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New Vaccine Misinformation Book Gets the Science Wrong

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Fears about vaccines have been around for as long as vaccines have. Ben Franklin, like our other founding fathers, knew a thing or two about these fears—before the first real vaccine was even invented.

Today, however, preventable diseases like measles and whooping cough are on the rise because of unsubstantiated public doubts about vaccine safety. Misinformation in the public sphere, like the thoroughly refuted claim that vaccines cause autism, generates uncertainty and causes people to make decisions about their health and the health of their children based on fear rather than science.

A new and misnamed book co-authored by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak,  is filled with exactly the kinds of misrepresentations of facts and slippery slope distortions of research that sway people—often those who are most earnest about seeking information—away from the science.

A minefield of misinformation

UCS has never been shy about calling out political or corporate interference in developing and implementing science-based public policies. We’ve done so many  times right here and here on this blog—and here and here and here. If there were a story to be told—as the book claims—about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention colluding with the pharmaceutical industry on a vaccine policy conspiracy, we would be telling it.

But we aren’t because there isn’t.

The argument the book tries to make—that thimerosal in vaccines is harming human health, specifically children’s brains—is an old one that scientists researched thoroughly and subsequently dismissed years ago.  Thimerosal—a preservative containing ethyl mercury—destroys bacteria and has been used to make vaccines safe from contamination since the 1930s. Thimerosal was removed from childhood vaccines in the U.S. in 2001 out of excessive caution by the FDA  in the wake of the EPA’s reevaluation of exposure levels to another type of mercury—methyl mercury. Childhood vaccines administered in other countries still contain thimerosal, as do multi-dose preparations of flu vaccines in the U.S. because studies conclude that exposure to ethyl mercury in the amounts present in vaccines is safe.

Methyl mercury, unlike ethyl mercury, is an industrial pollutant. We are increasingly exposed to it through eating fish and other environmental sources, which is why the EPA reassessed exposure standards in the 1990s. The difference between the two types of mercury resembles the difference between ethyl alcohol (ethanol) and methyl alcohol (methanol). Beer, wine, and liquor contain ethanol; we drink it with dinner. Anti-freeze contains methanol; drinking a few shots would kill you.

UK Department for International Development

A doctor prepares to give a MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccination in Ethiopia. Childhood vaccines outside the U.S. still contain thimerosal because it has proven safe, effective, and economical. Credit: UK Department for International Development via Flickr.

Although the book acknowledges a difference between ethyl mercury and methyl mercury, the authors extrapolate, against the evidence, that ethyl mercury is just as toxic, if not more toxic, than methyl mercury. Even their sources dispute this claim. Referencing paper after paper after paper on the dangers of mercury, the long list of citations seems impressive, until you follow the links and discover these studies are actually about the effects of methyl mercury, not ethyl mercury.

Studies that conclude ethyl mercury is safe are dismissed as flawed via other studies relying on the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) with actual dubious methodology. And via the findings of Mark and David Geier, infamous in scientific circles for advocating chemical castration with Lupron for autistic children. And the assertions of discredited scientists like Boyd Haley, notorious for preying on autistic children and their parents by advocating chelation therapy as a cure for autism.

Findings are also taken out of context. The abstract of this 1975 animal study concludes, “No evidence of toxicity due to thimerosal was seen in any animal. Nevertheless accumulation of mercury from chronic use of thimerosal-preserved medicines is viewed as a potential health hazard for man.” Yet the book only concerns itself with the last part and leaves out or dismisses the significant research published since that continues to show no correlation between thimerosal and neurodevelopmental problems.

And, contrary to what the book would have us believe, children are not being exposed to dangerous levels of ethyl mercury in vaccines. Accessible and transparent information provides details on the mercury content of childhood vaccines. Flu vaccines are the only vaccines containing thimerosal children in the U.S. may still encounter, and even these are available in non-thimerosal formulations.

The danger of spreading misinformation about vaccines

When the first vaccine—for smallpox—was invented over 200 years ago, Thomas Jefferson wrote:

“Every friend of humanity must look with pleasure on this discovery, by which one more evil is withdrawn from the condition of man; and must contemplate the possibility that future improvements and discoveries may still more and more lessen the catalogue of evils.”

Jefferson would have been impressed with the progress science has made against diseases such as smallpox, which was eradicated globally in 1980. To continue to fulfill this vision, though, our democracy demands that we rely on facts and reason, not conspiracy-fueled fictions.

International AIDS Vaccine Initiative

Developing vaccines for some diseases like HIV/AIDS and Ebola continue to elude science. Scientists, policymakers, and the public cannot afford to turn back the clock and re-fight old battles with diseases that are preventable with existing vaccines. When misinformation about vaccines spreads, diseases win. Credit: International AIDS Vaccine Initiative via Flickr.

As RFK Jr. should well know from his work on climate change, generating doubt by misrepresenting the science has negative consequences for the public. Because of his stature and good work on so many other issues, he has a special responsibility to get the science right. But this book falls short.

Simply put, spreading misinformation about vaccines leads to unnecessary sickness and death. Reversing humanity’s progress towards eradicating dangerous infectious diseases—and having to re-fight old battles for community immunity—not only costs lives but distracts attention and resources from diseases we have yet to conquer, like the Ebola virus currently devastating West Africa.

Posted in: Science and Democracy Tags: , , , , ,

About the author: Deborah Bailin is a democracy analyst for UCS’s Center for Science and Democracy and researches political and societal barriers to formulating science-based policies. She came to UCS in 2012 as an ACLS Public Fellow and holds a PhD in English from the University of Maryland, where she studied the cultural influence of Charles Darwin on American literature. Subscribe to Deborah's posts

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  • http://blog.ucsusa.org Equation Admin

    Since new comments continue to be mostly off-topic and personal in nature, we have decided to close the comment thread. Apologies to those who came here hoping to discuss the post topic.

  • http://blog.ucsusa.org Equation Admin

    Hello, folks….as you may have noticed, we are now deleting any comments that are about other commenters rather than about the post topic.

    • lilady R.N.

      Thank you.

    • suz norkan

      As it should be and quite appreciated.

    • Mike Stevens

      Thank you.
      It would be nice if people remained on topic, posted insightful comments and supported claims with scientific evidence too.

  • http://blog.ucsusa.org Equation Admin

    We have been trying to err on the side of allowing space for people to
    express their views even where those views are heated. Unfortunately, however, off-topic and personal comments are continuing, so we’re going to have to keep the conversation on a tighter leash. We will be setting a lower bar for deleting comments from here on in, and we may blacklist commenters who persist in crossing the line. Hopefully we won’t need to do that.

    • http://blog.ucsusa.org Equation Admin

      And just to be clear, this applies to everybody, whether their comments are supportive or critical of the original post.

    • lilady R.N.

      I suggest that the Equation Admin review the “Comments Policy” for this blog, as regarding the many comments posted directly at me, by a poster who posts under “lielady, R.N. (Really Not)” which are “personal attacks and abusive”.

      “Comment Policy

      UCS welcomes comments that foster civil conversation and debate. To help maintain a healthy, respectful discussion, please focus comments on the issues, topics, and facts at hand, and refrain from personal attacks. Posts that are commercial, obscene, rude or disruptive will be removed.

      Please note that comments are open for two weeks following each blog post. When commenting, you must use your real name. Valid email addresses are required. (UCS respects your privacy; we will not display, lend, or sell your email address for any reason.)”

      My ‘nym in lilady, R.N. … not “lielady, R.N. (Really Not)”

      • lielady, R.N. (Really Not)

        My comments have been no more abusive than yours. Also, I’ve not been the one trying to reveal your identity, spreading filthy, libelous, sliming lies. The great Orac says that revealing the online identities of pseudonymous posters is a tactic of the anti-vaxxers, and I idolize and adore him, so I must support everything he says. This filthy abuse should not be leveled at a nurse like me!

  • Boris Ogon

    I really wish that Skyhorse were competent enough to get the “Look Inside” Amazon feature to work. Or to offer a sample chapter on their Web site, like any normal niche press. The typescript that Jake Crosby posted was absolutely slovenly, with “references” to raw URLs, including the Flying Dolphin, and I sorely doubt that a vanity press cum public-domain reprint outfit was going to clean up that mess.

    • lilady R.N.

      I read that typescript (IIRC, 187 pages), which were supposedly removed from the book before publishing. In spite of that ridiculously hideous layout, there was enough left for Deborah Baillin and other bloggers to provide some great analyses of Mr. Kennedy’s book.

      • Boris Ogon

        Oh, goody, “Look Inside” is now working. No acknowledgments, though. I see that raw URLs are, unsurprisingly, still present in the footnotes (many of which seem to be duplicative). And thimerosal is capitalized throughout.

        The Inuit digression on page 8 is intriguing, since the upshot was, you know, the lack of ASD in the population. Happily, “Dr.” Stephanie Seneff has some crazy of her own to add on this topic.

      • lilady R.N.

        I posed the question about the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon to a friend and you have to be a registered user on the site.

        If…and only if…Mr. Kennedy’s book becomes available at the local library, will I read the book. (No contributions to Mr. Kennedy’s fame).

        In the meantime I’m enjoying the reviews of the book written by Deborah Bailin, science bloggers and Mr. Kennedy’s own posted defense of his book.

        Thanks for the heads up on sdtech.

        I

  • http://blog.ucsusa.org Equation Admin

    Hi everyone, just stopping in to say that we are following the conversation. We realize this is a highly controversial topic, and we appreciate that most of you are managing to express strongly held, often sharply conflicting views without resorting to personal attacks or abusive language. We will continue to delete comments that clearly step over that line. Carry on…

  • Jim Thompson

    Deborah Bailin, your statement “The difference between the two types of mercury resembles the difference between ethyl alcohol (ethanol) and methyl alcohol (methanol)” is incorrect. See below.
    Please make a correction to your article.

    “The toxic nature of ethylmercury has been considered to be fairly similar to that of methylmercury salts. In the recommendations of the international committee on Maximum Allowable Concentration for mercury and its compounds, ethylmercury was grouped with methylmercury. Reports on human intoxication with ethylmercury salts have usually reported symptoms similar to those of methylmercury, which is accentuated by the typical neurological symptoms, although there have been a
    few reports that noted slightly different symptoms from the typical features of
    methylmercury poisoning. In acute experiments on animals, ethylmercury has an LD50 similar to that of methylmercury salts and a high neurotoxicity similar to that of methylmercury. (p. 209–210).” Source: Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B, 10:575–596, 2007, page 587, at
    http://toxcenter.org/artikel/Thiomersal-schweres-Hirngift-Literaturstudie.pdf .

    • Deborah Bailin

      Jim, please visit the studies on ethyl mercury in thimerosal linked to in the post. I included quite a few. And (channeling Boris Ogon here) please define “acute experiments.” There’s nothing to correct.

      On the specific comparison I drew to ethanol and methanol, see here http://www.chop.edu/service/vaccine-education-center/vaccine-safety/vaccine-ingredients/thimerosal.html

      And here http://medbonsai.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/flu-vaccine-and-the-importance-in-understanding-the-difference-between-methylmercury-vs-ethylmercury/

      Thanks for taking the time to engage with the post.

      • Jim Thompson

        The comparison is wrong, regardless of what these non peer reviewed references claim. Please correct this error.
        And again, ethyl mercury (and the continued use of Thimerosal preservative in flu vaccines for children and pregnant women) is not proven safe.
        Look at this document.
        “Mercury in all of its forms is toxic to the fetus and children, and efforts should be made to reduce exposure to the extent possible to pregnant women and children as well as the general population.” Technical Report: Mercury in the Environment: Implications for Pediatricians, Lynn R. Goldman, Michael W. Shannon and the Committee on Environmental Health, Pediatrics 2001;108;197, DOI: 10.1542/peds.108.1.197, p.203.
        See
        http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/108/1/197.full.pdf+html
        .

      • Deborah Bailin

        Jim, please define “mercury in the environment.” For a long list of peer-reviewed studies on thimerosal, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/library/bytopic/thimerosal_faq_refs.html

      • Jim Thompson

        Deborah Bailin, this list of studies does not include this one. “Thimerosal-Derived Ethylmercury Is a Mitochondrial Toxin in Human Astrocytes: Possible Role of Fenton Chemistry in the
        Oxidation and Breakage of mtDNA.” Martyn A. Sharpe, Andrew D. Livingston, and David S. Baskin, 2012.

        “The results of this study suggest that ethylmercury is a mitochondrial toxin in human astrocytes.”

        See http://downloads.hindawi.com/journals/jt/2012/373678.pdf

      • Boris Ogon

        Jim, would you care to provide in vivo evidence to bolster Sharpe et al.’s hypothesis?

      • Jim Thompson

        Here is the link to this study in the CDC list you provided. Burbacher TM, Shen DD, Liberato N, et al. Comparison of blood and brain mercury levels in infant monkeys exposed to methylmercury or vaccines containing thimerosal. Environ Health Perspect 2005;113:1015–21.
        See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1280342/pdf/ehp0113-001015.pdf .

        So please look at Burbacher’s findings in regards to comparing methyl and ethyl mercury in infant primates. The Burbacher report says “The average concentration of inorganic Hg for those monkeys with values above the detection limit (n = 10) did not change significantly over 28 days of washout and was approximately 7–8 ng/mL (Figure 4).”

        For ethyl mercury the Burbacher report says “The average concentration of inorganic Hg did not change across the 28 days of washout and was approximately 16 ng/mL (Figure 7).”

        So this CDC referenced report shows, that in infant primates, ethyl mercury exposure results in an inorganic mercury brain tissue concentration that is twice the concentration resulting from methyl mercury exposure.
        Again, please remove the erroneous comparison to ethyl and methyl alcohol.

    • Mike Stevens

      Jim, each time you try and do some hairsplitting, you get scunnered. Maybe think about your comments a little more before posting them?

      • Jim Thompson

        “scunnered (ˈskʌnəd)

        adj

        1. annoyed, discontented, or bored

        2. nauseated or disgusted, esp from a surfeit of food, drink, etc

        [C15: of unknown origin]

        Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003″

      • curmudgeon

        Scunnered: “A Scots word used to mean that you are world weary, down-trodden, and thoroughly bereft of any lust for life when these words and expressions are simply too inadequate to signify the magnitude of your slide into ‘$h!+-dom’ ”

        http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=scunnered

      • Jim Thompson

        And Deborah Bailin voted this ad hominem comment up?

    • Boris Ogon

      Jim, you’re going to have to go to the library, but I suggest you procure a copy of this, which is the most recent review I’ve found. If you’re willing to settle for something a little older that is open-access, try here.

      Your fundamental confusion with this cut and paste appears to be over the meaning of “intoxication”; one has to get there in the first place before claiming that similarities are relevant.

  • lilady R.N.

    Here, a not so short history of Mr. Kennedy’s long standing fixation about Thimerosal in vaccines which somehow, in some way, are implicated in the onset of autism.

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2014/06/17/robert-f-kennedy-jr-parties-like-its-1999-over-thimerosal-and-autism/

    Scroll down to see the blogger’s many links to Mr. Kennedy’s fascination beginning with his scurrilous, libelous post about the Simpsonwood Conference attendees and his threats to publish his book at the 2013 Autism One-Generation Rescue Conference during his one hour rant to rally the troops for his cause.

    Yes indeed, Mr. Kennedy’s “theory” is discussed in great detail and his defamatory remarks about Paul Offit are duly noted (“Dr. Offit should be put in handcuffs, dragged off to jail and the key to his prison cell should be thrown away”).

    • lielady, R.N. (Really Not)

      Ah yes, Orac. He doesn’t like it when you use his real name (which is David Gorski, but don’t tell anyone I said that).

      The interesting thing about Orac, other than that he is a snazzy dresser (oh, those doctor dress whites!!!) and dances like an angel, is that he’s a cancer surgeon who is also a vaccine specialist AND an autism specialist. All while refuting papers he doesn’t like on his personal blog instead of in scientific journals (like real scientists do), and also while never once seeing an autistic child! This is quite an accomplishment for someone who has never once published a study on vaccines or autism, and for someone who doesn’t scrutinize the bad science that supports his bias. Not only that, but he can do it while spending so much time blogging. Do his accomplishments ever cease?

      I must now rush over to his site and ingratiate myself to him further. And then I must let everyone know that I’m commenting over here so that they can sing my praises. As a nurse, I don’t like commenting here all by my lonesome, you know.

      • curmudgeon

        ScienceBlogs is a respectable social media outlet for real scientists to talk about real science and, when appropriate, expose pseudo science. Are you a scientist? Have you ever even read a scientific journal? I think the word you’re looking for is retract, not refute. Journals retract papers that are so bad they weren’t worth publishing in the first place. Refuting them is best done through humor. And Orac is pretty damned funny. How a science blogger dresses is entirely irrelevant to the quality of their blog.

      • lielady, R.N. (Really Not)

        I’ve already mentioned that I’m a nurse. And Orac retracts papers on his blog? Really? He even has the power to do that?!?! If I wasn’t absolutely smitten with him before, I most certainly am now.

        Refute, or refutation, means to prove a statement or theory to be false or wrong. If it’s a scientific theory, then it should be published legitimately instead of on a personal blog.

        But the all powerful Orac doesn’t have to do this! He can retract them through the power of his blogging. Will wonders never cease?

