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Autism Speaks, Business and the CDC

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By John Stone

Many of us stared with Dan Olmsted in disbelief the other day when Dr Paul Wang, the recently appointed medical director declared to the fluffy Ronan Farrow that MMR prevents autism.

For the record, Wang is a pharmaceutical industry insider. The Autism Speaks press announcement of his appointment states  :

"Dr. Wang joins Autism Speaks from Seaside Therapeutics, where he served as vice president of clinical and medical affairs, and oversaw the company’s groundbreaking arbaclofen programs in autism and fragile X."

It does not actually mention that "the groundbreaking programs" failed.

Before that Wang was with Pfizer:

"Prior to joining Seaside Therapeutics, Dr. Wang was senior director, clinical development at Pfizer Global Research and Development from 2002-2008, where he helped lead medicines development programs for neurobehavioral disorders, including bipolar, ADHD and epilepsy. "

A fundamental problem for Autism Speaks (which was set up with $25m dollar endowment from CDC Foundation director emeritus Bernie Marcus) is that its partnerships with industry, over therapeutic treatments for autism, conflicts with locating the environmental causes.


They have been unable to decide whether autism is an environmental health disaster or just a stupendous business opportunity. It is no use them weeping crocodile tears at the IACC when they are intent on screening the population to the ultimate benefit of their business partners as the gleeful 2011 Time Magazine article about the 1 in 38 rate in the South Korean city of Goyang illustrates. It might be troubling of course that more than three quarters of the positively screened children were withdrawn by their families before the study was completed. The article appeared in the very week that Autism Speaks had appointed Robert H Ring of Pfizer as head of Translational Research, latterly of Science.

It is deeply sad watching the Marcus video once again. He seems genuinely upset and disturbed by the growing lines of children, but does he really think it was like this in his youth (only no one noticed)? Marcus is a very successful businessman (as well as being a pharmacist by academic training) so he is going to like business solutions. But to make an analogy with the building trade (where he made his fortune) what happens if we relax building standards? We would soon know if the buildings were falling down.

Our children are falling down and government just shrugs and prevaricates (and frankly lies). The blather we see here from Ronan Farrow and Paul Wang is the result. There is no coherent story that they can present.

John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.

Comments

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Adriana

Not only do they not note that the arbaclofen trial failed, when AS was promoting the study they also failed to note that the baclofen derivative has horrific side effects like seizures, movement disorders, organ damage and death and is no way a safer alternative to existing crap drugs.

Autism Speaks needs to be exposed in plain language as a drug industry front, just like NAMI. I think the original vision was different but it is what it is now.

John Stone

'Parents do your research' posted this comment under Dachel Media Update 10 October last night. While Farrow's performance was to say the least unconvincing the information ought to be borne in mind:

"Ronan Farrow is certainly not clueless. He graduated college at 15, was a Rhodes Scholar--and, most importantly, was a law intern with none other than Davis Polk & Wardwell. Not that I ever heard of Davis Polk & Wardwell, but when I looked them up, they describe themselves on their website: "For many years, Davis Polk has been one of the most active advisers to the largest and most innovative companies across the pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, benefits management, medical devices and equipment, diagnostics, genetics and related sectors. We are regularly called upon to advise on the most significant transactions that take place within the industry. Through our broad transactional experience, we understand the complex issues – including FDA, regulatory and intellectual property issues – that these companies face in financings, licensings, acquisitions and strategic partnership. In addition, our litigators regularly advise some of the industry's largest companies on major antitrust investigations and challenges, mass tort cases and consumer actions, patent litigation and other commercial disputes. We have advised on some of the industry's most high-profile transactions." Ronan Farrow is a former pharma lawyer, and undoubtedly still has ties to the industry."

Angus Files

I tend to think its just a bit more than about, making money. If the money men want to make money the world is open to them in oil, bombs, etc.
Sadly now, I think, its more sinister than just making money.

MMR RIP

Maurine Meleck

Good job, John. Yes, it's another piece to the picturesque puzzle of "Money Speaks" and blue lights lie and deny. I feel sick.

Jeannette Bishop

Whatever reassures one to get the vaccine:

Autism is largely genetic

Coincidentally seems to manifest around the time children are vaccinated

But really we have evidence that we suggests shows it starts before birth

But if that's not enough, this signal, which wasn't left out of a 2004 study, something about August, two authors, apologies, not considering all data, and then that was retracted any way....

