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Clive Thompson Calls Questioning Vaccine Safety Decade's Worst Idea

David-and-goliath-sumos2 By Julie Obradovic
 
On Sunday, Clive Thompson, a contributing writer for The New York Times and Wired Magazine posted an editorial in The Washington Post about what he believes is the worst idea of the decade: questioning vaccine safety. (Click here.) According to Mr. Thompson, a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and Wired, the lack of trust that has been perpetuated by those of us in what he calls the "anti-vaccine movement" is directly responsible for the reason the US Government didn't have enough vaccine to fight swine flu this fall.
 
Trying to appease us by not using adjuvant that Canada and "most of Europe" did is his explanation for the shortage. Apparently our government officials were too worried about "spooking anti-vaccine activists" when they decided to forgo using them. He went on to include a quote from Ann Schuchat of the CDC in congressional testimony last month as support.
 
 "The public's confidence in our vaccine system and in vaccines in this country [is] very, very fragile."
 
This is the only part of his editorial in which we agree. Yes indeed, public confidence in the vaccine system in very, very fragile. Why that is, however, we profoundly disagree.
 
We also disagree about the level of influence vaccine safety advocates have. (Which is what we really are but will not be called because that makes us sound rational and educated, not the evil lunatics out to set the world aflame in infectious disease they choose to portray us as. "Anti-vaccine" does that so effectively for them, doesn't it? Yes, anyone who questions vaccine safety and those in charge of it is automatically against them, didn't you know?) According to Thompson we have become "uniquely powerful".
 
Uniquely powerful? I'll take that as a compliment. We have no money, no budget to fund the science our children so desperately deserve, and are probably among the most burdened group of activists out there. We operate from yahoo groups and a blog. And yet we're "uniquely powerful" enough to influence government policy? We're "uniquely powerful" enough to cause a swine flu vaccine shortage? Puh-leaze. We can't even get our own government agency, the IACC, to do what we want.
 
What Mr. Thompson and those like him refuse to acknowledge, however, is the real reason the public's confidence in the vaccine system in the country is so fragile: we have the most vaccinated children in the world and the sickest. If the amount of vaccines they got truly correlated with good health, they should be the healthiest people on the planet, ever, and yet, the exact opposite is true. Couple that with the lack of transparency, urgency, and integrity with which the Autism epidemic has been handled. 1 in 20 American families, if not more now, is personally affected by Autism. 1 in 20. Which means just about everyone now knows a family member, neighbor, playmate or playmate's sibling that has it. A condition that no one over the age of 30 ever remembers hearing about before St. Elsewhere or Rain Man in the late 1980's is now everywhere. And the answers for why that is are nothing short of pathetic. No wait, they're embarrassing.
 
Lack of Autism in the past? Misdiagnosis. Increase of Autism in the past decade? Better diagnosis. 50% increase of Autism in the past 2 years? Over diagnosis.
The same group of people that can't figure out how much Autism there was or is, is the same group that tells us they have no idea what causes it, if it's genetic, environmental or both. They don’t know what causes Autism, but they know for damn sure what doesn't: Vaccines. And how do they know this? Well, they've studied 1 ingredient of what, 80 now, and 1 injection of over what, 35? 45? I can't even keep track anymore.
 
Yet, they've never studied the most obvious control group: the never vaccinated. They refuse to do so in spite of congressional leadership asking, in spite of parents everywhere asking, in spite of money being allocated for the opportunity to do so. They flat out refuse to look, claiming it's unethical. Unethical to analyze 10 year olds that aren't vaccinated to look at health outcome differences? There are hundreds of thousands of them in our country, right now. There is no excuse not to. In fact, it’s unethical NOT to.
 
They've never studied the sub-populations of vulnerable or affected children for evidence of vaccine injury and they've never, ever, ever studied the current recommended vaccination schedule for safety. Ever.
 
Worse, they completely discount hundreds of thousands of parents’ testimony, first hand witnesses to what happened to their children, and dismiss it as coincidence. In fact, everything about Autism to them is a coincidence: the timing of the onset of symptoms; the eerie similarity to mercury poisoning; the ratio of boys to girls; the vast improvement via chelation therapy...the list goes on. All coincidence. One big fat coincidence. Never, ever has the almighty religion of science been allowed to be as very coincidental as it is in the case of vaccines.
 
Still, Mr. Thompson and those like him feel the quality, quantity, relevance, and bias of these studies that he calls "reputable" are perfectly adequate in dismissing any link between the two. I'm willing to bet everything I own he has never read them, for indeed in my experience, the only people who ever stand by them are those who haven’t. I have.
 
Wanna know how some mercury is different than more mercury for kids in Italy? Wanna know the difference of Autism rates for kids who got the DTP at 3 months of age versus 6 months of age in England? Wanna see what happens when kids get the Measles vaccine but not the Mumps vaccine in Japan? Wanna see how the rate of mercury uptake in Quebec affected rates of Autism in Montreal?
 
