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EBCALA Response to Medscape's "Anti-Vaccine Proponents Claim Court Paid for Autism Cases"

Correspondence See the original letter at the EBCALA website HERE.

To: robertlowes1@gmail.com, Medscape

From: Robert J. Krakow and Coauthors of “Unanswered Questions…”, Pace Environmental Law Review (rkrakow@krakowlawfirm.com)

Re Corrections to Your Article: "Anti-Vaccine Proponents Claim Court Paid for Autism Cases",

May 11, 2011, http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/742471 Date: May 11, 2011

Dear Mr. Lowes:

Thank you for your article titled "Anti-Vaccine Proponents Claim Court Paid for Autism Cases" published at http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/742471 on May 10, 2011. I am a coauthor of the paper that was published on May 10, 2011 in the Pace Environmental Law Review. I am writing on behalf of the authors.

As one of my coauthors may already have communicated to you, we take exception to the title of your piece, with specific reference to your use of the word "anti-vaccine." There is no statement in our paper that communicates any "anti-vaccine" view, whatsoever. Public statements made by the authors and some parents who were included in the case analysis contained in the paper have never evidenced an "anti-vaccine" view. To the contrary, many of the participants have clearly stated their support for vaccines and the government program that promotes vaccination.

Would you characterize citizens who bring to light automobile defects, such as the recent reports about brake failure in certain automobiles, as "anti-automobile"? I am sure not. Nor would you criticize airline safety critics as anti-airplane, nor even critics of certain drugs like, for instance, Vioxx, as "anti-drug."

Our focus in the paper is the history and functioning of the legal process. We have pursued a serious consideration of whether the purposes of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act are being realized and whether justice is being achieved for aggrieved families and children. This focus, while undoubtedly inviting controversy in itself, is distinct from the vitriolic and sometimes ill-conceived debate that induces some to invoke rhetoric that utilizes the words "anti-vaccine" and other empty slogans.

Since there is absolutely no basis to justify the use of the characterization "anti-vaccine" in your news report we respectfully request a retraction and clarification.

Other areas of your report require attention.

Our paper does not report that "roughly 3% of vaccine injuries …involve brain damage that included autism." This statement is contained in some news and other statements made separately from the paper and is based on an extrapolation of the fact that we found 83 such cases. 83 cases computes to slightly more than 3% of the approximate total number of compensated cases, which is approximately 2500. We deliberately avoided any such statistical conclusions in the paper because our research is preliminary and constituted review by interview and verification of only 150 cases. While extrapolation allowing use of the 3% computation is tempting and would allow the statement that 41% of reviewed cases showed "autism", we deliberately avoided making this statement, as our analysis is not an epidemiological or statistical one. It is a case review of a small percentage of the cases compensated in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Thus,while it is fair to state that to this point we found cases showing "autism"that would constitute 3% of the compensated cases, this statement can be misleading. In fact, we believe – but this is not much more than conjecture at this point – that the total number of compensated cases also exhibiting autism is substantially greater than 3% of the total number of compensated cases.

We do believe that what we found – including the number of cases of"autism" that we found – is significant, and justifies further investigation of all the compensated cases.

In addition, your article reports, "[t]he study authors looked at roughly 2500 claims of vaccine injury as of October 2010 that were compensated by the VICP since the program’s inception." This statement is incorrect. We conducted interviews and follow-up verification of 150 cases only. We also surveyed the small number of compensated cases that were the subject of published cases decisions. Thus, we have reviewed in some form thus far a small fraction of the compensated cases – something less than 15% to 20% at most.

We think it may mislead readers to suggest that we reviewed all 2500 compensated cases when, in fact, we only reviewed a small fraction of those cases. We are calling for a complete review and investigation of all compensated cases to determine the medical status of individuals injured by vaccines. This type of investigation is what Congress envisioned when it enacted the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 with the following purposes: immunize the vaccine industry to ensure vaccine supply, enhance vaccine safety, and provide for those individuals who will, inevitably, be injured by vaccines.

While we understand you are merely reporting his view, we believe that at least one of the statements of Paul Offit, M.D. contained in your piece merits special attention. Your article reports, "Dr. Offit said the study authors reach erroneous conclusions due to an erroneous definition of autism. A child with measles encephalopathy, he said, may have severe cognitive deficits that fall into the autism spectrum, but such symptoms themselves do not necessarily translate into a diagnosis of autism."