        “How a science blogger dresses is entirely irrelevant to the quality of their blog.”

        It was merely a compliment…I think he looks quite dashing in his doctor coat.

      • curmudgeon

        This would be blisteringly funny if your level understanding weren’t so sad: Retracting is what journals do to bad papers. Refuting — through both evidence and ruthless humor — is what blogs do to bad papers.

      • lilady R.N.

        (S)he simply does not have the ability to refute anything that Deborah or any of the posters here have provided.

        Time for her/him to go back to AoA…where those empty posts are welcome.

      • http://blog.ucsusa.org Equation Admin

        Please stop the personal sniping and get back on topic, folks. Thank you!

      • lilady R.N.

        I have repeatedly flagged multiple “lielady, R.N. (Really Not)” comments…which have been abusive toward me.

        My ‘nym is lilady R.N.

      • lielady, R.N. (Really Not)

        My comments have been unfailingly polite in each of my comments to you and others. I’m a nurse, and we have to be polite to our charges whenever possible…something I don’t see reflected in the comments I’ve seen from you.

        It’s humorous that you’d attempt to flag and censor my posts because you don’t like them. The Great and Powerful Orac says that doing so is a common tactic of anti-vaxxers.

        Saying that I’m being abusive is scurrilous and libelous. Such vile, abusive language should be stopped.

      • lielady, R.N. (Really Not)

        I have been unfailingly polite in each of my comments to you and others here. As a nurse, I learned that it’s important to be polite to others, something that I have not seen reflected in your comments.

        And flagging my posts to censor me? Really? Don’t you know that this is a tactic that the great Orac attributes to anti-vaxxers?

        The claims of abuse by me to you are vile, libelous, and scurrilous.

      • lilady R.N.

        You are welcome to come to Respectful Insolence anytime to post your comments.

        I’m waiting for you to join me there which would give me and the posters the opportunity to “refute” any and all of your claims.

        P.S. Orac requests that you pick a ‘nym and stay with it, sdtech.

      • lielady, R.N. (Really Not)

        Despite your laughingly incorrect hunch at my identity, I would like to remind you that your scurrilous, nasty accusation is libelous. Not only that, but the great Orac specifically says that outing ‘nyms is bad and is something that anti-vaxxers do. When someone disagrees with me about anything, it’s using foul language and sliming me.

        As a nurse, I take offense to people trying to discover my identity, especially after giving Orac and impassioned comment about how horrible it is for someone to out another’s identity (especially if its a woman). I value my privacy, but since I’m a nurse and worship science, I think it’s completely reasonable to hide my identity while revealing the identities of people I don’t agree with.

      • lielady, R.N. (Really Not)

        But you said the word I was looking for was retract, not refute.

        But it’s ok…Orac doesn’t have to do any legitimate scientific papers on Vaccines and Autism…he can just blog about it. Oh, the power of Orac’s blogging!

        And your claim that my level of understanding is sad is vile language…it’s defamatory and libelous!!

      • lilady R.N.

        The nym “lielady” that (s)he is using is straight out of Dan Olmsted’s posts (Editor-in-Chief of Age of Autism)…when he slams me. I never post comments on AoA…I’m very protective of my identity.

        Yup, most of the editors and the posters on AoA spend their time posting sliming, libelous remarks. They are not science literate.

        I’ve flagged all of “lielady’s” posts as violating the commenting policy.

      • lielady, R.N. (Really Not)

        Yes, but when people like me (I’m a nurse) post sliming, libelous remarks, it’s ok. Because I worship science.

        And flagging my comments? Doesn’t the all-powerful Orac say that doing that is wrong? How am I violating the commenting policy, especially considering that I’ve made no personal attacks (unlike others here (as in the person I’m responding do))?

      • lielady, R.N. (Really Not)

        This is simply untrue. That moniker was around long before Olmsted mentioned it in his 2013 article.

        And flagging my comments to censor me? Really? The great Orac says that this is a common tactic of anti-vaxxers. Are you an anti-vaxxer?

        But we know all about sliming, libelous remarks, and not being science literate, don’t we? We’re nurses.

  • Jim Thompson

    Deborah Bailin, there are no studies that prove mercury, in any form, is safe to inject into humans.

    Your statement that “Thimerosal was removed from childhood vaccines in the U.S. in 2001” is incorrect. See http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/08/the-cdc-buys-and-distributes-heavy-metal-mercury-preserved-flu-vaccines-for-children.html .

    Please make a correction to your article.

    • lilady R.N.

      Sorry Mr. Thompson, please make a correction to your article which appeared on Age of Autism:

      http://www.chop.edu/service/vaccine-education-center/vaccine-safety/vaccine-ingredients/thimerosal.html

      • Boris Ogon

        A.k.a. “sdtech.”

      • lilady R.N.

        Thanks Boris Ogon. There’s someone who is posting here under his own name disparaging the use of multi dose vaccines which contain Thimerosal, and also posting at me with a different ‘nym.

      • lielady, R.N. (Really Not)

        This is a lie, filthy and scurrilous. Such libelous sliming should not be allowed. I’m flagging your post for using abusive language toward me. As a nurse, I shouldn’t be subjected to such slander.

      • lielady, R.N. (Really Not)

        These are lies, scurrilous and libelous.

        As a retired nurse and epidemiologist (I know, hard to believe considering my limited vocabulary), I shouldn’t have to put up with this. Nor should I have someone trying to find my identity; I value my privacy, and several months ago, I posted a comment on Orac’s site, commending him for a sensitive post about “outing” a female blogger, by someone in a position of power. It is a vicious spiteful tactic designed to quell any dissent. But I’m allowed to do it, because I’m a nurse.

      • suz norkan

        B.O. frequently engages in such insolent and menacing activities, posting very sensitive, personal info of his opposition to the public, merely in an attempt to promote a pov, yet with blatant disregard for the potential of harm.

        But of course he and ‘the nurse’ work closely together.

      • lielady, R.N. (Really Not)

        Such libelous lies should not be allowed in an open forum unless I make them!

      • suz norkan

        Please forgive me lielady. You’re right of course and I’ve overstepped. What was I thinking?

      • lilady R.N.

        You are not a public health nurse clinician-epidemiologist and you are posting comments under your real identity and also under a sock puppet.

        Orac’s identity is the worst-kept secret on the internet:

        http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/author/oracknows/

      • lielady, R.N. (Really Not)

        These are filthy, scurrilous, libelous lies!!

        I have been posting on this forum using the same ‘nym from the beginning. And you should believe that I’m a public health nurse clinician-epidemiologist because I told you I am!! Same as you.

      • lielady, R.N. (Really Not)

        What’s really funny about your comment is that it’s obvious you didn’t read what I wrote…it wasn’t about the great Orac…it was about revealing identities.

        But I don’t have to read comments I don’t agree with…I’m a nurse! And if I don’t agree with a comment, then that means that it is nasty, sliming, and scurrilous libelous lies!

      • lielady, R.N. (Really Not)

        These are filthy, libelous, scurrilous lies! I’ve been posting under the same ‘nym from the moment I’ve started posting here. Your sliming accusations should not be leveled against public health nurses like me!

      • lielady, R.N. BS

        This is a filthy, vile, scurrilous, libelous lie! I’ve been posting with this name since I’ve started commenting here.

        I’m a nurse, and I shouldn’t have to take such disgusting abuse…I should be the one giving it!

      • lilady R.N.

        I have been posting on this blog under my ‘nym, lilady R.N., long before you started posting.

        I have been posting on science blogs for years with that same ‘nym.

      • lielady, R.N. BS

        That doesn’t change your filthy, vile, scurrilous, libelous lies! And good for you! Because we’re nurses!

      • lielady, R.N. (Really Not)

        Well, my secret crush, Orac, says it’s bad to “out” someone’s pseudonym online.

        It’s ok for us to do it, though, since we’re nurses, and we worship science!

      • lilady R.N.

        You are welcome to come to Respectful Insolence…anytime.

        BTW, Orac requests that you pick a ‘nym and stick with it sdtech.

      • lielady, R.N. (Really Not)

        Your laughable hunch at my identity would be hilarious, if it wasn’t so sad. The great Orac says that revealing someone’s online identity is something that anti-vaxxers do.

        I value my privacy, and as a public health nurse, I refrain from posting on sites that might reveal my real name.

      • lilady R.N.

        You managed to post comments on this very blog using your real name and now you are posting comments under a ‘nym.

        BTW, you are not a public health nurse clinician-epidemiologist.

    • Mike Stevens

      Bailin’s statement is quite correct.

      • Jim Thompson

        Deborah Bailin, also the reference that was “reviewed March 2014 by Paul Offit” says:
        “Thimerosal, as a preservative, is no longer contained in any childhood vaccine, with the exception of the influenza vaccine.”

        Again, your statement that “Thimerosal was removed from childhood vaccines in the U.S. in 2001” is incorrect.

      • Deborah Bailin

        Read the whole paragraph where I cited Offit. I stated that it’s still in the flu vaccine. There’s nothing to correct.

      • Jim Thompson

        The two sentences conflict. And the later sentence is incorrect in that no studies prove Thimerosal is safe for humans.

      • Deborah Bailin

        I think reading comprehension, not science, is the issue here, Jim. The two sentences don’t conflict. Flu vaccines, including both those containing and not containing thimerosal, are given to children AND to adults. Information on formulations and what age group they are given to is at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/vaccines.htm

        In other words, the flu vaccine containing thimerosal is not an exclusively childhood vaccine, like those vaccines from which thimerosal was removed in 2001, but it is still a vaccine given to children. Nothing in my paragraph or between my paragraph and the Offit link is in conflict.

        And the post, as well as many, many comments by readers contain links to studies showing thimerosal’s safety. Look them up.

        Thanks, again, for engaging with the post.

      • Mike Stevens

        And of course, flu vaccines were only extended to kids in 2006, so the statement that thimerosal was “removed from childhood vaccines in 2001″ remains absolutely correct.

      • Jim Thompson

        Again, please clarify your post and let the readers know in the first sentence that childhood flu vaccines still contain Thimerosal and also add your reference.
        See http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/vaccines.htm .

      • Jim Thompson

        …and they have contained Thimerosal since 2001. “2001, Except for influenza (flu), Thimerosal is removed from or reduced in all vaccines routinely recommended for children 6 years of age and under manufactured for the U.S. market.”
        http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/thimerosal/thimerosal_timeline.html

  • ciaparker2

    Thank you, lbhajdu1, my life and that of many of my family members have been devastated by vaccines, just as yours has, me with MS, my father paralyzed, my mother with Alzheimer’s, a nephew with disabling Asperger’s, my daughter with disabling autism, and a niece institutionalized with autism, all from vaccine reactions. We evidently have a genetic propensity to react to vaccines. You’re right about Lil and DR, thank you for taking them on here, I worry about whether there’s anyone who reads what they say, believes them, and goes out to get the vaxes. I hope they research the question further than that.

    • Dorit Reiss

      The evidence is that practically none of these are caused by vaccines.
      A. MS is not caused by vaccines: Paul A. Offit and Charles J. Hackett Addressing Parents’ Concerns: Do Vaccines Cause Allergic or Autoimmune Diseases? Pediatrics 2003;111;653
      B. Alezheimer’s in not caused by vaccines: http://scienceblogs.com/insole

      C. And autism is certainly not caused by vaccines – see: Stanley Plotkin, et al., Vaccines and Autism: A Tale of Shifting Hypotheses, 48 CLINICAL INFECTIOUS DISEASES 458(2009).

    • lilady R.N.

      I’ve researched the many research papers about Td booster vaccines and the onset of multiple sclerosis and I found no case studies and no research papers that have published in first tier, peer-reviewed medical or science journals.

      I did, however, locate a systemic review of those studies and research papers, and the authors concluded tetanus vaccines are protective against MS.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16864810

      Neurology. 2006 Jul 25;67(2):212-5.

      Tetanus vaccination and risk of multiple sclerosis: a systematic review.

      Hernán MA1, Alonso A, Hernández-Díaz S.

      Abstract

      OBJECTIVE:

      To conduct a systematic review on the association between tetanus vaccination and the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS).

      METHODS:

      The authors searched the databases Medline, LILACS, EMBASE, and Science Citation Index including the period 1966 to September 1, 2005. Eligible studies had to meet the following inclusion criteria: presentation of
      original data, case-control or cohort design, physician-confirmed diagnosis of MS as the outcome of interest, attempt to ascertain vaccinations in a period before the diagnosis, and report of an association measure between tetanus vaccination and incidence of MS, and its 95% CI or enough information to compute it. Study specific log ORs were weighted by the inverse of their variances to obtain a pooled estimate and its 95% CI.

      RESULTS:

      The OR of MS associated with history of tetanus vaccination was 0.67 (95% CI: 0.55 to 0.81). There was little indication of heterogeneity of results across studies.

      CONCLUSION:

      Tetanus vaccination is associated with a lower risk of multiple sclerosis.

    • Mike Stevens

      Your family does not have a “genetic propensity to react to vaccines”.
      Your family suffers from a hereditary genetic trait (NRXN-1 gene deletion) as you have told us several times before.
      This genetic abnormality interferes with neuronal synapsing, and directly causes autism.
      http://sfari.org/news-and-opinion/in-brief/2013/clinical-research-neurexin-1-deletions-add-to-autism-risk
      No vaccines are needed to cause this problem. You constantly blame various vaccines (mixing up types of shots and dates) in order to explain away what is a clear genetic autism tendency in your family.
      This we have discussed many times before Cia,

  • danchi@aol.com

    Eisenhower’s Second Warning

    “In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds
    of new electronic computers.The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.” President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

    “what has been neglected in this debate largely is the overshadowing role that the federal government plays – is something that President Eisenhower actually warned about when he left office. He talked about how the federal government was beginning to put so much funding into universities to do studies that the government was interested in the outcome that that eventually was going to create a situation where
    science would be largely controlled by the federal government.”

    “There has been an evolution of government intervention in science over the last 30 years that I think clearly has reached the stage that President Eisenhower warned about – that is, much of what you read in the scientific literature that has been funded by the federal government– some agency – is actually engineered to produce results that support certain government policies and industry practices, and that is an area
    that is heavily impacting research on autism”

    Science for Sale: How the US Government Uses Powerful Corporations and Leading
    Universities to Support Government Policies, Silence Top Scientists,
    Jeopardize Our Health, and Protect Corporate Profits: by

    David L. Lewis PhD

    • Dorit Reiss

      Dr. Lewis’ conspiracy theories, interesting though they are, do not actually respond to the well deserve criticism of Mr. Kennedy’s misleading book.

      • suz norkan

        This well known quote, “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded”, speaks volumes to the surreptitious scientific evidence that you accept and the corrupt and tainted data results that we discard.

        I feel danchi’s comment is quite relevant to Kennedy’s book.

        A historical speech from a U.S. president can hardly be considered the fantasy of conspiracy theorists.

      • notation

        What you “feel” is irrelevant.

      • suz norkan

        I haven’t strayed from the topic. YOU have! That’s relevant enough for me.

      • Boris Ogon

        I haven’t strayed from the topic.

        Please explicitly state what that is and highlight any of your comments that are directly related to it.

      • suz norkan

        persona non grata corre!ates to communication non grata

      • Boris Ogon

        The well known quotes danchi supplied above, “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded”

        Please define “well known.” Also, please identify the three scourges singled out in the address.

      • suz norkan

        persona non grata correlate$es to communication non grata

      • http://blog.ucsusa.org Equation Admin

        We are deleting all off-topic posts, regardless of who they are from. We will let this one stand so that you can see the reply.

      • suz norkan

        Thank you. The commentator addressed, will understand the meaning, which is nothing vulgar or derogative.

      • Boris Ogon

        persona non grata correlates to communication non grata

        Didn’t one of your identities claim that you were “avoiding” me, Evie? That didn’t last long.

        How you came to the conclusion that I am “persona non grata” here is anybody’s guess. It’s very simple to state the scourges, any you’re the one who said that it’s “well known.”

      • suz norkan

        persona non grata correlates to commentus non gratis

      • Boris Ogon

        Third time’s not going to be the charm, Evie.

      • suz norkan

        PNG B.O.

    • Mike Stevens

      Isn’t that David Lewis, the sewage management engineer?
      What would he know?

      • suz norkan

        I think you meant to say, ‘David L. Lewis PhD, retired epa microbiologist who advocates against the use of toxic bio sludge being used in our fields as fertilizer; documenting the many illnesses and deaths occurring in individuals residing in close proximity to those fields and those working with the toxic, pharmaceutical filled, bio hazardous waste’.

        So what would YOU know Mikey?

      • Mike Stevens

        Just the sort of stuff a current NHS Infectious Diseases Specialist would know, with postgraduate diplomas in tropical medicine and hygiene and an MD thesis in immunology, added to 30 years clinical and research experience in the relevant fields of infection and immunology (ie not sewage sludge).

        And what about you?

      • suz norkan

        Good for you Mikey! I know all that too. But neither of us can claim being expert microbiologists for the epa, sludge or not.

        Microbiology as in virology, bacteriology, parasitology and mycology. And you dismiss him because his expertise also deals with what we put on the soil we grow our food in?

        Arrogant much Mikey? In the spirit of continuing to play nice, I won’t call you a ‘pretentious’ egotist.

        However, since you fail to realize that microbiology deals in much more than infection and immunology, while you aggrandize yourself, I ask again, ‘so what would YOU know’?

