By Anne Dachel
When it comes to autism, the media continues to push the tired mantras, "studies show no link" and “better diagnosing--no real increase" in their coverage. To support these claims, there's often a local doctor who is quoted. The doc usually shows a mild interest in autism and reassures us that while the cause is unknown, there certainly is no link to vaccines. The casual observer might think that the scientific-medical community really cares about what autism is doing to our children and that they're honestly looking into the whys:
Why is a once rare disorder now so common that everyone knows someone with an affected child?
Why do some children, who seem to be normal and thriving, suddenly become sick and lose learned skills, subsequently winding up with an autism diagnosis?"
Why are there so many autistic children who reportedly make great gains when they go on special diets and get certain biomedical treatments?
Why isn't there a comparable autistic population among adults--especially adults with severe autism?
Why do so many parents continue to claim that their child was just fine until they received certain routine vaccinations?
We might think that the scientific-medical community is looking into the whys, but it's not. The media, vaccine makers, health officials, and doctors all have a vested interest in continuing the status quo as far as autism is concerned.
That's why autism will only be treated as a medical curiosity and never as a health care crisis.
That's why the emphasis will always be on diagnosing and early intervention and not on stopping the epidemic.
That's why no one will ever call for a vaccinated/unvaccinated study.
That's why the conventional medicine industry will concentrate on behavior medications and not on approaches, such as improved nutrition, removal of toxins, the use of nutritional supplements and herbs and other methods considered outside of mainstream medicine, to really improve the health of ASD kids.
In the face of all this, it is amazing that there are actually experts out there willing to speak out. Age of Autism continues to report on the scientists who do the important and ethical studies and find the real proof about autism's cause. AoA also presents the doctors who are really helping our sick kids---not just creating new victims. I'm privileged to have talked to a number of these rare, courageous people. (And if you think it’s hard being a parent who says vaccines cause autism, try being a doctor and say it.)
On my Media Update
back on July 19, 2013 , there was a very interesting comment posted by Michael B Schachter, MD, who runs the Schachter Center for Complementary Medicine in Suffern, NY.
Dr Schachter wrote:Some people post that all doctors oppose the notion that vaccines have anything to do with autism and how can they all be wrong and Jenny be right? All doctors DO NOT OPPOSE THE VIEW THAT VACCINES MAY CONTRIBUTE A LOT TO THE EPIDEMIC OF AUTISM. Many of them quietly and privately express this view, but keep quiet out of fear of sanctions by the medical community, state regulatory agencies or their academic employers. Pharmaceutical companies play a prominent role in supporting medical organizations, politicians and the media. It takes a brave soul to oppose the prevailing view that "we have no idea what causes autism, but it certainly has nothing to do with vaccines."
One clear casualty of the possible vaccine-autism link has been Andrew Wakefield MD, who in an excellent journal research article about 15 years ago, merely suggested that there might be a link between the MMR vaccine and autism and that further research should be done. This highly intelligent, articulate, caring physician and researcher was attacked unmercifully by articles in medical journals, the media as by Anderson Cooper of CNN (and many others) and regulatory agencies in his home country the UK. He lost his job and became a villain to the general public while a hero to the few in the know. Currently, legal cases involving Dr. Wakefield are working their way through the court system.About 60 or 70 years ago, the AMA and organized medicine opposed the notion that smoking had anything to do with lung cancer. With accumulating research, it gradually became impossible to reject the smoking-lung cancer link, but it took a great deal of time, effort and resistance to attacks on tobacco opponents for this link to finally be accepted.I think the overall control by the pharmaceutical vaccine-making industry over medical organizations, politicians and regulatory agencies, and the media is far greater than the control that the tobacco industry exerted over these same elements of society. Furthermore, in spite of all of this information relating smoking to lung cancer and other fatal medical conditions, which is widely accepted by everyone, many people continue to smoke, especially outside the USA. So, clearly accepted knowledge is not always sufficient to bring about change. Addiction is an incredible thing!! The history of medicine is replete with examples of ideas that were ridiculed and criticized as having no value or being harmful with reversal occurring many years later. In their extremely well researched book "The Age of Autism", Olmsted and Blaxill trace the possible role of mercury in autism and similar conditions, but also as a possible cause of many other illnesses, such as suffered by many of Freud's "psycho-neurotic" patients. Freud was convinced that the cause of his patients problems were psychodynamic in nature, but Olmsted and Blaxill present a rather convincing argument (at least to me) that mercury played a role in the symptoms of these patients. The importance of mercury as a causal link to a wide-ranging array of medical conditions is yet to be recognized by the medical community, governmental agencies and the media. I don't think that this will change anytime soon. Anyhow, I'm not sure when the vaccine-autism link will become clear to everyone, but I doubt it will be anytime soon. Hopefully, the hiring of Jenny McCarthy by ABC will help to open the door for a discussion and perhaps even some action on this very important issue, the recognition that the change in the vaccine schedule over the last 15 years has played a major role in the autism epidemic. My fear is that the media will use this as an opportunity to bash Jenny and anyone who thinks along these lines. Michael B Schachter MD, CNS
Those were stunning comments. Clearly not all doctors agree with the dictates of the pharma-medical collaboration. I contacted Dr. Schachter and asked him to elaborate on his comments. Q:
Dr. Schachter, you wrote that many doctors "quietly and privately" acknowledge a link between vaccines and autism, "but keep quiet out of fear of sanctions." That's a frightening observation. What will it take for doctors to finally speak out like you're doing? A:
I'm afraid the whole system will have to change. Doctors who are associated with universities and medical centers must be fearful of losing their jobs or being disciplined in other ways, such as loss of license, if their expressed views differ from the views of their hospital administration or the views of the university, which employs them. The hospitals, the universities, medical organizations and politicians must support the views of their major funders, which are the pharmaceutical industry and other companies with vested interests in the status quo. For major changes to occur in the current system, there will need to be a coordinated plan that would include some people with money who are willing to spend it to do what is right. There needs to be a coordinated effort and a serious plan to try to reverse all of this. This program would include publicity about (1) the scientific truths related to autism and (2) the coordinated efforts by pharmaceutical companies, mainstream medicine, governmental agencies and the media to suppress and distort the truth. It might include court cases. It would also include support from physicians and scientists who might have less to lose in speaking out against prevailing views.
