Excerpt from David Kirby's Animal Factory on HuffPo
Bloomington Alternative on Autism, Vaccines and Mercury

Danish Scientist Absconds with $2 million, Poul Thorsen "Proved" Vaccines Don't Cause Autism

Autism action network This startling story, as yet unseen in the mainstream media, is from our friends at The Autism Action Network.

A Danish scientist who was a key researcher in two studies that purport to show that mercury used in vaccines and the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine do not cause autism is believed to have used forged documents to steal $2 million from Aarhus University in Denmark according to reports in the Copenenhagen Post Online and a statement from Aarhus University.
 
Poul Thorsen, MD PhD, headed up a research unit at Aarhus University that was hired by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prepare a series of studies that would exonerate thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative and adjuvant used in vaccines, and the MMR vaccine from any role in causing autism. The veracity of the two studies he co-authored is now in doubt.
 
These studies formed the foundation for the conclusions of several Institute of Medicine reports that claimed that it was highly unlikely that thimerosal or MMR were implicated in autism.
 
In a statement Aarhus University officials said that believe Thorsen forged documents supposedly from the CDC to obtain the release of $2 million from the University. Thorsen resigned abruptly in March 2009 and left Denmark. Since then Thorsen has held several jobs in the US, first at Emory University in Atlanta and then at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Documents show that as late as January 22, 2009. Thorsen was employed at Drexel. Any reference to Poulsen has now been deleted from the Drexel website.
 
Investigations also revealed that while employed full-time for the University of Aarhus in Denmark, Thorsen simultaneously held a fulltime position at Emory University in Atlanta, and drew salaries from both Universities despite a contract with Aarhus forbidding outside employment. According to the statement from Aarhus University.
 
Autism advocacy groups have published extensive analyses on Thorsen's studies and found many problems in methods, assumptions and conclusions that are supported by the data. And Thorsen is the lynchpin in the series of studies used to dismiss concerns about thimerosal and MMR causing autism.
 
See SAFEMINDS analysis of Thorsen's role in the discredited studies
HERE.

See the Copenhagen Post Online article HERE.
 
See the statement from Aarhus University HERE.

Read more at: Age of Autism this week.
 
The two studies now in doubt include:
 
Thimerosal and the occurrence of autism: negative ecological evidence from Danish population-based data.

Madsen KM, Lauritsen MB, Pedersen CB, Thorsen P, Plesner AM, Andersen PH, Mortensen PB, Pediatrics. 2003 Sep;112(3 Pt 1):604-6.
 
A population-based study of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination and autism.

Madsen KM, Hviid A, Vestergaard M, Schendel D, Wohlfahrt J, Thorsen P, Olsen J, Melbye M., N Engl J Med. 2002 Nov 7;347(19):1477-82.
 
 

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Michael Meadon

I'm a bit confused. Even if Thorsen is indeed guilty of fraud (which, let's remember, has not yet been tested in court), how, exactly, does that discredit papers in which he was neither the first nor senior author? If he's guilty, how does that prove studies he played a minor role in are wrong?

Natasa

Good point Twyla "I wonder what he did to earn a full time professor's salary from Emory without teaching?" - does anyone know US academic rules and regulations? Are we sure he wasn't only a 'visiting professor' or 'associate/adjunct professor'?

In order for someone to hold a full professor's chair in a US does he/she need to have regular PhD students? How many? Who were Prof T's PhD students? Etc... here are some details on full US professorship http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professors_in_the_United_States#.28Full.29_professor

This whole thing does smell of fraudulent activity on the part of Emory in addition the good professor himself.

Twyla

So he was a full time professor at both Emory U in Atlanta, Georgia, and at Aarhus U in Denmark. Wow, what a juggling act -- the bell rings and he jumps on a jet in Atlanta to get to his next class in Denmark? Assuming this wasn't feasible (seems a bit challenging) what did he do to earn his Emory salary?

Google Emory University CDC and you see that not only are Emory and the CDC right next to each other, but there are a whole lot of joint projects, such as:
"The CDC Foundation, with a $2 million grant from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, has selected four 'Young Investigators in Public Health' as part of a collaborative demonstration project between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Emory University. The goal of the program is to attract talented young scientists to public health research early in their careers.