Dr. Offit’s statement, as reported by you, completely misconstrues the point of our paper and reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of “autism”.

Your article failed to explain, as reported in our paper, that "autism" is defined and diagnosed purely by its symptoms. A primary point of our paper was to show that by the very definition of "autism" as set forth in the DSM-IV many children compensated for vaccine injury have "autism."

Dr. Offit’s position makes little sense. He does not explain how our definition of "autism", as taken from the DSM-IV is "erroneous" nor does your piece offer the definition that Dr. Offit purports to be the correct one. Contrary to the assertion contained in your article, symptoms of autism do translate into a diagnosis of "autism." If we are to accept Dr. Offit’s claim, as reported in your article, that "such symptoms do not necessarily translate into a diagnosis of autism" the diagnostic criteria used for this disorder would be rendered variable and completely meaningless, as there are no physiological biomarkers used to diagnose the condition. By definition, symptoms of "autism" whether caused by measles encephalopathy or some other agent, constitute "autism."

An illustration of the absurdity of Dr. Offit’s claim is the example of thalidomide. It was discovered by researchers in the 1990′s that one cause of "autism" is prenatal exposure to thalidomide during a particular narrow window of time during pregnancy. Are we to diagnose children who evidence symptoms of "autism" caused by this exposure with something other than "autism" – say, "pre-natal thalidomide induced behavioral syndrome"? Perhaps, but the children so afflicted would also be diagnosed with "autism." By Dr. Offit’s logic we would not be able to say that thalidomide causes "autism." Leading researchers have concluded otherwise and their parlance has drawn acceptance from mainstream medicine.

Undoubtedly, in trying to make his point Dr. Offit was mindful of the VICP experience in the case of Hannah Poling. Hannah Poling was diagnosed with "autism" according to her pediatric neurologist and as reported in a paper published in the journal, Child Neurology. In agreeing that she merited compensation for vaccine injury, HHS officials first acknowledged that her injury "resulted in" "autism". The officially reported decision granting her compensation described her injury, however, as post MMR encephalopathy. In a semantic tour de force, Dr. Offit and HHS officials thus have successfully avoided categorizing Hannah Poling’s injury as "autism." By doing so Offit and HHS both claim to be able to say that "vaccines don’t cause autism." But Hannah Poling indisputably was diagnosed with autism and this manifestation of injury was part of her claim.

This is precisely the kind of semantic game that we believe requires investigation. Brain injuries to children are serious and life-long. Using word play to avoid the unpleasant association between vaccine injury and "autism" is not helpful to our children and evidences an institutional mendacity that ill-serves our nation’s children.

The logical extension of Dr. Offit’s position would be the proposition that there exists no fixed definition of autism and that when vaccine injury occurs autism is necessarily excluded as a diagnostic possibility. This flies in the face of routine diagnostic procedures but does illustrate the type of diagnostic manipulation and legal decision-making that may occur to confuse the issue of whether or not "autism" and vaccine injury are linked.

While we may take issue with some other aspects of your piece that are beyond the scope of this note, we respectfully request clarification of the important points we have highlighted.

Again, we thank you for reporting about our paper. We will gladly remain available if you have any additional questions for us.

 

Comments

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I have just stumbled across a new angle I did not know about regarding vaccine injury. A thing called SERUM SICKNESS or SERUM DISEASE. Read more here: http://www.smartvax.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=90

It describes vaccine injury as far back as 1800. Its been known for a long time, but as the AOA piece states, word games have many not associating injections with reactions to the injections.

Patron99,

Here is one for the list.

Shoenfeld's syndrome after pandemic influenza A/H1N1 vaccination.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21483283

"Anti-vaccine" folks showing up on Pub Med it seems.

Thanks for posting more that shows what I think heralds the beginning of death by a thousand cuts of the notion that vaccines can't and don't harm.

The vaccine worshippers and anti-science scum are trying to do their best to illegitimize this study by claiming that there was no IRB approval for the survey.

Here's what I'm thinking. If they weren't worried about it, they would do what they normally do and just say that it was irrelevant, mock it, and move on. However, they are going BACK to it and trying to get it retracted. This means they are worried about it. Looks like we may have struck close to home on this one.