      • suz norkan

        Whatever scientific knowledge we’ve acquired through the years, neither of us can claim being microbiologists for the epa, sludge or not.

        Microbiology as in virology, bacteriology, parasitology, mycology, genetics, etc. Yet you dismiss his years of experience and valued expertise because you find the word sludge distasteful.

        It’s extremely telling that you lack the understanding regarding the correlation between bio hazardous waste and infectious disease.

      • Proponent

        “There has been an evolution of government intervention in science over the last 30 years that I think clearly has reached the stage that President Eisenhower warned about – that is, much of what you read in the scientific literature that has been funded by the federal government– some agency – is actually engineered to produce results that support certain government policies and industry practices, and that is an area that is heavily impacting research on autism”

        Autism is an infectious disease in your book?

        And where did Mike Stevens state he ‘found the word sludge distasteful’ .. and in turn .. ‘dismiss’ David Lewis on this spurious note of yours?

        Rather confusing post..

      • suz norkan

        Only to the confused!

      • Mike Stevens

        Suz does spend a lot of time imagining things.
        Leave her to her fantasies, i guess.

      • suz norkan

        Off target Mikey! Please manage to stay on the topic.

      • Mike Stevens

        And if you really wish to read a diatribe of “off topic” comments, I suggest you start here:
        http://disqus.com/suznorkan/

      • Boris Ogon

        Off target Mikey! Please manage to stay on the topic.

        Have you said anything about the RFK, Jr., book yet?

      • suz norkan

        Not confusing at all, should you go back and read the actual responses, and understanding them, before making ‘spurious notes’ notes of your own.

      • Mike Stevens

        Go on, humour us. What was this “scientific knowledge” you have gained through the years?
        How to fizz mentos and coke?

      • suz norkan

        Ooopsi! Off target again Mikey!

      • Mike Stevens

        You were the one alluding to your supposed “scientific knowledge”, and who wanted to know my credentials in the field of infection.
        And you call requests for you to reciprocate “off target”?

        I suppose evasion is all you have left, when the facts abandon you.

      • Boris Ogon

        It’s extremely telling that you lack the understanding regarding the correlation between bio hazardous waste and infectious disease.

        Perhaps you could provide some on-point references in this regard.

      • suz norkan

        PNG B.O.

      • suz norkan

        Here’s an on-point reference. B.O. has been put on suz’s ignore list, [and notified as such] due to incessant and vulgar harassment.

        Please cease and desist any and all communication with suz.

      • lilady R.N.

        That’s David Lewis, who is the human waste sludge management expert…and who provided the BMJ and Brian Deer with some *hand-scored check-off histopathology sheets for the children in Andrew Wakefield’s “study”. (The bowel specimen slides and the bowel specimens-embedded-in-paraffin blocks went mysteriously missing).

        Brian Deer provides a biographical sketch of David Lewis…his many failed lawsuits against his former employer… and his associations with Wakefield and all the anti-vaccine luminaries:

        http://briandeer.com/solved/david-lewis-1.htm

        *David Lewis claims he located those check off sheets in Wakefield’s private files at Wakefield’s home.

      • suz norkan

        So what’s with the disrespectful reference to the sewage and sludge {“what would he know?”}, other than to try to detract from his expertise as a microbiologist? Petty and shallow act from one who cries to admins. when her feelings are offended.

      • lilady R.N.

        So…tell us about your expertise Suz:

        Which vaccine-preventable-diseases are transmitted via the airborne-droplet route?

        Which vaccine-preventable-diseases are transmitted via exposure to contaminated blood, blood products and semen?

        Which vaccine-preventable-diseases are transmitted via the fecal-oral route?

        You really didn’t ready Brian Deer’s article, did you? Lewis was fired from his job at the EPA and failed to prevail when he sued the EPA multiple times, for reinstatement of his job.

        Do you have any credentials?

      • suz norkan

        You were a nurse for pity sake darlin’. You were NEVER a microbiologist. I’m unimpressed with your self touted accolades. I’ve also said before that you are quite thin skinned for the amount of insulting swill that you dish out daily. You may have the admins. and mods fooled here on this blog, but one need only view your profile to see who you really are.

        I know the story sweetie, and I was not the one getting off track. I made a reply to danchi’s comment, and then Mikey chimed in with disparaging Dr. Lewis for being in sewage mgt. Regardless, he’s a microbiologist, unfairly let go by the epa for whistleblowing.

        Besides, the article is not about me nursie, but about Kennedy, vax, and the fact that Mikey replied with an immature slam to Dr. Lewis. I commented on Mikey’s tasteless response.

        And please explain again why you’re still posting here after you were publicly asked by mods and admin. to leave?

        Your little ‘quizzie’ facade doesn’t work on suz so please stay on topic nursie.

      • lilady R.N.

        Your good buddy ex-EPA human waste sludge expert David Lewis is tied at the hip with the disgraced and discredited former medical doctor Andrew Wakefield.

        Lewis promotes their “charity” DAIR…which is a fundraiser for the unemployed Mr. Wakefield, so that he lives a posh lifestyle in Austin Texas and will have the money to pay his considerable attorney’s fees:

        https://www.eventbrite.com/e/chicago-dair-event-tickets-7232834603

        I’m staying on topic, Suz.

      • lielady, R.N. BS

        This is something known as an ad hominem fallacy. As nurses, we’re allowed to do this whenever we want to attack the individual who is giving data that is conflicting with our personal biases, but we have to get upset when someone does the same thing.

        Remember…instead of addressing the claim, make sure you dismiss the person making the claim by attacking them personally.

      • Mike Stevens

        The claims are from the antivaxers that David Lewis is somehow an “expert” microbiologist, and that this therefore confers him with some authority when making statements about vaccinations, mercury and autism.
        Quite why I have no idea.
        Pointing out that he is neither an expert microbiologist (he has one PubMed publication) and that his contribution to medical knowledge about vaccines and autism is zero is therefore not an “ad hominem” or personal attack, but quite relevant and highly pertinent.
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12144261

      • lielady, R.N. BS

        How many papers about vaccinations, mercury and autism has that handsome devil, David Gorski written?

        So, using your criteria, we can dismiss him as an authority as well, though I wouldn’t want to…as a nurse, I’m absolutely smitten with him.

        The point is, address the message, not the person.

      • Boris Ogon

        The point is, address the message, not the person.

        Rather amusing coming from someone on their second insult-titled Disqus account.

      • lielady, R.N. BS

        Rather amusing coming from someone posting libelous, scurrilous, defamatory comments and outing another poster’s pseudonym.

        We can do this, though, because we worship science.

        And, this is actually my first…the other was a guest account.

      • suz norkan

        Because your next sentence after referring to him as a sewage engineer was, ‘so what does HE know’!

      • suz norkan

        B.O.’s comment below is completely off topic now that comments made only to attack another poster are being deleted.

      • Mike Stevens

        Exactly.
        What would a sewage engineer know about autism and vaccines?

      • suz norkan

        Again, you leave out the microbiologist part in your attempt to discredit Dr. Lewis merely to promote your own pov, which is technically what you all love to call ad hom. Mikey!

      • Melpomine

        So, using your criteria, we can safely dismiss David Gorski as an expert in microbiology, vaccines, and autism. Where are his studies? People keep using him as an expert…

        At lease Dr. Lewis has published something on the subject.

      • Mike Stevens

        I regard Gorski as an expert in medical research, oncology and medicine.
        He is not an expert in autism or vaccines, no, and I have never suggested he is..

        Lewis has published nothing on the subject of vaccines or autism. He is certainly not an expert either, judging on the quality and breadth (narrownwss?) of his knowledge and work

      • suz norkan

        We disagree, and disregard gorski as an expert in the proclamations you show above and regard him for what he is; a doctor who BLOGS about science.

      • lilady R.N.

        Your opinion of Dr. David Gorski, M.D., PhD (Cellular Physiology), does not count Suz.

      • suz norkan

        Neither does YOURS, since both are off topic. I merely responded to Mikey’s off topic remark regarding his obsession with orac; much like yourself.

        Again, I remind you, the topic is Kennedy, NOT gorski!

      • lilady R.N.

        You are quite mistaken about David Gorski, MD….who is a double doc.

        1. He has a medical degree

        2. He has a PhD in cellular physiology

      • suz norkan

        I thought the topic was Kennedy/vax, not orac! Focus Please!

      • suz norkan

        Has NADA to do with sludge, which Mikey brought up merely to disparage an expert microbiologist in a feeble attempt to advance his own pov.

        And neither is Dr. Lewis a ‘good buddy of mine’, so yet another childish insult from nursie.

        You are NOT on topic nursie. You’d rather banter with suz.

      • suz norkan

        You are NOT on topic, as you blatantly and purposefully misrepresent any relationship between myself and Dr. Lewis, along with your other negative and petty statements about his private live.

        You have again ‘strayed’ from the topic of Kennedy’s book and vax, merely to disparage another, which you erroneously felt would advance your pov.

      • lilady R.N.

        I did not bring up the name of David Lewis, because the human waste sludge expert is not an expert on vaccines.

      • suz norkan

        Another respondent HAD, and I replied to their comment. Stay on the topic of Kennedy/vax, thank you!

    • Boris Ogon

      OK, I’ll do it myself:

      We pray that … the scourges of poverty, disease and ignorance will be made to disappear from the earth.

      So, who’s arguing for which, and it what order? Who’s holding the conspiracy theory?

      much of what you read in the scientific literature that has been funded by the federal government– some agency – is actually engineered to produce results that support certain government policies and industry practices, and that is an area that is heavily impacting research on autism

      “Engineered” how? “Impacting” how? What “research” is being squelched?

    • suz norkan

      The comment below is complete off topic grandstanding from B.O. and has nothing to do with the article. Most sophisticated respondents certainly understand ‘conflicts of interest’ in research.

      • suz norkan

        The comment relating to Eisenhower’s Second Warning clearly speaks to science being owned by governments, while they are supplying funds and grants to big name universities to do research. This certainly makes it easier to consider payees altering results to suit the payers. This greatly influences ones outlook of data and evidence accepted, and effects everything from Kennedy’s book to the amount of mercury we’re told one can safely ingest

        While the comment below is a nice red herring, the 3 scourges have nothing to do with science, universities, Eisenhower’s Warning, OR research and evidence; but have everything to do with the poster’s play to the crowd and of which again deviates from the topic being discussed here.

    • Boris Ogon

      Ahem (emphasis added).

      President Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican and a fiscal conservative, also believed that the federal government had no proper a role in health care. Consequently, Eisenhower took little interest in his Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW). What’s more, Eisenhower’s Secretary of HEW, Oveta Culp Hobby, was even more conservative in that regard than Eisenhower himself. In 1955, after the field trials showed the Salk vaccine to be a success, and with the public clamoring for it, there were insufficient amounts of the vaccine available to meet the public’s demands. Thus, even some Republicans were stunned to learn that the Eisenhower administration had taken no actions whatsoever to watch over production of the vaccine or its distribution, believing that this was in the province of the drug companies. When pressed on this, Mrs. Hobby responded: “I think no one could have foreseen the public demand.

      Not surprisingly, American drug companies lobbied intensely to keep vaccine production under their own control. A different scenario played out in Canada, where the government viewed polio as a national crisis, and took control of its vaccination program, with overwhelming public support.

    • suz norkan

      Ahem! The insignificant tirade cut and pasted below is as far off topic {emphasis added to OFF TOPIC are mine} as any poster can get, and of course are merely to feed the ego of the paster/poster, while being completely irrelevant to everyone else.

      • Boris Ogon

        I suppose that is up to the actual moderators rather than a pretend one who has said nothing whatever about RFK, Jr.’s book that I can recall.

      • suz norkan

        The poster below is the one who is NOT staying on the topic of Kennedy and vax.

      • Boris Ogon

        The poster below is the one who is NOT staying on the topic of Kennedy and vax.

        Why, then, did you vote up the comment of @disqus_V3478PXLLT:disqus to start with?

    • Boris Ogon

      I would further note that David Lewis quoted selectively: The sentence before “in the same fashion” (get it? same as?) is “Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields.”

      One thus might wonder what @disqus_V3478PXLLT:disqus thinks the proper outcome is, given the invocation.

    • suz norkan

      The following comment has NOT ONE THING to do with the article and this comment section.

  • LZ

    Really? This garbage from the Union of Concerned Scientists? The caption under the photo above: “A doctor prepares to give a MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccination in Ethiopia. Childhood vaccines outside the U.S. still contain thimerosal because it has proven safe, effective, and economical.” An article published by the Union of Concerned Scientists should not contain such an erroneous and misleading statement. Since the MMR contains 3 live viruses, it does not, nor has it ever contained thimerosol, as the thimerosol would kill the attenuated viruses. I am really disappointed to see such a scientifically flawed, biased and politically motivated review, coming from the Union of Concerned Scientists. Makes me wonder what your group of scientists is really concerned about. And exactly how does a PhD in English qualify this author to speak for scientists in this blog?

    • Deborah Bailin

      That caption doesn’t say that the vaccine that this particular doctor is preparing contains thimerosal. It just says she is prepping an MMR shot and that childdhood vaccines in other countries contain thimerosal. Sorry, it could have been clearer, but there’s nothing factually untrue in the caption. A request for clarity does not warrrant ad hominem attacks. And what exactly is it you think is political in this post? It’s a review of a book.

      • LZ

        Anyone with a basic understanding would not have written such a misleading caption. The implication is that MMR contains thimerosol. As an expert in English, you would have edited that out if you had a clue. Couldn’t the Union of Concerned “Scientists” find a “scientist” to join in the media frenzy in discrediting RFK, his coauthors and anyone that agrees with him? Your asking what is political about your review is further evidence that you were not qualified to write it.

      • Deborah Bailin

        Friend, your anger and hostility towards me and towards UCS say more about you than about us. I’m sorry that you found the caption misleading, but a misleading caption is not evidence that an entire post is, as you say, “garbage.” Where else is your evidence? I provided support for my assertions about the book, but you have not supported your claim that the review is not valid.

        Furthermore, this post is not a personal attack on RFK or an effort to discredit him or his coauthors. As I stated, Kennedy has done a lot of good work on other issues, like climate change. We applaud him for that. But in our estimation, he has not lived up to that standard with this book.

        Attacking my credibility is a diversionary tactic that underscores what appears to be your inability to engage with the questions I’ve raised about the book. There’s a pretty robust conversation going among some of he other commenters who are engaging with the post. I invite you to join it.

      • LZ

        I do not need to read what liberals and progressives think. I don’t subscribe to the prevailing view. I have my own mind, have done my own research, and have formed my own opinion.
        I am not angry or hostile towards you. I am pointing out that you are not a scientist and should not have been chosen to review this book because you simply do not have the education to have a deep understanding and insight into the body of science and related branches of science and medicine that the book is about.

      • Dorit Reiss

        You have pointed to nothing the author of the article got wrong besides the fact that you don’t like the caption of the picture. Whether or not you think she can or cannot understand the body of science is not relevant to the substance of her critique. Plenty of people with no science background say things about this book. Kennedy himself has no science background.

        Attacking the author’s qualifications really does not make her very valid points go away.

      • Deborah Bailin

        Yes, t’s the easy way out of an argument you know you are losing. If you don’t like the message but can’t refute it, attack the messenger.

      • LZ

        As an environmental attorney, Kennedy has dealt with scientific issues his entire career. He did not write this book by himself. In her review, Bailin has attacked the credibility of Boyd Haley, the Geiers and anyone else who she disagrees with, but, as I have stated multiple times already, she does not possess the background to know which end is up with regard to the science and those conducting it. She has to rely on others for her analysis and she has no way of knowing if the analysis that she is handed and buys into, is feasible. Her review also seems competitive and defensive, that RFK et al, couldn’t possibly come up with something that the UCS hasn’t already seen and presented to the public: “If there were a story to be told—as the book claims—about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention colluding with the pharmaceutical industry on a vaccine policy conspiracy, we would be telling it.” Are they jealous? Did RFK et al step on their toes?

      • Deborah Bailin

        LOL!! LZ, I’m impressed. You’ve uncovered our hidden motive at last: “Her review also seems competitive and defensive, that RFK et al, couldn’t possibly come up with something that the UCS hasn’t …. re they jealous? Did RFK et al step on their toes?”

        Comic relief is more than welcome!

      • lilady R.N.

        According to the rogue reporter, formerly of AoA, who now has his own blog, Boyd Haley is quoted as stating that Mr. Kennedy is a traitor to the “Thimerosal causes autism theory”…because Mr. Kennedy removed whole swaths of the more preposterous statements from his book.

      • Proponent

        “As an environmental attorney, Kennedy has dealt with scientific issues his entire career. He did not write this book by himself.”

        He did not write the book himself.

        Meaning.. what.. exactly?

        Research, information (questionable, it would appear) was used by him.. but.. not performed by himself personally?

        “She has to rely on others for her analysis and she has no way of knowing if the analysis that she is handed and buys into, is feasible.”

        Pretty sure you contradicted yourself with respect to your two statements/sentences above.. and that is.. within the span of a couple of sentences.

      • Dorit Reiss

        I’m not sure why you’re assuming the author had to rely on others, and you have still not pointed out to any substantive errors in the review.

      • lilady R.N.

