenny McCarthy is better looking than she is smart nor should she be a scientific resource. But if you read her book, she has done some pretty amazing things with her child through diet and lifestyle that seem to have reversed the effects of autism.

In reality Jenny McCarthy should be given credit for her work in raising awareness and proving that autism does not have to be a burden on the child or parents.


RE: win for science-based medicine
By Samus on 2/3/2010 3:09:13 PM , Rating: 2
I went to Rice, across the street from Mother McAuley where Jenny went to high school. She wasn't well liked back then because she was stuck up and a mega slut. She was a cheerleader at two or three boys schools just so she could get around. There was a rumor she had an abortion. She was ultra-stupid, and all she did was belittle people (like my girlfriend at the time) because she was so much 'prettier'. Samantha was way cuter. Probably why Jenny felt so insecure around here. And last I heard Sam is a nurse at Northwestern Memorial Childrens Hospital, a real job that saves lives. What you got on them apples Jen?

Fail. Zero points for any cause she is fighting for under the pretence she inevitably has no idea what the cause actually is.


RE: win for science-based medicine
By The Raven on 2/4/2010 4:34:31 PM , Rating: 2
That's great :-D

I also give her a relativly low score because her son has autism, so its not like she's a hero to anyone but him. It's not unlike Michael J. Fox searching for a cure for Parkinson's.

But we all get to benefit from the awareness that she has helped to raise.

So if I met her and I had an autistic kid/friend, I would tell her, "Thanks for helping the cause."


RE: win for science-based medicine
By Samus on 2/5/2010 2:49:00 AM , Rating: 2
I have mild AS diagnosed as nothing other than PDD and still couldn't care less for her 'fight' :0


RE: win for science-based medicine
By porkpie on 2/3/2010 3:11:46 PM , Rating: 4
"Hey don't blame McCarthy because this guy is a sleeze"

I most certainly CAN blame her. Even had this guy not faked his data, it was just ONE study...and even the faked results were hardly conclusive. To use that to run around telling people not to vaccinate their kids? What sort of brainless idiot does that?


By Reclaimer77 on 2/3/2010 7:02:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I most certainly CAN blame her. Even had this guy not faked his data, it was just ONE study...and even the faked results were hardly conclusive. To use that to run around telling people not to vaccinate their kids? What sort of brainless idiot does that?


Umm what kind of idiot puts that much stock into the words of someone who's only expertise and claim in life was to look pretty and get naked ???


Do people even think?
By nafhan on 2/3/2010 10:33:04 AM , Rating: 5
Going from memory, even if the data from the reports had been true, the chances of your kid getting autism were LOWER than the chances of your kid dying or being crippled by one of the diseases the vaccine prevents! Stupid, stupid, stupid.
The law group and the doctor need to burn for this.




RE: Do people even think?
By tishincally on 2/3/10, Rating: 0
RE: Do people even think?
By nafhan on 2/3/2010 3:02:57 PM , Rating: 3
It looks like those are numbers for all cases of autism, not just the ones that are possibly related to vaccinations.


That guy in the picture...
By Draco on 2/3/2010 11:29:21 AM , Rating: 2
At first I thought, is that Brad Pitt in a new movie role? :P




Thank God
By Slug on 2/3/2010 12:56:51 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe now Jenny McCarthy will just STFU. She is to be looked at, not heard. She has proven that many times.




Conflicts of Interest
By Fracture on 2/3/2010 9:25:47 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
It was revealed that Dr. Wakefield had his subordinates falsified data,

It was revealed that Dr. Wakefield had his subordinates falsify data.
quote:
Dr. Wakefield also was rewarded in other ways as well.

Creates redundancy by saying "also" and "as well". Grammar can be improved by removing one or the other.

Now for the actual comment.
I can't believe so many people followed the inane ramblings of anyone that has a degree, especially when others were unable to replicate the results. In my opinion, not vaccinating children against these diseases may as well be the same as giving them the disease.

@Seemonkeyscanfly -
The truth is that the autism rate has been increasing, even with the opposition to vaccination. There are many factors that have changed as well as conflicts of interest however - there are more types of vaccinations available now and it is in Big Pharma's best interest to see them sold. That said, the MMR vaccine has been proven to work and has for decades provided consistent results, if anything, dissociating its use from the sudden rise in autism cases.




Binary weapon
By Shadowmaster625 on 2/3/2010 3:29:44 PM , Rating: 1
Vaccines are part of a binary weapon. The mercury in the vaccines combined with excessive background electromagnetic radiation. The Amish do not inject mercury and they do not subject themselves to the same quantities of EM fields. It's not just Amish. Rural children in general have a lower rate of autism according to many studies (S. Jayarama 2004, for example). Research will prove this conclusively, but obviously it is going to take awhile because there is no money to be had in combatting eugenics.

It's not just mercury by the way, its also aluminum and lead and even iron, which means everyone is affected in many ways by constant EM field bombardment. Usually in the form of higher cancer rates. The cancer is caused by an effect similar to what happens when you stick a small piece of aluminum foil in a microwave. The radiation strikes the metal particles in our bodies and causes an energy burst that very occasionally strikes and tears into our DNA, causing mutations. This type of mechanism is at play in many different ways, causing a wide variety of ailments. In the fullness of time, this will all be accepted in the mainstream scientific community. But until then its just big money and junk science that will rule.




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