Yep. These are the peer reviewed prizes that "science" has given us. This is what qualifies as "reputable" now-a-days.
 
Moreover, he's completely accepting of the fact that those who manufacture, profit from, create policy for, publicly endorse, and defend in a court of law vaccines are qualified to objectively do these aforementioned studies on the very product which their entire life's work and reputation resides.
 
Here's the difference between the two of us. Drum roll, please....
 
I don't. And I am so sick and tired of having to defend myself for that.
 
If it is true that vaccines are indeed responsible for the explosion of chronic disease in our children in the last 20 years, then those who will be held accountable for it do not get the luxury of finding out if they are guilty. That's not conspiracy theory. That's not anyone "painting scientists as corrupt elitists on the take from Big Pharma, cackling sadistically as they force us to get shots", as you say. No, Clive. That's Criminal Law 101.
 
In fact, Gardiner Harris's most recent New York Times piece HERE investigates the ethics and conflicts of interest of those in charge of vaccine policy for that very reason.
 
Parents and doctors alike are finally fighting back against these vicious attacks, their intelligence and humanity being insulted for having the audacity to suggest, hey, maybe we're doing too much of a good thing here? Hey, maybe we should stop layering all of these shots on top of one another until we study them cumulatively? Hey, any chance we should change the context of the law in which the protection of pharmaceutical companies was enacted because, wow, it certainly seems like once they got that liability protection vaccines have become a never ending cash cow that needs to reigned in a little? And hey, any chance now that we've been vaccinating for decades we could take a step back and see if maybe, just maybe, there have been any unintended consequences we should be aware of? Any chance lowering infectious disease has raised chronic disease? And now that we don't live in squalor and actually practice good hygiene, any chance we need to re-evaluate the true threat of some diseases that used to plague us?
 
Oh, no, don't go there, people. If you ask those questions, you are a nut. A whack job. A flat earther. Dangerous. Sinful. Reckless.
 
Never mind that extremely prestigious doctors like Bernadine Healy disagree. Never mind that Dr. Bob Sear's book on vaccines is among one of the most influential new parent books available. Never mind that the CDC studied and concluded that the average education level of those parents who don't vaccinate is extremely high, implicating that highly educated parents have doubts about what they are being asked to believe: That all vaccines, all the time, at any time, under any circumstances, for all children, are always safe and any problems that arise are extremely rare, untreatable coincidences.
 
Never mind that VAERS was created for the explicit reason that they aren't.
 
Never mind that over 2 billion dollars has been awarded to people who have indeed been injured by vaccines.
 
Never mind that Hannah Poling was found to have an underlying mitochondrial disorder that was aggravated by 9 vaccines at once that resulted in the "features" of Autism (which is only defined by it features anyway) and that we do not screen children for mitochondrial disorders before we vaccinate them, even though we know approximately 20% of children with Autism have them.
 
And never mind that there are actually some doctors out there who truly think parents are stupid enough to believe the vaccines actually didn't cause the Autism in Hanna Poling, the equivalent of trying to argue someone had an underlying thyroid problem that was aggravated by eating too much food resulting in the features of fat, but that the food had nothing to do with it and that the fat only looks like fat but really isn't fat. Or even better, that the thyroid condition alone would have caused the fat anyway.
 
I refuse to take responsibility for any assumed swine flu deaths by failure to vaccinate. First, there is no such evidence what-so-ever that is the reason for their deaths, that a vaccine would have guaranteed another fate, or that the current vaccine we have is even effective. In fact, most evidence is showing us the swine flu pandemic has been anything but.
 
To suggest I or any other advocate played a role in their death is inflammatory and deplorable, not to mention down right insulting. Contrary to those who are only interested in valuing the lives of those affected by infectious disease because of a lack of vaccination, I am interested in protecting them both: those who are equally, but negatively affected by infectious disease BECAUSE of vaccination. I value ALL lives on both sides of the issue and to insinuate otherwise is disingenuous and ignorant.
 
The current "fragile" vaccination situation was predictable and avoidable a decade ago.
 
Officials' behavior at Simpsonwood? Burying data? Lying to doctors who truly want to do right by their patients? Manipulating studies to generate specific outcomes? Redoing studies over and over again until they have that outcome? Refusing then and now to do the most basic, honest study comparing vaccinated to never vaccinated populations?
 
Lying to parents? Marginalizing them? Accusing them of conspiracy theories and fear mongering? Making them into the enemy for wanting answers to help their suffering children? Telling parents what they lived, what they witnessed with their own eyes, isn't real? Convincing them an injected neurotoxin is inconsequential to development? Telling parents it’s not in vaccines any more when it absolutely is?
 
Forcing them to put out the fires of that neurotoxin on their own, and then criticizing the water they use to do it, even though when they screamed for help to 911 they were told there was no fire, that they were imagining it, and that sometimes kids just spontaneously combust...let them burn it out?
 
Making parents choose between chronic and infectious disease? Making parents choose between what their best friend, neighbor, sister, or cousin is telling them happened versus their doctor's insistence otherwise because that doctor trusts they are being told the truth by their leadership?
 