        “I am not angry or hostile towards you. I am pointing out that you are not a scientist and should not have been chosen to review this book because you simply do not have the education to have a deep understanding and insight into the body of science and related branches of science and medicine that the book is about.”

        Why don’t you tell us about your education and your “deep understanding and insight into the body of science and related branches of science and medicine that the book is about”?

        So far as I can see you have chosen to only discuss what you perceive to be an error in the choice of a stock photo used (a doctor reconstituting the lyopholized MMR vaccine with the sterile water diluent provided by the vaccine manufacturer) and the caption beneath it.

      • Mike Stevens

        Ouch, that one’s gotta hurt, LZ

    • Dorit Reiss

      To remind you, the article nowhere says that MMR contains thimerosal.

      Latching onto the picture’s caption is excellent evidence that you cannot actually contest any of the claims in the article.

  • Investigate_Vaccine_Management

    “There was a much higher proportion of inorganic Hg in the brain of thimerosal monkeys than in the brains of MeHg monkeys (up to 71% vs. 10%). Absolute inorganic Hg concentrations in the brains of the thimerosal-exposed monkeys were approximately twice that of the MeHg monkeys. Interestingly, the inorganic fraction in the kidneys of the same cohort of monkeys was also significantly higher after im thimerosal than after oral MeHg exposure (0.71 ± 0.04 vs. 0.40 ± 0.03). This suggests that the dealkylation of ethylmercury is much more extensive than that of MeHg.”

    Comparison of Blood and Brain Mercury Levels in Infant Monkeys Exposed to Methylmercury or Vaccines Containing Thimerosal (Burbacher, Clarkson et al.)
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1280342/

    • Dorit Reiss

      To remind you, Burbacher also concluded that thimerosal leaves the body much quickly. His only real conclusion was that you cannot stipulate from methyl mercury to ethyl mercury – they are too different.

      Multiple studies examining thimerosal in vaccines found that it did not affect neuropsychological development, showing no brain damage from it.

    • Krebiozen

      Investigate_Vaccine_Management,
      You seem to have missed some of the most important findings in that study, for example:

      A much lower brain concentration of total Hg was observed in the thimerosal monkeys compared with the MeHg monkeys, that is, a 3- to 4-fold difference for an equivalent exposure of Hg. Moreover, total Hg is cleared much more rapidly from the brain after thimerosal than after MeHg exposure (24 vs. 60 days).

      And:

      Total Hg derived from im thimerosal is cleared from the infant M. fascicularis much more quickly than MeHg. The washout T1/2 of total blood Hg after im injections of thimerosal in vaccines is much shorter than the T1/2 of MeHg (6.9 vs. 19.1 days).

      We know from other studies that only a tiny proportion of IM injected thimerosal is retained in the brain, 0.22 +/- 0.04% in this study.

      We also know that on average each of us ingests about 900 micrograms of methylmercury each year in food, and we retain at least 800 micrograms of that.
      http://ec.europa.eu/health/opinions/en/dental-amalgam/figtableboxes/table-1.htm .

      So, if less than 0.5% of the thimerosal in a yearly flu vaccine is retained in the brain, that’s less than 0.2 micrograms of ethylmercury, as compared to the 800 micrograms of the more toxic methylmercury retained each year as a result of eating fish. Even 800 micrograms is a tiny amount; a drop of water weighs about 50,000 micrograms.

      I see no reason for alarm, or even concern, here.

  • Investigate_Vaccine_Management

    “[T]he scientific evidence that PMA and thimerosal cause reproductive toxicity is clear and voluminous…. severe mental retardation or malformations in human offspring who were poisoned when their mothers were exposed to ethyl mercury or thimerosal while pregnant….”

    California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment
    http://www.oehha.ca.gov/prop65/CRNR_notices/pdf_zip/hgbayer1.pdf

    • Deborah Bailin

      Thanks, but you’re quoting things out of context. The link you provided is from a petition Bayer submitted to have thimerosal’s status changed as a mercury containing substance. The company’s petition was denied by COEHHA, because nobody is saying that thimerosal does not contain mercury. However, the amuonts in vaccines have been shown to be safe. Even under California’s Mercury Free Act, trace amounts are still utilized in some vaccines because research has shown that those amounts are safe http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/immunize/Pages/CaliforniaThimerosalLaw.aspx

      • Boris Ogon

        “Investigate_Vaccine_Management” is Nancy Hokkanen, in case anyone’s keeping score.

      • Deborah Bailin

        Always good to keep score. The autism/thimerosal thing is the unspoken elephant in the room. It seems a lot of the vaccine opposition in these comments (though not all) is coming from that direction. There was a chapter on that thoroughly debunked idea in an earlier draft of the book, but even Kennedy’s co-authors found it too off the wall and insisted it be removed from the published version. And yet the chapter didn’t even need to be there, apparently, to fire up that old debate.

      • ciaparker2

        Thank you, Boris, for confirming that she is a trustworthy source of information. How unlike you to be so helpful!

      • Boris Ogon

        How unlike a “trustworthy source of information” to fail to disclose being a board member of the Canary Party and “National Health Freedom Coalition.”

      • Mike Stevens

        That people might think “Age of Autism” is a trustworthy source of vaccine and autism science is quite laughable.

      • ciaparker2

        How modest of her to fail to flaunt these feathers in her cap, her credentials as a person standing against the medical tyranny that would like to force everyone to submit to all the countless vaccines available these days, and brush all the cases of permanent disability or death caused by them under the carpet! Is it usual for blog commenters to provide a list of all their affiiations and credentials? What are yours?

      • Boris Ogon

        How modest of her to fail to flaunt these feathers in her cap

        Cynthia, in the real world, this is known as a screaming, undisclosed conflict of interest by a political operative.

        By the way, how do you suppose you would react if Prof. Reiss tried a similar stunt?

      • suz norkan

        Cia, it doesn’t appear that B.O. has answered your query regarding his own credentials. I’m sure if he HAD any, that between his magniloquent turgidity, along with his severe assuetudes, the readers would never hear the end of it.

        I would also suggest that B.O. acquire a good dictionary and encyclopedia, since in nearly every post, he incessantly requires his opposition to define and even conceptualize for him.

        B.O.’s demands include but are not limited to: ‘define well known – clarify ilk – explicitly explain what that is – identify the three – define your four terms – rephrase in english'; and he fails to understand simple phrases, such as my two faves, ‘stay on target’ and ‘PERSONA NON GRATA’.

        I suppose we shouldn’t withhold our oxygen waiting for B.O. to supply his credentials.

      • suz norkan

        Cia, I don’t think we should withhold our oxygen waiting for B.O. to cough up his credentials, or have adequate understanding of words such as mandatory or persona non grata anytime soon.

      • suz norkan

        List of credentials and acceptance of communication non grata. I doubt we’ll see either any time soon cia.

      • suz norkan

        Since B.O.’s personal slam and off topic post below still stands, I think it’s only fair to again ask for him to supply his own affiliations and credentials.

  • Investigate_Vaccine_Management

    Fair use excerpt from Evidence of Harm by David Kirby, on the October 23 Vaccine Safety Datalink analysis enacted after Congressional intervention:

    “The risk for autism increased significantly with each additional 25 micrograms of
    mercury. When they finally calculated the relative risk for autism at each
    exposure level, the Geiers were shocked to find that children who received
    three mercury-containing DTaP shots had an increased risk of autism nearly 27
    times that of children who got three preservative-free vaccines.

    “The woman did not seem surprised. She told the Geiers that she had been running VSD data on thimerosal for quite some time. She knew these numbers inside out….

    “She was assigned to look at the most recent data, checking to see what the rates for autism were doing. She was asked to determine if the numbers of diagnoses had begun to decline, especially in the younger children. If so, this would implicate thimerosal, which began to be phased out in 2000.

    “‘The autism numbers are going down,’ she said. ‘We’re watching them drop.'”

    • Dorit Reiss

      Like Kirby, Kennedy also relied on the Geiers’ problematic, misleading work. Like Kirby, Kennedy’s doing so is a point against him.

      I’m a little shock that Age of Autism people, so quick to call conflicts of interests, are willing to quote the Geiers’ debunked studies: it’s hard to have a more blatant conflict of interests than the same people doing (fatally flawed) studies to show thimerosal causes autism and then selling cures to remove thimerosal and cure autism. Up to and including chemically castrating young children.

  • Investigate_Vaccine_Management

    Concerned scientists should also read “Thimerosal is a Developmental Neurotoxicant” by toxicologist George W. Lucier, PhD — an advisor to the National Institutes of Health, a member of the NAS Committee on Toxicity Testing and a member of the Science Advisory Board for the EPA, and editor of the scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives for 28 years.

    • Deborah Bailin

      The opinion of one rogue scientist does not outweigh the consensus. Lucier has been making that argument for the better part of the past two decades, despite the build-up of evidence cited throughout this thread to the contrary. It’s the same argument the Kennedy book is trying to make. And the company Lucier keeps doesn’t help his credibility. The 2013 letter he signed to Kathleen Sibelius http://www.asmallmiracleinc.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=hfwJlT_6dfk%3D is also signed by Boyd Haley http://americanloons.blogspot.com/2013/10/737-boyd-haley.html

    • Boris Ogon

      and a member of the Science Advisory Board for the EPA, and editor of the scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives for 28 years

      Lest this be misread, Lucier is not on the editorial board of EHP.

  • Deborah Bailin

    Thanks to everyone who has been reading and commenting. I think we’ve done a reasonable job of keeping this conversation civil, despite a lot of disagreement, and I hope we can keep it that way.

    I would like to point out, however, that my original post is about a book about the issue of thimerosal in vaccines, and the conversation has veered pretty far away from there. Perhaps this conversation illustrates exactly what some of us knew this book would provoke — i.e. generalized doubts about vaccines based on misinformation and a badly constructed argument about a specific vaccine issue.

    Would it be too much to ask that we try to turn the conversation back to the book?

    • ciaparker2

      I reacted to the DPT at three months old with several days of screaming, presumably vaccine encephalitis just as my daughter experienced reacting to the hep-B vaccine years later. She had symptoms of mercury poisoning too, sweating even in cool rooms, a rash, copious drooling until she was ten. Diagnosed with autism at 20 months. The day I got a tetanus booster before going to Mexico for the first time, both my arms were paralyzed for several days, and my dorm roommate had to help me eat in the cafeteria and get dressed. Brachial plexus neuropathy, a neurological reaction to the mercury in the vaccine. I was later diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when I had another episode. It may be that the brachial plexus neuropathy was the first manifestation of the MS.
      This is our experience, shared by many others. I don’t think you can dismiss both my arms being paralyzed the same day as the tetanus booster as a coincidence. I don’t think mercury in vaccines is their only problem, but it has certainly been a devastating problem for many thousands since it was first used in the diphtheria vaccine in 1933. I’m glad Kennedy is once again directing public attention to this problem, but it’s hard to understand why it’s taking so long to take a deadly poison out of the vaccines people inject into their children. Ethylmercury is just as dangerous as methylmercury. I really just don’t get it. Will it make the vaccine companies liable for all the damage the mercury has caused in injectees all these years if they admit it wasn’t a good thing to inject into people? Is that why they’re defending it to the bitter end?

      • Proponent

        “Brachial plexus neuropathy, a neurological reaction to the mercury in the vaccine.”

        And who.. pray tell.. conferred this diagnosis?

      • lilady R.N.

        “”Brachial plexus neuropathy, a neurological reaction to the mercury in the vaccine.” ???

        Another of Dr. Parker’s diagnoses…along with her diagnosis that her infant had “an encephalitic cry” indicative of encephalitis due to a hepatitis B vaccine.

        There’s no need to take your infant immediately to a hospital emergency room for an evaluation, when you are an excellent doctor/diagnostician.

      • Mike Stevens

        It’s all self diagnosis.
        “Professorr” Parker knows more than any expert. She has the internet, you see, combined with a vivid imagination.

      • Mike Stevens

        It was self diagnosis by her.

      • Mike Stevens

        You can’t blame “mercury” for the fact that your family suffers from a hereditary condition (neurexin-1 gene deletion) that impairs neuronal synapsing and causes autism.

        Deborah Bailin has laid out in fair detail the problems with the notion that ethyl mercury causes autism. If you have any evidence (other than your misguided personal anecdotes) that it can cause problems you mention, please feel free to share them.

  • lilady R.N.

    Sorry. Kennedy got it wrong and has perpetuated the myth of vaccines causing autism.

    He’s whining, now that multiple science journalists and science bloggers have called him out for his continual assault of public health initiatives to protect infants and children from serious, oftentimes deadly, vaccine-preventable-diseases.

    Mr. Kennedy needs to apologize for his leadership and participation in this pseudoscience-calculated-to-deceive-gullible parents-campaign. Shame on Mr. Kennedy for his support of anti-vaccine and anti-science groups…and for publishing this downright deceitful, defamatory book.

    • lielady, R.N. (Really Not)

      It’s a defamatory book because I don’t agree with it, and I don’t like it. Even though (as mentioned in another comment) I have never, nor do I intend to, read the book. As a nurse, I shouldn’t be spending time reading anything that challenges my own biases.

  • Vito Alexander Pavlovic

    Vaccines are not safe, that’s the problem, so they have to pretend that Kennedy got it wrong, but not really, this man is just trying to prevent millions of other children from being vaccine injured, and I commend him.You have to be a total fool to believe that Thimerosal is safe.

    • Sullivan ThePoop

      Vaccines are extremely safe and Kennedy is wrong and causing injury to millions of children with his deception. You have to be completely ignorant of chemistry and biochemistry to believe that thimerosal in the amount in vaccines is harmful.

    • Dorit Reiss

      The evidence is that adverse events from vaccines are extremely rare: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2014/06/26/peds.2014-1079.abstract. Not vaccinating children will do the opposite of preventing injury: it will leave millions of children at risk of diseases that can harm or even kill them.

      Misrepresenting the evidence in a way that will scare people away from vaccinating is an injustice to those people.

      • ciaparker2

        So what you’re saying, Dorit, is that organizations held together by thousands of vested interests bound up with vaccine companies, urge us to believe that vaccines are safe, serious reactions very rare, and that all of us damaged by vaccines and with autistic children who reacted quite dramatically to vaccines, are all completely mistaken and should not be believed? Just want to make sure I’ve understood your message correctly, as I see that you’ve posted it hundreds of times a day all over the Internet for over a year.

      • Dorit Reiss

        No. I’m not sure how you understood what I said in such an inaccurate way. Studies done all over the world, by a range of actors, with multiple sources of funding – by pharmaceutical companies, yes, but also by governments, non-profits, and universities – all consistently find that the risks of modern vaccines are very, very small.

        While a minority of parents still believe their children’s autism is done by vaccine, researchers spend millions of dollars and countless hours looking at whether there is such a link. None was found. There is increasing evidence that autism is genetic.

        The fact that some parents still cling to this connection in the face of the evidence is sad. Sad for them, since it buries them in guilt, bitterness and anger. Sad for others, since it diverts resources that could be used for promising avenues of research and helping the autism community into fruitless debunking of this myth again and again, wronging the autists and their families. And sad for still others who may be scared by these debunked claim away from protecting children against disease.

      • Boris Ogon

        Just want to make sure I’ve understood your message correctly, as I see that you’ve posted it hundreds of times a day all over the Internet for over a year.

        Amusingly, Cynthia, you have 4069 Disqus comments and Prof. Reiss has 4097.

      • Mike Stevens

        And Doris has twice the number of “votes”

    • Boris Ogon

      Victor, I remain curious as to why you refuse to comment under you own name rather than your son’s.

  • Maurinemeleck

    If anyone thinks that The Union of Concerned Scientists isn’t in collusion with the government health officials and drug makers, then they are wrong. This group pretends to be a totally independent group of scientists, but we know that that is nonsense. Therefore, this review of Kennedy’s book is without any credibility. Oh please do use the Ebola virus as another scare tactic. Let’s hope that this book will educate more parents so they can make good decisions on their own about whether or not to vaccinate. Vaccine choice and parental consent must prevail.

    • Deborah Bailin

      Please provide evidence of such collusion. UCS was founded by scientists critical of how government agencies and corporations were misusing science, and our work has remained true to this mission over the last four and a half decades http://www.ucsusa.org/about/ucs-history-over-40-years.html

      We live in a democracy, and that means parents do have the choice of vaccinating or not — and that is as it should be. Unfortunately, rising rates of vaccine-preventable sickness and death have been the result. As a society, we need to reckon with the consequences of these uninformed decisions. This book isn’t helping.

      • Maurinemeleck

        howe ver, we feel our decisions are very well informed. We totally disagree with you and if you have a problem with that and we don’t vaccinate because we are informed and if you say there are consequences to not vaccinating and we have the democratic right to refuse -then I guess you just have to live with our decisions. So much for the consequences, You can vaccinate until the fat lady sings. Get over our choices

      • Deborah Bailin

        Choices have consequences beyond how they affect us individually. I would hope that you, as someone who shares in the privileges of our democracy, could appreciate that with rights come responsibilities.

      • Maurinemeleck

        well so many of us are dealing with really sick autistic kids so I doubt we have much time to worry about your kids. Yes, choices have consequences and we chose when the kids were born, thinking that we were told the truth about safe vaccines was true, to vaccinate and now our kids have totally dysfunctional immune systems.

