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Brian Deer in BMJ and Dr. Andrew Wakefield's Response

Dr. wakefield Below is an excerpt from Brian Deer's special report, Does autistic enterocolitis exist? this week in the British Medical Journal. He is a journalist who resides in the bowels of the Dr. Andrew Wakefield GMC hearing. Below it is Dr. Wakefield's response, (also HERE in .pdf.)

Autism Research Wakefield’s "autistic enterocolitis" under the microscope
Brian Deer, journalist (HERE in full)

1 London

Andrew Wakefield’s claims for a new bowel condition in autistic children have been largely overlooked in the furore over MMR vaccination. Brian Deer reports


Twelve years ago, a now infamous and retracted paper appeared in the Lancet1 and launched a health scare. In it, researchers at the Royal Free medical school in London reported on 12 children with developmental disorders, and linked their problems to MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccination.

It was the proposed link between the vaccine and "regressive" autism that caught the headlines and sparked alarm. But the paper also claimed to have discovered a new gut pathology, reported in 11 of the 12 children, which the lead author, Andrew Wakefield, an academic gastroenterologist, would dub "autistic enterocolitis." "Researchers at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine may have discovered a new syndrome in children involving a new inflammatory bowel disease and autism," the institution announced in a press release in February 1998.2"Their paper . . . also suggests that in a number of cases the onset of behavioural symptoms was associated with MMR vaccination."

Six years later, the vaccine link was dropped when 10 of the paper’s 13 authors retracted this claim3 in the wake of my investigation for the Sunday Times.4 And last month the entire paper was retracted,5 after a General Medical Council panel decided that Wakefield was "dishonest" and "unethical."6

Not a lot was said during the GMC hearing about "autistic enterocolitis", which Wakefield continues to insist is real. In 2005 he established a private clinic in Austin, Texas, focusing on researching and treating this "syndrome". And, although he resigned his post there after the GMC verdict, patients have been drawn from throughout America, and even the United Kingdom.

"We continually find inflammatory bowel disease that is different from Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis," explains a doctor on the clinic’s website.7 "This was initially named ‘autistic enterocolitis’ by Dr Wakefield because of the unique pattern of inflammation." The Lancet, too, stood by this claim despite distancing itself from other aspects of the paper. "I do believe there was, and remains, validity to the connection between bowel disease and autism, which does need further investigation," the journal’s editor, Richard Horton told the BBC in February 2004.8

Horton was speaking two days after I had presented him with the first findings of my now six year investigation for the Sunday Times that led to the GMC’s charges.4 Three weeks later came the paper’s partial retraction.... Read the full comment at British Medical Journal.

Response: BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL PUBLISHES FALSE CLAIMS ABOUT MMR DOCTOR HERE in .pdf

Journalist Brian Deer’s Allegations about Dr. Andrew Wakefield fails to disclose press complaint

LONDON, ENGLAND, April 16, 2010 ---Today the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has published an online commentary authored by journalist Brian Deer in which he makes further allegations against Dr. Andrew Wakefield and the doctors involved in the 1998 Lancet study that first reported possible links between MMR and autism, without affording Dr. Wakefield an opportunity to respond simultaneously to these serious allegations online. Deer’s latest claims follow his February 2009 Sunday Times article accusing Dr. Wakefield of “fixing data” for which there is a pending complaint to the UK’s Press Complaints Commission (PCC). The BMJ’s press release regarding this latest published “special report” by Brian Deer, along with Dr. Wakefield’s point-by-point response, is below:

This week, the BMJ questions the existence of a new bowel condition in autistic children dubbed “autistic enterocolitis” by Dr Andrew Wakefield and colleagues in a now infamous and recently retracted paper published by the Lancet in 1998.

In a special report, journalist Brian Deer tries to unravel the journey of the biopsy reports that formed the basis of the study, while an accompanying editorial asks does autistic enterocolitis exist at all?



In 1996, Dr Andrew Wakefield was hired by a solicitor to help launch a speculative lawsuit against drug companies that manufactured MMR vaccine to find what he called at the time “a new syndrome” of bowel and brain disease caused by vaccines.

