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Editorial by Jenny McCarthy: MMR Doctor Exonerated—Who’s Guilty Now?

Jenny 2012By Jenny McCarthy

The parent autism community is buzzing with excitement over a ruling by a British judge clearing Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s colleague and co-author of all charges against him that arose from a study of the relationship between gut disease, autism, and the MMR vaccine.

Judge John Mitting’s conclusion, from an appeal by the highly respected pediatric gastroenterologist Prof. John Walker-Smith, stated:

“…both on general issues and the Lancet paper and in relation to individual children, the panel’s overall conclusion that Professor Walker-Smith was guilty of serious professional misconduct was flawed…The panel’s determination cannot stand. I therefore quash it.”

Professor Walker-Smith was Andrew Wakefield’s co-author on a highly controversial study published in the medical journal The Lancet in 1998. Most of the controversy stemmed from the reporting by the co-authors that many of the parents in the study claimed that their children regressed into autism after receiving the MMR vaccine.

For parents of children with autism, this whole mess has always been a bit of a head-scratcher. The Lancet study’s conclusion that children with autism suffer from bowel disease is something any autism parent could easily confirm, and MMR, by far, has been the vaccine most commonly cited by parents as a trigger for a regression into autism. In my travels, I have heard the same story from parents about MMR leading to regression thousands of times.

In Britain, The General Medical Council is in charge of licensing and regulating doctors. Their 2010 “trial” of Andrew Wakefield and his colleagues was the longest in GMC history, lasting 217 days, and concluded by revoking the medical licenses of Dr. Andrew Wakefield and Prof Walker-Smith. At the time, Dr. Wakefield spoke of the injustice that Judge Mitting has now confirmed:

"It seemed to me that they had come to this decision a long time ago, long before the evidence was fairly heard. This is the way the system deals with dissent. You isolate, discredit and provide an example to other doctors and scientists not to get involved in this kind of thing. That is examining questions of vaccine safety."  

Now what? If the foundation of the proof that the MMR does not trigger autism is crumbling, what in the world are parents supposed to believe? If Professor Walker-Smith is not guilty on all charges, will Dr. Wakefield be next? The Canary Party’s press release explains:

“While John Walker-Smith received funding to appeal the GMC decision from his insurance carrier, his co-author Andrew Wakefield did not — and was therefore unable to mount an appeal in the high court. This year, however, Dr. Wakefield, who now conducts his research in the US, has filed a defamation lawsuit against Brian Deer, Fiona Godlee and the British Medical Journal for falsely accusing him of ‘fraud.’ The suit is currently underway in Texas, where Wakefield now lives.”

I think I’m really happy today--it’s great to see justice finally served. At the same time, have parents been given false information? Are decisions being made by parents based on headlines that may prove inaccurate? Is it possible vaccines are in fact dangerous for our most fragile kids?

If Dr. Wakefield and Prof. Walker-Smith have been found not guilty, who are the guilty parties? Mark Blaxill, chairman of the Canary Party, offers up his thoughts:

“Though justice has finally prevailed for Prof. Walker-Smith, the damage done to him and his colleagues has been incalculable. The UK government must investigate the corruption in the GMC, which has severely damaged the reputations of good, honest doctors. Most of all, it’s outrageous that Dr. Andrew Wakefield has been vilified by government officials, vaccine manufacturers and physician organizations, and that the media has accepted these unfounded accusations uncritically.”

I don’t know the answers to all these questions. Unfortunately, the GMC’s decision to turn Dr. Wakefield and Prof. Walker-Smith’s paper into a three-ring circus has put a chill on research into all the possible environmental causes of autism. Will this finally open the floodgates? 

We need answers, and we need them now. Millions of children remain at risk. For one day, at least, it feels like some justice has been served.

###

Jenny McCarthy’s honesty, humility and humor have enabled her to transcend the boundaries of her roles as comedian, actress, host, best-selling author and influential activist in the world of healing and preventing autism.  When she first made her own experience with her son Evan’s diagnosis and subsequent recovery from autism, her unique ability to articulate the unspoken words of thousands of mothers and fathers across the world was recognized immediately, and she is now fielding hundreds of requests per week for interviews, speaking engagements, and public appearances nationwide.