Giving pharmaceutical companies the power to make a product they never get to be accountable for in a court of law, even though it is mandated by law for use in our smallest population?
 
Underestimating the power and dedication of a parent whose child has been poisoned for profit?
 
Allowing doctors who make millions from the very product under investigation to loudly and publicly proclaim its innocence, simultaneously pleading ignorance and expertise in an area of which they clearly know nothing?
 
Abandoning an entire generation of children?
 
Those are the worst ideas of the decade. Mr. Thompson. In fact, they may be the worst ideas in the history of humanity.
 
I can guarantee you if they weren’t, we wouldn’t be “uniquely powerful” at all.

Julie Obradovic is Contributing Editor to Age of Autism.

Comments

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alışveriş

Thank you very much for the excellent and useful subject.

Cynthia Cournoyer

The only way the anti vaccine movement can be responsible for a lack of flu vaccine is because the manufacturer does not want to get stuck with a stockpile that is unusable next year. Market forces have made them scared. The "power" we have is and always was in our ability to refuse to participate.

Having to make them without adjuvants because of a public outcry, leading to a shortage? They chose that, assuming it would sell better in the "anti vaccine" climate. We rejected them anyway.

If the adjuvants were so harmless why didn't they just leave them in? Probably because they already knew they were reactive, and it's those darn reactions those darn parents are so darn worried about!

Andy

Kim - thanks for the clarification. Sorry to speculate about censorship (easy to jump to conclusions sometimes). You are correct that I have pretty much been asking the same question. You have a merry Christmas too. :-)

Stagmom

Andy, I'm Kim, one of the moderators. I believe we've posted all (or most) of your comments. You keep asking the same question, to the point of perseverating on the fine details - We've addressed your question several times. Whether it's to your exacting specifications is not ours to judge. We wish you well, and Merry Christmas.

Kim

Andy

Well. I honestly wasn't attempting to harass anybody. I've only asked questions. I attacked nobody. I insulted nobody. In fact *I* have been insulted in the process.

I realize it's an editorial. But you are speaking authoritatively whether you realize it or not. And like the media you *should* have some obligation to not mislead or lie. I assumed you knew something I didn't about the state of health in this country, apparently I'm wrong. You're right though. This is just an editorial that ought be ignored.

Sorry to have mistaken you for something you're not.

"To the rest of you who are trying to show Andy what he does not want to be shown, stop wasting your time. I do appreciate it the response, though."

I'm sorry you feel that way. I've learned more from some of your commenters than I have from you actually. I've got a PDF or two that I'm looking forward to reading tonight. But I don't expect you to let this message be posted either like you didn't my last one. I guess I don't "fall in line" enough.

Julie Obradovic

Andy,

You are here for one purpose, and one purpose only: to harrass people. Normally I don't bother to respond to those like you, I find it an annoying waste of time, but every once in a while I do. It flatters me to know my writing gets so deep under other people's skin that they come here to make trouble. As always, however, I regret it. This will be the last I will respond to you.

Clive Thompson's article in the Washington Post is what we call an "editorial". My response to him was also an "editorial". Here's the defintion of that word, since you seem to not know:

"An article, as in a newspaper, expressing an opinion of its editors or publishers."

It was not a research paper that needed "citations please", although it easily could have many. I stand by the facts I wrote. And if you can find any facts that are incorrect on your own time, with "citations please", that need to be fixed, I will definitely correct them. Not a problem. Mistakes happen every day in every form of media, and the idea of you spending any more time disecting my article only makes me smile. Glad it had an impact.

As for the idea that our children are the sickest and the most vaccinated? I stand by that too. But that is something that is subjective to the definition of "sick" and therefore something that may never, ever be agreed upon even "scientifically". Interestingly, however, science is rooted primarily by defintion in what we call "observation". My "observation" of the world I live in with my children, my students and my children's playmates is that they are very, very vaccinated, and very, very sick. That may or may not be related, but it certainly warrants investigation, a point lost on so many.

Common sense dictates I am refering to the tremendous increase of chronic disease our kids are currently facing, but hey, common sense hasn't had a place in the science of vaccines for quite some time, so I guess I'm not surpised. You know that, Andy, thus making my point of being here only to stir up trouble.

To the rest of you who are trying to show Andy what he does not want to be shown, stop wasting your time. I do appreciate it the response, though.

Merry Christmas!

Tony Bateson

It really upsets me when I read the longwinded to and fro-ing of quasi statistical stuff or people taking objection to somebody's turn of phrase, wanting 'in my opinion to be inserted etc'.

In Britain we have perhaps three millions unvaccinated with childhood vaccines. In ten years ad hoc but extensive searching via websites, broadcsts, published articles in national press and journals etc., attendance at more than twenty conferences of parents and professionals in the autism community, aggregate attendance over 2,000 persons, I have spectacularly failed to find unvaccinated autistic persons. I now believe the prevalence of autism in this group to be nil!