FALSE. I was not hired by a solicitor to find a new syndrome of bowel and brain disease caused by vaccines. I acted as a medical expert in respect of two matters: first, to provide a report on safety studies of measles-containing vaccines; and second, to look for evidence of measles virus in intestinal tissues of children with Crohn’s disease, and children with regressive developmental disorder and intestinal symptoms who were undergoing investigation for possible bowel disease.

The proposed “new syndrome” was not what Deer claims. At the material time, the “new syndrome” consisted of gastrointestinal symptoms (not disease) in children with developmental regression. Prior to the clinical investigation of these children, the presence of intestinal disease had not been determined.

Deer reveals that biopsy reports from the Royal Free Hospital’s pathology service on 11 children included in the Lancet study showed that eight out of 11 were interpreted as being largely normal. But in the paper, 11 of the 12 children were said to have “non-specific colitis”: a clinically significant inflammation of the large bowel.

FALSE. The findings were correctly reported in The Lancet paper. The meticulous process by which the diagnoses were made in the children reported in that paper has been described on numerous occasions, including in published papers, in Mr. Deer’s presence at the GMC, in the complaint filed against him to the PCC that is published online1. For the avoidance of doubt, the clinical process involved two stages: routine reporting of the pathology by the duty pathologist, followed by a combined review by Professor Walker-Smith’s team and Dr. Sue Davies. During this clinical review, it was recognized that significant disease was being overlooked. It was decided to have all biopsies reviewed by the senior pathologist with greatest experience in bowel disease, Dr. Paul Dhillon. This research review was undertaken in a blinded, unbiased manner such that Dr. Dhillon was not aware of the diagnosis in any child. Dr. Dhillon’s diagnosis formed the basis for the findings reported in The Lancet. Dr. Dhillon’s review is referred to in The Lancet and is described in detail in subsequent papers that confirmed the presence of bowel disease in many more children with autism. Mr. Deer was aware of these facts when making his false allegations but does not appear to have disclosed this to the BMJ..

So how did the mismatches occur?

Apparently, the biopsies were first reported on by Dr Susan Davies, a consultant histopathologist and co-author on the study, but they were also seen and interpreted by three other co-authors before final publication. When Dr Davies was cross examined before the General Medical Council she said that she had initially been concerned about the use of the term “colitis” in the Lancet paper because she herself had found nothing abnormal in the biopsy sections. But she was reassured, she said, by the “formalised review” of the biopsies by her three colleagues.

FALSE. This is not what Dr Davies said. Mr Deer fails to mention that Dr. Davies was referring, in her evidence, to her use of the term colitis only in terms of active colitis (involving an increase in pus-forming cells) rather than chronic colitis which was present in many children, In his selective misrepresentation of the evidence he also fails to mention that, later in her evidence, Dr Davies clarified how, as a distinct pattern of disease emerged in the autistic children (particularly following an unbiased review she undertook with Dr. Murch) this disease came to be termed ‘autistic enterocolitis’.

This apparent concurrence of four pathologists gave strength to the finding of a new bowel disease, writes Deer. But there is no suggestion in the paper that the second assessment caused findings to be substituted or changed.

How many peer reviewers would have felt comfortable approving the paper if they had known that the hospital pathology service reported biopsy specimens as largely normal, but they were then subjected to an unplanned second look and reinterpreted, he asks?

FALSE. A planned “second look” was undertaken routinely by Professor Walker-Smith and his team at the weekly clinical meeting he held with Dr. Davies for this purpose. This planned review has Is been part of Professor Walker-Smith’s clinical practice, and is essential for quality control. It was at this point that discrepancies were found, and it was these discrepancies that led to a further planned review by Dr. Dhillon.

Professor David Candy, paediatric gastroenterologist at St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester, who reviewed the paper in 1997, said “no”: he wouldn’t have felt comfortable. “That’s an example of really naughty doing – to exclude the original pathology findings.”

It is highly unlikely that Deer informed Dr. Candy of the extensive evidence refuting his false claims, or that on the basis of these false claims, Mr. Deer is the subject of a formal complaint to the PCC.


So what should we make of all this, asks Deer? The biopsy slides are no longer available, and cannot be re-assessed. All we have are Dr Davies' pathology reports, and independent specialists seem to agree that she regarded what they showed as largely unremarkable.

