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Oh Brother, Gardiner Harris Has Pharma Ties

Gardiner harris By Jake Crosby
 
He has been described by Age of Autism contributor David Kirby, as "perhaps the most important journalist covering the debate over autism and vaccines in America today, given the way that paper drives the news cycle in this country."
 
Unfortunately, Gardiner Harris of The New York Times is also "snide, cynical, wildly biased, dismissive, and arrogant," according to fellow Age of Autism contributor, JB Handley.
 
The evidence to date suggests Handley is overwhelmingly right. For example, a reader of Age of Autism confronted Gardiner Harris with the fact that conducting a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study was possible, citing David Kirby’s report that former CDC director Julie Gerberding supported such research. Harris replied,
 
"thanks for your note. there is no credible way to compare autism rates in vaccinated and unvaccinated children.  and dr. gerberding made no such statements. david kirby got his story  entirely wrong. thanks, gardiner"
 
In fact, she did make such statements. When asked by Age of Autism's editor Dan Olmsted in 2005 whether or not she supported doing a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study, Julie Gerberding replied it "could be done and should be done." So it was Gardiner Harris, not David Kirby, who got his story entirely wrong.


 
But that's not the end of it. This email received from Harris, Handley contends, "explains it all":
 
"but scaring parents away from life-saving medicines is no way to improve this terrible situation. i have met parents who lost their children to vaccine-preventable diseases, and they are haunted. if you had your way, there would be far more of these haunted souls. i hope to prevent that from happening." – Gardiner Harris
 
But does this email really explain it all? Findings that relate to the family of Mr. Harris suggest there is more to this story of a reporter who keeps mysteriously getting "his story entirely wrong."
 
One relative of Harris’, whose background is particularly relevant, is his brother, Crane B. Harris.
 
Here is a description of him at an event co-hosted by the Chairman, CEO and President of Proctor & Gamble, and T. George Harris, father of Crane and Gardiner Harris:
 
"Mr. Crane B. Harris, responsible for Jolla Pharmaceutical Co.'s partnering efforts"
(HERE)
 
So as recently as November 2004, Crane Harris worked for a pharmaceutical company and dealt with other pharmaceutical companies as well.
 
Every one of Jolla's top people has a connection to a company with a direct stake in this controversy:
 
"Dr. Gillespie (CEO) also held a number of positions at DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Company, including Vice President of Marketing, from 1991 to 1996…
 
Ms. Sloan (VP) served as Assistant Controller at Affymax Research Institute, a publicly held drug-discovery research company and formerly a part of the Glaxo Wellcome Group…
 
Dr. Smith (Chairman of the Board) was Vice President of Clinical Research and from 1992 to 1993, Senior Vice President of Business and Market Development at Centocor, Inc., a publicly held biotechnology company, which is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson…
 
…he (Dr. Fildes) was the Vice President of Operations for the Industrial Division of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company…
 
In June 2001, Mr. Martin retired from CIBA Vision Corporation, a Novartis Company…
 
Dr. Young is a former Commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration…" (The FDA practically counts as a drug company, too.) (HERE)
 
Merck, Glaxo, J&J, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Novartis, and the FDA, a virtual cartel of pharmaceutical companies, is represented on the board of the company Gardiner Harris' brother worked for.
 
Not only was Crane Harris once the director of business development for Jolla, he is now the director of business development for a medical devices manufacturer called Illumina Inc. This company seems no less tied into the drug industry, stating on its company website:
 
“Our customers include leading genomic research centers, pharmaceutical companies, academic institutions, clinical research organizations, and biotechnology companies.”
 
In other words, Gardiner Harris’ brother still deals with pharmaceutical companies.
 
Why is this particularly relevant? Because in all the years Harris spent writing for The New York Times, denying the evidence of harm from thimerosal, the MMR vaccine or anything having to do with vaccines at all, not once did he mention this little family tie.
 
Just recently, he wrote an article about The Lancet’s retraction of Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s case series, which Harris portrayed as part of a greater failure to link autism to vaccinations. He also failed to mention Lancet editor Richard Horton’s false testimony about his knowledge of Andrew Wakefield’s involvement with lawyers, and bashed parents who felt their children developed autism as a result of their vaccines. Gardiner Harris did not, however, mention his brother’s connection.
 