Can someone clarify if IRB approval is necessary in a LEGAL study?

It's all just coincidence, right? I suggest that it's not at all coincidence. Hemostatic and immune dysfunction are iatrogenic. Thrombohemorrhagic events and autoimmune diseases are temporally--related to vaccination. It is not a great stretch to propose that a single underlying pathophysiology might be involved. At this point, no hypotheses should be taken off the table.

(arthus reaction) AND vaccine reaction - 59 hits
(schwartzman reaction) AND vaccine reaction - 10 hits
(shoenfeld syndrome) AND vaccine reaction - 2 hits
(serum sickness) AND vaccine reaction - 18 hits
(saranelli phenomenon) AND vaccine reaction - 106 hits

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2185847/pdf/je15151232.pdf

“Lymphocyte cooperation is required for amplification of macrophage procoagulant activity” by Gary A. Levy in May 1980.

“Other provocative observations linking the hemostatic system to immune responses include the deposition of fibrin in the lesions of allogeneic rejection (5), the massive accumulation of intraglomerular fibrin in experimental anti-glomerular-basement-membrane-type glomerulonephritis when animals are given the fibrinolytic inhibitor ~-aminocaproic acid (6), the appearance of perivascular fibrinogen or fibrin as the earliest feature of experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (7), and the characteristics of the general Schwartzman phenomenon (8).”

Vaccine injuries are likely to all be manifestations of a single, common underlying pathophysiology which is shared by Shoenfeld syndrome, Arthus reaction, Saranelli reaction, Shwartzman phenomenon, and serum sickness. Vaccine injuries are iatrogenic. They are not idiosyncratic. A cursory Pub Med search yields the following:

Arthus reaction - 1,459 hits
Saranelli reaction - 852,257 hits
Schwartzman phenomenon - 1,178 hits
Shoenfeld syndrome - 436 hits
Serum Sickness - 1,982 hits

(((((Arthus) OR Schwartzman) OR Saranelli) OR Schoenfeld) OR serum sickness) AND vaccination reaction - 32 hits

Vaccine damages to humans are cumulative, synergistic, and systemic - they affect the entire body. This is why the clinical presentation of symptoms of vaccine injury often appear to be unrelated as to organ system and as to time of onset. This makes pattern recognition difficult, but not impossible. The description of ‘ASIA’ or Shoenfeld’s syndrome is VERY significant. This syndrome goes to the heart of the problem of vaccine toxicity, which can be acute, subacute, chronic, waxing and waning, and sometimes clinically-silent, until the last straw breaks the camel’s back. With literally hundreds of “innovative” new vaccines in the pipeline, and with new vaccines being regularly added to the vaccine schedules, Shoenfeld’s syndrome will become ever more common and easier to recognize. Soon, it will not matter whether vaccines are dosed singly or in combination, because their biologic effects will increasingly overlap in time. Prediction: Shoenfeld’s syndrome will demonstrate a dose-response relationship with the number of mandated innoculations. The dose-response relationship will be exponential because the toxicity is synergistic. This pattern has already emerged! This pattern is unsustainable. Something has to give.

‘ASIA’, Alzheimer's, encephalopathy, epilepsy, narcolepsy, ASD, schizophrenia, autoimmune disorders, and CFS-ME will likely ALL become compensable injuries for the VICP. The list is growing. Global vaccine policy is seriously flawed. It is house of cards which is destined to come crashing down. It has become self-evident that this policy cannot sustain itself. It is economically, politically, scientifically, ethically, morally, and spiritually unsustainable.

“Aluminum as a neurotoxin: the evidence from cell culture, in vivo, and human studies” by Christopher A. Shaw, January 2011.

http://www.vaccinesafetyconference.com/pdf/Shaw/Shaw_PPT.pdf

“Aluminum Hydroxide - Another Poison Pediatricians Inject in Babies”

http://imva.info/index.php/vaccines/aluminum-hydroxide/

It has become self-evident that global vaccine policy is seriously flawed. It is based upon a foundation which is showing some serious cracks.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19740540

J Inorg Biochem. 2009 Nov;103(11):1555-62. Epub 2009 Aug 20.
Aluminum hydroxide injections lead to motor deficits and motor neuron degeneration.
Shaw CA, Petrik MS.
Source

Departments of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21423554

Int J Alzheimers Dis. 2011 Mar 8;2011:276393.
Link between Aluminum and the Pathogenesis of Alzheimer's Disease: The Integration of the Aluminum and Amyloid Cascade Hypotheses.
Kawahara M, Kato-Negishi M.
Source

Department of Analytical Chemistry, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyushu University of Health and Welfare, 1714-1 Yoshino-cho, Nobeoka-shi, Miyazaki 882-8508, Japan.