FALSE. Contemporaneous reports based upon Dr Dhillon’s formal assessments are available that confirm the findings described in The Lancet.

Professor Tom MacDonald, dean of research at Barts and the London School of Medicine and co-author of Immunology and Diseases of the Gut said: “If I was the referee and the routine pathologists reported that 8/11 were within normal limits, or had trivial changes, but this was then revised by other people to 11/12 having non-specific colitis, then I would just tell the editor to reject the paper.” In an accompanying editorial, Sir Nicholas Wright also from Barts and the London points out that all histopathological interpretation is a matter of opinion, but we should always ask how reliable that opinion is.

CORRECT. It was precisely for this reason that the final diagnosis was left to the most senior pathologist with the most experience in bowel disease who assessed the tissues in an unbiased fashion.


In terms of whether autistic enterocolitis exists, several studies have shown an association between inflammatory pathology and autistic spectrum disorder, but he believes that, in view of the limited data, any firm conclusion would be inadvisable.

CORRECT. The finding of inflammatory disease of the intestine of autistic children has now been confirmed in 5 different countries.

Dr Wakefield said "It is extraordinary that a journal like the BMJ should have reduced itself to this sort of tabloid medicine from an entirely unqualified and biased source. The egregious errors in Deer's report should cause embarrassment to the BMJ's editors. In a relentless and misguided effort to distract attention from vaccine safety issues, agenda-driven journalism has once again made a mockery of medicine."

*********

(1 http://www.cryshame.co.uk//images/stories/complaint_to_uk_pcc.pdf)

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Just posted this on the BMJ site, I'll bet my pension they will not allow it.

http://www.bmj.com/cgi/eletter-submit

More from CBS,

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/04/17/eveningnews/main6406730.shtml?tag=cbsnewsSectionContent.9

Andy, Please remember my advice to you at the book launch..... "The nice guy always comes last" The time as come to turn the tables on the bad guys and whilst it would be extremely difficult for you to be of their evil mindset, you must not give one inch to them.

Speak up and challenge at every opportunity, you day is coming, you support is growing and you will be totally exonerated at the expense of these evil crooks. As far as they are concerned we must now be the Bad Guys, it is time to dish out some of their own medicine, whatever it takes !

Brian Deer in a "wanker"

Didn't somebody point out that Deer suggests that Wakefield ignored the obvious Mumps connection in favor of establishing a Measles connection?

Needless to say, Deer is an anti-litigation bloc hired gun with nothing better to do than to make the lives of vaccine injury victims more miserable.

The British tried to assassinate President Andrew Jackson at least four times.

The British burned down Washington D.C.

The British regularly seduce American ideals and values with socially and morally dysfunctional rock stars.

The American media eats this anti-litigation poo-poo up like it's manna falling out of the skies above.

Once upon a time, American parents were marginalized to tolerate the invasion.

Brian Deer owns America. He's more powerful than Adolf Hitler.

Brian Deer is the Lee Harvey Oswald of our time. There is bound to be a Jack Ruby in his future. I wonder if he even knows he is playing the part of the patsy, or who he is really working for?

With regard to BMJ Rapid Responses they only posted 4 responses on an all subjects on Friday (none, of course, on this) and so far none at all this weekend. It is probably too early to assume they have rejected anything.

First in Rapid Responses they censor justified queries from concerned readers as to how Brian Deer came to be in the possession of the children's medical files, something he boasts about, and now this rubbish.

Have I missed something or is the BMJ now part of Murdoch's News International?

I watched Alan Golding's video of "Andrew Wakefield in His Own Words" and "Selective Hearing" too, I know whom I can trust and believe. What has the world come to when the word of an obnoxious hack with a big mouth and bully boy's tactics is taken over that of a concerned, qualified and so obviously honest Doctor?