Tony Batson, Oxford, UK

michael framson

To Andy,

The following comes from the landmark document, "In Harms Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development by the Physicians for Social Responsibility, 2000 report. http://action.psr.org/site/PageServer?pagename=boston_ihw-report#ihwRptDwnld

The basis for much of the scientific claims is to "understand" what is known and what is conjectured. But these are based on two linked observations: (1) that developmental disabilities are common in American children; and (2) that the causes of these disabilities are largely unknown.

The Executive Summary (page 1) already more than 10 years out of date provides these metrics:

1)It is estimated that nearly 12 million children (17%) in the United States under age 18 suffer from one or more learning, developmental or behavioral disabilities.

2) ADHD, according to conservative estimates, affects 3 to 6% of all school children, though recent evidence suggests the prevalence may be as high as 17%.

3) Learning disabilities alone may affect approximately 5-10% of children in public schools.

4) The number of children in special education programs classified with learning disabilities increased 191% from 1977-1994.

5)Aproximately 1% of all children are mentally retarded.

6)The incidence of autism may be as high as 2 per 1000 children. [Andy, since you seem interested, would you please provide me with today's numbers.]

These trends may reflect true increases, improved detection, reporting or record keeping, or some combination of these factors. Whether new or newly recognized these statistics suggest a problem of epidemic proportion.

Many of the parents at this site understand, through the biochemistry and behaviors of their children,that "In Harms Way" is about what happened to their children. These parents realize, more than any of the pediatricians or public health officials, how tiny, truly tiny amounts of toxins, like fish mercury or vaccine mercury can have horrendous, devastating, life altering, catastrophic developmental impacts in susceptible children...depending on the age of exposure. And it is all preventable, but we can't even get the medical community to be precautious.

The Clive Thompson's, Amy Wallace's, Michael Specter's, Trine Tsouderos's, Patricia Callahan's, Haddayr Copley-Woods, are pathetic writers with a malevolent agenda. When the bell curve of functional IQ distribution shifts to a trend of more dysfunction (page 16) sharing the blame will be these arrogant, pitiful writers.


mary podlesak

Dear Andy,
Infant mortality statistics should not be the sole criterion for ascertaining the hypothetical illness level of a population. The first question which must be asked is: What is the definition of illness?

WHO defines illness as a state of complete physical, social well-being not merely the abscence of disease or infirmity. When these conditions are not fulfilled then one is considered to have an illness.

Funk & Wagnell, 1941: Illness: the state of being out of health.

Mary Podlesak, 2009: Any bodily departure from the natural ordered state of the body.

There exist many measures which could qualify as indicators of the general health of a society, the bottom line I believe is validity and it's handmaiden, integrity. How valid, how reliable are the statistics gathered? Is there a way to assure that, from CDC? We've been told the US is 40th in the world in child mortality. You don't believe that is too bad, particularly when compared to Afganistan etc. I believe there are other methods of measurement, and one I believe is the sample method. My family is a small self contained sample. My husband and I are accomplished and educated, both learned to speak within the agreed upon normal time of life. Our four children, did not. Family members: 300+: no abnormal speech issues. That is a family sample. It is not a randomized controlled trial, but surely it is NOT anecdotal, that is, some brief account or story having nothing to do with medical events.

My dear Andy, I couldn't care less for anyone's opinion of my IQ. I do however know I am not an expert in the field of autism medicine or statistics. I'm lucky if I can quote the latest CDC autism stats correctly. All of that is beside my point - the need for a public debate on autism. that is why I'm challenging you. There is a need for Pharma to come out of the closet and debate those of us on the other side of the autism-vaccine argument in a public forum, not the rarified closet of a blog. I am the perfect foil. I have a large family some of whom are autistic, some are not, I'm no expert but only somewhat knowledgable. If you and your big money friends in Pharma can't foot the bill for a public debate, you are the cowards I always took you to be.

Andy

I'd also like to point out that since the original assertion in the article is apparently without basis in any scientific study that the author please change the wording to be more honest. Perhaps the addition "in my opinion" would suffice? I don't think it helps any of us to exaggerate or mislead! :-)

Andy

Thanks again to those who provided more sources. I'm going to research them a bit to see if the speculation pans out (reporters aren't often very good at reporting science and medical studies).

Some initial thoughts, however.

Our infant death rate is higher than ~40 other industrialized nations. But those 40 other nations also have vaccination programs do they not? Not to mention the number of other differences (universal health care in most). So I'm not sure why anybody would think that vaccines are a problem 'here' but not 'there.' And if they are a problem 'there' as well why is it that nations that don't vaccine have higher rates of infant mortality?

The other articles talking of rises in allergies and autoimmune diseases actually suggest other possible reasons but make no conclusions. These are very difficult subjects to study as laboratory double-blind studies are impossible we need to rely on proper cross-population studies. And not all the data needed is ever collected. What I also see missing in those reports is the "error bars." Every study of this nature has flaws and an honest study posts the estimate of error.