A highly-regarded NY Times Best Selling author, McCarthy’s books include the bestsellers Belly Laughs, Baby Laughs, Life Laughs, Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism and Mother Warriors: A Nation of Parents Healing Autism Against All Odds. Healing and Preventing Autism, co-written with Dr. Jerry Kartzinel, was published in April, 2009. Her latest book, LOVE, LUST, AND FAKING IT: The Naked Truth About Sex, Lies, and True Romance hit stores in September 2010, also landing on the NY Times Bestseller List. Her next book, SINNER: Confessions of a Recovering Catholic, will be published in Fall 2012.

Perhaps it is these innate qualities that contribute to her undeniable accessibility factor, which has drawn endorsement and sponsorship deals throughout the ad community.  In 2006, Jenny began working with Weight Watchers, encouraging healthy living and nutrition among moms trying to lose weight post pregnancy.  Her refreshingly honest approach generated mass public appeal and a role as Weight Watcher’s national spokesperson for their 2007 ad campaign, “Be an After. Stay an After” and 2009’s “Lose For Good” campaign.

Jenny and Sarah Clifford Scheflen, a practicing speech language pathologist, created Teach2Talk (www.teach2talk.com), a series of 16 DVDs for children.  Created using the latest research available, Teach2Talk subjects range from improving vocabulary skills to dealing with negative behaviors and temper tantrums, entertaining children while teaching them language, behavior and social skills.

Jenny launched a new line of affordable, non-toxic bedding and bedroom accessories called Too Good by Jenny, available in stores nationwide (www.toogoodbyjenny.com)

Jenny is a board member of Generation Rescue (www.generationrescue.com), an international movement of scientists and physicians researching the causes and treatments for autism, ADHD, neurological disorders and chronic illness, while parent-volunteers mentor thousands of families in recovering their children.

In addition to appearing in a multitude of campaigns, including the memorable Candie’s shoes ads, Jenny has graced the covers of magazines across the world, including Rolling Stone, People, Shape and Playboy.  The diversity in her resume highlights her unique combination of intelligence, sex appeal and humor. 

Playing recurring guest roles on major network television shows, such as “Two and a Half Men,” “Just Shoot Me,” and “The Drew Carey Show,” Jenny continues to be a sought-after comedic actress.  In December 2009, she reprised her starring role in “Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe,” a sequel to ABC Family’s wildly successful holiday movie.  Jenny will once again join hosts Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest, reporting live from Times Square on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2012.”

Throughout her career, as a model, actress, author and activist, Jenny holds the unique ability to engage an audience of every age and gender.  Jenny McCarthy has, in fact, become a household name, which is now, more than ever, held in the highest of regard.

Jenny McCarthy currently resides in Los Angeles, California, with her son, Evan.

 

Comments

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I checked public sources (excluding the Lancet paper itself) to see if I could find the first signs/symptoms of trouble in the Lancet children and who reported it. Here's my non-exhaustive list:

Child 1: delirium 1 wk post MMR vaccination, JWS note

Child 2: head banging 2 wks post MMR, Berelowitz letter

Child 3: fever, rash 2 days post MMR, JWS note, GP letter

Child 4:diarrhea, regression at ? post M, ++ post MMR, parent

Child 5: loss of speech 2 mos. post MMR, parent

Child 6: rash, gaze avoidance ~2 wks post MMR, Casson

Child 7: gaze avoidance, fits 24 hrs post MMR, GP note

Child 8: grand mal seizure 2 wks post MMR, Berelowitz

Child 9: "problems" 2 mos. post MMR, GP note

Child 10: fever, rash, reduced consciousness with measles infection 4 mos after MMR, specialist note

Child 11: "ill" days(?) post MMR, parent letter

Child 12: "frequent illnesses since MMR", GP note

taximom,

When the Copenhagen Post broke the story it was picked up on inside the US. In fact, the Philadelphia Inquirer link is:

http://articles.philly.com/2010-03-12/news/24957241_1_mmr-vaccine-vaccine-link-autism

A google search of "Autism-study doctor facing grant probe Poul Thorsen" produces 1.29 million hits. Not all are actually related to the Philly.com article, but strangely, the first link is to an obscure web site which claims to be a so called "autism blog". It seems somebody has developed a virus designed to pre-empt relevant google search results.