"I think the overall control by the pharmaceutical vaccine-making industry over medical organizations, politicians and regulatory agencies, and the media is far greater than the control that the tobacco industry exerted over these same elements of society."Q:
You summarized the situation that exists when it comes to vaccines safety perfectly. You're right that this is more pervasive than the tobacco industry--medical--media cover-up of the dangers of smoking. Why didn't we learn from years of doctors endorsing cigarette smoking? Why is the vaccine schedule the sacred cow of medicine? A:
For a variety of reasons. One of the most important is that vaccines are a cash-cow for pharmaceutical companies, which have no liability for injury or damage caused by vaccines. Big Pharma is protected. Laws were passed during the 1980’s exempting pharmaceutical companies from liability after the pharmaceutical companies threatened to stop producing vaccines unless they got this protection.
If a child or anyone has an adverse reaction to a vaccine, even as a result of an error by the pharmaceutical company, the company cannot be sued. Instead, the case needs to be brought to a federal court, which adjudicates the case. Some believe that the court is often biased against the notion of vaccines having anything to do with autism. For example, a study conducted by PACE University, which examined cases that appeared before this court, showed that awards were denied to the parents of autistic children if the word “autism” appeared in the court papers. However, when the word “autism” did not appear, but symptoms of autism were described without mentioning the term, cash awards were granted to the parents of these autistic children.
The pharmaceutical industry loses billions in lawsuits involving prescription medications, which is not the case for vaccines because of existing laws. Huge profits with no risk of lawsuits for damages from vaccines are the key to the pharmaceutical industry’s love affair with vaccines. If you add to this the fact that various federal and state governmental agencies issue statements reassuring the public about the safety and absolute necessity of vaccines, you have a built in public relations and marketing campaign, which is supported by the mainstream media. Cash rewards are given to school districts who vaccinate the most kids. Physicians are supplied with information extolling the virtues of vaccines and minimizing any risks. Physicians and scientists who question this information are ridiculed, ostracized and may lose their ability to earn a living. “Your nuts if you question the value and safety of vaccines”, is the position taken by people in power and the mainstream media.
To add to all of this, mandates are issued by state and local authorities to pressure parents into giving their children vaccines or face dire consequences, such as the children not being allowed to go to school. All of these factors together serve to make the vaccines and the vaccine schedule the sacred cow of medicine.
"Anyhow, I'm not sure when the vaccine-autism link will become clear to everyone, but I doubt it will be anytime soon."Q:
Right now, to cover up this disaster, health officials continue to pretend that autism is not a problem. Years of phony studies and denials of a true increase in autism have left the public blissfully unaware of a massive population of disabled children that will eventually require care and support from the taxpayers. What do you see happening as more and more seriously disabled children age out of school and enter adulthood?A:
Sadly, our society will continue its downhill surge. Things will get much worse. Families are being destroyed due to the very preventable damage that is being perpetrated by our current rules and regulations to force vaccinations in spite of the lack of clear evidence for their safety. Q:
In 2009, you spoke at a rally against mandated flu shots for NY health care workers at the capitol in Albany. http://www.lifehealthchoices.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=247&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=50 . How many times have you gone there on vaccine issues? What has been the response of lawmakers? How strong is the influence of the drug industry on state government?A:
I guess I've gone to rallies or visited legislators more than a half a dozen times. Sometimes, legislators appear to be astounded by some of the things we say, but so far this has not been enough to overcome the propaganda perpetuated by our opponents who exaggerate the benefits of vaccines and drastically downplay the potential damage. The pharmaceutical industry and organized medicine has an enormous influence on state and local governments.