AnaB

I've always found it odd that the govt. actually spent money trying to determine who is reluctant to vaccinate and the reasons why, yet they refuse to study environmental triggers for Autism. Their conclusion: the highly educated question vaccines. What do you see in subsequent years--the kind of ill-informed, judgemental hit pieces in magazines that tend to be read by the highly educated. Careful big media - your ad sponsors are showing! The media, it seems to me, truly has become a publicity arm for the govt in recent decades, too, in between celebrity gossip segments. Pitiful.

bensmyson

@andy

I dont believe anyone really knows the causes of SIDS, I also dont believe that every case of shaken baby syndrome is from someone shaking their child to death. I also question the causes of so many early births, miscarriages, how is it that a nation with a state of the art hospital on every corner and a health and welfare social program that blankets the needs of the children born into poverty, can see so many deaths?

Is it all vaccine related? Could be, there seems to be no other reason.

If you look at the cancer rates, we have more people per thousand dying of cancer than we did 40 years ago. Think of all the advances in technology and ways to detect cancer early, and still more people are dying. Alzheimer's, flu shots? Prove to me these deaths are not vaccine related.

And yes, the 40th deadliest Country for children under a year of age isn't the worst in the total world yet it is dead last in the world in which modern medicine has found it's way, an abundance of nutritious food, shelter, clean water, money, education, and emergency medical care is minutes away. We are a generous Nation, our social programs offer assistance for families with needs. Good luck in Bangladesh or the sub-Saharan Africa.

I'd say that we are easily the sickest country in the world that has electricity and water in 99.9% of the households.

Twyla

@Andy -

Washington Post "Immune Systems Increasingly on Attack"
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/03/AR2008030303200.html

"First, asthma cases shot up, along with hay fever and other common allergic reactions, such as eczema. Then, pediatricians started seeing more children with food allergies. Now, experts are increasingly convinced that a suspected jump in lupus, multiple sclerosis and other afflictions caused by misfiring immune systems is real.

"Though the data are stronger for some diseases than others, and part of the increase may reflect better diagnoses, experts estimate that many allergies and immune-system diseases have doubled, tripled or even quadrupled in the last few decades, depending on the ailment and country. Some studies now indicate that more than half of the U.S. population has at least one allergy...

"'Overall, there is very little doubt that we have seen significant increases,' said Syed Hasan Arshad of the David Hide Asthma and Allergy Centre in England, who focuses on food allergies. 'You can call it an epidemic. We're talking about millions of people and huge implications, both for health costs and quality of life. People miss work. Severe asthma can kill. Peanut allergies can kill. It does have huge implications all around. If it keeps increasing, where will it end?'"

***

Los Angeles Times "4% of U.S. Children Have Food Allergies, Analysis Finds"
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-sci-allergies17-2009nov17,0,7452917.story

"The number of children who have food allergies is not only increasing, it now encompasses 4% of all kids in the United States, according to an analysis of four large, national surveys published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

"The study -- the first to make a broad estimate about the prevalence of food allergies among U.S. children -- supports previous studies suggesting that allergy rates are rising rapidly, for reasons that are unclear.

"Government researchers found that self-reported food allergies increased 18% between 1997 and 2007. Healthcare visits for food allergies in children nearly tripled between two time periods studied: 1992 through 1997 and 2003 through 2006. In the later period, U.S. children had an average of 317,000 visits to healthcare settings per year for food allergies.

"The data suggest a real surge in illnesses and not just better awareness and diagnosis, said the study's lead author, Amy M. Branum, a statistician with the National Center for Health Statistics..."

Casey

Andy, the scientific method is based on observation. We have thousands of people witnessing the effects of an overdrugged overvaccinated generation. Hiding behind a lack of 'studies' to prove anything does not disclaim what these parents are seeing happen to their children. Please keep an open mind here. Children's lives are being destroyed. The only winners here are the eugenicists.

Andy

@bensmyson

Thanks for the statistics. Are you claiming that infant mortality is caused by vaccines though? And 40th is hardly "sickest in the world" is it not?

@mary podlesak

I'm sure your family is all very intelligent. And I'm sure it's difficult to have children with Autism. When you figure out what that has to do with a citation for "we're the sickest nation in the world" let me know.

Kristen

Julie- another terrific and convincing post. I think our sheer numbers- which is THEIR fault- is what makes us uniquely powerful.

nhokkanen

So now we hear from commenter Andy, who wants this complicated issue summed up in the limited comments section. Reading the AoA archives would be a good start.

And we also have David Brown, who somehow decided the statements here are assumptions. It's called FOIA -- Freedom Of Information Act. Try checking out the documents uncovered at NoMercury.org.

bensmyson

@andy

We're about 40th from the top in infant mortality. Right up there with Serbia, Cuba, Croatia and Poland. Behind most nearly every other industrialized world power such as the Czech Republic. We have twice as many infant deaths as France.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2091rank.html

As a note of interest there are 13.82 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html

300 million people, that's 41,000 children with autism according to the old CDC numbers released Friday. (nearly 5 per minute) In ten years there will be over a half million kids under 10. Let's just say that by just spreading out the vaccine schedule prevents 10% from autism. 50,000 kids, 20%? 100,000 children. 50%? 250,000 kids free of autism, half a million parents catching a break.