      • Maurinemeleck

        I would hope you appreciate our side and what we have to deal with and what our rights are now.

      • Deborah Bailin

        I do appreciate what you’re going through. I have a close relative on the autism spectrum. Because it is so difficult for family members and because there is so much we don’t know about autism, it’s easy to want to hold onto answers and explanations that seem obvious, even when the evidence isn’t there. I know what it’s like to want those answers, and that’s why I’m trying to be respectful (apologies if in any of my comments I’ve come across otherwise) and why I’m urging people to try to be civil and have a real conversation here — rather than hurl insults and accusations.

      • Maurinemeleck

        I agree that civil is best. But I do have the answers. My grandson was injured by his vaccines. I saw it, lived it, am still living it. I have hundreds and hundreds of people on the net and elsewhere who know too. We don’t ever need to be patronized or told that we are looking for answers. We have the answers. You disagree, then you simply disagree.

      • notation

        No, you believe you have the answers. You do not know what caused your grandson’s injuries. Your “hundreds and hundreds” don’t have the answers, either.

      • Maurinemeleck

        You can choose to say that I don’t have the answers, but I know I have the answer. You believe that vaccines don’t cause autism, but you don’t have the answer for that either. You believe that vaccines don’t cause autism. We could go round and round with this but let’s leave it at that. We have different beliefs.

      • notation

        My “beliefs” aren’t based on nothing. Yours are. You simply wish to blame vaccines for autism. That isn’t based on any substance or data or science whatsoever.

        Don’t pretend that your opinion and mine are equally valid. You do not have the answer. Just because we don’t YET know what causes autism does not mean it ‘must’ be vaccines.

      • Maurinemeleck

        Neither are mine. I believe in the science of scientists like Boyd Haley and Brian Hooker. You believe in the science of people like Paul Offit, thief Paol Thorsen and Seth Mnookin.
        my opinions are as valid, if not more, than yours. We do not know yet that vaccines don’t cause autism. I have read much science showing a link but yours is based on a thief and agencies that also mandate the vaccines with huge conflicts of interest.

      • notation

        The people you cite don’t deal in science.

        Paul Offit is no more a thief than you are.

        Opinions based on no solid science are not valid when it comes to scientific evidence. You can believe whatever you choose; doesn’t make it true.

      • Maurinemeleck

        Hooker and Haley are scientists. the thief is Thorsen.. Where have you been?
        Oh dear, you too can believe what you want. It doesn’t make it true.

      • Mike Stevens

        1. You call Thorsen a “thief” for being accused of (not convicted, mind you) of financial fraud unconnected to the science of his studies. Can you explain how this might affect the science in the previously published articles of which he was merely one of many co-authors?
        2. If Thorsen is characterised as a thief, what would you call someone found guilty of dishonesty and who cannot explain what happened to research funding he received for an autism study?

      • lilady R.N.

        I believe the person you mean is the individual referred to recently on AoA, as a “disenfranchised scientist”.

        Is that like Bernie Madoff, who is a “disenfranchised financier”?

      • lilady R.N.

        Boyd Haley is now criticizing Mr. Kennedy according to the rogue reporter, who left AoA more than a year ago.

        Brian Hooker? Is he one of the scientists who prefers “anonymity” according to Mr. Kennedy? Mr. Hooker knows nothing about immunology, virology, bacteriology and the epidemiology of vaccine-preventable-diseases. He also has a pending case before the United States Court of Federal Claims (Vaccine Court) on behalf of his autistic child who he claims is “vaccine injuried”.

        A short while ago, after filing hundreds of FOIA requests, he thought he found “the smoking gun” within one of those FOIA requests. The “smoking gun” has been available for years on the internet.

        You remember science blogger Emily Willingham’s post on Forbes, where she shattered Mr. Hooker’s delusion about that “smoking gun”, don’t you?

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywillingham/2014/03/01/who-was-first-with-shocking-cdc-autism-data/

      • lielady, R.N. (Really Not)

        Also remember that since Brian Hooker doesn’t have credentials in any of the disciplines mentioned in the previous comment, neither do such autism experts such as David Gorski (aka Orac…but don’t tell anyone I told you) and Emily Willingham. However, since their views support my bias, as a nurse, I can safely believe anything they say. And so can you!

      • lilady R.N.

        I have great empathy for parents whose children have been diagnosed with ASDs …or any other developmental disability or disorder.

        My son was born in 1976 with a rare genetic disorder which caused multiple and profound physical, intellectual and medical disabilities…with “autistic-like behaviors”…not autism (DSM II Diagnostic Criteria).

        The overwhelming majority of parents of children diagnosed with ASDs/developmental disabilities do not refer to their children as “vaccine damaged”. They are aghast that some parents have engaged in scientifically unproven, invasive, dangerous practices (chemical castrations/chelation, industrial bleach enemas and IV intrathecal stem cell transplants in filthy, unregulated offshore clinics), to “recover/cure” their autistic children.

        I have not read Mr. Kennedy’s book, but I rely on the science journalists’ who have read and evaluated his book. Mr. Kennedy and his fixation on Thimerosal as the “trigger” for autism is wrong:

        http://www.chop.edu/service/vaccine-education-center/vaccine-safety/vaccine-ingredients/thimerosal.html

      • Dorit Reiss

        Since autism is not caused by vaccines, not vaccinating would not have prevented the autism; just leave those children in the additional risk of preventable disease.

      • LZ

        Like most drugs, containing thimerosol or not, all vaccines carry the risk of illness, disability and death, and, not only that, but the pathophysiology behind serious vaccine reactions is not understood, nor can it be predicted which individuals will be harmed or killed. Are you saying that people have a responsibility to risk their children’s lives in order to theoretically or actually save others? Because that philosophical belief is eerily similar to the ancient practice of child sacrifice. Any informed parent will and should choose to protect his or her child first.

      • Deborah Bailin

        Why not just come out and say that you think vaccination is the equivalent of child sacrifice? The vast majority of informed parents are choosing vaccination, fortunately, because they know it’s the best way too protect their children.

      • LZ

        I did. You know, you’re a little too emotional and involved in the discussion of your own piece to be credible as a reviewer of this book. You obviously were biased before you ever read it, if you did read it.

      • Deborah Bailin

        Yes, I enjoy discussing my work. There’s nothing wrong with that. Why are you so obsessed with attacking my credibility? If the review is flawed, please refute it. If I’m such an unqualified reviewer, it should be very easy to do.

      • LZ

        I am not obsessed with attacking your credibility. You do not have the background to understand and evaluate the positions of the scientists that you are choosing to believe and that is the basis for your opinion and this review. Not all scientists agree with your position and it is telling that the UCS did not have a scientist write this review.

      • Deborah Bailin

        If you’re not obsessed, why do you keep repeating yourself? If you don’t like my review, engage with it and refute it, as I keep inviting you to do. I supported my critique with evidence. If you are incapable of engaging with that evidence, it suggests you lack the background to understand and evaluate the issues under discussion.

      • LZ

        I am repeating my position because you keep asking me to. Instead of accepting my statement about your lack of qualifications, you first accused me of ad hominem attacks against you, then you characterized me as being angry and hositle towards you, finally you accuse me of being obsessed. You have attacked the credibility of several parties in your review based on their work and associations, yet you attack me for pointing out that you have a PhD in English, a credential which does not qualify you to review a book on thimerosol in vaccines for the Union of Concerned Scientists. No hostility, no anger, no obsession. If you keep mischaracterizing me and my intent, you should not be surprised if I continue to clarify.

      • Deborah Bailin

        The credibility issues I raised in the post were about people who were misusing evidence to mislead the public, an issue you keep trying to sidestep by saying you think I’m not qualified to talk about the issue.

        If you think I’m wrong in how I characterized them, again, please enlighten us by explaining how because you haven’t done so yet.

      • Boris Ogon

        You do not have the background to understand and evaluate the positions of the scientists that you are choosing to believe and that is the basis for your opinion and this review.

        LZ, I presume that you are “Linda1″ at AoA. Would you care to share the “background” that you possess that Ms. Bailin specifically lacks?

      • Deborah Bailin

        Perhaps LZ is afraid we would challenge her/his credibility if we knew her/his true identity.

        But in all seriousness, this circular argument about credentials brings up the issue of science literacy and why it’s important in our society today — more so than ever before because of the increasing influence of science on our daily lives. Experts in any given field have a vital role to play in elevating debate and advising policy makers and the public. However, the need for all of us — scientists in different fields, non-scientists, people without fancy credentials of any kind — to be able to grapple with complex, technical information beyond the boundaries of our own formal education is paramount in being able to participate fully as informed citizens in our democracy. I came to UCS to help advance the role of science in our society because I see basic science literacy slipping away — and, if we don’t do something about it, our democracy will eventually slip away along with it.

        In conversations like this present one, I want people to seek out experts, but I also want them to be able to differentiate facts and factual evidence from opinions, values, and beliefs when talking about the issues they care about. That’s why, while I appreciate LZ’s call for a review from an epidemiologist or toxicologist or other relevant expert, I am also disappointed that she/he is only willing to criticize me and not step back from her/his opinions about the book and critically engage with the questions I raised about it.

      • Boris Ogon
        Why not just come out and say that you think vaccination is the equivalent of child sacrifice?

        I did. You know, you’re a little too emotional and involved in the discussion of your own piece to be credible as a reviewer of this book.

        That’s a keeper.

      • lilady R.N.

        Still waiting…for you and your colleagues to stay on topic and provide specific criticism of Deborah Baillin’s analysis of Mr. Kennedy’s book.

      • suz norkan

        I also maintain the conception of the ‘sacrificial lambs’ along with that of ‘innocent babes as human guinea pigs’!

      • Dorit Reiss

        Since the risk of modern vaccines is very small, and much smaller than the risks of not vaccinating, people leaving their children unvaccinated are choosing the bigger risk for those children and others.

        I’d say it’s fair for the state to regulate to protect children from their parents’ error and to protect others, yes.

      • suz norkan

        Are we back to mandatory vax Dorit?

      • Dorit Reiss

        Nope. There’s a range of options included in the term state regulation. My views on this are hardly secret. I believe it’s appropriate to place the costs of non-vaccination on those making the choice; I believe school immunization requirements are justified, though I think it’s important to have an out – a personal choice exemption, though I’d make it hard to get to avoid exemptions of convenience.

      • suz norkan

        Convenience, no exemption. But personal belief, ok for exempt.? Just to understand you correctly.

      • Dorit Reiss

        I don’t like the term belief, because that implies it needs to be something like religious belief. I like the term personal choice because that reflects people opting out for whatever reasons. And yes, I think it’s appropriate to have one – though I’d make it hard to get, with procedural hoops, mostly geared towards educational requirements, again, to make sure it’s used by the ones with strong feelings against vaccines.

      • Dorit Reiss

        I haven’t seen any reason to change my mind on this yet. I could be convinced otherwise – for example, if this kind of system leads to many outbreaks and children die – but that would be my first choice.

      • suz norkan

        Thank you. I appreciate your time. We’ll leave the lawsuits against the non vax, anti mandatory vax, and even anti vax for another comment section.

      • LZ

        Very slick. Law professor Reiss knows very well that a religious belief is protected by the American Constitution, so she suggests that we do away with that inconvenient little detail. Just call it a “choice”, because all choices are not protected by the Constitution, and that’s where she plans to take her war on America to the finish line – the end of exemptions, the end of choice, the end of informed consent, the end of medical freedom. Just roll up your sleeves everyone, whenever and wherever you are asked to if Dorit Reiss and her friends have their way.

      • Dorit Reiss

        Actually, in this context you’re wrong. Our Constitution does protect religious belief, but there is no Constitutional right to a religious exemption from a general law, like vaccines mandates. As court after court repeatedly confirmed, a state does not have to offer a religious exemption.

      • suz norkan

        Oh LZ! Have I been duped and ‘rope a doped’ by Dorit? “Procedural hoops”. Okay! “Education”. Sounds like ‘informed consent’ and then the parent can choose to opt out and acquire the exemption. Goody! That’s all this anti mandatory vax suz could ever hope for.

        And I would also have to contemplate reconsideration should many children begin to become sick and die from outbreaks, IF that were to ever happen.

        But I must have missed the HARD part, other than the prior post which is where it said ‘hard to get to avoid exemptions of convenience’. If someone is too preoccupied to take a child for medical interventions, then they need to be investigated for more reasons than non vax.

        Dorit, have I been defrauded by your Delphian legalese?

      • Boris Ogon

        This, apparently, is what is supposed to pass for a version of the reflexive complaint to “stay on target.”

      • suz norkan

        persona non grata would also mean communication non grata

      • suz norkan

        So those ‘with strong feeling against vaccines’ get the VAX or the exemption?

        “I think it’s appropriate to have ONE”? “Again, to make sure it’s used by the ones with strong feelings against vaccines”?

        So are we again, back to mandatory vax Dorit?

      • Dorit Reiss

        Really. Read the comment. You’re smarter than that. It says that I want to limit the exemption to those with strong feelings against vaccines.

      • suz norkan

        I am smarter than that Dorit. But it was the same with your comment regarding a stalker several days ago, which as written, was quite confusing and even misleading, and which you had chosen to edit after you reconsidered your wording.

        I may not be a law professor like yourself, but given your other docs and articles where you’ve solicited for legislation to make exemptions nearly impossible to get, it seems that I’m wrong, and you’ve NOT softened your pov on mandatory vax one bit.

        How and who would judge ‘those with strong feelings against vaccines’, so that the requistioner may be accommodated with an exemption?

      • Dorit Reiss

        My position has not changed. I believe there should be procedural barriers to getting an exemption: an educational component, parents will have to receive information, and to go through one or more hoops.

        If they do, they can get the exemption.

      • suz norkan

        So no to personal choice and yes to mandatory vax. Good to know, again.

        I’m sorry for the variation in the subject matter, but opinion to Kennedy’s book becomes more pertinent know that you still strive for world vax domination Dorit, and continually solicit legislation to enact such for a mandatory type program for vax dissenters.

      • Dorit Reiss

        No. That’s a misrepresentation of what I said. I support an exemption. I support requiring people to fill procedural requirements before getting it.

        The “world vax domination language” is simply unsupportable and untrue.

        As to Kennedy’s book, yes, I do believe a misleading book that can scare people away from protecting children against diseases is a bad thing.
        That has nothing to do with what the policy should be in relation to vaccination requirement. At the least, people deserve accurate information. Kennedy is doing the opposite.

      • suz norkan

        What type procedural requirements? Why do YOU get to make the rules on what people must do to get exemptions from vax?

      • Dorit Reiss

        A. Answering your second question first, I certainly don’t get to make the rules. The democratically elected legislature of the relevant state does. I – like any other citizen – can, however, have an opinion on what those rules should be.

        B. As I said, I would support an educational component.

      • suz norkan

        Agreed on the educational part. I also understand that the legislation is governed by the individual state.

        However you’ve also said ‘hoops’ and making it ‘hard’. What ‘hoops’ are there in educating people about the pros and cons of vax, and why would you consider ‘informed consent’ to be hard?

        Again, I feel like I’ve not gotten a concise reply.

      • Dorit Reiss

        I don’t have an educational scheme designed, if that’s what you mean.

      • suz norkan

        No! Aside from the educational component you speak of, you continually mention ‘hoops’ and ‘making it hard’. This is what I inquire of. Thank you Dorit.

      • Dorit Reiss

        The hoop I have in mind is the educational requirement.

      • suz norkan

        Fair enough!

      • LZ

        So parents have to spend their time and money (it won’t be for free, whether considering time off from work or having to pay a practitioner) to go through heavy handed biased “education” and intimidation tactics in order to exercise their right to make an informed choice with regard to allowing their children to undergo a risky medical procedure.

      • Dorit Reiss

        Parents should certainly spend time, though I would agree that it’s appropriate for a state to fund such a requirement. Describing an educational requirement as biased or intimidating speaks to your own biases.

        At the very least, parents deserve accurate, science-based information about the risk they are taking when they choose to leave their child at risk of preventable diseases. They certainly won’t get that from the anti-vacine movement. An educational requirement allows that conversation to take place and promotes informed refusal.

        The opposition from anti-vaccine activists to providing people with information does not support their claim that they want choice and informed consent.

      • LZ

        “Describing an educational requirement as biased or intimidating speaks to your own biases.”

        No, Dorit, that speaks to my experiences.

      • Dorit Reiss

        If you see providing people with accurate information about the risks of diseases as intimidating or biased that’s too bad.

      • LZ

        I do think that people should have accurate information about the risks of diseases and the risks of vaccines (I notice you didn’t include the risks of vaccines). But since a large percentage of a pediatrician’s income is from selling vaccines, getting that information from the pediatrician is, to use your favorite word, “problematic”.

      • Dorit Reiss

        “since a large percentage of a pediatrician’s income is from selling vaccines”

        That is simply untrue. Vaccines are not profitable for pediatricians. Sometimes they’re even a loss header.

        http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/physicians-rich-vaccinating-children-refuting-myth/

        Putting that aside, I’m fine with a scientifically designed, state-approved curriculum offered.

      • Boris Ogon

        Sometimes they’re even a loss [l]eader.

        For those who may be podcast-minded, WPR did an hour last Thursday.