If that's not enough, we've got another study that found a protective effect against autism for getting MMR on time (just follow the schedule folks) for a condition that is supposed to be largely genetic and happening before birth... so this must be the better research right?

So, in effect, MMR can't be a cause for autism, but it might cure it?

Anne McElroy Dachel

No wonder Autism Speaks does nothing to honestly address the cause of autism....

On Friday, Feb 22, 2013, Autism Speaks Chief Science Officer Geri Dawson, Ph.D., gave the opening talk at the world's first Autism Investment Conference and explained why now is the time to make a profit from a nightmare.

Geraldine Dawson: On the "diversity of investment opportunities that exist in the autism field."
http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/04/autism-speaks-geraldine-dawson-investment.html

Anne Dachel, Media

Anne McElroy Dachel

Marcus sees nothing wrong with the fact that a previously unknown disorder is now so common that everyone knows an affected child. Where are the adults? Why isn't Autism Speaks out to find the same rate in the older population?

There's no alarm over the numbers, which Marcus calls "an epidemic." Incredibly, he's patting himself on the back, attributing the gigantic, worldwide increase in the number of children now labeled as autistic to Autism Speaks's awareness campaign. His self-congratulatory rhetoric makes it clear that from the start Autism Speaks never intended to address autism as the health care emergency that it clearly is. AS merely gives lip service, fostering an growing acceptance of autism as a normal part of childhood. "Learn the signs."

Anne Dachel, Media

Anne McElroy Dachel

John Stone: "It is no use them weeping crocodile tears at the IACC when they are intent on screening the population to the ultimate benefit of their business partners as the gleeful 2011 Time Magazine article about the 1 in 38 rate in the South Korean city of Goyang illustrates. It might be troubling of course that more than three quarters of the positively screened children were withdrawn by their families before the study was completed. The article appeared in the very week that Autism Speaks had appointed Robert H Ring of Pfizer as head of Translational Research, latterly of Science."

There were more coincidences going on.

In May, 2011, Autism Speaks' Korean study was announced showing a one in 38 rate for autism in the children studied in South Korea,
http://www.autismspeaks.org/about-us/press-releases/new-study-reveals-autism-prevalence-south-korea-estimated-be-26-or-1-38-chil

That same month, there was the announcement of research published by Pace University Law School http://www.ageofautism.com/2011/05/a-review-of-compensated-cases-of-vaccine-induced-brain-injury.html revealing that the U.S. government had been quietly compensating cases of vaccine injury that included autism for the past two decades.

News about the Pace University study quickly faded after the brief coverage on Fox News. According to the numbers in Korea, the high number of cases of autism among the victims of vaccine injury could be expected. Experts had obviously been UNDERestimating the real rate for the disorder. Naturally these vaccine injured children would also have autism.

Anne Dachel, Media

Danchi

I understand the show is on it's way out from recent articles because ratings are low. People know by now network news show are pro-vaccines because big pharma pays their bills. Recent articles state that kindergarten vaccine rates are way down so the propaganda that continues to be pushed by the CDC/vaccine industry is having the opposite affect. The movie "Bought" showed where parents are forming groups, doing research, reading vaccine vial information and sharing it with others. The more rabid and aggressive the CDC pushes the envelope, the more parents realize that their rights as parents are being eliminated and it's not sitting well with them at all.

Autismmom

I feel like Pharma has infiltrated the science at, of autism speaks just like they've infiltrated approval boards at the CDC, FDA and even congress. The documentary "Bought" which I watched recently exposed this. Infiltration is how pharma controls from the inside. The revolving door between industry and government and even non profits is spinning. I find it interesting that the Wrights and especially Katie seem more aligned with vaccines are triggering this Katie Wright had been very outspoken that vaccines triggered her sons autism . Bob and Suzanne Wright put out the "Sound the Alarm" documentary which acknowledges the autism increase is real though they've been non committal on vaccines. To me there seems to be a disconnect between factions within the Autism Speaks organization. Maybe its. Time for AS to clean house

Jill Fenech

This is so discouraging. It's like no matter which way you turn, someone else pops up to say that vaccines are completely safe. And now to have it straight from Autism Speaks and so very public. Do they really think our now grown children and the masses following them are just going to go away? To where? Oh, to the places where all the adults with autism that have been with us forever have gone? Where is that exactly? And that their siblings who have lived through the damage inflicted on their whole family will ever, ever have their own children vaccinated? We have a whistleblower who came forward because he couldn't live with himself and the lies anymore. They sure put a lid on that one. Will Bill Posey be the turning point? What is it going to take?

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