Sorry, got side tracked.

mary podlesak

Dear Andy,
I am the mother of four high functioning autistic children. None of them spoke English fluently until the age of 5. My husband and I are engineers. My husband has a Phd in EE, and I an MS in IE. My mother is one of 13, my father one of 10. I have 60 first cousins. In the year 1953, I was the last to be born of 6 cousins that year and the first to learn to speak. No one in my family, nor my husbands' has a condition remotely resembling the mutism and social retardation of my children. Thank God they do not have the disabilities of some of the other children described on this web site. I keep all the autism families in my prayers. As for you Andy, anytime, anyplace, I'll debate you. I don't have an absolute command of autism medicine or statistics. I'm not young and I'm no longer good looking (if I ever was!). Your partial rendition of the facts must be responded to, even if it is by as inadequate an instrument as me.

cmo

Julie,

Great writing, but WHERE did you get the sumo wrestler picture?

Is that how BIG someone would have to be to handle the mercury in a typical vaccine ???

Stats

Asthma rates in children under the age of five have increased more than 160% from 1980-1994.3

http://www.aaaai.org/media/statistics/asthma-statistics.asp




The number of young people who had a food or digestive allergy increased 18 percent between 1997 and 2007, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2007, approximately 3 million U.S. children and teenagers under age 18 – or nearly 4 percent of that age group – were reported to have a food or digestive allergy in the previous 12 months, compared to just over 2.3 million (3.3 percent) in 1997.
http://foodconsumer.org/7777/8888/C_hildren_amp_W_omen_33/111110292008_Children_s_allergy_on_the_rise.shtml

The rates of obesity and Type 2 diabetes among children in the U.S. is rapidly rising.

http://mednews.wustl.edu/news/page/normal/4881.html

Children's weight

http://www.childstats.gov/americaschildren/health7.asp

Andy

"I could (and so, I'm sure, could Julie) inundate you with citations and evidence."

Please do. That is exactly what I am asking for. Instead I get told to crawl back in a hole and I'm given anecdotes.

cmo

How could anyone ever lose confidence in the US/ CDC vaccine program ??


pardon me, forgot one from below...

...and give the vaccine industry complete freedom from any damn liability of their vaccine products.

cmo

How could anyone ever lose confidence in the US/ CDC vaccine program ??

They cook up the H1N1 virus in a lab, spread it around the world...somehow quickly FIND IT AGAIN, change the WHO rules so it can be called a pandemic...

...pick up an easy two billion dollars in advance to create a vaccine response, add an untested mercury compound to the vaccine as a preservative,

...spend another 5 billion dollars for the media networks so they will provide the needed H1N1 flu fear and hype.

....calm fears by saying the vaccine is made with the same crap, in the same way, as the seasonal flu vaccine....

...state that they don't know what is causing the mercury posioning symptoms in our children

...give the vaccine away for FREE (because we have already paid for it)... and expect the public to shoot up their children with a 50 to 100x dose of mercury.

We need our elite TV / medicine pesonalites to all take the toddler dose of mercury with a dozen shots on the same day...


Sylvia

The public trust in the vaccine program is very fragile BECAUSE A BUNCH OF CROOKS RUN THE VACCINE PROGRAM!

That is not my fault, or the fault of my severely vaccine injured child.

If the system is so crooked that most parents are no longer swayed by the bullying, guilt, lies, coercion, blackmail, or any of the other common tactics used by our Public Health Servants, then they have no one but themselves to blame for the mess they have made of the vaccine program.

admin

I am VERY impressed by this post. I am very impressed and extremely saddened about the Autism angle of vaccines and about the COMPLETE NEGATION in MSM about this.

I thank you that you have this site and publish this information because before that, I only understood autism in the Rainman scope.

NOW I understand that autism is an issue and the issue of vaccine and autism is a LONG TERM EFFECT of vaccines.

THEY do not even accept that when people die just hours after taking the vaccine or when people develop this syndrome it is because the vaccine. The WHO disregards ALL side effects as either irrelevant or not related to the vaccine.

We will continue to quote your point of view on www.conspirare.net and we appreciate The Age Of Autism.

Mark Blaxill

Andy,
Get a grip. Autism rates are 1 in 100. The disorder didn't even exist until the 1930s. Diabetes is up, asthma and food allergies are exploding. I could (and so, I'm sure, could Julie) inundate you with citations and evidence. The only rejoinder you would offer is "better diagnosing." That's an evidence-free assertion and an infinite loop for those of you have have no connection to the real world Julie is descriibing. Go climb back into your hole.

Andy

Soooo, you have no citations then. Only personal experience and conjecture. You don't know whether the increased awareness of some issues is over-reaction or whether they're new illnesses. You haven't controlled for anything. Just your intuition.

