By Jake Crosby
Did Age of Autism move the goalposts? Paul Offit says yes, but statements from the CDC, FDA, NIH, IOM, AAP, WHO and even Merck say otherwise.
In the PBS documentary Frontline, responding to concerns about vaccine-related factors in the etiology of autism other than just thimerosal or the MMR vaccine, millionaire vaccine industrialist Paul Offit said:
“So now this is classic for pseudoscience, is you just keep moving the goalpost. So now the goalpost is, no, we didn't mean actually MMR caused autism or thimerosal caused autism”
First of all, we continue to mean that the MMR and thimerosal clearly do cause autism as actual science shows - even if routinely denied by the tobacco science Offit regularly cites.
Secondly, his dismissal of any further criticisms of vaccines beyond these two factors as “pseudoscience” conflicts with the expressed concerns of many high-ranking members of public health and the pharmaceutical industry. They voiced opinions that other factors such as aluminum and receiving too many vaccines at once may cause autism and related disorders.
At the secret Simpsonwood meeting 10 years ago, Dr. Richard Johnston - a pediatric immunologist funded by SmithKline Beecham - said (on page 20):
“Aluminum and mercury are often simultaneously administered to infants, both at the same site and at different sites.
However, we learned that there is absolutely no data, including animal data, about the potential for synergy, additively or antagonism, all of which can occur in binary metal mixtures that relate and allow us to draw any conclusions from simultaneous exposure from these two salts in vaccines…”
Dr. Johnston would later serve as liaison to the IOM panel that cut federal funding to studies examining mercury as a possible cause of autism.
As a point of interest, Johnston also said he did not want his grandson to be given vaccines with thimerosal “until we know better what is going on.”
These concerns about vaccines causing autism and similar conditions - which do not necessarily point to thimerosal or the MMR specifically as the prime culprits - are clearly serious concerns of leaders in the CDC, FDA, NIH, IOM, AAP, WHO and the vaccine industry. But to Paul Offit, “this is classic for pseudoscience.”
Autism science is a mere political game to the millionaire vaccine industrialist. The possibility of autism having multiple causes – if it further implicates vaccines – is “shifting goalposts” to Offit. Only that which supports his biased preconceptions gets the honorable title of “science.” Though Paul Offit does not begin to qualify as a scientist concerning the issue of vaccines causing autism, he is a dedicated lobbyist. He’s Nick Naylor from “Thank You For Smoking” with an MD.
Jake Crosby is a college student with Asperger Syndrome at Brandeis University who is double majoring in History and Health: Science, Society and Policy, and is a contributing editor to Age of Autism.
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