Likewise, when he began covering this controversy with his notorious June 2005 hit piece, "On Autism's Cause: It's Parents vs. Research," coauthored with recent Yale graduate and rookie journalist Anahad O'Connor, who studied under Fred Volkmar of the Yale Child Study Center, no such disclosure was made either.
 
Harris did write an article for The New York Times last year about vaccine-related conflicts of interest within the CDC, but only because the HHS, the parent department of the CDC that also shields drug companies from vaccine litigation, issued the report that said there were conflicts.
 
Gardiner Harris is still a conflicted writer posing as a legit journalist, not unlike Trine Tsouderos, Michael Fumento, Ben Goldacre, and Brian Deer.
 
Jake Crosby is a history student with Asperger Syndrome at Brandeis University and a contributing editor to Age of Autism.

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Btw folks, I have done an extension of my investigation of The Times:

http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/04/the-new-york-times-indefensible-defense-of-the-drug-industry.html

Ian,

I have a question for you:

Do any of those articles you link to contemplate whether or not drug companies were responsible for precipitating the largest epidemic of neurological disease in US history?

If the argument is that Harris is pro-drug industry because his brother is employed in the industry, I think you need to look at some of Harris' reporting. He is often very critical of the drug industry, and has reported on the industry's inappropriate marketing tactics. I think we need to take a more comprehensive look at this issue and examine what he has written beyond MMR and autism. In fact, he has shined light on the issue of conflicts of interest and drug marketing.

I can share a longer list, but here is a selection of some articles that are very tough on industry.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/20/health/policy/20avandia.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/20/us/20psych.html?_r=1

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9405E3DA1539F93AA25752C1A96E9C8B63
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/10/health/10psyche.html

Link To Diane Rehm Radio Show 16 Feb 2010 Aspergers and Autism with Gardiner Harris
http://wamu.org/programs/dr/10/02/16.php

11:00 The Latest on Aspergers and Autism
A move to include Aspergers within the definition of autism has raised concerns of families, physicians, educators and insurance companies. The latest on our understanding of Aspergers syndrome.
Guests
Dr. Fred Volkmar, director of the Yale University Child Study Center, Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics and Psychology at Yale University School of Medicine and an international authority on autism spectrum disorders. He's the co-author of A Practical Guide to Autism.
Gardiner Harris, science reporter for "The New York Times"
Dr. Edwin Cook, an autism researcher at the University of Illinois Chicago and member of the American Psychiatric Association's work group proposing the changes to their diagnostic manual.

Jack;

Peds are very good in school that is why they are doctors. They are the type of people that can repeat what they learn with ease.

Take it from me I majored in a science based subject. I have been in the communicable disease class with microbioloby majors, nurses, and future doctors.

The professors preached the merits of vaccines like a Baptist Preacher asking for those to come to Jesus. At the same time they put down the idea that vaccines could cause damage so much that it made me embarrassed that there could be fools (unbelievers) out walking around in the world.

After 30 years of teaching I have learned one thing - what I may have thought was nutty - the person acting this way (every time) has a reason usually a very good and same reason- it is some times hard to figure it out.

This guy has too much fire in his belly, and cares too much. There is a reason behind it, and it is a good, sane, greedy reason.

I don't know. You could write a lot more damning article about me and my ties.

I think the truth is just simply that he thinks we're stupid and naive and desparate for any answer. Just like most of our neighbors do and probably just like a lot of us did (if we thought about it at all) before we had to watch our children press their stomachs against a bench and clean up their diarrhea.

What is so hard to phathom is why it takes living with autism to know how sick these kids are. That's why I salute those few that have had the courage to look upon our children with honest eyes and draw whatever inconveinent truth they draw: Olmsted, Kirby and RFK Jr. among others.

And with that, I think today I'll pin the blame on the pediatricians who aren't taking the damn time to look at the patients and use their damn brain. And then use their mouths to talk about what they are seeing. But, what can you see in a 30 second visit?

Jake, I just love the way you dig up the dirt and air all that Dirty Laundry. You should be an award winning investigative journalist, however as we know, people who uncover the real truth don't get awards, they get persecuted.

So just be careful out there swimming with the sharks, and don't let anyone dissuade you from your chosen mission...because the world needs more people like you and you are off to a very amazing start at a young age. You write one great article after the next so keep up the good work!!! YOU GO GUY!!!

Why isn't there a law suit or some sort or action against the times for corrupted journalism?