You also haven't controlled for life threatening vs. non-life threatening illness. Nor for whether more or less children live past infancy or for population growth or density of population. For any other changes in society (diet, wealth, availability of health care, etc). You haven't, in fact, controlled for anything at all.

This is what separates your writings from real science. Controls. Emotion, conjecture, and intuition are very unreliable factors when determining the source of a problem.

Cathy R.

The only thing better than this article is Twyla's comment...

David Brown

It's all well and good to downplay those who may see you as a powerful, well-funded movement. But why not reconsider the assumptions you have made about vaccines being profitable and diverse groups and individuals being capable of an organized "conspiracy"?

Kansas RPh

Julie,
This is one of the best posts I have read on this site. In pharmacy school, we were taught the conventional medical view that vaccines save lives, are completely safe, and do not cause autism. I arrogantly held this belief for several years until I happened to read a paper by Dr. Russell Blaylock which made me start questioning much of what I was taught in school. I then started doing my own research. The more I researched this topic, the more disgusted I became with what I found. I am angry that as a student I was not presented with all of the information and then allowed to make own conclusions. In order to truly understand this issue one must study all of its aspects, not just the dogmatic narrow view of the conventional medical establishment. Our nation's healthcare providers would be more compassionate caregivers if they would take the time to do their own research into some of the problems with vaccines instead of arrogantly dismissing anyone with concerns about vaccine safety as "anti-vaccine." Perhaps some forward-thinking school of medicine can invite J.B. Handley or Dr. Blaylock as a counterpoint/guest lecturer when vaccines are studied. Fat chance, I know, but I can dream can't I?

Angie

Another fantastic article!
Where has this looney been the last month or so? Obviously in his own little world because the 'Swine Flu' vaccine cant be given away now, there are clinics being advertised all over our city and no one is showing up....
..idiot...

Angie
Mom to Ethan, Alex, and Megan

Julie Obradovic

Andy,

Citations that we are the sickest nation of children and the most vaccinated? Well, we are the most vaccinated. Fact. Check. Anywhere.

And the sickest? I guess that depends how you define it, no? Here's how I do.

I've been teaching high school for 13 years. Until a few years ago the most important health issue I had to worry about for my students was bee stings. Yes, bee stings. I had a room with huge windows and soaring ceilings that faced a court yard with no air conditioning. Bees were a constant threat. I needed to know who would have a life threatening allergy to them.

Today? Well, now I have a whole new set of problems. You see, 1/3 of our graduating classes are on a medical alert list. 1/3. And bee stings? That's not the problem anymore. No, it's life threating asthma, diabetes, allergies, and medicated ADHD.

A few years ago the US Dept. of Education stated 1 in 5 kindergartners has a special need. I think that number is old based on my own experience. Speech delay and learning disabilities are rampant.

And how about not being able to send a simple snack with my child to school that has tree nuts? Or the new staple of the lunch room: the allergy table?

I don't know the stats on the incidence of all of these issues, and frankly, I don't feel like looking them up to cite them at the moment. If anyone else here wants to do so for me, it would be much appreciated. I'd rather bake cookies today with my recovered child.

But I'll leave you with this: On my street, within 4 houses, there are 4 children under the age of 10 with severe medical/ educational needs. Seizures, Autism, Speech Delay, ADHD and more.

Within a 2 block radius, there are 2 more, also with speech delay, learning disabilities, and life threatening asthma that recently almost killed one of them.

Within a 4 block radius, there are 2 additional children with a form of Autism. In fact, my son and 2 of his good friends all share one thing in common: they have siblings with it.

You want citations that our children are the sickest on the planet?

Open your eyes.

Jack

nhokkanen,

Actually the space-shuttle o-ring story is a very good analogy.

A couple of Richard Feynman's books go into some fascinating details about his investigation. NASA officials offered study after study proving all sorts of aspects of the shuttle, including the o-rings, were safe. But he insisted on checking things out for himself and in each factory would blow by the administrators and talk to the people actually working in the factories (the parents if you well) that knew the equipment.

In the end he solved the nationally embarassing mystery by ignoring officials and their studies and talking to people, and with a little common sense demonstration by placing a o-ring in a cold glass of water. A simple experiment, indeed.

He also identified a lot of flaws (moving goalposts) that were potentially disasterous but weren't the cause of this particular disaster.

We need a few more Richard Feynmans.

jen

Clive Thompson is an idiot. He probably doesn't have children. Who cares if the Plandemic didn't have enough vaccine. Cochrane studies show them to be ineffective(therefore a waste of money), some people have really bad side effects from them and we don't even know about long-term effects (altzheimers, anyone?). "The U.S. has the most vaccinated children in the world AND the sickest." That reminds me of another statistic. THe U.S. spends a whopping 16% of their GDP on health care-no other country comes close (Canada spends 10.5%) and yet they provide good health coverage to all (insurance, hmo's, legal do no actual care but bleed off resources). Anyways, I digress. That Clive jerk will just be one of many who will look pretty stupid when the shit hits the fan, which, with the current statistics on autism and hep b uptake etc., should be soon.

