By Anne Dachel
On June 11, 2013, Slate.com made a strong case for not being fair and balanced when the issue is vaccine safety. In the piece, So Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Called Us to Complain
, Laura Helmuth blamed Kennedy for perpetuating the idea that our ever-expanding vaccination schedule isn't safe. Helmuth wasn't interested in talking about what evidence Kennedy has to back his claims, instead she dismissed the issue in the first paragraph saying, vaccines are "beyond scientific debate."
Helmuth neatly explained away all the autism everywhere saying that it's "mostly a matter of better diagnoses and and more parents seeking services." That said, she went on to tell us that the mercury used in vaccines "isn't the dangerous kind," and besides, scientists removed it from vaccines while the rate of autism continues to increase. In the middle of her defense of thimerosal paragraph, Helmuth wrote that "the study by Andrew Wakefield purporting to show a link was entirely made up." This claim makes Helmuth look either confused or ill-informed. Why? Because MMR is a live virus vaccine that never contained thimerosal. Wakefield never mentioned about thimerosal.
Helmuth went on to defend CDC officials and Seth Mnookin and label Kennedy as "delusional and dangerous."
I really can't see how her attitude can be justified when the controversy is this heated and there so many experts on both sides. Shutting down the debate at Slate will hardly settle the issue. Parents know there is more to this than the tired official mantra, "studies show no link."
Helmuth tried her best to convince us that Kennedy is a conspiracy nut with no valid science on his side and that he just won't go away.
In the real world, parents know what's going on. They know that mercury, aluminum and other components of vaccines have never been safety tested by the FDA. Laura Helmuth may think that injecting the second deadliest element on earth into children can't hurt them, but the truth is, the research the FDA has relied on is from a 1930 study done by the maker of thimerosal, the drug company, Eli Lilly. Eli Lilly tested it on 22 patients with meningitis who were all dead by the end of the study. Eli Lilly said it was safe and the FDA was happy to take their word for it.
Parents also know about Hannah Poling, the girl from Georgia whose vaccine damage case resulted in experts from HHS conceding that yes, her vaccinations caused her to become autistic. They also know that over 80 cases in vaccine court were decided in favor of the petitioner who alleged that vaccinations resulted in autism.
The public is scared. More and more parents believe vaccines cause autism. They're hearing it from countless other parents everywhere. They took their beautiful, healthy children in for routine vaccinations and suddenly they changed. They got sick, they lost learned skills, many stopped talking, and they regressed into autism. Their children's doctors couldn't explain why it happened. The only thing they were sure of is that it just couldn't be the vaccines. They had all the studies, endlessly tied to the vaccine makers, to prove it.
Parents also know that kids are sick. Our schools are filled with students who have life-threatening allergies, diabetes, learning problems, autism, asthma, and seizure disorders. The medical community seems satisfied that having so many sick kids is acceptable.
And parents aren't really impressed with pronouncements from places like the Institute of Medicine, the National Institute of Mental Health, or the American Academy of Pediatrics. They know about the endless conflict of interest waivers these people have because of their financial ties to the vaccine industry.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is rampant with such waivers and they're the people that approve and recommend the vaccine schedule. The last head of the CDC, Julie Gerberding, a long-time denier of any link between vaccines and autism, left her position and went directly to work at Merck as head of the vaccine division.
The American Academy of Pediatrics gets millions from pharma for conferences, grants, and education classes and the drug industry even helped build their headquarters.
How truly independent are any of these people?
Laura Helmuth said that the increase in autism is "better diagnoses." Really? As I continue to ask all over the place, where are the 40, 50, and 60 year olds with autism? If they were mislabeled as something else, find them and show them to us. No one has even been able to show us autistic adults at a rate even remotely close to what we see in our children. Personally, I see this as a reason to panic. A once-rare disorder is now affecting kids everywhere and we're doing nothing about it.
Meanwhile, Slate is proud to announce that they're "not giving equal time" to those who believe vaccines are having a serious and negative impact on the health of our children. Their not-too-subtle call for censorship will leave Slate in the dust clouds of obscurity. The truth is, more and more top experts know something is wrong with a vaccine schedule that more than tripled in the last 25 years without a single study on the cumulative effect of so many vaccines so soon on the health of a child.
More and more scientists and doctors do see a problem with vaccines. They're doing the research that doesn't make the evening news. They're finding the links that our health officials chose to ignore.
Why is Slate pretending that Robert Kennedy Jr is responsible for this?
I would like Laura Helmuth at Slate to look into a few of experts who don't agree that a one-size-fits-all vaccine schedule is safe.
This was just posted on the website for the movie, The Greater Good: The following is a list of scientists and physicians who acknowledge that vaccines can and do harm some children and/or have some concern about a vaccine, combinations of vaccines, the vaccine schedule, or an ingredient or ingredients in vaccines. These professionals are not anti-vaccine (though some of the medical doctors are) rather they recognize that vaccines, like all pharmaceutical products, carry risks. They also know that scientific inquiry should never cease.They have either spoken publicly about their concerns or have published research that explores safety issues relating to a vaccine, the vaccine schedule, a combination of vaccines or ingredients in vaccines.While the media attacks Dr. Andrew Wakefield claiming he is the only doctor with concerns about vaccines and that he alone has caused millions of parents to lose faith in vaccinations, this assertion is demonstrably untrue. Rather, hundreds of scientists and doctors have voiced concerns and have published research investigating adverse reactions to vaccines and their components. Placing the blame for parental concerns on Dr. Andrew Wakefield is disingenuous at best and blatantly dishonest at worst. Parents have read the research themselves and this is why they are concerned.It is time for the media to do their job, read the research and talk with the hundreds of doctors and scientists who have expressed concerns. . . .
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.