Looks like BMJ didn't pick up what I sent because it would be controversial or upset poor Brian Deer.................


http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/extract/340/apr15_2/c1127

Re: Wakefield’s "autistic enterocolitis" under the microscope

Raymond Gallup,
Accounting
Lake Hiawatha, NJ, USA 07034
Send response to journal:
Re: Re: Wakefield’s "autistic enterocolitis" under the microscope

Our son, Eric was born on January 17, 1985 normal and in April 1986, Eric received the MMR vaccine. Before Eric received the MMR vaccine his speech was progressing but after the MMR vaccine it went downhill to where he is non-verbal. He regressed into autism after the MMR vaccine because we saw home videotape evidence showing his regression. In 1992/1993 Eric received three hepatitis B vaccines and his aggressions started. Several years later Eric tested positive for myelin basic protein antibodies and elevated measles antibody titers (10 times higher than the normal range) in blood tests. Dr. Vijendra Singh and Dr. James Oleske of UMDNJ did the tests and both Dr. Oleske and Dr. Singh found that Eric had elevated measles antibody titers.

In 2002, we took Eric to see Dr. Arthur Krigsman and Dr. Krigsman did an endoscopy and colonscopy. Dr. Krigsman found that Eric had a painful quarter sized stomach tissue in his esophagus and inflammed colon. Eric broke two bedroom doors in our house, put holes in the wall and directed aggressions like biting, head-butting, pulling hair, scratching and kicking toward family members. Eric broke my left index finger in 2002 and in October 2009, Eric broke and pulled off the fingernail of my right thumb with his teeth. Eric is in a residential center with 19 other kids that have similar problems. He is on Social Security (SSI) payments and Medicaid insurance. There will be millions more of these kids dependent on the government as time goes on. This will not only be costly in human terms but also in economic terms since the public will be paying for this with real money.

Competing interests: Father to Eric Gallup who was born normal but regressed into autism after receiving the MMR vaccine

You can post comments at the British Medical Journal. www.bmj.com/cgi/doi/10.1136/bmj.c1127
The parents of the injured kids Dr. Wakefield treated initially have a facebook page, Cryshame. Websites http://cryshame.co.uk (as above) and www.slingshotpublications.com for Martin Walker where the parents' published stories can be purchased in "Silent Witnesses" Vols. I and II. The parents are having trouble publicizing the books in the US. Please help them by spreading the word.
Thanks so much for posting Dr. Wakefield's response. I second all the comments made here today. I do not have an injured child but am concerned about my as-yet-hypothetical grandchildren and of course about ALL children.

"What to me is most interesting is the creeping doubt in the eyes of Matt Lauer when he interviews Andrew Wakefield in the second video, after the rantings of his interview with Deer has led him to expect a devious "charlatan" and he begins instead to realise he is talking to an honest man."

Love this and I found this to be so true. He comes across as confident yet humble and so genuine. He speaks gently and from the heart.

Dr. Wakefield, well said! Keep speaking out!

I think it is utterly reprehensible for the BMJ to provide a 'platform' for this unscrupulous newspaper 'hack' with no medical qualifications whatsoever. Allowing Brian Deer to write a MEDICAL article, will undoubtedly 'backfire' on the BMJ's editors who will lose all credibility with the 'real' doctors who normally subscribe to this publication. This article is at best, a load of ignorant rubbish. At worst, it is deliberately targeted vindictive lies, ruthlessly timed to coincide with the GMC's review into the roles of Profs Murch and Walker Smith.
A recent video recording of the odious Mr Deer being questioned by two mothers about his role in the GMC show trial, shows up his callous attitude to these damaged children. His 'assertions' were that a child with a leaking ileostomy bag had 'diarrhoea', and another with a severely impacted bowel just had 'constipation'. According to Mr Deer, neither of these two children had any bowel problems!

julie, good question!!

Sorry, I thought that story I posted was from today. But from the comments after the story, it looks like it was from 2006.

April 17, 2010

New American research shows that there could be a link between the controversial MMR triple vaccine and autism and bowel disease in children.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-388051/Scientists-fear-MMR-link-autism.html#ixzz0lOF89SYK

You need to change the typeface or font size or something to distinguish Brian Deer's comments from Wakefield's.

There is no denying that powerful forces and loads of money are at work here to bring down Wakefield and any who find evidence of vaccine damage. I doubt Brian Deer even wrote this. It is a decrepit, disorganized, detour from the real facts and resembles the writings of Paul Offit but there are most likely many common denominators and shared writers among these groups of vaccine profiteers.