      • LZ

        Oh please.

        http://www.fiercevaccines.com/special-report/20-top-selling-vaccines/2012-09-25

        “Data on the biggest-selling vaccines helps us understand what’s driving growth in the vaccines industry, and which companies are behind the wheel. Thanks in part to the adult influenza market and vaccines such as Gardasil and Prevnar, the global vaccines market has enjoyed a decidedly solid boost in revenue. Ten years ago, the vaccine market sat at $5.7 billion, according to Kalorama Information. Now, that market has soared to $27 billion.”

        Skeptical Raptor? Come on.

      • Dorit Reiss

        A. Companies are not pediatricians. That link does not support your claim that pediatricians make money on vaccines. The only evidence on that, so far, is what I brought, that shows your claim was incorrect.

        B. Even in that link: revenue is not profit. Profit requires deducting costs.

        C. You’re welcome to ignored the carefully referenced information in the Skeptical Raptor blog. Others don’t have to.

      • suz norkan

        Is there an anti vax ‘movement’ somewhere? I’m only anti mandatory vax, as are many of those you erroneously call ‘anti vax’.

        Again, the educational ‘hoop’ that you have in mind, would need to include science from BOTH sides; not just the tainted, mainstream science acquired from evidence produced by those with any coi’s.

      • Boris Ogon

        I’m only anti mandatory vax

        Define “mandatory.” Is the idea that you would like to mold the social contract to your irrelevant, personal whims? It’s not as though you’re not on the receiving end of it to start with.

      • suz norkan

        persona non grata correlates to communication non grata

      • Deborah Bailin

        You’re requesting an educational hoop that is falsely balanced. There isn’t equal science on both sides. Science overwhelmingly favors vaccination. To present it to parents otherwise would be misleading.

      • suz norkan

        Not so. Your comment only points to the science being inconclusive, which it is. Parents have every right to learn BOTH sides of the coin.

      • suz norkan

        Also, it would only be appropriate if there are well educated representatives from all groups.

        And I can see an infringement of rights for parents who may not be able to take time off work for such educational programs. There would have to be accommodating locations for such events.

        Or maybe LZ, we’ll need an exemption for those parents who are unable to meet such requirements due to hardship reasons.

        Goody! More bureaucratic red tape. An exemption from the exemption.

      • Boris Ogon

        And I can see an infringement of rights for parents who may not be able to take time off work for such an education program.

        As opposed to parents who have to take time off of work to have their children immunized? You’re “arguing” for an uneven playing field, Evie. Of course, it would be fascinating to hear what these “rights” that you have in mind are.

        Wait, aren’t you supposed to be “staying on target” by commenting on the RFK, Jr., book?

      • Sullivan ThePoop

        The problem is the choice not to vaccinate is never an informed choice. It is a choice made out of complete ignorance of anything relevant.

      • Boris Ogon

        I may not be a law professor like yourself, but given your other docs and articles where you’ve solicited for [sic] legislation to make exemptions nearly impossible to get….

        Where would these be, Evie?

      • suz norkan

        persona non grata would imply communication non grata

      • LZ

        Saying that the risks are “very small” is not supported by any evidence. First, the reporting system is voluntary, second, it is not known how individuals react uniquely to vaccines. For some genetic profiles, the risk may be great. Without further understanding, no claim can be made as to the risk that vaccines present to any individual. Further, scientists are just now beginning to uncover the mysteries of the human microbiome, calling the microbiome another organ, Each individual’s microbiome is as unique as one’s fingerprint or DNA. Scientists have absolutely no idea how vaccination impacts the microbiome or if individual differences increase risk of adverse events.

      • Dorit Reiss

        The calculation of the risks is not based on VAERS alone but on studies drawing on other sources, like the Vaccine Safety Datalink, and studies in other countries. There’s a lot of evidence on vaccine adverse events: they are heavily monitored. And the evidence is very clear: adverse events are very, very rare. Whatever your standard. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2014/06/26/peds.2014-1079.abstract

        See, as one example, this study of almost a million girls from Denmark and Sweden, comparing girls that got HPV vaccines to those that did not: http://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f5906

        There are also studies of specifically vulnerable populations. E.g. These children who have leukemia: http://journals.lww.com/pidj/Abstract/publishahead/Pneumococcal_Conjugate_Vaccine_Administration.97916.aspx

        In short, there is a lot of data about vaccines’ adverse events – which is how we know that they are very, very rare.

      • Dorit Reiss

        Since you are making those choices for children who cannot protect themselves against diseases, and for those those children might infect, the state certainly has a right to regulate – and to impose the consequences on those who choose to endanger others.

      • Maurinemeleck

        are children have diseases that aren’t even considered the regular childhood diseases because of what vaccines have done to their immune systems. We certainly have the right to see that those responsible for autism serve their jail time. We have the right to see that this man made disease punishes those who caused it.

      • Dorit Reiss

        Autism is not caused by vaccines.

      • Maurinemeleck

        Vaccines can cause autism.

      • Boris Ogon

        are children have diseases that aren’t even considered the regular childhood diseases because of what vaccines have done to their immune systems

        What would that be, Maurine? I will admit to being weary of hopelessly vague allusions to the “immune system,” but perhaps you will be the one to explain this talking point.

        No Gish-galloping, in your own words. Please include germinal centers and, if you are going to invoke helper T cells, be very specific.

      • lilady R.N.

        “We certainly have the right to see that those responsible for autism serve their jail time. We have the right to see that this man made disease punishes those who caused it.”

        Now you are parroting exactly what Mr. Kennedy stated during his long speech at the 2013 Autism One-Generation Rescue Conference. Dan Olmsted, the Editor-in-Chief and owner of the AoA blog, put up a post about Mr. Kennedy’s statements during that speech about putting Dr. Paul Offit in handcuffs and hauling him off to jail. Mr. Kennedy also compared autism to being in a N@zi death camp.

        IIRC, someone representing Mr. Kennedy contacted Dan Olmsted to have his post taken down; Olmsted complied immediately.

        But for Google cache, we wouldn’t have Olmsted’s disappearing post and AoA’s Media Editor Anne Dachel’s commentary:

        http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:tX6dO0VlvR0J:annedachel.com/2013/05/29/rfk-jr-nazi-death-camps-and-the-battle-for-our-future/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=jp&client=firefox-a

    • lilady R.N.

      Maurine Meleck you are part of the problem. You claim that your two grandchildren are vaccine injured and that you “recovered” one of those children with “biomedical treatment”.

      Would you like to discuss your other grandchild and the claim on his behalf for “vaccine-related-vaccine-injury” which was dismissed by the United States Court of Federal Claims (Vaccine Court) because the child’s medical records did not confirm that claim…and no “expert witness” would testify that the claim was truthful?

    • Dorit Reiss

      No evidence, but the commentator still feels she can make up a conspiracy theory to explain away the detailed, careful review – that refers to specific points in Kennedy’s book and shows how they were wrong.

      I think it speaks more to the commentator than the review.

      Nor is it unclear why the commentator thinks that explaining how Kennedy’s book is misleading removes vaccine choice.

    • Christopher Hickie

      The whole friggin’ world is in collusion inside your pathetically warped mind. How do you even manage to get out of bed in the morning?

  • Dorit Reiss

    Thank you for highlighting the many problems in this book. Misrepresenting by omission (e.g. not saying VAERS does not show causation), going against the evidence, uncritically accepting bad science, Kennedy does his readers a real injustice. Let’s hope this book does not lead too many parents into refusing to protect their children against dangerous diseases like influenza.

    • Deborah Bailin

      Indeed, and thank you for your comments and your staunch defense of the science!

  • Anne Dachel

    I have Kennedy’s book here in my hands. IT IS ABOUT THE SCIENCE ON ETHYL MERCURY. YES, ETHYL MERCURY IS DEADLY. IT MAY CLEAR THE BLOOD FASTER…BUT IT DOESN’T LEAVE THE BODY AND ONE PLACE IT ENDS UP IS IN THE BRAINS OF CHILDREN….DAMAGING THEM FOR LIFE.
    Anne McElroy Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

    • Dorit Reiss

      Multiple large scale studies have shown that thimerosal in vaccines is not harmful to children. It does not cause autism or other neurodevelopmental disorders. http://www.vaccinateyourbaby.org/safe/research.cfm#03

      As this review points out, Kennedy misrepresents the data, uncritically accepting bad science and rejecting valid, well done studies.

      • Anne Dachel

        Please stop saying “Kennedy misrepresented the data.” Kennedy edited a book about THE STUDIES out there that show a deadly, untested neurotoxin shouldn’t be allowed in vaccines. And even if you say it’s been removed from most vaccines ithat U.S. children receive, it’s still regularly in vaccines given to children in the poorest countries, because it makes them cheaper.
        EVERY STUDY USED BY U.S. health officials regarding thimerosal has been shown to have direct ties to the vaccine makers.
        Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

      • lilady R.N.

        Stop defending Mr. Kennedy. He paid for the researchers of his choosing ($200,000, IIRC), and he is “the editor”.

        Many of those studies you disparage are academics who have never been involved with vaccine manufacturers.

        Who do you recommend to do research on vaccines? Would you have Andrew Wakefield or Mark Geier…who are disgraced former medical doctors and who are not scientists…and who actually had undeclared COIs?

      • Dorit Reiss

        A. The article doesn’t just say Kennedy misrepresented data: it provides examples of that. Not the only ones. For example, Kennedy misrepresented by omission but not mentioning that varies reports do not show causation.

        B. If your focus is conflicts of interest, I’m a little shocked that you pass in silence over the Geiers’, relied on by Kennedy, which made direct profit – unlike the indirect, weak and sometime imaginary conflicts anti vaccine activists like to ascribe to those they disagree with – from selling treatments, untested and dangerous and abusive, to cure the damage they claimed, based on their debunked studies, thimerosal caused.

        C. You keep saying every study had been shown to have ties to vaccine manufacturers – but you never actually demonstrate that. You seem to think just accusing these science of associating with manufacturers (as if that was a crime) is enough to make the studies go away. It doesn’t. First, if you want to claim a conflict of interest, please prove it. Second, conflicts of interests – like the Geiers’ – are important to know, because they make us read studies more critically. But they don’t make that data magically disappear.

        D. Thimerosal is used in third world countries because that way they can use multi-dose vaccines without worrying about contamination from bacteria. The evidence is that the tiny amounts of thimerosal in vaccines are not harmful; but contamination from bacteria can kill a child. Without thimerosal, they would have to use single dose vaccine – potentially making vaccines unaffordable, leaving vulnerable children at risk of dangerous diseases.

        I think protecting children against disease is a good thing.

      • Verna Lang

        I am afraid that if the Kennedy name carries enough weight in developing countries, they will stop vaccinating because of the groundless fears raised by this book and the inability to absorb the higher cost of single dose vaccines. South Africa made the mistake of listening to HIV deniers pushing diet and vitamins to treat AIDS patients, even though other African countries were adopting antiretrovirals like AZT. A researcher estimated that more than 300,000 South Africans died needlessly because of that decision.

      • Sullivan ThePoop

        You are completely ignorant of what research actually entails. Your pseudo research has wasted your time and misled you.

      • Anne Dachel

        Here is Acting Director of the FDA, William Egan testifying before Rep. Dan Burton’s committee in Congress in 2004. Burton asked him if the mercury-based vaccine preservative THIMEROSAL has ever been tested by the FDA. Egan had to admit, IT HASN’T.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RF-5RKnlsp8

        Ten years later there are only easily flawed and manipulated population studies that supposedly show no link between thimerosal and autism, but there is no official toxicity research on this dangerous additive.

        Everyone who has looked at THIMEROSAL, HAS FOUND IT TO BE HIGHLY TOXIC.

        Why is this in most of the flu vaccines available? Why are we injecting mercury into pregnant women?

        Anne McElroy Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

      • Dorit Reiss

        If Mr. Egan said that, it’s unfortunate, because as the link above shows, in 2004 there were already 5-6 studies that examined the effect of thimerosal in vaccines on neuropsychological development and found no link.

        Testing by FDA apart, these studies conclusively show the safety of the tiny amounts used in vaccines.

      • Deborah Bailin

        Egan’s full statement is here http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Testimony/ucm113267.htm

        Scientists are too often subjected to crude interrogations driven by politics, not interest in the truth — it happens so often that we’ve published guides to help scientists speak more effectively with the publi, like this onec http://www.ucsusa.org/scientific_integrity/abuses_of_science/science-in-an-age-of-scrutiny.html

        Rep. Burton is not exactly known as a defender of science http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/01/rep-dan-burton-goodbye-and-good-riddance

      • Verna Lang

        Since when is it the job of the FDA to do all the safety testing when bringing a food, a drug or a vaccine to market? The FDA is a regulatory body and oversees the testing of food, drugs and vaccines before they are approved for the market. http://www.fda.gov/biologicsbloodvaccines/developmentapprovalprocess/biologicslicenseapplicationsblaprocess/ucm133096.htm
        The FDA has the final say over approval for market based on the results of a series of industry testing, but it is not FDA’s job to do that testing for them. I’m sure that Rep. Burton worded his questions carefully, knowing that William Egan would have to say no because the testing he was asking about was not in the mandate of the FDA or other federal agencies. That does not mean that the FDA and the other federal health agencies did not keep up with information on thimerosal safety that was published by researchers in the US and throughout the world. William Egan was never asked that question, though, was he? Rep. Burton just focused on asking whether the FDA did testing that they were never authorized to do.

    • lilady R.N.

      Sorry Ms. Dachel: You are not a scientist and you represent the notorious anti-vaccine, anti-science blog Age of Autism.

      You and your fellow “science journalists” on AoA spread fear, uncertainty and doubt about vaccines. Your heroes are the disgraced and discredited former medical doctors Mark Geier and Andrew Wakefield and you support “alternative practitioners” and the credulous parents who subject their autistic children to dangerous, invasive, not-medically proven bizarre autism treatments, such as chemical castration/chelation with industrial chemicals, bleach enemas with an industrial bleach and IV Intrathecal stem cell transplants in filthy, unregulated off-shore clinics.

      Color me underwhelmed with your credential (a retired social studies teacher), your conflicts of interest (personal “sponsorship” for your daily media updates by a megavitamin/supplements packaging factory), and your nonsensical, multiple Spamming comments.

      Your use of ALL CAPS in your comment is unimpressive, as well.

    • Sullivan ThePoop

      That is not at all true. It leaves the brain more rapidly than it leaves the blood. If there is enough to accumulate it accumulates in the liver and kidneys because it was already on its way out.

    • Deborah Bailin

      The book is deceptive in how it talks about science. It looks very scientific and cites many scientific sources, but it makes wild extrapolations from those sources, draws unsubstantiated conclusions, privileges researchers who have been discredited, tries to discredit reputable mainstream scientists, and imagines there is a vast conspiracy afoot by the public health community to poison children.

      Scientists do what they do because they want to make the world a better place. It is sad that a book claiming to stand for science does such a fine job of misrepresenting it.

      • LZ

        Scientists do what they do because they need to pay their bills. Read PLAGUE – One Scientist’s Intrepid Search for the Truth about Human Retroviruses and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Autism, and Other Diseases _ by Kent Heckenlively and Judy Mikovits, PhD, when it comes out in September. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-ReDZpqUjs

      • Deborah Bailin

        Yes, I think readers here are by now pretty familiar with what AoA thinks about scientists.

        UCS has done a great deal of genuine work on protecting scientific integrity — not just talking about it but taking real action to protect scientists and the public from corruption http://www.ucsusa.org/scientific_integrity/

      • LZ

        “I think readers here are by now pretty familiar with what AoA thinks about scientists.”
        What does THAT mean? The authors of the book are a science teacher and a scientist. What are you talking about and why are you pitting UCS against AOA? Why are you insulting AOA by saying they ‘just talk’?

      • suz norkan

        Another ‘anti science’ slam. Alert the ‘rude insult’ police. I believe the author seems more intent on keeping score than engaging in impartial debate of her review on Kennedy’s book.

      • lilady R.N.

        There is no science on Age of Autism…or any of the other notorious anti-vaccine groups/blogs.

        We are still waiting for you to stay on topic and for you to post a comment about Deborah Baillin’s analysis of Mr. Kennedy’s book.

      • suz norkan

        We are still waiting for you to leave like the mods had asked you to do days ago. However, your comment above, childishly draws attention to suz, which is actually off topic nursie.

      • suz norkan

        In answer to the several comments above, since suz is NOT the topic of the article/comment section, I think it best that you stop assigning your focus to suz, and stay on the topic of Kennedy’s book and vax, rather than wasting reader’s time on your attempted insults.

      • Boris Ogon

        What’s your opinion of the book, Evie?

      • suz norkan

        persona non gr@ta correlates to communication non grata

      • Boris Ogon

        I believe the author seems more intent on keeping score than engaging in impartial debate of her review on Kennedy’s book.

        Were you planning to say something about the book, Evie? You’ve already complimented the “mods and admins.” for “exhibiting an impressively impartial performance,” for which I’m sure they are quite grateful, but there seems to be something missing on your part.

      • suz norkan

        persona non grata correlates to communication non grat@

      • Boris Ogon

        The authors of the book are a science teacher and a scientist.

        Is this a cop to its having been written for hire by Adam Hadhazy?

      • Boris Ogon

        Scientists do what they do because they need to pay their bills. Read PLAGUE – One Scientist’s Intrepid Search for the Truth about Human Retroviruses and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Autism, and Other Diseases _ by Kent Heckenlively and Judy Mikovits, PhD

        And Mikovits joined in on a vanity-press operation with Heckenlively for some reason other than a bet that it would lead to paying the bills?