""The judge said the GMC panel failed to address whether Prof Walker-Smith had been doing research or simply investigating symptoms to help treat children. There had been "inadequate and superficial reasoning and, in a number of instances, a wrong conclusion", he said.

The GMC said reforms to disciplinary hearings were being considered.

Chief executive Niall Dickson added: "Today's ruling does not however reopen the debate about the MMR vaccine and autism.

"As Mr Justice Mitting observed in his judgement, 'There is now no respectable body of opinion which supports (Dr Wakefield's) hypothesis, that MMR vaccine and autism/enterocolitis are causally linked'.
"" - BBC News 7 March 2012 Last updated at 06:40 ET

Mike, your comment is based on many popular myths.

Myth 1:
Lancet pulled the paper because data was fabricated.
FALSE!
The data wasn’t fabricated. Read Judge Mitting detailed ruling. In other words the reasons that Lancet used for pulling the paper are non-existent. Non-reasons.

Myth 2:
Lancet paper authors removed their names from the paper.
FALSE!
The authors of the paper never removed their names from the paper.

Myth 3.
Lancet paper reported a link between MMR and Autism.
FALSE!
The researchers reported what they found, and called for more research.


Read detailed busting of each myth below.

Of course, there's nothing like having the Sunday Times and Dr Evan Harris on your back to make you suddenly revise your scientific opinion!

Mike,

In response to your assertion that most of the authors have "removed their names" from the Lancet paper, I provide a more complete text of their retraction below:

"The main thrust of this paper was the first description of an unexpected intestinal lesion in the children reported. Further evidence has been forthcoming in studies from the Royal Free Centre for Paediatric Gastroenterology and other groups to support and extend those findings. While much uncertainty remains about the nature of these changes, we believe it important that such work continues, as autistic children can potentially be helped by recognition and treatment of gastrointestinal problems.

We wish to make it clear that in this paper no causal link was established between MMR vaccine and autism as the data were insufficient. However, the possibility of such a link was raised and consequent events have had major implications for public health. In view of this, we consider that now is the appropriate time that we should together formally retract the interpretation placed upon these findings, according to precedent.

Simon H. Murch
Andrew Anthony
David H. Casson
Mohsin Malik
Mark Berelowitz
Amar P. Dhillon
Michael A. Thomson
Alan Valentine
Susan E. Davies
John A. Walker-Smith"

Main stream media isn't about to provide truthful coverage of this development, because that that would be as big an indictment of themselves, as it is of the farcically corrupt GMC and Lancet.

The silencing of Andrew Wakefield is an enormous crime, so ridiculously devoid of fact that it's success seems to defy reality. Until you stop long enough to realize, that none of it COULD have ever happened without the media. In fact, its doubtful that anyone would be lining up for vaccines now, were it not for the decades of conditioning that we've received from that same media.

There are some brutally ruthless big pharma forces behind Andrew Wakefield's persecution, but even they would be a powerless lot were it not for the enormous influence of main stream media.

The paradigm is all wrong; main stream media doesn't exist to tell the truth. Nor is it a neutered entity simply kept from telling the the truth by its financial ties to big pharma.

Main stream media is an intentionally created entity, that is now and has always been the single biggest tool in big pharmas arsenal. They've been using it for decades to control what the masses see and hear, and to keep them from learning about things that would surely incite them to riot .


Although this truly is an enormous victory for the truth, the general masses will likely never, ever hear about it. Just like every other victory before it.

Mike,

Here is the retraction by the editors of the Lancet:

"Following the judgment of the UK General Medical Council’s Fitness to Practise Panel on Jan 28, 2010, it has become clear that several elements of the 1998 paper by Wakefield et al are incorrect, contrary to the findings of an earlier investigation. In particular, the claims in the original paper that children were 'consecutively referred' and that investigations were 'approved' by the local ethics committee have been proven to be false. Therefore we fully retract this paper from the published record."