Deer is "the little man", a toadie, a nothing, except he has gained entrance into the dirty media and now it looks like BMJ is
again selling their medical soul and last grasps of integrity to print such lies and utter paid for propaganda. This is another sign of their futile attempts to close the gaping opening of Pandora's Box of vaccine harm.

Tanner's Dad

British Medical Journal has long had a double identity as a professional news-sheet for the British Medical Association and as a medical journal. I still don't think they ought to do this stuff - and even they seem to have had doubts in this case since they had an editorial by Sir Nicholas Wright doubting its significance:

http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/extract/340/apr15_2/c1807

John

Can Somebody explain to me How & Why Brian Deer is published in a medical Journal?

"I just have one question.
Why the f- is some hack reporter writing about bowel disease in a medical journal?"

Posted by: julie | April 16, 2010 at 09:51 PM

I am so with you on this Julie. I am a Psychotherapist. I have a Masters in Social Work....anyone want a Dental Exam? Advice on Root Canals, plaque. It's that ludicrous.

The BMJ should listen to the cries of children in pain. I'd like to see the BMJ's response to this...

Can't keep calm and carry on:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzYREX0jrY4

Aye Medico Legal probably ghosted it for Deer to push to the Boss for printing in the Sunday gutter Rag who pay him..as written By Martin Walker below
http://www.whale.to/vaccine/walker999.html

Pratt:

Thanks for the link. We all need to have a look see at this again. BECAUSE we do not need to forget NOT one person involved in this whole ghastly affair.

Matt Laur did not have to build up his story the way he did. It pointed guilt of Wakefield before either interview was heard.

It was a showman thing trying to put Dr. Wakefield in a bad light. And even though Matt Laur allowed Dr. Wakefield to answer the charges - he still gave Brian Deer more time and allowed him to make charges without checking and correcting (something an investigative reporter is suppose to do)

Matt Laur has a large staff and some one could have easily checked on the supposed measle vaccine they claimed Dr. Wakefield made and found it was not really a vaccine????

Because of that and that alone - Matt Laur will someday pay too. I look forward to the day that we can play this over and over again - stopping at intervals and an sure enough investigative reporter asking Matt Laur why he did not check on every word and correct it -as- it came out of Brian Deer's lying mouth.

Brian Deer is not much of a seer - he said he could have lost everything but the clothes on his back - if he had lost that court case, when Dr. Wakefield sued him. Well I predict it is going to happen - maybe - this is the way Karma has of presenting the idea to Brian Deer - letting it fester - thinking it is/thinking it is not going to happen - and then it happens - out on the street with just the clothes on his back.

Let us not forget Richard Horton - he could have stood up for what was right too. Instead of rolling over on his back and showing his surrendering under belly to the alpha (government powers/pharma commercial dealers) dogs.

Let me get this straight. We're not supposed to listen to anything Jenny McCarthy has to say, but we should trust Brian-bloody-Deere?? It gets more ridiculous every day. One would think that BMJ would realize how flimsy their defense is when this hack is the only one who has the "time" (aka pharma bankroll) to persist in making up shit that furthers the midguided notion that vaccines are safe and that Wakefield's a charlatan. Puleeeze.

Nancy

Just to point out that you have stumbled upon an article from 4 years ago. My understanding is that while Steve Walker's research continues - and persistent measles virus in the gut of autistic children is quite common - there are problems with study design, about how you define the group being investigated given the variable nature of autistic diagnosis.

John

I feel these 2 links may be not quite off topic but enlightening perhaps to those who are still confused perhaps about the real motives behind Deer´s incessant pursuit of Wakefield:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/narcissistic-personality-disorder/DS00652/DSECTION=symptoms

I also would advise watching the videoed interview with Brian Deer and Matt Lauer - if you can bear it - as I believe it sheds a very clear light upon Mr Deer´s personality.

http://briandeer.com/solved/dateline-nbc.htm

What to me is most interesting is the creeping doubt in the eyes of Matt Lauer when he interviews Andrew Wakefield in the second video, after the rantings of his interview with Deer has led him to expect a devious "charlatan" and he begins instead to realise he is talking to an honest man.

and people-Mr Wakefield is carrying a heavy load for our kids. He needs our support. He may be hero but he is just a mortal man. The forces against him are powerful and have no conscience that a normal person would recognize.
PLEASE SUPPORT ANDREW WAKEFIELD.