      • lilady R.N.

        We know all about Mr. Heckenlively who actually is a science teacher, an attorney and the Legal Editor of AoA. He’s another of the AoA authors whose books are being published by Skyhorse.

        Mr. Heckenlively also took his autistic child to a filthy, unregulated, offshore clinic to undergo stem cell transplants. He also informs his readership at AoA that his child has undergone chelation for “mercury toxicities”.

        http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/01/stem-cells-for-brain-injury-recovery.html?cid=6a00d8357f3f2969e2010536abef63970c#comment-6a00d8357f3f2969e2010536abef63970c

    • Christopher Hickie

      Anne M. Dachel meant to write: Hi, I’m Anne Dachel, PAID media shill editor for Age of Autism, a web site that sells saunas hocked by Jenny McCarthy to “detox” children with autism of all the mercury that isn’t even in their bodies. But since we don’t give a damn about the fact that child can die in saunas because we don’t have the slightest damn clue about science or health, we’ll keep selling dangerous quack cures and spamming web sites with our dreck.

      • ciaparker2

        Moderator, I think Dr. Hickie is being abusive and insulting. Do you agree?

      • notation

        Boo hoo, Truth hurts.

      • Boris Ogon

        Cynthia, are or are not Ms. Dachel’s comments sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and their OurKidsASD brand? This does not seem to be something in controversy.

      • Proponent

        Well.. Deborah Bailin upvoted Christopher Hickie’s post.. so.. I would say.. no, she does not agree.

        ‘Sides.. the Dachelbot brings it upon herownself.. copying and pasting misleading tidbits.

        And then.. not sticking around for the Q & As.

        And that is apart from the hypocrisy of the arrow she constantly slings at ‘pharmaceutical shills’.

      • suz norkan

        Deborah is the author darlin’, not the mods or admins. cia addressed.

      • Mike Stevens

        Being on the receiving end of accusations such as being a “shill” are unpleasant, I gather?
        Then why does every second post by you antivaxers follow that exact format?

        PS: Dr hickie’s claims would seem to be born out by the facts.

      • lielady, R.N. (Really Not)

        Don’t you understand, cia, that it’s ok for us to call people shills, but don’t you dare call us that! It’s vile, defamatory, and libelous…just not when we do it!

      • lielady, R.N. (Really Not)

        We’re allowed to be abusive and insulting, Cia…don’t you know this? We worship science!!

    • Mike Stevens

      Sorry Anne, I couldn’t quite hear that, can you shout a little louder maybe?

  • lbhajdu1 .

    No one will publish a paper on the adverse effects of vaccines out of fear of getting wakefielded and shaking public confidence. Having been injured by a vaccine myself when I was two, I can tell you the dangers are very real and can be very tragic.

    • Dorit Reiss

      That is simply untrue. We have had articles about narcolepsy in Scandinavian countries from H1N1 vaccines, intussusception from rotavirus vaccines, to name just a few. This article: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2014/06/26/peds.2014-1079.abstract examines the many articles about adverse effects.

      Adverse effects of vaccines are very heavily studied. That’s how we know that, while real, they are extremely rare.

      The small risks of modern vaccines are much much less than the risks of not vaccinating.

      • lbhajdu1 .

        They only publish papers showing statistically insignificant results for the most part. Oh look the latest paper showing a link between narcolepsy and the Pandemrix flu vaccine has been withdrawn from publication.

        Having had my life devastated by a vaccine, I would have to disagree and say the small risk is no consolation to me. I would give anything to be able to go back in time and opt-out.

        Furthermore miss Dorit it has not escaped my attention that you are a lobbyist lawyer paid by Kaiser Permanente on behalf of Merck Pharmaceutical and others to find legal avenues to compulsory mass vaccination.

        You should remember that less than 100 years ago eugenics was the trend. You want to get rid of genetic sickle-cell disease. Easy check everyone if they don’t have it they go to the work house and if they do they go somewhere else. It’s a bit like vaccines, most people are usually okay. Eugenics is scientifically sound. Out of the death camps came the Helsinki Accords which state every person has the right decide what medical procedures will be performed on them and which will not. I’ll bet you really hate that concept don’t you miss Dorit? Do you see yourself as the next Mengele, champion of the public good?

      • Deborah Bailin

        lbhajdu1, you are correct that some of the same legal arguments used to justify compulsory vaccination 100 years ago were also used to justify forced sterilizations. Fortunately, our democracy recognized that forced sterilization was undemocratic and unconstitutional and the practice was abandoned. Compulsory vaccination, however, is not the same thing at all. Physical force is not used — no one can force you or your children to be vaccinated — and consent is required. Reason must guide the public. Which is why irrational, unfounded arguments, like the one made by this book, are so unhelpful.

        I don’t think it would be right or fair of me to comment on your personal claims of injury. I don’t know anything about your circumstances or whether you went through the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (of which you probably have a cynical opinion). Whatever the circumstances, I am sorry for whatever you may have suffered. But what would you tell the parents of children who have suffered or died from vaccine preventable diseases?

      • lbhajdu1 .

        Physical force as not often used, it looks bad on television. But threatening people’s jobs right to an education and so on is very common (iron fist of gov.). It’s very similar to an employer demanding sexual favors to keep your job. They both involve not totally conceptual penetration. But if you don’t want to risk becoming homeless most people go along with it…

        There is a reason the CDC schedule try is get all the vaccines they can into you before the age of consent, because they have seen the adult rates and they are not to their liking 50% at best.

        I tried to decline the doctor lied and told me it was required for school, he failed to tell me all I had to do was sign a piece of paper to opt out. That doctor disgraced himself violating the code of conduct of the AMA by misleading a patient (me). As a consequence I have no trust in the profession anymore. There was no internet at the time I could not look up the law. A lot of time and money is spent doing studies of how to psychologically manipulate people to get them to go along just short of forcibly holding them down kicking and screaming (though if you’re in a correctional or military situation even that is not out of bounds).

        In response to your question what would I tell the parents of children who have suffered or died from vaccine preventable diseases. I would compassionately tell them they made a decision and no answer to this question can ever be perfect. But they did what they believed was in there child’s best interests.

      • Sullivan ThePoop

        The iron fist of the government? No it is we the people who demand this of our government in an very large majority.

      • ciaparker2

        And then we also have the many newborns since 1991 (like mine, Judy Converse’s, and many others) who were given the hep-B vaccine at the hospital at birth WITHOUT the knowledge or permission of the parents, many of whom reacted with vaccine encephalitis, seizure disorders, and/or autism. Why even bother with attempts at bullying and persuasion, they’re in one room, the mom’s in another room, just go ahead and stick it to them?

      • Boris Ogon

        And then we also have the many newborns since 1991 (like mine, Judy Converse’s, and many others)

        Repeating the word “many” does not make it so, Cynthia.

      • ciaparker2

        So read Converse’s book on how many there have been, read Patti White’s congressional testimony in 1999 on how she had seen the population of autistic kindergartners suddenly explode five years after the hep-B vaccine began to be used in 1991, and she had reluctantly become convinced that it was from encephalitic reactions to the hep-B vaccine at birth. The problem is that no matter how much proof there is, how many children are irreparably damaged, you’re still going to deny it.

      • Mike Stevens

        Anecdotes written in books don’t make hard data, Cia.
        If that were the case we would be discussing the epidemic of alien abductions, rather than discussing scientific facts.
        Please provide some appropriate sources for your claims.

      • Dorit Reiss

        A. A paper about narcolepsy that suggested a causal mechanism was withdrawn. By the authors. When they found out they were wrong about the causal mechanism. No one contests the link, and it’s public, with no adverse reaction.

        B. I can’t comment on your case, but it’s understandable that someone injured by vaccine will be upset and angry: just like it’s no consolation to someone injured by a seatbelt that seat belts save lives. In both cases, however, the statistics are important: it’s much more safe to put the seatbelt on than not, even if there is a small chance of injury from it, and it’s much more safe to vaccinate than not, even if there’s a small chance of injury from it.

        C. I would certainly not support forced vaccination of adults and have said so in more than one forum. In some circumstances, when there is a high risk to a child, I think it’s appropriate to order vaccination of a child over parental opposition – but I would require high risk. Here is what I said on that: http://shotofprevention.com/2014/03/04/rights-of-the-unvaccinated-child-vaccinating-over-the-parents-will/. My opinion is hardly a secret: it’s public.

        D. I am not a lawyer, I am not a lobbyist and I work neither for Kaiser nor for Merck: my only connection with either company is as a customer. False accusations against someone you are speaking with are really not a good substitute to having facts or evidence on your side. It’s pretty easy to find out who and what I am: http://www.uchastings.edu/academics/faculty/facultybios/reiss/

      • lilady R.N.

        “Furthermore miss Dorit it has not escaped my attention that you are a lobbyist lawyer paid by Kaiser Permanente on behalf of Merck Pharmaceutical and others to find legal avenues to compulsory mass vaccination.”

        That is a defamatory lie.

        The rest of your comments are disgusting, vicious and vile. You only bring shame on yourself by trivializing the individuals who actually experienced those historic events…and the millions of individuals who were exterminated in death camps.

      • lbhajdu1 .

        So it’s “vile” for me to trivialize as you claim with historic parallels. But it’s okay for you to sweep the hundreds of bodies of killed and injured people reoccurring every year under the rug, with the simple statement the “benefits outweigh the risks”. Isn’t that a little hypocritical?

      • Dorit Reiss

        There are no hundreds of people killed in the U.S. by vaccines every year, and I’ve seen no evidence of hundreds of injuries – unless you count sore arms – either.

      • lbhajdu1 .

        Well they wouldn’t want to shake public confidence. They don’t even publish a summary, only the raw data, let the public figure it out from that.

        We know of anaphylactic shock, narcolepsie, and guillain – barre syndrome. I have now above provided the CDC citation you have asked for stating induction of guillain – barre at 1 per 500,000 people. Do you believe the CDC’s stats, I sure don’t but we’ll take it at face value anyway. They also claim 150,000,000 flu vaccine doses distributed last year. Now do you believe math miss Dorit?

        150,000,000 * ( 1 / 500,000 ) = 300 people

        And that’s just guillain – barre alone. Do you only see what you want to see?

      • Sullivan ThePoop

        Over 70 percent of GBS cases resolve with no long term morbidity. It is very rare for someone to die from it. So, GBS is not going to win you this argument for you even if those statistics are true. Not to mention large recent studies have shown no increased risk of GBS for any vaccine other than the 1970s H1N1 and one of the rabies vaccines.

      • lbhajdu1 .

        The CDC states it on their own website (I can’t believe I am defending them) from pro-vaccers.

        “flu vaccine could be associated with Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), no more than 1 or 2 cases per million people vaccinated.” – http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/flu.html

        Oh let’s see so you can’t breathe on you own for a while have to be put on a ventilator, will most likely have to be cared for the rest of your life. Oh and you have a 7 out of 10 chance of surviving. Never mind then what was I thinking.

      • Sullivan ThePoop

        No, you have 9.99 out 10 chance of surviving. You have a 7 out of 10 chance of fully recovering within a few weeks. An 8 out of 10 chance that you will fully recover after a year. Those 2% of people who do not recover after a year have a 5%-10% risk of long term MORBIDITY. Not mortality.

      • ANB2013

        ibhaj, what is the background rate of GBS?

      • Dorit Reiss

        A. Please provide evidence that there were 300 people with GBS caused by the flu vaccine in the U.S. last year. That’s an estimate, and this is a great example of how unlikely this number is to be true.

        B. The NVICP compensated a total number of 366 cases in 2013. That’s everything, and that’s although the burden of proof is very low.

        C. In short, please provide evidence – credible evidence – of hundreds killed by vaccines each year, and of high numbers of injuries.

      • lbhajdu1 .

        If you don’t even believe the CDC’s own stats. that’s up to you.

      • Dorit Reiss

        Here is what your link actually says: “if there is a risk of GBS from current IIV, it would be no more than 1 or 2 cases per million people vaccinated.”

        It does not say there are such cases. In fact, it starts by saying “Safety monitoring of seasonal IIV over the course of many years has not detected a clear link to Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS).”

        So your source says it’s not clear if there is a link to GBS, although we had reports after, but if there is a link, it’s no more (could by much less, but definitely no more) than 1-2 per million.

        That link does not say “we have 1 case of GBS per 500,000 vaccine doses per year”. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/vaccination/vaccine_safety.htm

        Do you have evidence of 300 cases of GBS from the vaccine last year?

      • ciaparker2

        She doesn’t even believe the CDC’s own charts on hep-b prevalence in children (fewer than 360 a year before the vaccine), but insists that it was tens of thousands a year.

      • Boris Ogon

        She doesn’t even believe the CDC’s own charts on hep-b prevalence in children (fewer than 360 a year before the vaccine), but insists that it was tens of thousands a year.

        How many times does it have to be pointed out to you that Hep B infection in children is generally silent?

        Oh, wait, the answer is transfinite, since you’re just going to keep repeating the foolishness over and over again regardless.

      • Boris Ogon

        Here, I’ll show you the same thing that I did last Wednesday.

      • Mike Stevens

        I’ve tried the “educating Cia” route before, Boris.
        I am afraid you can lead a horse to water and all that….

      • Mike Stevens

        Try all you like, some people will not accept information contrary to their own beliefs.

      • Boris Ogon

        Would you like more, Cynthia? Comin’ right up.

        Evaluations of infant vaccination programs need to compare vaccination coverage data with population-based serological analyses, since most HBV infection in young children are asymptomatic and are therefore not detected in surveillance studies of acute disease.

      • Mike Stevens

        The CDC chart mentioned cases of symptomatic, acute, incident Hepatitis B.
        You have been told this many times, yet still persist in misleading people about it.

        In order to ascertain the damage wreaked by prevalent, initially asymptomatic Hepatitis B carriage, you need seroprevalence surveys (the NHANES data sets) cited by the CDC and they clarify where the numbers of tens of thousands of Hep B carriers infected in childhood come from.

      • Mike Stevens

        There are 6000 cases of GBS a year in the USA. There are many causes, including infections like flu.
        The risk of getting GBS from flu is around 16 times higher than the risk of getting it from the vaccine.

      • Sullivan ThePoop

        Wait, you are throwing in allergies? If you are so revered of allergy victims why not spend your time advocating against peanuts? That has nothing to do with vaccines. That is an individual problem.

      • lbhajdu1 .

        No. The calculation was for GBS alone. However I’m saying it’s not the only risk. Stop trying to side track.

      • Deborah Bailin

        I think it’s fair to turn that question around to you. What the CDC is saying is that 1-2 people per million are getting GB syndrome who have gotten flu vaccine. That’s a lot, but 17 people per million are getting GB syndrome as a complication of the flu.

        Yes, numbers and words can be confusing sometimes, but the CDC is not deliberately trying to confuse you.

      • Dorit Reiss

        Actually, let me provide you – and I’m afraid I’ll do it above too, because this is really taking things out of context – the full paragraph from the CDC that is misrepresented as the CDC saying that 1-2 person per million get GBS from the vaccine. ”
        Safety monitoring of seasonal IIV over the course of many years has not detected a clear link to Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS). However, if there is a risk of GBS from current IIV, it would be no more than 1 or 2 cases per million people vaccinated.1 This is much lower than the risk of severe influenza, which can be prevented by vaccination.” http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/vaccination/vaccine_safety.htm

      • lilady R.N.

        That poster knows exactly what (s)he is doing, by rephrasing her/his unsubstantiated statements and her/his refusal to acknowledge the valid information provided.

        (S)he is a also a conspiracist whose few sources are dicey…if not downright duplicitous. I’m beginning to believe that the poster is ashamed of the sources (s(he uses.

      • lilady R.N.

        Quit your blathering. You have yet to provide links to citations from reliable first tier, peer-reviewed journals to back up your ridiculous comments.

        You have engaged in character assassination against me and other posters posters here.

        You trivialize the experiences of those who were victimized by eugenicists, those who underwent the cruelest medical experimentation and the millions of people who were exterminated in death camps.

      • lbhajdu1 .

        I have already published the cdc link. If you want to trace it all the way back to the journal(s) they got it from do the work your self.

        That is a historic parallel to show you how wrong you are. But it’s okay for
        you to sweep the hundreds of bodies of killed and injured people
        reoccurring every year under the rug, with the simple statement the
        “benefits outweigh the risks”. Isn’t that a little hypocritical?

        And I’m sorry but who is doing the character assassination???

      • lilady R.N.

        Where are the “hundreds of killed and injured people” (which you claim I have) “swept under the rug”?

      • http://blog.ucsusa.org Equation Admin

        At this point we must ask both commenters to please refrain from further commenting on this
        thread, as it is violating our comment policy (see below comment thread). Thanks for your engagement.

      • lilady R.N.

        If you had been moderating the comments intently, you would have noticed that libelous accusations directed at me and other commenters.

        You have failed to monitor those commenters properly when they accuse me of being paid to comment (I am not), working for *Big Pharma* (I do not) and the filthy language used by them.

      • suz norkan

        I think the mods and admins. are achieving an impressively impartial performance.

        Should they be expected to intervene with each alleged untruth, you should also be accused of libeling us with each claim that we are ‘anti vax / anti science’. {We are not!}

      • lilady R.N.