"The four Young Investigators are all junior health sciences faculty at Emory University. Each Young Investigator will conduct research that focuses on a priority public health issue, and each will be matched with a mentor from Emory University and a scientific advisor from CDC to assist with the research project...

"CDC scientists, Emory health scientists, and the CDC Foundation staff worked together to build Young Investigators in Public Health as a unique experience for young scientists that combines both academic research and its application in promoting and protecting the health of affected populations. Ultimately, the CDC Foundation hopes to secure ongoing funding for the program to help inspire and train the next generation of public health researchers who will continue the battle against health threats like obesity, diabetes and emerging infectious diseases.

"The CDC Foundation, CDC and Emory University also hope to use Young Investigators in Public Health as a national model for similar collaborative programs that can introduce young scientists to public health research and that can connect scientists who conduct the research with community leaders and individuals who use the research to improve and protect health in their own communities, businesses and homes."

and

"Researchers from Emory University in Atlanta, GA, along with technical assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have been studying the rate of inhibitor development among hemophilia A patients..."

and

"The U.S. government's top expert on immunizations will leave government service and join the faculty of Emory University, school officials say.

"Dr. Walter Orenstein, director of the National Immunization Program at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will retire from the federal agency on March 1, said Holly Korschun, Emory spokeswoman.

"He will join Emory University School of Medicine as director of a new Emory vaccine policy program and will become associate director of the Emory Vaccine Center..."

etc.

Definitely a close relationship. At any rate, I digress, what I was wondering was: if Aarhus University did not know that Dr. Thorsen had another job, he must have always been at work at Aarhus, so I wonder what he did to earn a full time professor's salary from Emory without teaching? Must have done something really great...

Kristina

Jimbo, go to http://www.archive.org/web/web.php and type in nanea.dk

Jimbo

Thorsen's international group, NANEA that looks for the "real" cause of autism, seems to have a non-functioning website all of a sudden. Can anyone dig up archived copies of this site?

Kristina

It makes me sick that Emory University and the CDC are so connected. Because The Carter Center is also connected to Emory University. And Every Child by Two is connected to Emory University. The Carter Center are good guys, (I think and *hope*.) They've almost eradicated guinea worm disease in Africa through sanitation. My friend emailed The Carter Center and asked them if they were connected to Every Child by Two and any vaccination work, and they said no. But still, it bothers me, and makes me paranoid to donate to The Carter Center. Does anyone else have any information on this? I find it hard to believe that The Carter Center is completely separate from Every Child By Two, when the heads of both organizations are married, (Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter) and both organizations are connected to Emory University.

Natasha

Just wrote a letter to "Whom it May Concern"
at the New England Journal of Medicine, asking them to completely redact any and all of Dr. Thorsen's work as his intentions, credibility, and reputation are now in question. I refrenced the articles listed on this site. I urge you all to do the same. Here is the link:
https://secure.nejm.org/services/contactus/contact_home.aspx

Cherry Sperlin Misra

I dont get it . I thought that "Science has spoken" . I guess not. I think it was just the Wizard of Oz. Nevermind, I guess the guys at the IOM just made a mistake.
Seriously, Who WERE the stupid guys at the IOM? Could we have some names please, so that maybe, just maybe, some future scientist will think twice before he plays roulette with the lives of children.

Mom23boys

They'll still quote these studies. Sigh.

Cybertiger

Bl**dy hell! This is dynamite! I hope it ends up blowing the 'rats nest' to smithereens.

Craig Willoughby

I thought Thorsen was involved in the Thimerosal studies, not the MMR studies.

WILLIE


Madsen KM, Hviid A, Vestergaard M, Schendel D, Wohlfahrt J, Thorsen P, Olsen J, Melbye M., N Engl J Med. 2002 Nov 7;347(19):1477-82. These supposed scientist and physicians as well the AAP and the CDC and the FDA AND YES THE NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE can only be described as completely and utterly corrupt. A nest of rats as it were.

I am absolutely going to call the New England journal of medicine tomorrow and write them a letter and say WTF!?! I will also encourage every physician I know to do the same and everybody on this blogg should also contact them and ask them how dare they not be more discriminating in who they allow to publish in their journal as this is way beyond scandalous this is out right heresy with the NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINES NAME ALL OVER IT.