"Shoenfeld's syndrome" or the “Autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants” (‘ASIA’) should be compensable vaccine injuries by the VICP. Moreover, the “Sick Building Syndrome” (SBS), a term coined for a set of clinically recognizable symptoms and ailments without a clear cause reported by occupants of a building, may also be included as a part of "Shoenfeld's syndrome".

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20708902

'ASIA' - autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants.
Shoenfeld Y, Agmon-Levin N.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21188456

The sick building syndrome as a part of the autoimmune (auto-inflammatory) syndrome induced by adjuvants.
Israeli E, Pardo A.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19004564

A role for the body burden of aluminium in vaccine-associated macrophagic myofasciitis and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Exley C, Swarbrick L, Gherardi RK, Authier FJ.

Thanks to Robert Krakow for such an articulate response to Medscape. He has written by far the best critique I’ve seen of how public health officials are using semantics to avoid drawing a connection between the autism and the vaccine injuries of some of the compensated children.

When my son was diagnosed in 2000 at the University of Washington’s Center on Human Development and Disability, the official letter said that he had “autism of unknown etiology.” Now, 11 years later, we are seeing that the etiology of at least a few of the cases of autism is perhaps being teased out. As Mr. Krakow so correctly points out, at this time autism is diagnosed exclusively by behavioral characteristics: if a child has the behavioral patterns of autism, then he is diagnosed as having autism, regardless of why he developed those behavioral patterns. The diagnostic terminology used by the University of Washington acknowledges this reality.

But if the reason for the autism is known, then an individual has “autism of known etiology.” This would certainly be accurate terminology for thalidomide-induced autism, and by the same logic, post-measles encephalopathy (caused by the actual disease, not the vaccine) could also result in a diagnosis of “autism of known etiology.” Hannah Poling may in fact have “autism of known etiology,” caused by her acknowledged post-MMR encephalopathy. It becomes difficult for public health officials to continue to insist that Hannah Poling has “autism of unknown etiology,” and obviously they will never acknowledge that she has “autism of known etiology,” so they try to deny that she has autism at all, even though she has a bona fide autism diagnosis based solely on the behavioral criteria laid out in the DSM-IV manual. This fallacious logic has unfortunately been embraced by the medical establishment as well as the public health bureaucracy, and it needs to be challenged.

Great summary Media Scholar, hardly the stuff of mainstream media.

I personally consider the Swine flu fiasco to be something of a victory. Sure it's a shame to see all that money being flushed down the toilet... but it's really just money. And those 73 million vaccines now destined to be destroyed, are 73 million vaccines that were ultimately unwanted.

Sure big pharma made billions peddling a useless medication for a fictitious threat, but that was really just a small piece of the puzzle. Those unused vaccines would have reeked incredible havoc on the health of their recipients, and the big pharma payout for treating those long term health effects would have been on the order of trillions.

I'm glad to have someone like Mr. Krakow working to end the insanity. Articles like this in Medscape seemed to be aimed at an exclusive audience, and the fact that such arguments seem to actually work (or that some think they work) for that audience really makes me uneasy considering the possibility of having to receive further "care" for some health condition or emergency.

Oops, the case I was referring to in my previous post was Rachel Hammitt v. Sec'y HHS: http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/GOLKIEWICZ.HAMMITT083110.pdf

Trying to do too many things at once.

Absolutely brilliant work by Mr. Krakow et al!!!!

Lowes walked right into a trap--one made not by "anti-vaccinationists," but rather, unknowingly, by the Big Pharm political machine--and in doing so, exposed for all to see that the Emperor not only is buck-naked, but is corrupt to the core.

It couldn't be clearer.

In a nod to Nathaniel Hawthorne, I suggest some scarlet letters for Lowes/Medscape and the entire Big Pharm political machine: CttC = Corrupt to the Core.

