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Dr. Paul Offit Outed in Wall Street Journal Blog Too

By Kim Stagliano

The Wall Street Journal (HERE) health blog writes about Sharyl Attkisson's piece on CBS last week, again pointing a finger of criticism at the AAP, Every Child by Two and Dr. Paul Offit, infectious disease specialist at Children's Hospital of Philadephia, who is taking aim at autism, autism treatments and, in our opinion, children with autism, at every opportunity.

Please go to the WSJ blog to add your comments. Most people do not know the truth about these conflicts of interest.

This negative publicity, on the heels of his Amanda Peet disaster, doesn't bode well for the book he has coming out titled, "Autism's False Prophets." More on that later this Fall.  Here's the CBS piece about the conflicts of interest of Dr. Offit, The American Academy of Pediatrics and the vaccine promotion organization called "Every Child by Two.":

Why a pediatric specialist would go out of his way to stand in the way of scientific research with the goal of protecting children is perplexing, to say the least.  Why a doctor at a top American childrens hospital would accuse a court of "turning it's back on science" when a severely injured girl's future is at stake is troubling. He seems to want to make certain that there is no proveable cause or effective treatment for this life altering disorder called autism.

....Offit, chief of infectious diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, declined to be interviewed by CBS for the piece. But the story pointed out that Offit’s $1.5 million chair is funded by Merck and that he shares a patent with the company for a vaccine against rotavirus, a cause of childhood diarrhea.

All three subjects of the CBS report told the network they are “upfront about the money they receive and that the funding doesn’t sway their opinions.”

Vaccine makers have been worried by the federal vaccine court’s decision in March to compensate Hannah Poling, a child who developed autism, though the court did not specifically link autism to the medicines. At the time, Offit wrote an op-ed in the New York Times saying that the vaccine court had been turning its back on scientific evidence.

Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism.

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By his own doing, Paul Offit is in so deep, he has nowhere to go and there's no pulling him out of it. He is the self-annointed vaccine prophet of our times and his entire professional reputation and credibility are riding on the single premise that vaccines are safe and good and therefore more vaccines are safer and better. If he had allowed but a little sliver of daylight into his rhetoric, the remotest possibility that not all is known or understood about this medical intervention called vaccination, perhaps he could be artfully weasling his way out of his current predicament. Self-promotion and personal enrichment have always invited scrutiny. Offit has actively courted the media for advancement of his own industry and for individual gain. This man has by all appearances never turned down a Pharma stipend, award, grant, consulting gig or media event to pad his wallet and sell vaccination to the masses. For this man, now, to decline to face the media glare and answer to these allegations leaves me agape and speechless. Stand up, Dr. Offit. America deserves to take its measure of you as a medical professional and a public health servant.

Dr. Rosman's post is one big obfuscation. I'm 30 years old, so I'm part of the generation that received "only" diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, and rubella vaccinations. Contrary to what Dr. Rosman would have us believe, my generation was not plagued by deaths from such "horrific diseases" as the chicken pox--just one of many diseases added to the CDC's schedule since I was a kid. Then we have Dr. Rosman's comment about the ability of vaccines to "keep horrific diseases at bay"--as if there were no other way to prevent these diseases. For example, let's consider Hepatitis B--something that the members of my generation have been taught to avoid by safe sex practices and not doing IV drugs.
Dr. Rosman tries to fool us by conflating virulent, airborne, potentially crippling diseases like polio with bloodborne diseases like Hep B and mild childhood illnesses like the chicken pox. In fact, it's the vaccination for the chicken pox that has made this illness much more serious for those who get it, as the New York Times reported last year: "The shots cut the number of cases by 85 percent between 1995 and 2004. In 1995, 1 percent of the 2,794 reported cases were among vaccinated children. In 2004, there were fewer cases — 420 — but 60 percent were in vaccinated children. While 73 percent of the youngsters who became ill in 1995 were under age 7, the rate dropped to 30 percent by 2004 because the children who got chickenpox were older. And when vaccinated children were infected, they tended to be sicker, probably because they were older. 'Children between the ages of 8 and 12 years who had been vaccinated five years or more previously were two times as likely to have moderate-to-severe breakthrough disease as were those who had been vaccinated less than five years previously,' the researchers wrote." (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/15/health/15pox.html)
Even if there were no such thing as autism, today's childhood vaccination schedule would be excessive at best.

"It's the data points that are the outliers that have people's (including CDC, NIH, etc) attention now..."

Autism = "Outliers Disease"

Given the absence of "absolutes" in medicine, then "Every child by two" and "First do no harm" are diametrically opposed - Dr Rosman if you are truly driven by your desire and responsibility to "provide your patients with the best treatments", one would expect that you would consider the idea that for the "outliers", at least, vaccines may be the WORST treatment.

"guess my computer is crap - or maybe it just takes a woman's touch..."

Update: Gals - 2, Guys - zip (still)

Samantha,

How many times do we have to explain to doctors that the statement "Vaccines are one of the best public health accomplishments of all time and have proven time and time again their ability to keep horrific diseases at bay." has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not the way in which they are adminstered today is safe for the population as a whole? We are asking for safety and answering that vaccines prevent disease does NOTHING TO ADDRESS THE QUESTION OF SAFETY. NOTHING.

