By Lou Conte
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Speaking At Autism One in May.
Laura Helmuth’s June 11th article in Slate about Robert Kennedy’s Autism One Conference keynote speech
signals a new low in main stream media’s ongoing denial of the autism epidemic and the reality of vaccine injury. Helmuth’s treatment of Kennedy shows that Slate does not believe in open discourse of controversial issues and is actively supporting censorship.
Helmuth stated “Slate doesn’t give equal time to creationists, and given the overwhelming evidence, we would never publish a story claiming that vaccines cause autism.”
Kennedy called Helmuth at Slate about correcting some of the statements that Phil Plait made in an earlier Slate article about his keynote speech. Helmuth refused to allow Mr. Kennedy an opportunity to express his point of view in Slate. Helmuth distorted Mr. Kennedy’s views and labeled him a conspiracy theorist. This decision was based on Phil Plait’s conclusion that “the idea that vaccines cause autism is a crackpot theory that has been thoroughly debunked, that it is dangerous, and that RFK Jr. is one of its most effective proponents.”
There has been no “debunking” of the vaccine-autism theory. There have only been ad hominem attacks on people who question vaccine safety and who believe that the only medical products mandated on children should be held to the highest-possible safety standards.
Mr. Kennedy has correctly pointed out that government officials have often stonewalled the efforts of researchers and investigators seeking access to vaccine safety information. Important tax-payer funded vaccine data sets have “disappeared.” Some data sets have been even handed over to industry trade groups, placing them beyond the reach of citizens. How far out of reach? Dr. Brian Hooker filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking CDC documents about vaccines and autism that he legally requested in 2004. Why has the government resisted Dr. Hooker’s requests for nine years?
The “overwhelming evidence” that Helmuth claims to have read doesn’t really add up. There are a number of problems with the research that has been offered up as proof that vaccines do not cause autism. The flaws in the studies are too numerous to list here. Contrary to what Helmuth implies, there has never been a study of health outcomes of vaccinated and un-vaccinated populations. However, does Helmuth realize that some of the most “important” studies promoted by the CDC as absolving vaccines for the increase in autism were directed by Poul Thorsen, a fugitive from justice
? Thorsen, as noted on this release from the Office of the Inspector General is wanted for extradition to the United States after he was charged with stealing one million dollars in CDC grant money and for twenty-two counts of Wire Fraud and Money Laundering. Yet the CDC still promotes his work!
You read that right; the studies most hailed as proof of the lack of a link between autism and vaccines were constructed by a felon.
Further, there has never been a study of the health outcomes of those individuals whom the government has compensated for vaccine injuries in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Does Helmuth even know that there is a National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program? How can a discussion about vaccine injury be described as “crackpot” if there is a government compensation program to address it? Does she realize that this program has compensated many children for brain injuries that also featured autism? (“Unanswered Questions from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program: A Review of Compensated Cases of Vaccine-Induced Brain Injury
”, Mary Holland [NYU School of Law], Louis Conte, Robert Krakow, Lisa Colin, Pace Environmental Law Review, vol.28, issue 2, Winter 2011, art. 6,.