Jacey Capurso

Fabulous journalism.....as always, Julie! Thanks for the rebuttal from us all.

And to Clive...."yeah...what she said..!!!"

Twyla

Thanks for this excellent article, Julie! I hope Clive Thompson reads it.

His statment that, "before smallpox vaccines, the disease routinely accounted for 10 percent of all deaths in Europe" as a justification for vaccines shows that he is living in the past.

TO MR. THOMPSON, IF YOU ARE READING THIS: How does the eradication of smallpox justify my autistic son receiving a vaccine for hepatitis B on the day he was born? What science shows the safety of a newborn receiving a vaccine on the day of birth, before the kidneys and liver are even fully functional yet? What science shows the safety of my newborn son being injected with mercury in the preservative thimerosal, which was grandfathered in without any safety studies except for studies in the 1930s showing that after receiving shots containing thimerosal, terminally ill people died as expected and dogs became sick? My son was not even at risk for heptatitis B, so the vaccine had absolutely no value to him, as well as unknown risk.

What scientific studies show the safety of injecting aluminum into babies? Dr. Robert Sears was not able to find such studies despite a diligent search, but he found that the level of aluminum in the standard vaccine schedule exceeds that recommended for enteral feeding.

What scientific studies show the safety of giving 6 or 9 vaccines at the same time? My daughter had a febrile seizure after receiving the MMR and varicela vaccines at the same time. Fortunately she did not suffer the lasting consequences of some babies I know who received MMR, varicela, plus other vaccines such as a flu shot containing thimerosal.

We have gone from a time when children received just a few vaccines for serious prevalent diseases, to infants receiving two dozen vaccines by the age of two and another dozen as preschoolers. The risks of these vaccines are not being accurately weighed in relation to the risks of diseases.

Mr. Thompson, don't confuse scientific skepticism with prejudice, close-mindedness and the Semmelweiss reflex. Look at what is really happening. Profit motives are impacting our vaccine system and those who are supposed to monitor it. Be skeptical of the AAP and pharma companies, not only of parents and doctors and scientists who are voicing legitimate safety concerns.

Andy

"we have the most vaccinated children in the world and the sickest"

[citation needed]

nhokkanen

Julie, thanks for spelling out these valid and urgent concerns for our nation's public health officials. It's not just nuances that are lost on Clive Thompson -- sadly he lacks a firm grasp of the obvious.

Unless he's being tongue-in-cheek, a la Jonathan Swift. Maybe it's a game; we could call it "Reverse Barometer." Following that illogic, then:
- questioning automobile safety could be the worst idea of the 1970s; and,
- questioning space shuttle O-ring safety would be the worst idea of the 1980s.

As long as humans are capable of error and susceptible to failings like greed and hubris, the possibilities are endless....


Teresa Conrick

Thank you, Julie for speaking out. Everything you say here is what we all know and feel.

The amount of money that is tied up in trying to keep the lid on vaccine injuries and chronic illness, like autism, is something ethically-challenged writers, like Mr.Clive Thompson, will interestingly avoid.

He is right about the "uniquely powerful", as his ridiculous writing just adds fuel to that power.

Jake Crosby

Damn, they don't let you comment, and I was all ready to debunk his article. :(

MB

Forget the puzzle piece. "Poisoned for profit" should be the new autism advocacy catch-phrase.

I agree -- this is one of the best things ever posted here. Powerful and heartbreaking.

Mike

Absolutely fantastic post. I think it sums up the frustrations of so many of us. If all us "anti-vaccine" crazies were indeed as powerful as this jackoff suggests, then this is the article that should be running in the New York Times.

Tony Bateson

Clive Thompson should get on a plane fly to Britan and see whether he could find an unvaccinated autistic person or two. If he can find say half a dozen in the UK population of some three millions unvaccinated with childhood vaccines I will happily pay his hotel expenses and a first class ticket back to the States with my thanks. I have searched hard for more than ten years and found virtually none - odd one or two possibly exposed to vaccine materials in some other way-RhoGam for example whereas there should be say 20,000. You will be welcome Mr Thompson.

Tony Bateson
Oxford, UK

no bullying children

Mr Thompson how does it feel to kick sick children when they are down at christmas? Perhaps once you have a vaccine injured child in your own family you will know better.

Terramuggus

This was a powerful, brilliant piece. One of the top posts ever here.

Someday soon (I hope...I think), the doughy, translucent skinned, microgenitallic, combedover, greedy, violent middle aged white males will be made to face the music.

The plausible denial no longer is.

julie

Public trust in vaccines is fragile? Good. I hope it breaks.

There was plenty of H1N1 vax. The government tried to create a perception of scarcity to frighten people and increase demand. Didn't work. Now they can't give the stuff away. How will the unused doses be disposed of? Recycled for next year?

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