But Justice Mitting's decision affirms that the children were, in fact, consecutively referred and that no ethics committee approval was necessary because the investigations were clinically driven. (The approval referred to in the paper was actually, I believe, a reference to a standing approval for two additional biopsies.)


From authors' "Retraction of an Interpretation":

"We wish to make it clear that in [the 1998] paper no causal link was established between MMR vaccine and autism as the data were insufficient. However, the possibility of such a link was raised and consequent events have had major implications for public health. In view of this, we consider now is the appropriate time that we should together formally retract the interpretation placed upon [the] findings in the (1998) paper, according to precedent."

The above is not a retraction of the paper by the authors.


Maybe you should stop reading the LA Times.

I have yet to see a single word in the US press about this, or about Poul Thorsen's fraud.

Instead, we are still subjected to a firestorm of articles on how doctors should fire families who refuse vaccines, how schools should shut them out, and how it's not too late to get a flu shot.

Why can't Sharyl Atkisson cover this? Or has she been gagged by CBS?

What about CNN? Wouldn't a story like this actually BOOST their ratings?

I fear that the next step by Big Pharm will be to announce another pandemic to terrorize people into getting more flu shots. Maybe they are busy in their labs right now, splicing a flu virus with HPV, measles, mumps, AND rubella and infecting a few people with it, to make sure that everyone is too scared to turn down the new improved MMRHPV-flu or whatever other new vaccine they are frantically creating.

Add to my list of autism moms below:

http://www.google.com/imgres?q=autism+mothers&num=10&hl=en&biw=1314&bih=715&tbm=isch&tbnid=rJql5KTykyU_qM:&imgrefurl=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-1164799/Mothers-unite-W">http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-1164799/Mothers-unite-W">http://www.google.com/imgres?q=autism+mothers&num=10&hl=en&biw=1314&bih=715&tbm=isch&tbnid=rJql5KTykyU_qM:&imgrefurl=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-1164799/Mothers-unite-W

Mike,
If the Lancet retraction stands, then that will mark the beginning of its demise.

Time will tell.

Mike: The verdict raises questions about whether or not the Lancet should have retracted the paper after the GMC decision, as the reasons for its retraction have now been contradicted by the judge’s decision.

The thirteen original co-authors of the 1998 Lancet case series were members of the Royal Free’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease Study Group. In 2004, according to Andrew Wakefield's book Callous Disregard, ten of the co-authors signed a letter retracting an interpretation of the paper that it proved that vaccines caused autism, which the paper never actually claimed in the first place. John Walker-Smith, Andrew Wakefield and Dr. Simon Murch were subsequently brought up on misconduct charges before the GMC in cases 2733564, 1700583, and 2540201. The proceedings resulted in Walker-Smith and Wakefield being found guilty and being “struck off” the medical register, while Dr. Murch retained his status as a physician. Wakefield was then vilified by corporate media and by bloggers eager to repeat scandal and engage in industry protectionism, rather than investigate the complicated facts of the story.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/press-releases/article/Dr-Andrew-Wakefield-s-Co-Author-on-3389547.php


Quotes from Jenny’s article:
8th Paragraph; If Professor Walker-Smith is not guilty on all charges, will Dr. Wakefield be next?
12th Paragraph The UK government must investigate the corruption in the GMC, which has severely damaged the reputations of good, honest doctors.
My Comment:
Don’t bet on anything happening. There are powerful unscrupulous forces capable of the dirtiest of tricks in motion here. Mafioso like mind sets. A perfect example is the twisting of Verstatyen’s arm at the secret Simpsonwood Conference, June 2000 to change the statistics and findings on the enormous amount of mercury injected into children as a preservatine in vaccines and the fact that he stated it may be contributing to causing these children to be struck AUTISTIC.


Cccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4mDLIug6f0

Hey Nancy baby, you are the poster boy/girl for the new organization justforming: “Doctors Without Brains”
hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Silence from the fraudsters, liars, scamsters, awaiting, cushee payoff job seekers at the vaccine manufacturers, at the CDC and FDA. I’m waiting statements from the Pediatricians organizations. I wish they come out from under the rock. And where in the world is Matt Lauer and Anderson Cooper????

Just wanted to clear up Mike's post previously by using his own link / evidence...

"FOR THE RECORD: A previous version of this online article stated that Dr. Andrew Wakefield practices in Austin, Texas; he does not practice medicine in the United States but conducts research here.

It also stated that Wakefield said he couldn't recommend that parents have their children vaccinated; he instead advised that children receive the vaccinations against measles, mumps and rubella separately.

The article and one of its headlines also stated that his paper said the vaccine causes autism. His paper suggested a possible link; it did not establish a cause."

What I was particularly impressed by was that once the LA Times had been made aware of the errors it had made as a newspaper publisher with a clearly defined code of conduct / ethics it did so without remonstrating against those who informed it.

Here's a snippet from the introduction on the standards they are trying to attain ... of course compare and contrast against the recent BMJ articles....and that's an organisation not only defined as 'media' but also defined in law as a 'charity".

latimes.image2.trb.com/lanews/media/acrobat/2005.../18479691.pdf

The goal of the Los Angeles Times is to publish a newspaper of the highest quality.

This requires The Times to be, above all else, a principled newspaper. Making it so is the responsibility of every staff member. In deed and in appearance, journalists at The Times must keep themselves – and the
newspaper – above reproach. The ways a newspaper can discredit itself are beyond calculation; these guidelines do not purport to cover them all. It is up to staff members to master these general principles
and, beyond that, to listen carefully to their individual sense of right and wrong. If you know of anything that might cast a shadow on the paper’s reputation, you are expected to inform a supervising editor.

This can be an uncomfortable duty; under some circumstances, it can do harm to one’s
relationships with others in the newsroom. It is a duty nevertheless. Credibility, a newspaper’s most precious asset, is arduously acquired and easily squandered. It can be maintained only if each of us accepts responsibility for it.

The standards outlined here apply to all editorial employees and to all work they produce for The Times, whether it appears in print, on television or on the Web.

------------------------------

Fiona Godlee as editor of the BMJ can be contacted here if you'd like to address any issues that may be relevant.

Fiona Godlee
fgodlee@bmj.com
T: +44 (0)20 7383 6102

This still doesn't change the fact that the original paper reporting the link between Autism and MMR has been revoked, that most of the co-authors have removed their names from it, and that the journal Lancet has admitted that the data was fabricated.

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/feb/02/science/la-sci-wakefield3-2010feb03

Anyone with any morals at all, knows that Wakefield will be found innocent by mainstream medical eventually. What remains to be known is how long eventually will be. It's so nice to see Professor Walker-Smith freed of charges! Looks like we have made some progress since the 1800's when Dr. Semmelweis was "banished" for making up the thought that microscopic pathogens exist. Countless lives could have been saved had mainstream medical listened to him sooner. Now in 2012, we are making the same mistakes, but maybe we are getting quicker at giving credit where credit is due -- time will tell. How much time will be the telling.

Thank you Jenny for the TRUTH! I pray that the Geiers and Andy Wakefield will be next. These are heroes for children with neurodevelopmental disorders and they need to be lauded, not persecuted!

More information via FOIA is forthcoming on the junk science that the CDC uses to indemnify thimerosal. Stay tuned!

Oh Damn ! Just after Dr. Nancy thought she had the whole thing figured out over a year ago...


A Dr. Nancy vaccine bozo classic...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4mDLIug6f0


International / world class / UK MMR vaccine safety expert Brian Deer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AX2Rq1jM0mU

Anne wrote: "The AAP/CDC and mainstream medicine are running out out options."

That is why we see them retreating into the only option they have left, revoking vaccine mandate exemptions. All the vilification and scare mongering is falling on deaf ears as parents educate themselves and exemptions increase. Now we are seeing their true colors; arguing that parents are too stupid to make health decisions for their children and someone who sees their child fifteen minutes a year knows better. It reveals the true fig leaf of exemption law, the medical health community was fine with exemptions as long as no one used them. Now that people are exercising their legal rights, the law must be changed to remove those rights.