Come on. You owe us better. You owe us safety data on what you are injecting. You owe us a complete assessment of a child's immune system before injecting them with five live viruses.

Samantha, prove to us that vaccines are in no way associated with vaccines. Prove to us that injected mercury is safe for babies. You can't. That is what we're asking, but all you can provided are easily manipulated number crunching studies that prove nothing. Until you can, I think that perhaps you are quacking up the wrong tree, doc.

Seems like a nice young idealistic doctor.


http://www.ama-assn.org/ama1/pub/upload/mm/37/bio-rosman.pdf

"Unsubstantiated myths about vaccine risks and conflicts of interest between industry and advocates lead increasing numbers of parents to choose not to vaccinate their children - placing them at risk for life-threatening diseases. Scientific data overwhelmingly shows that there is no connection between vaccines and autism. Autism is a heart-wrenching condition, and the upheaval felt by parents whose children suffer with autism is understandable – as is their search for answers. We absolutely need ongoing research into the causes of autism. However, we cannot let unfounded myths keep us from giving our children the proven protection they need against dangerous infectious diseases."

How about unsubstantiated myths about infectious diseases? These two articles show that the CDC has been publishing made up information about the likelihood of epidemics of diphtheria--perhaps to scare parents into getting their children vaccinated?
Where Do They Find These Scary Statistics?
http://insidevaccines.com/wordpress/?p=143
Where Do They Find These Scary Statistics? Part II: Gross Estimation–Diphtheria Statistics Defy Reality http://insidevaccines.com/wordpress/?p=156

How trustworthy are the vaccine promoters? Do they provide accurate data about the risks of vaccines versus the risks of diseases?


"Scientific data overwhelmingly shows that there is no connection between vaccines and autism."

At least have the sense to put "for the average child" in your declarations. Then you would be telling a half-truth. It's the data points that are the outliers that have people's (including CDC, NIH, etc) attention now though, not the average. Hell, you could show mercury-laced teething powder is safe for the average kid if you wanted.

Ugh, the rest of that post is typical AMA. Talking down to people as if they can't do their own research or understand statistics.

Dr. Rosman,
You say, "we cannot let unfounded myths keep us from giving our children the proven protection they need against dangerous infectious diseases."
I say, "we cannot let unfounded myths of the safety of today's vaccine schedule keep us from giving our children the proven protection they need against dangerous neurological diseases."
Kim Spencer

Physician vaccine advocates, including the American Medical Association, are driven by our desire and responsibility to provide our patients with the best treatments backed by sound, scientific evidence. Vaccines are one of the best public health accomplishments of all time and have proven time and time again their ability to keep horrific diseases at bay.

Unsubstantiated myths about vaccine risks and conflicts of interest between industry and advocates lead increasing numbers of parents to choose not to vaccinate their children - placing them at risk for life-threatening diseases. Scientific data overwhelmingly shows that there is no connection between vaccines and autism. Autism is a heart-wrenching condition, and the upheaval felt by parents whose children suffer with autism is understandable – as is their search for answers. We absolutely need ongoing research into the causes of autism. However, we cannot let unfounded myths keep us from giving our children the proven protection they need against dangerous infectious diseases.

Thanks Kim - the CBS site didn't work yesterday - but got thru the entire clip today after following your link to the same page

guess my computer is crap - or maybe it just takes a woman's touch...

:-)

Hi Randy, Kim here. I just grabbed this link to the CBS site - you might already have it. Not sure why there's a problem. Perhaps overuse? :)

http://tinyurl.com/5q7n76

*********************************************


many attempts to view this video here and directly from CBS website - plays the ads then hangs

sorry - AoA is not technical support :-) but wondering if this video is available elsewhere

thanks
-randy

Hey

Just spent my last brain cells for the night posting on the WSJ blog and piss me off, but it did not appear. We'll see... but isn't it nice that D's Advocate is so friendly over there with all the anti-autism parents (I was going to type pro-vaccine but it is beyond that).

Paul Offit is quickly coming under suspicion for his pharma ties and losing his usefulness as a vaccine promoter in the press.
It's a little hard to pretend that all you do is work at Children's Hosp. of Philadelphia, when you've gotten coverage on CBS and in the
Wall Street Journal because of serious conflicts of interest. Offit's new book,
"Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure," is due out this fall but I hardly think anyone will think of him as a credible independent expert.

Anne Dachel
Media editor

I posted this very early on the site - I verified that it was there later - now it seems to have been pulled from the comments:

“All three subjects of the CBS report told the network they are “upfront about
the money they receive and that the funding doesn’t sway their opinions.”

Why is it then when we talk about the “welfare mothers” that it is ASSUMED that
funding sways their opinions about getting a job?

Fact is, Offit is a “welfare mother” of the drug industry and he does not want
to have to get another job. This one is TOO EASY and it pays TOO MUCH.

Tim Kasemodel Wayzata, MN

Comment by Tim Kasemodel - July 28, 2008 at 5:46 pm


Curious why it is not there.........

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