Vaccines cause autism.

"CORRECT. The finding of inflammatory disease of the intestine of autistic children has now been confirmed in 5 different countries."

My kid is one of them. Our son regressed into full-blown autism (vaccine injury)after vaccination and has suffered god awful gasrtointestinal problems ever since.

If you think it can't happen to your kid you better think again.

It's caused by vaccines.

Brian Deere is the most horrible kind of punk. A paid denialist protecting the status quo at the cost of tens of thousands,likely millions of childrens health. He is quite literally-a monster.

To any parents reading this-if you are drawn(like I was)to this site because your child is regressing after vaccination and your doctors have nothing but excuses and sympathy, you are at the right site.

Vaccines cause autism.

Andrew Wakefield is a Hero. His research is sound.

Treatment protocols implemented by Doctor Krigsman are helping my child to have the first normal bowel movements he has had in the three years since he regressed.

If your kid has bad gastrointestinal problems and regressive autism you need to look into Dr Krigsman. You don't need a PHD to interpret the photos of the sores in your childs small intestine taken by the pill cam-it's pretty damn obvious.

I hope this article gets spread far and wide:
Scientists fear MMR link to autism

By SALLY BECK, Mail on Sunday
Saturday, April 17, 3 AM (United Kingdom)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-388051/Scientists-fear-MMR-link-autism.html

"New American research shows that there could be a link between the controversial MMR triple vaccine and autism and bowel disease in children.

"The study appears to confirm the findings of British doctor Andrew Wakefield, who caused a storm in 1998 by suggesting a possible link.

"Now a team from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina are examining 275 children with regressive autism and bowel disease - and of the 82 tested so far, 70 prove positive for the measles virus.

"Last night the team's leader, Dr Stephen Walker, said: 'Of the handful of results we have in so far, all are vaccine strain and none are wild measles.'"

[complete story at web link]

I just have one question.
Why the f- is some hack reporter writing about bowel disease in a medical journal?

Deer is another one that I would like to see put out on the street with nothing but the clothes on his back, and no one will hire him because his reputation has been tarnished.

And as for his bosses, may their paper become known as the rag that it is.


I tried to get this on BMJ as a Rapid Response to Brian Deer and either it was too controversial or whoever the gatekeeper is thought I would offend Brian Deer's sensibilities, per............

http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/extract/340/apr15_2/c1127

Re: Wakefield’s "autistic enterocolitis" under the microscope

Raymond Gallup,
Accounting
Lake Hiawatha, NJ, USA 07034
Send response to journal:
Re: Re: Wakefield’s "autistic enterocolitis" under the microscope

Our son, Eric was born on January 17, 1985 normal and in April 1986, Eric received the MMR vaccine. Before Eric received the MMR vaccine his speech was progressing but after the MMR vaccine it went downhill to where he is non-verbal. He regressed into autism after the MMR vaccine because we saw home videotape evidence showing his regression. In 1992/1993 Eric received three hepatitis B vaccines and his aggressions started. Several years later Eric tested positive for myelin basic protein antibodies and elevated measles antibody titers (10 times higher than the normal range) in blood tests. Dr. Vijendra Singh and Dr. James Oleske of UMDNJ did the tests and both Dr. Oleske and Dr. Singh found that Eric had elevated measles antibody titers.

In 2002, we took Eric to see Dr. Arthur Krigsman and Dr. Krigsman did an endoscopy and colonscopy. Dr. Krigsman found that Eric had a painful quarter sized stomach tissue in his esophagus and inflammed colon. Eric broke two bedroom doors in our house, put holes in the wall and directed aggressions like biting, head-butting, pulling hair, scratching and kicking family members. Eric broke my left index finger in 2002 and in October 2009, Eric broke and pulled off the fingernail of my right thumb with his teeth. Eric is in a residential center with 19 other kids that have similar problems. He is on Social Security (SSI) payments and Medicaid insurance. There will be millions more of these kids dependent on the government as time goes on. This will not only be costly in human terms but also in economic terms since the public will be paying for this with real money.

Competing interests: Father to Eric Gallup who was born normal but regressed into autism after receibing the MMR vaccine

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