In the meantime they continue to blame this on a "fraudulent doctor" and an "irresponsible celebrity". They pretend that thousands of parents who watched their children regress after vaccination don't exist. Unfortunately for them, those parents told their relatives, friends, and co-workers about their suspicions and people listened. This would have happened even if Andy Wakefield and Jenny McCarthy never existed. The very fact that exemptions continue to increase after the Wakefield crucifixion shows the ineffectiveness of their scapegoating.

They are out of options. The only option remaining is to make parents that don't follow the schedule into criminals.

Since Dr. Wakefield's ordeal started I've been saying that one day people like Matt Lauer and Anderson Cooper will have to eat their words, but let's face it, they have egos and pride like the rest of us, and it would take a lot of pressure to get that out of them. There's likely a lot more pressure on them not to.

Kim,

It will make a difference, but of course it is still uphill.

While I'm thrilled that Dr. Walker-Smith has been exonerated, I don't feel as hopeful for this decision making any difference in our fight.

When Hannah Polling's case was decided, everyone thought this would mean that the media and general public would finally get it. That, IMO, didn't happen. Nor did it happen when a recent study showed that there were many more cases like hers in the vaccine courts.

While I do see acceptance for the idea that vaccines can cause damage and some people are more susceptible than others happening, I don't see it happening any time soon. I hope I'm wrong.


It's nice to see Jenny writing about Dr. Wakefield. Members of the media love to "blame" the vaccine-autism controversy on AN ACTRESS--Jenny McCarthy, and A DOCTOR WHO WAS FOUND TO BE A FRAUD--Andrew Wakefield. Now that the actions of the GMC have been found to be a gross example of malfeasance and corruption, the medical/pharmaceutical establishment will have to come up with something new to explain why confidence in the vaccine schedule is rapidly eroding. We're sick to death of the latest official phony, pharma-funded population study showing "no link." Millionaire vaccine developer Paul Offit's rants against non-vaccinating parents and his promotion of vaccines evoke outrage from parents.

The AAP/CDC and mainstream medicine are running out out options. We've heard it all before. It's incredibly clear that the epidemic of sick and disabled children is real. The medical establishment's war on children--the damage and the denial--can no longer be covered up.

Having no other choice, I can see them all running for cover. In the end, the years of corruption, collusion, and cover-up will make this the biggest medical scandal in history. Let's hope it all comes to light soon--for the sake of the children.

Anne Dachel, Media

Bob I don't think it strange that the response to the High Court conclusion has been muted in the US. I have a theory that the US mainstream media are stunned. They don't quite know how to react. They are very unsure of their ground and the ramifications for Dr Wakefield.

After so much hype for so long and now this. Exoneration. A blasting for the GMC. It is just too much to take in. Give em time. The consequences are going to sink in gradually.

And isn't it bliss that the Deer has been silenced at last. I bet he is foaming at the mouth under that gag.

Its great we have opened reflective conversations about the health and well being of children on the planet. This ruling by no means ends the work parent advocates need to continue in the face of what has felt like no resullts. A breather for sure, and justice, but a new road ahead that marches towards getting to what is so. Once we have these honest discussions in place there is no doubt in my mind that we can find answers, cures, treatments and a world that gets it all handled.

Oh Bob I was just telling my husband that same thing this very morning as we were watching the Today Show. His response was, Professor Walker Smith and Dr. Wakefield don't pay for advertisements on their shows.

Isn't it strange that Judge Mitting's "quashing" of the GMC's unjust prosecution of pediatric gastroenterologist Prof. John Walker-Smith hasn't generated anywhere near the media frenzy in the United States that would have occurred
had Judge Mitting ruled in favor of the GMC?

At least we can be thankful this decision will prevent Brian Deer from being fawned over .. once again .. by major US media personalities (Anderson Cooper and Matt Lauer come to mind) as would have likely occurred had Judge Mitting ruled otherwise.

For that alone .. parents in the US should be eternally grateful to Judge Mitting.

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