Dr. Schachter, you are a physician board certified in Psychiatry, a Certified Nutrition Specialist, and you've obtained proficiency in Chelation Therapy from the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM). You have more than 35 years of experience in CAIM -- Complementary, Alternative and Integrative Medicine. Outspoken vaccine defender, Dr. Paul Offit, has recently had two books published attacking CAIM practices as unscientific, unproven and dangerous, as shown in this the New York Times review
of Do You Believe in Magic?--the Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine.
The Times: "The book's subtitle may suggest that "sense" and "nonsense" will get equal play, but Dr. Offit spends most of his time discussing and dismissing nonsense. In fact, the sensible treatments he identifies can be summed up in one short paragraph."
USA Today's reporter, Liz Szabo gave a glowing review
of Do You Believe in Magic? "Alternative medicine doctors sell patients on a variety of unproven therapies, such as chelation, a process of removing metals from the blood, Offit says. "Although chelation has real medical uses - treating acute heavy metal poisoning - doctors also promote the intravenous treatments as an alternative remedy for everything from Alzheimer's disease to cancer. "In 2005, a 5-year-old boy with autism died after treatment with chelation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention." Q:
What is your response to the charge that CAIM treatments are unsafe and unregulated?A:
Complementary, Alternative and Integrative Medicine (CAIM) treatments are far safer than conventional treatments, which are much more regulated. In a study in JAMA several years ago, it was determined that about 106,000 deaths occur each year in hospitals from PROPERLY PRESCRIBED DRUGS. If you add in deaths from errors in medications or surgery and various complications of conventional treatment, you find that IATROGENIC DISEASE (disease caused by doctors) may be the leading cause of death in the United States. In contrast, you almost never hear about deaths from vitamins or herbs or other CAIM treatments. When they occur, they make the headlines in the New York Times. I don't think the study that I quoted you ever got into the headlines of the mass media.
You mention chelation therapy, which I have been doing regularly in my practice for more than 35 years. I find that intravenous disodium EDTA chelation therapy has been very helpful to my patients with cardiovascular disease. Just recently a 30 million dollar clinical trial to assess the value of EDTA chelation therapy for cardiovascular disease was carried out over 10 years in more than 120 Centers in the USA and a few other countries. This was a double-blind randomized controlled trial and our Center was one of the participants. The result, much to the amazement of the medical establishment, was that EDTA chelation therapy was found to reduce endpoint markers (like heart attacks or deaths). Predictably the medical establishment found all kinds of reasons as to why this happened with most still denying that chelation could do any such thing. In spite of this positive study, I don't know of any hospitals in the USA that are doing this treatment for patients with cardiovascular disease at the present time.
You mentioned the tragic death of the 5-year old boy with autism who died during an EDTA chelation therapy treatment. THIS OCCURRED AS A RESULT OF THE TREATING PHYSICIAN MAKING AN ERROR AND USING THE WRONG KIND OF EDTA AS AN INTRAVENOUS PUSH. There are 2 kinds of EDTA that are sold as drugs: calcium EDTA and disodium EDTA. The former may be given as an IV push relatively quickly without adverse consequences. Disodium EDTA, on the other hand, should never be given as an IV push, as it may cause a sudden drop in serum calcium and cause a fatal abnormal heart rhythm. This is probably what happened to this boy.
Note that after this occurred, this sad event appeared in many headlines across the USA and of course chelation therapy was blamed and not the error of using the wrong drug. What about the 106,000 people who die from properly prescribed drugs in hospitals each year? You don't' hear much about that. Q:
Do you feel that autism is just one aspect of the declining health of our children? What's happening with exploding rates of seizures, bowel disease, life-threatening allergies, asthma, and diabetes in addition to the developmental issues like autism, ADD, and ADHD?A:
Yes, autism is just one aspect of the declining health of our children. All of the conditions you name have gone up dramatically over the last several years. Certainly an increasingly toxic environment, the tampering with our foods, the poor quality of processed, nutrient deficient foods, various toxic factors, such as mercury amalgam fillings, the poisoning of our fish industry with mercury and many others. I think that all of this pales in comparison to the dramatic effect of the increase in vaccine exposure, including the many toxins within the vaccines and the resulting dysregulation of the immune system and damage to mitochondria, especially in certain predisposed children.
I also recorded Dr. Schachter on number of short Skype videos.
Dr. Michael B. Schachter: What happens to doctors who speak out about vaccines?
Dr. Michael B. Schachter: No liability for vaccine damage
Dr. Michael B. Schachter: The autism epidemic--"a public health disaster"
Dr. Michael B. Schachter: What do we need to do? A vaxed/non-vaxed study
Dr. Michael B. Schachter: The declining health of children today
Dr. Michael B. Schachter: Paul Offit and alternative medicine
Dr. Michael B. Schachter: The benefits of chelation therapy
Dr. Michael B. Schachter: How to help autistic children
Dr. Michael B. Schachter: How to get the truth out
I am so grateful for people like Dr. Schachter. It is my sincere wish that many more will find the courage to join in in telling the truth about what's happening to our health. We are getting sicker and sicker. Most frightening of all, our children are not as healthy as we were at their age. I can't imagine with the future holds.
For more information on Dr. Schachter, you may visit the website of the Schachter Center at either: http://www.mbschachter.com/