Here's my disclaimer to my previous post concerning Illumina, Inc and their indirect support of autism research:
I absolutely do not believe my son's condition is genetic. He was vaccine damaged and regressed into autism as a result.

Illumina, Inc. located in San Diego, CA is a human genotyping company. They manufacture beadchip arrays to put in systems that decode the human genome (see "23 and Me"). Not sure how deeply entrenched with the pharmaceutical industry they are. More so with biotech companies and research. I've read that their products are being used to further autism and schitzophrenia (sp) research here in San Diego and elsewhere. My husband works there so I was quite surprised to see Illumina in an AOA post. Keep up the good work.

Congratulations on a great story Jake! You ROCK!

I have to tell you, the deeper this quagmire gets, the more difficulty we will all have swimming in it.

I LOVE THE IDEA OF THE ARTICLE OR AD IN THE PAPER! I'll pitch in, though I don't have much! But I'm willing to do whatever I can to get the TRUTH out, as clearly, it will never happen if we just depend on the establishment as is.

Is this ever going to end?

Awesome job as usual, Jake. Excellent work. I like David Taylor's idea, too...

very interesting article jake, good work. when did the mainstream media outlets have their sex-change from watchdog to lap-dog. it's no wonder the NYT is becoming increasingly irrelevant.

I like Samaxtic's ideas. Maybe there even needs to be a page taken out in say, USA Today, about all these conflicts of interest or a t-shirt that advertises them.
Gardiner Harris certainly needs to meet more children with autism and their families to grow some empathy (if it's possible for that to happen). Good work, Jake.

Family members' professional expertise can heavily influence a reporter's point of view -- and defensive reflexes. These interwoven networks of pharmaceutical cronies are a tough nut to crack, from an ethical standpoint.

I must pause to mirror current pop MSM reporting and gratuitously mention that Gardiner Harris' new haircut doesn't do much to offset his assymetrical head.

Jake--as a postscript to your excellent digging, consider:

1. Finding the NYT's conflict of interest disclosure requirements for its writers.

2. If Harris is in violation of them, send your conclusion and evidence backing it up to the Ombudsman as well as competing papers.

Great work!

Great work, Jake!

My daughter and I were the victims quoted in the hit-and-run NY Times "parents vs. research" piece.

I wish I could say I'm surprised by Gardiner's connections, but I'm not.

Thanks Jake. It helps bring some closure to a very bad experience.

Did anyone hear Gardiner Harris on the Diane Rehm show yesterday?

http://wamu.org/programs/dr/10/02/16.php#29468

As a parent of a 3.5 yr. old ASD non-verbal child and relatively new on this journey, I was unfamiliar with this guy until yesterday. I was enraged by his snide comments about us "parents" and our autistic children. Unfortunately he was given a platform yesterday to perpetuate the lies about vaccine safety and how autism is "all genetic". We spent thousands of dollars this year doing genetic testing, as recommended by our Neurologist. Yes, there was a small genetic mutation that my son and I share. The geneticist told us that this has NOTHING to do with our son's delays, since I am totally healthy and developed normally. Go figure...

Jennifer

Is Jolla Pharmaceutical Co. the same as La Jolla Pharmaceutical Co.?

See: http://www.ljpc.com/pdf/press-release-announcing-Nasdaq-delisting-notice-FINAL.pdf
"SAN DIEGO, JANUARY 25, 2010 – La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company (NASDAQ: LJPC) today announced that it received a delisting notice from the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC on January 19, 2010. The notice indicates Nasdaq’s belief that the Company is operating as a 'public shell' and that the resulting entity in the proposed merger between the Company and Adamis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (OTCBB: ADMP.OB) will not meet Nasdaq’s initial listing requirements. Nasdaq has determined that the continued listing and trading of public shells could be detrimental to the interests of the investing public. Listing Rule 5101 provides Nasdaq with discretionary authority to apply more stringent criteria for continued listing and terminate the inclusion of particular securities based on any event that occurs that in the opinion of Nasdaq makes inclusion of the securities on Nasdaq inadvisable or unwarranted." I'm sure JB & Mark understand better than me what this means!