For good measure I am going to go over and give those monkeys in ORAC'S peanut gallery a good going over as well and so should everybody else they deserve it.


kathleen

This guy must be very greedy. I would think that with two full time positions and a good reputation (not) with what would have to be a better than average income. 2 MIL?? How in the world would stealing 2 million dollars be worth what you would lose.
This whole thing is fishy.

jen

What a scumbag. But will the major news media pick it up? "Dear Matt Lauer, could you ask Nancy if it is a controvercy yet?" LOL!!!

Ralph

anyone called Sheryl Atkinson and CBS ???

rileysmom

Ok one more then I'm going to stop...
RUN! POUL! RUN!!! er, I mean Forrest.
Keep running you tight ass son of a bitch because the longer you run the more damned they look. Am I just getting some sort of sick pleasure out of this?? I am ain't I?

alison macneil

Help me, I've fallen into a giant pit of cynicism and I feel sure this will never make it to mainstream media. Please let me be wrong.

cmo

Why can't Dr. Thorsen just use insider trading and scam someone like Dr. Koop ??? A two million dollar research scam.....whoa Nancy.

Dr. Fancy and Dr. Offit will probably on tomorrow and explain the whole mess. They should be able to calm fears and renew fears of the H1N1 virus that may still kill millions in the US.

Dr. Fancy should then be able to change the subject, and spend 15 minutes talking about the measles.

Gatogorra

Damn. What are the usual suspects going to cite now for their "iron-clad" corroborations?

I'll repeat this info just in case anyone's filing it. Emory is also connected to Thomas Insel and the scandal involving millions of NIMH and NIH grants given to academic researchers who failed to declare they were on the pharma payroll (the NIMH and NIH may have known this).

So I wonder if the Danes might have announced the problem with Thorsen now because Charles Grassley is closing in on Emory for conflicts and possible research fraud?

Read the letter sent by Grassley to NIH demanding all of Insel's correspondences:
http://freepdfhosting.com/c8e742ce71.pdf

Insel was director of Yerkes, professor of psychiatry in the School of Medicine, and adjunct professor of psychology at Emory.

Coverage of NIH/NIMH/Emory/Grassley issue:

http://www.pharmalot.com/2010/01/grassley-targets-nimh-funding-of-academics/

http://www.pharmalot.com/2008/10/nih-suspends-big-grant-to-emory-university/

rileysmom

Posted to Dr Nancy's FB page...highly doubt it will go through but SOMEONE reads them before they go through her "fan filter".
"Is this a controversy? Danish Scientist Absconds with $2 million, Poul Thorsen "Proved" Vaccines Don't Cause Autism. The fact that our own CDC is frantically trying to "find" this man? Answer honestly. I realize you have your "fan filter" but even YOU need to be accountable for your statements and actions in the media. Yes, even YOU."
See even on FB she can't be honest. She can't take the heat. Welp, I tried.

rileysmom

Dear Matt Lauer, Could you ask Nancy if it is a controvercy yet?
HA AHA HAAHAAA HAAA!!! OH HEE HEEE HEEEE!!! I have a feeling that Dr Nancy pants will make herself "unavailable" for interviews at this time.
Still, I laughed out loud for that one...a simple LOL just wouldn't do!!!
I may just post this on her FB page...doubt it will go through but still worth a try.

Beth

Full applause for this comment!!

"A brief google search seems to indicate that CDC and Emery U. are rather interconnected, and that CHOP and Drexel U. seem to be as well, but maybe that's "confusing correlation with causation."

JenB

A brief google search seems to indicate that CDC and Emery U. are rather interconnected, and that CHOP and Drexel U. seem to be as well, but maybe that's "confusing correlation with causation."

Amy Becker Clark

Where's Thorsen's GMC-style investigation into ethics charges? Why aren't years and millions spent burning him at the stake Wakefield-style? I won't hold my breath waiting for this to happen.

Benedetta

Any idea what the documents were that he forged????

Ahhhh, I see, working for two places at once was just starting to turn over a rock

Forged documents - the rock is turned over.

And what is beneath?

K Fuller Yuba City

Dear Matt Lauer, Could you ask Nancy if it is a controvercy yet?

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