I notice that Child Doe v. Sec'y of Health and Human Services quotes sections of Berkovic et al. "De-novo mutations of the sodium channel gene SCN1A in alleged vaccine encephalopathy: a retrospective study."

In particular the decision quotes a paragraph, the last sentence of which I found odd, to wit: "B]ut the role of vaccination as a significant trigger for encephalopathy is unlikely for several reasons. First, although vaccination might trigger seizures as shown by the increased risk of febrile seizures on the day of triple antigen or MMR vaccination, there is no evidence of long-term adverse outcomes. Second, less than half of our patients had documented fever with their first seizure, which indicates that fever is not essential. Third, our neuroimaging data showed no evidence of an inflammatory or destructive process. Finally, truncation and missense mutations reported in conserved parts of SCN1A have not been found in many hundreds of healthy patients. Thus, individuals with such mutations seem to develop SMEI or SMEB whether or not they are immunized in the first year of life...."

Thus? None of the earlier sentences talk about whether or not unvaccinated individuals develop SME[I,B]. I checked the articles footnoted in the previous sentence and they don't talk about that either. (One article I didn't check completely because I couldn't find a free version.) That last sentence is an important one because it's emboldened in the decision, but it doesn't seem to follow from, well, anything that I could see.

http://hopecenter.wustl.edu/training/bio5663/Documents/Gurnett_Article%201.pdf

Imagine if everyone who's been accused of being anti-vaccine actually WAS anti-vaccine.

That would be a game-changer.

Anti Vaccine is just another label being used to keep money in the pockets. Just like the word, Autism... Get rid of the A word, and the children will get help faster. Sue any doctor who labels your kid with autism without first checking to see if the child has metabolic, immune, GI issues. The problem is negligence on behalf of the doctors who are following instructions by insurance companies and CDC. And start labeling OFFIT as "Anti-Truth". It is a label that he deserves.

KUDOS to Mr Krakow, for this well-written letter, and to he and his colleagues for their work in this area.

The only aspect of its stated purpose that the vaccine injury act has achieved was immunizing the vaccine industry, and making the taxpayer pick up the tab for excesses by pharma/biotech “gone wild”. The vaccine injury act removed the only real checks and balances on the vaccine industry. It is now, effectively, an unregulated industry. Caveat Emptor? No kidding! Where’s the informed consent? This nightmare of vaccine injuries will only get worse, unless Congress repeals or substantially amends the act.

Where is the logic in mandating vaccination - more appropriately called inoculation/transfection - for which the risks are borne entirely by the vaccinee, without their knowledge or consent. Man-made laws notwithstanding, this policy violates God-given inalienable rights, the Oath of Hippocrates, the Nuremberg Code, and the Declaration of Helinski. Scheduled vaccination and mandated inoculation poses an avoidably unsafe, clear and present danger, and imminent risk of harm to every citizen. The State has usurped basic parental rights (Parental Liberty Doctrine), Constitutional rights (First, Fifth, Fourteenth, and Ninth Amendments), and God-given rights (right to medical freedom, right to privacy, liberty interest in bodily integrity).

The vaccine injury act has failed completely in enhancing vaccine safety. Predictably, vaccine safety has suffered dramatic worsening as a direct result of the vaccine injury act. The vaccine injury act has concomitantly failed in consistently and fairly compensating all victims of vaccine injury. There is no rational basis for excluding compensation to some vaccine-induced ASD victims, while providing it to others. If you think of all of the vaccine-induced damages as a Venn diagram, ASD would overlap substantially with many of the compensable vaccine damages, and would outnumber most of the compensable vaccine damages. The similarities between autism, epilepsy, encephalopathy, Alzheimer’s, and schizophrenia, outnumber their differences. The recognition of vaccine-associated autoimmune diseases is very significant, because it provides evidence that vaccine damages are systemic, that is, they affect the entire body, not solely the brain. We need to understand how this is occurring.

To recap...

1. The one of the ringleaders for CDC anti-litigation bloc Autism research has been indicted by at least two countries for FRAUD.

2. The CDC ringleader of the original Swine Flu fia$co of 1976 has recently died in Atlanta. His wholesale fraud was compounded by copy cats in 2009.