La Jolla Pharma's home page is at:
http://www.ljpc.com/

Their primary "product candidates" are shown at:
http://www.ljpc.com/product_research_ssao.html
Just an off topic aside -- It says that: "Our scientists have generated highly selective inhibitors of SSAO, an enzyme that has been implicated in inflammatory responses in many tissues and organs... The enzyme also contributes to the production of molecules that exacerbate inflammation, including formaldehyde and oxygen free radicals." Hmmm -- apparently formaldehyde is another vaccine ingredient known to exacerbate inflammation -- and certain people keep telling us that formaldehyde is so harmless, natural...

Almost daily, the news media reports on "a new Dr. Nancy wonder of medicine", aspirin preventing breast cancer deaths, soda causing cancer, cell phones and cancer, and other wonderful "la la land pop culture information" from worthless study after study after study. In the United States we pay nearly double for a medical system that cannot figure out a problem 30 times more common than polio, which they "seem to fear will return" if we do not believe all their other endless bullshit.

However, there has never been a word on the 52 little hitlers at the Simpsonwood meetings and what they have done to the nation's children.

The CDC vaccine schedule might have been created to make the US banking system look a bit more honest, which for some reason, STILL has not been subject to any reform since they wiped out trillions for millions of Americans.

The future market for Big Pharma is now basically the third world, as most of the rest of the world has figured them out...

Thanks Jake.

I have often thought it would be great to see here at AOA- perhaps under Categories on the left-a "money/conflicts history" page: Maybe broken up by profession. This way AOA editors and commenters can refer newbies to the conflicts of the prominent players. Even better would be to include some of the more asinine comments these people have made. Just a thought.

If full time students, stay-at-home moms of disabled children, working moms and dads with full time jobs can uncover these conflicts among journalists, pundits and medical authorities, you'd think the management of the New York Times could as well.

What's interesting about Harris is that he will report critically on drugs made by some of these companies. There seems to be a touch of ideology there. He'll look at identical research fraud and injury cover-ups for both fields-- vaccines and drugs; one he sees, the other he won't. And his and the Times' reporting on drugs has a traditional hitch: he and other Times reporters only criticize the "over" use of these drugs for those who "don't need" them- foster care kids, regular kids in bad situations, those with mild or socially-derived behavior issues and adults who take them for depression, etc. The developmentally disabled or those with "serious mental illness" are never "victims" of overdrugging, corrupt marketing and drug side effects. It's never a concern that these individuals die 25 years younger or develop diabetes, gynacomastia or tardive dyskinesia just as those who "don't need" the drugs. Thus industry gets to at least retain a toy, a niche market.

So I'm sure there are a few disagreements at Harris family dinners-- but nothing so serious that it would threaten the family bond because all might be able to agree that the developmentally disabled are genetic detritis. It's the kind of thing that holds families together in trying times.

Nice expose`, Jake! Didn't know Gardiner Harris's brother was so entrenched in pharma and involved in partnership development. VERY good to know.

Now see if you can find a money trail that goes between his "pharma partnership work" and payments in kind or in cash to his brother, Mr. Harris. Seems very likely that they will be there. They may be disguised as vacation homes, luxury trips, etc., but I bet with some creative research you'll find something.

Look forward to more of your reports!

You are doing a great job Jake!

I suspect a large problem with the media in general, but specifically on this issue, is that they so often use people and groups with vested interests as their primary sources. So, if regular folks tell them anything that conflicts with What CDC, vaccine maker Paul Offit, or the AAP (who doesn't even treat autism) they just believe what vested interests say and don't consider what we say any further. It has become media for the vested interest by the vested interest. There is a reason why tens of millions of Americans have come to despise the media and I believe this sort of thing has a lot to do with it. They want ever increasing deregulation from the government....is that why they refused to question the March To War and the WMD question, only to be embarrassed by this after the fact? With pharma ads being a huge source of revenue for media could this have anything to do with why they use those agents as primary sources and don't even seriously consider what we saw happen to our own children in our own homes, to the tune of tens of thousands of us....could this have anything to do with why they didn't even report on the Simpsonwood meeting and transcripts, which were obtained through Freedom of Information Act...could this be why they report gleefully when families lose cases in vaccine court and refuse to report on those cases when the courts say a vaccine did trigger a child's autism (see Bailey Banks case)??? All very fair questions, I'm afraid.

How shocking....not.

"Journalists" should have to disclose information about family members employment status or employment history when writing on such topics. It really does change everything. And just like physicians these people are not above intellectual dishonesty for monetary gain for their loved ones or themselves.

Thanks Jake.

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