        You have never added anything to the discussion. You just hang around science blogs to provide up votes to those who post anti-vaccine, anti-science, libelous remarks.

      • suz norkan

        My opinion of YOU is that you add nothing relevant to the topic other than your toxic insult to those countering your pro vax pov. And by libelous remarks, do you mean as in uneducated, anti vax and anti science? One needs to only look at the posts above to see who makes ‘libelous remarks’.

        Why are you still posting here? It seems that admin. had asked you nicely not to. Perhaps because you’re NOT very nice.

        But again, I digress and so should you. Stay on the Kennedy/vax topic.

        p.s. I noted no foul language in these posts.

      • Deborah Bailin

        Our policy is that we ask people to “please focus comments on the issues, topics, and facts at hand, and refrain from personal attacks.” We also ask people to refrain from comments that are rude or disruptive, even if there’s no foul language.

        Even if you think someone has crossed the line, please try to hold back from exacerbating the problem. There are moderators monitoring the conversation. A few comments have already been deleted, but they’re trying to be generous.

      • suz norkan

        Thank you Deborah Bailin. However I had replied to lady’s claim of filthy language being used, which I had not noticed. Perhaps they were in the comments you say were already deleted.

      • lilady R.N.

        There were filthy (and libelous) language in the comments that were deleted by the moderator.

        How about an apology Suz?

      • lilady R.N.

        Would you care to post a comment that is not insulting and that is germane to the topic being discussed?

        You forget that you are posting using the Disqus platform and all your previous comments on this thread and all the other threads are available. So, btw, are my comments available on this thread and on other comments on other threads which use the Disqus platform.

      • suz norkan

        I’ve replied to comments of my choice. You said the mods and admins. weren’t doing their jobs to which I responded that they are, and I gave a reason to back that up.

        The question that should be asked is not whether or not I choose to post a comment, but rather, why you still ARE!

      • lielady, R.N. (Really Not)

        In nursing school, and later as a nurse, I began to realize that it was ok for me to freely insult others without any repercussions, but others couldn’t insult me, because I’m a nurse and worship Science.

      • lilady R.N.

        My ‘nym is lilady…but you already know that.

      • lielady, R.N. (Really Not)

        Yes, and we’re nurses…because we say so, and not believing us is defamatory and vile.

      • lielady, R.N. (Really Not)

        Yes, and we’re nurses

      • lielady, R.N. (Really Not)

        (Accidentally hit the post before I finished)

        Also, by disagreeing with me, or insulting me back, it’s libel, defamatory, and vile, even though my comments are just as libelous, defamatory and vile. But it’s ok for me to do it, because I’m a nurse. You know I’m a nurse, because I just told you I was one.

      • notation

        You nailed it.

      • suz norkan

        And HERE comes the foul language and vulgar insults.

        Please remember to ‘shoot straight, fly right’ and stay on target this time! Thank you! Much appreciated!

      • notation

        You won’t find a single fact from our pal suz. The constant exhortation to “stay on target” only ever applies to those who ask her for evidence and disagree with her premise that all vaccines are harmful.

      • suz norkan

        Already off target! How sad for this comment section.

      • Mike Stevens

        If you aren’t against vaccines, tell us which ones you would feel happy for a healthy child to receive.
        Be specific.

      • suz norkan

        Although your comment above is poorly worded Mikey, I would be happy for such decisions to be left up to the informed families, as are most all other medical interventions, with the only mandated state intervention being for neglect.

        However, again you focus on suz and not Kennedy.

      • Mike Stevens

        Again, if you aren’t against vaccines, tell us which ones you would feel happy for a healthy child to receive.
        Be specific. I am not asking what other people would do, but what you would.

      • suz norkan

        My answer remains above, and doesn’t change no matter how many times you ask or how paradoxical in your attempt to fashion your wording.

        Vaccine decisions under the age of majority are best left in the hands of the parents due to the reason I mentioned above.

        Again, suz did not write the book, nor is the book about suz. Please remain on the topic, thank you.

      • ciaparker2

        You’re accusing others of using filthy language and lies? How amusing! Please notice that you are now overstaying your welcome.

      • lilady R.N.

        Parker, those filthy comments were removed by the moderator.

        Why don’t you tell us about what you perceived as your baby’s “vaccine-induced encephalitis” and how you did not take your baby to a hospital emergency to have your baby evaluated for encephalitis?

        http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/collideascape/2014/07/20/deliberating-kennedys-thimerosal-book/#comment-1500213614

        Why don’t you tell us how you “overstayed your welcome”, when you were banned from the Shot of Prevention blog…and resorted to using dozens of sock puppets?

      • lielady, R.N. (Really Not)

        What was that about character assassination? In nursing school, I learned all about that, focusing on the individual instead of the argument. But nurses should actually pull the discussion off topic because staying on topic would point out the flaws in the dogma we so carefully adhere to.

        I know this, because I’m a nurse, and I must remind you that I’m a nurse in nearly every comment I make. You should know this because I just told you, and not believing me is libelous.

      • lilady R.N.

        Whatever are you talking about?

        I suggest you stay on topic and open the links I have provided on my comments.

      • lielady, R.N. (Really Not)

        I was commenting about your character assassination of another commenter, when earlier you were complaining about character assassinations.

        That’s ok, though…you’re allowed to do this because you worship Science, and because you’re a nurse, like me…because you told us so, and we should believe everything you say.

      • lilady R.N.

        “I was commenting about your character assassination of another
        commenter, when earlier you were complaining about character
        assassinations.”

        Those character assassinations were removed…as were the comments which contained filthy language…by the moderator.

        BTW, my ‘nym is lilady…but you already know that.

      • lielady, R.N. (Really Not)

        “Those character assassinations were removed…as were the comments which contained filthy language…by the moderator.”

        Your character assassinations were not removed…I can see them just a few comments above this one.

        It’s ok though…we can make character assassinations since we’re nurses, and because we worship science. It isn’t ok for others to character assassinate us, though. That’s just wrong. And libelous.

        But we can do it with impunity.

      • Mike Stevens

        Kettle much?

      • notation

        Where is this “rug” under which “hundreds of bodies” are being ‘swept’? Cite evidence that ‘hundreds’ of people are being killed or seriously injured.

    • Sullivan ThePoop

      Sorry, that is incorrect articles are written about adverse reactions to vaccines all the time. What kind of adverse reaction did you have to a vaccine?

      • lbhajdu1 .

        I prefer not to talk specifically about my own health if you don’t mind. But it’s well known, and the causal relationship is well understood.

      • lbhajdu1 .

        Remember that out of the 150,000,000 mindlessly opting to get the flu vaccine this year 1 in 500,000 will be injured by glina barre syndrome leaving them paralyzed or dead (that’s the CDC’s own numbers). So this year alone that will be 300 people. I should imagine if even a few of them can still speak it throws a wrench into the well-oiled, benefits outweigh the risks propaganda machine. And it really should not come as a surprise someone was injured.

      • Dorit Reiss

        Please cite to the numbers you claim for GBS. Here is the only thing I’ve found them to say on this, though my search was quick: “Many things can cause GBS; about two-thirds of people who develop GBS symptoms do so several days or weeks after they have been sick with diarrhea or a respiratory illness. Infection with the bacterium Campylobacter jejuni is one of the most common risk factors for GBS. People also can develop GBS after having the flu or other infections (such as cytomegalovirus and Epstein Barr virus). On very rare occasions, they may develop GBS in the days or weeks after getting a vaccination.”

        In other words, you are much more likely to get GBS from the flu than from the vaccine. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/guillainbarre.htm

      • Verna Lang

        I did find one study that looked at the risk of Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) from vaccination compared GBS after exposure to the flu virus. The study was in Ontario where they encourage everyone to vaccinate. Here are the rates they found: “1·03 Guillain-Barré syndrome admissions per million vaccinations, compared with 17·2 Guillain-Barré syndrome admissions per million influenza-coded health-care encounters.”
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23810252
        About 17 times the risk of GBS symptoms from exposure to the flu compared to the vaccine. I think I will mark my calendar now for a reminder for the flu shot.

      • lbhajdu1 .

        Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Safety: A Summary for Clinicians

        http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/vaccination/vaccine_safety.htm

        “it would be no more than 1 or 2 cases per million people vaccinated”

        2 in a million is 1 in 500,000. This was in a more prominent location before but i guess I was citing it too often so the CDC moved it this side page. And is trying to confuse people with math and words.

      • Deborah Bailin

        I’m not sure what is confusing here. You and Verna Lang are citing the same statistic of 1-2 per million cases of GB (or 1 in 500,000, if you prefer) in those vaccinated against the flu. That doesn’t change the statistic of 17 cases of GB per million of unvaccinated flu victims. In other words, as Verna said, you are 17 times more likely to get GB syndrome from not being vaccinated and coming down with the flu. I think I will also mark my calendar for my next flu shot.

      • lbhajdu1 .

        Perhaps I am 17 times more likely to get it by coming down with the flu. But I hardly ever come down with the flu and there’s a good chance 50% that even if I got the vaccine (ridiculous) that I would still come down with flu. So that’s a bit of a false comparison.

        And even worse, there is a big difference between accepting the risks to a medical procedure willingly or being told you don’t have the right to an education if you don’t do this. Or being told you’re going to be fired from your job if you don’t get a vaccine (thinking of healthcare workers). Hence the bar for safety must be much higher for vaccines.

      • Dorit Reiss

        The bar for safety is much higher for vaccines than for most medical products. The risk of GBS is much lower. I’m glad you do not usually get the flu, but it’s not something you can count on (and to remind you, last year’s vaccine was 60% effective in total prevention and higher in preventing complications – including GBS).

        Let me also add that a recent large scale study found no link between vaccines and GBS: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23580737. I’d suggest the link is in doubt.

      • Deborah Bailin

        The flu vaccine is 70-90% effective. The reasons you could still come down with the flu after getting the vaccine are not ridiculous at all. Since it takes two weeks following vaccination for your body to build up immunity, you could come down with the flu if you are exposed to it during that two week period.

        Also, the influenza virus is not the same from year to year. It mutates and scientists need to create new vaccines based on their knowledge of the virus from previous years. Some years the vaccine is a better match other years. When it’s a less good match, your risk of getting the flu is higher.

        Additionally, if you have a compromised immune system, e.g. from a chronic disease, you are less likely to be protected by the flu vaccine. It works by spurring your immune system into action, but if your immune system is compromised, it won’t be able to mount a full immune response.

        However, the crucial point is that the flu vaccine always protects you more against the flu than not getting the vaccine. Healthy adults who get the vaccine play a very important role in bolstering community immunity.and protecting those with compromised immune systems and those for whom vaccination is counter indicated.The reason you probably hardly ever come down with the flu is that so many other people in your community are getting vaccinated. You’re benefiting from community immunity but not contributing to it.

        As far as compulsory vaccination for school or work, the Supreme Court ruled on that in 1905 in Jacobson v. Massachusetts. In a 7 to 2 decision, the justices found that we “are subjected to all kinds of restraints and burdens, in order to secure the general comfort, health, and prosperity” of our society and that ” the liberty secured by the Constitution of the United States to every person within its jurisdiction does not import an absolute right in each person to be, at all times and in all circumstances, wholly freed from restraint. There are manifold restraints to which every person is necessarily subject for the common good. On any other basis, organized society could not exist with safety to its members. Society based on the rule that each one is a law unto himself would soon be confronted with disorder and anarchy. Real liberty for all could not exist under the operation of a principle which recognizes the right of each individual person to use his own, whether in respect of his person or his property, regardless of the injury that may be done to others.”

        In other words, while you can’t be vaccinated by physical force, if you refuse vaccination, you can rightly be prohibited from partaking of the advantages provided to other citizens in your community because of the risks you would pose to them.

        http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/197/11/case.html

      • lbhajdu1 .

        No you misunderstand, the possibility of me getting vaccinated is what is ridiculous. Never again for this puppy 15 years without with and going strong. By the way you need to check your stats. the lower bound is 10% for seniors, or not cheery pick stats.

        Well if it’s written into US law that must make it right and just then. At lease I got you to bend on your no force argument.

      • Deborah Bailin

        I don’t know about you, but, personally, I am glad we live in a democracy that is built on laws. Our system has tools for citizens to challenge laws they think are unjust, but that doesn’t mean that a majority of your fellow citizens or the courts are going to agree. The price of democracy is that sometimes we have to accept and abide by laws we might not like. That’s a fair price, I think, for civilized self governance. And you still have the right to not ever vaccinate yourself again! Perhaps you would prefer anarchy to our system of laws?

        I have no idea what you’re talking about on bending on force. I said before that physical force is not allowed in implementing vaccine policy and that it never should be. And the Supreme Court decision I cited says the same thing.

      • Boris Ogon

        But I hardly ever come down with the flu and there’s a good chance 50% that even if I got the vaccine (ridiculous) that I would still come down with flu.

        No, this is simply nonsensical. Last I checked, assuming uniform mixing, one has about a 5% chance of contracting the flu in any given year, so after one bout, it’s 13.5 years until one has even odds of contracting it again if unprotected.

        Given a vaccine that is 50% effective on average, that becomes a 2.5% risk, so the 50–50 window is 27.4 years.

        So that’s a bit of a false comparison.

        Or something.

      • LZ

        No where is the flu vaccine 90% effective. Even the CDC year before last acknowledged that the flu vaccine wasn’t more than 9% effective in those over 65. According to the highly respected Cochrane Collaboration, the flu vaccine is of no benefit to anyone (link below). Not only that, but studies have shown that H1N1 flu vaccine increases pulmonary illness when tested in pigs, and humans vaccinated 2 years in a row have been shown to be less protected in the second year.

        http://www.ahrp.org/cms/content/view/876/84/

        http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2013/08/swine-study-suggests-flu-vaccination-may-sometimes-backfire

        https://www.sciencenews.org/article/flu-antibodies-can-make-disease-worse

        http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2013/03/study-getting-flu-shot-2-years-row-may-lower-protection

      • Deborah Bailin

        “Vaccine effectiveness in preventing laboratory confirmed influenza illness when the vaccine strains are well matched to circulating strains is 70-90% in randomized, placebo controlled trials conducted among children and healthy young adults, but is lower among elderly or immuno-compromised persons.”

        http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-540-92165-3_3#page-1

      • Boris Ogon

        Not only that, but studies have shown that H1N1 flu vaccine increases pulmonary illness when tested in pigs, and humans vaccinated 2 years in a row have been shown to be less protected in the second year.

        It looks an awful lot like you’re clumsily trying to conflate VAERD and original antigenic sin. This doesn’t work. You know what does cause OAS fer sure? Actual influenza.

        In any event, the fun part is that, unlike the grand tradition of antivax crankery, real vaccinology is not comfortably ensconced in a morass of hoary tropes.

      • Boris Ogon

        According to the highly respected Cochrane Collaboration, the flu vaccine is of no benefit to anyone (link below) halves one’s risk.

        FTFY. N.b. also that I’ve already done the calculation here for what this means.

        And let’s not pretend that this is anything but Tom Jefferson’s show.

      • Dorit Reiss

        Okay, now I had a chance to look at that list, and it does not say what you claim. Here is the full paragraph:
        Safety monitoring of seasonal IIV over the course of many years has not detected a clear link to Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS). However, if there is a risk of GBS from current IIV, it would be no more than 1 or 2 cases per million people vaccinated.1 This is much lower than the risk of severe influenza, which can be prevented by vaccination.” http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/vaccination/vaccine_safety.htm
        The heading before is “Temporally associated Guillain–Barré Syndrome (GBS) cases following IIV have been observed/reported; ”

        In other words, some people have gotten GBS after the flu vaccine. It’s completely unclear if the flu vaccine ever caused the GBS. If the flu vaccine does cause GBS, it’s in no more – and potentially a lot less – than 1-2 per million vaccinated people, and the risk is much smaller than the risks of the disease.

        This source does not show that 1-2 out of a million people vaccinated get GBS from the vaccine.

      • Sullivan ThePoop

        I can understand you not wanting to give personal medical information. I cannot take your word for it though. Adverse reactions to vaccines are lied about more online than IQ.

      • lbhajdu1 .

        You must hangout on some strange parts of the internet.

      • lilady R.N.

        That’s the nature of a science blog. If you make a statement about a supposed “well known vaccine injury” that you claim you experienced…you should be willing to provide some details.

        Otherwise, we just might consider that you are mistaken about that “well known vaccine injury”.

        You wouldn’t want us to doubt you, would you?

      • lbhajdu1 .

        You’re not going to bully me into disclosing something I don’t want to disclose, sorry. Especially as it has no relevance to my argument.

      • lilady R.N.

        You’re the one who brought up your vaccine reaction to bolster your anti-vaccine viewpoint and your unsubstantiated arguments against childhood vaccines:

        “…..Having been injured by a vaccine myself when I was two, I can tell you the dangers are very real and can be very tragic.”

        – Maybe your parents were mistaken.

        – Maybe you have a vivid imagination.

        – Definitely you have no valid arguments against childhood vaccine.

      • lbhajdu1 .

        You’re coming at me pretty aggressively and consuming a lot of your time for a person that has no valid arguments. Are you board?

        Your name also indicates your an R.N.so you benefit from dispensing vaccines monetarily. Am I the only one here without a financial motive?

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