Now let's all count all the anti-vaccine people. We all remember the panic virus? right?

Spain destroyed 6 million doses

http://www.elpais.com/articulo/sociedad/Espana/ha/destruido/millones/vacunas/gripe/elpepisoc/20101211elpepisoc_4/Tes

The Netherlands destroyed 17 million doses

http://www.medindia.net/news/17-million-swine-flu-vaccine-doses-destroyed-in-netherlands-71968-1.htm

"In November the Dutch government said it was putting 19 million doses on sale to other countries, but managed to offload only 257,000."

Australia Dumps 11.6 million doses

http://vaccinenewsdaily.com/news/224690-australia-to-destroy-100-million-of-swine-flu-vaccine

"under half of the stockpile of vaccine (9-10 million doses) was delivered to doctors, and even less was used on patients. There are 3.8 million doses being sent to the World Health Organization, and 7.8 million left to be destroyed."

Switzerland Destroys 8.7 million doses

http://www.thelocal.ch/national/20110427_155.html

Switzerland said it will destroy its remaining 3.4 million unused doses of vaccines against the H1N1 virus by the end of the year....Switzerland has already destroyed 5.3 million vaccines last year...The Swiss government bought 13 million doses of vaccines at the end of 2009

Germany STUCK with 30 million doses

http://www.thelocal.de/national/20100507-27035.html

Health authorities across Germany's 16 states still have 30 million shots left over...Desperate efforts to sell off at least part of the surplus stock to other countries had so far failed...Widespread media attention and community panic last year drove health authorities to go to great lengths to buy enough of the vaccine for a mass immunisation program...But the effort at mass immunisation failed.

That's a lot of anti-vaccine people for the handful of vaccine zealots to deal with.

No, I meant to refer to the practice of sticking labels on people which either distort their opinions or actions or indeed attribute attribute opinions or actions for convenience which don't correspond to the reality at all,
----------------------------------

Such as to diagnose a child with "autism" to conveniently employ the propaganda tactic of indirection to draw attention from their vaccine induced neurological disabilities?

Harry! Thanks for the best laugh I've had in Days - play on Mr. Krakow's name - Clash of the Titans"? Release the Cracken indeed!
And excellant letter!

"Anti-vaccine proponents" is such an awkward construction. To make the same point, shouldn't the headline have read "Vaccine Opponents"?

No, because one of the principles of propaganda is the relentless drumming of selected phrases into the consciousness of the masses and "anti-vaccine" has become one of them.

David

"When you wrote in your comment "The label libel of 'anti-vaccinationists'" did you actually mean "potentially libelous label"?"

No, I meant to refer to the practice of sticking labels on people which either distort their opinions or actions or indeed attribute attribute opinions or actions for convenience which don't correspond to the reality at all, and are ther to confuse and polarise opinion. Manifestly, of course, what Lowes said wasn't true about the identifiable people in this case. I wouldn't however presume to know whether this is actionable.

John

RELEASE THE KRAKOW !!!!!!!! :-)

@John-

When you wrote in your comment "The label libel of 'anti-vaccinationists'" did you actually mean "potentially libelous label"?

The three tests for libel are untruthful, intentional and demonstrable harm. To my knowledge, "anti-vaccine" and "anti-vaccinationist" have never been the subject of a libel action, and I doubt they ever will for the same reason "abortionist" hasn't.

Although it would be great to see folks like Lowes be held responsible for the damage they have done and continue to do, I don't see it happening in a libel court over this.

Too bad.

Superbly stated Bob,

I don't know how Lowes will be able to justify this. The label libel of "anti-vaccinationists" is often used by the other side in general terms - and is there both to confuse and polarise - but actually in this instance it relates to specific people and it is used in a peer review publication. He must surely back down.

Equally, he needs to justify the insubstantial distinctions made by Offit and the US government, which he apparently endorses without criticism or understanding. As it happens I have also written a piece about this not yet posted here but I also have comments in BMJ Rapid Responses and Seth Mnookin's blog (addressed to Mnookin) which so far have no answer.

http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.d2642/reply#bmj_el_260517

http://blogs.plos.org/thepanicvirus/2011/05/10/and-the-winner-is-fox-news/

We may have to wait a long time.

John

Good job, Bob. Thanks for following up on this.

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