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160 posts categorized "David Kirby"

Breaking News: US Vaccine Court Awards Millions for 2 Autism Diagnosis Cases

Breaking newsBy David Kirby

The federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, better known as "vaccine court," has just awarded millions of dollars to two children with autism for "pain and suffering" and lifelong care of their injuries, which together could cost tens of millions of dollars.

The government did not admit that vaccines caused autism, at least in one of the children. Both cases were "unpublished," meaning information is limited, and access to medical records and other exhibits is blocked. Much of the information presented here comes from documents found at the vaccine court website.

Some observers will say the vaccine-induced encephalopathy (brain disease) documented in both children is unrelated to their autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Others will say there is plenty of evidence to suggest otherwise. 

Read David's full post and comment at Vaccine Court Awards Millions to Two Children With Autism

David Kirby On Vaccine Court Compensation and Autism

Davidkirby David Kirby writes about the EBCALA press conference at HuffPo. Please read and comment at  Autism and Vaccine Court Awards HERE.

David Kirby on Huffington Post: Government & Many Scientists Agree: Vaccine-Autism Research Should Continue

David kirby on tv Please thank our good friend David Kirby by leaving a comment on this post at HuffPo: Government and Many Scientists Agree: Vaccine-Autism Research Should Continue Visit David's website Animal Factory The Book HERE.

David Kirby: The Vaccine-Autism Debate is Far From Over. It's Just Starting.

Start-your-engines Read the entire entry at David's Animal Factory Site.  David notes (below) that the CDC has altered one of the pages - removing references to mercury and vaccines.

The vaccine-autism debate is far from over. If anything, it is just getting started.

As the following comments, funding decisions, research priorites and published papers suggest, the US government and many scientists will be researching and discussing this topic for years to come. Here are some reasons why:

I) FEDERAL HEALTH AGENCIES ENDORSE MORE RESEARCH

The federal government’s four leading health entitites dealing with vaccines and/or autism have all reached consensus: More vaccine safety research is required to fill gaps in knowledge, especially in the context of susceptible subpopulations, mitochondrial impairment, long-tern effects of vaccine-induced fever, seizures and brain injury, and other factors. Millions of dollars will be spent investigating these factors, and not because health officials somehow caved to parental pressure. Mercury in vaccines, for example, was designated as one of the CDC’s “high priority” vaccine safety issues, following an “extensive review of the literature, based on how strongly they seemed to be associated with ASD.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Office of Immunization Saftey

The CDC will study autism “as a possible clinical outcome of immunization” as part of its 5-year research plan. It will also study mitochondrial dysfunction and the risk for “post-vaccine neurological deterioration,” and will convene an expert panel on the feasibility of studying health outcomes, including autism, among vaccinated and unvaccinated children.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Study to Explore Early Development

NOTE - THIS WEBPAGE WAS RECENTLY ALTERED BY CDC TO REMOVE REFERENCES TO VACCINES AND MERCURY - HERE IS THE ARCHIVED PAGE:

Archived CDC Page HERE

The CDC is currently looking at environmental, genetic and socioeconomic risk factors for ASD, including vaccines and mercury. “We chose to look at vaccines and other types of medical procedures that may have mercury exposure,” the CDC says. The agency “designated these factors as high priority” following “an extensive review of the literature, based on how strongly they seemed to be associated with ASD.” Selected mercury exposures include “vaccines that the mom received during pregnancy, the child’s vaccine exposures after birth and specific other factors such as RhoGAM treatment in pregnancy if the mom has developed an immune response against the fetus that can harm it.”

Read the entire entry at David's Animal Factory Site.


Win Dinner At Autism One Compliments of Dr. Amy Yasko & Autism Science Digest!

Pathways_cover Thanks to the kindness of our colleagues at Holistic Health International, home of the Dr. Amy Yasko protocol, we have a new contest to share!  Holistic Health International is offering 10 additional AutismOne/Generation Rescue 2011 Dinner Gala & Awards Show tickets to new subscribers of Autism Science Digest who place a subscription order through April 30, 2011.  We will draw 10 names to receive a Gala ticket ($70 value) compliments of Dr. Amy.  This contest is retroactive to the first subscriber of Autism Science Digest.  Please read the wonderful article by Drs. Amy Yasko and Nancy Mullan in the April debut issue, "Methionine and Methylation: Chicken or the Egg."  Dr. Amy's seminar will be presented 1:45-6:00 on Saturday, May 28.  Please visit the HHI booth at the conference and Dr. Amy's website at www.holisticheal.com.  To subscribe, please visit Autism Science Digest.  One name will be drawn from among all Gala ticket winners for a $150 hotel credit toward the winner's hotel stay at the AutismOne/Generation Rescue 2011 Conference.  (Prizes are not transferrable for cash.)

 Subscribe and then dig in to the great articles and a delcious dinner! Good luck.

David Kirby: "My Travels with Elizabeth Taylor"

ET-DK-Spain1-207x300 From our good friend David Kirby's blog. Read the full entry at  My Travels with Elizabeth Taylor HERE.

By David Kirby

On a warm June afternoon in 1991, about 800 members of the international press corps were fidgeting impatiently as they waited for Elizabeth Taylor to finally make her grand appearance at the Basel Art Fair in Switzerland. As National Chairwoman of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR), she was to speak about the global AIDS crisis and AmFAR’s auction that night of three major works of art to support research.

As AmFAR’s public information director, I had played this scene many times before. We all knew that Elizabeth (NEVER call her “Liz,” I was admonished on my first day) was not exactly an on-time sort of gal. She knew we would wait, and we always did – happily.

On this particular occasion, the wait was getting uncomfortably long. The press conference had been called for 1:00PM. I begged our Swiss hosts not to begin on time. Instead, they started 15 minutes early. By 1:00PM, the other press conference participants had completed their statements.

There were no questions, just 800 reporters from all over the world glancing at their watches. We waited. The hall was stuffy. People complained. The Italians were indignant, the French were pouty. The Swiss were downright apoplectic.

But not a single grumbling reporter left that hall.

At around 1:20, I called over to the hotel. Sally Morrison, AmFAR’s point person for Elizabeth (and faithful friend and personal publicist for many years) picked up the phone.

“I’m afraid Elizabeth’s just now gotten out of the bath,” Sally said with her British accent. “It’s going to be a while.”

My heart sank into my stomach. I had witnessed Elizabeth’s extraordinary bath-to-motorcade process the day before. It was lengthy, though efficiently executed. I had watched in awe as Elizabeth sat wrapped in a towel at a small vanity brought into her Presidential Suite overlooking the roaring Rhine River. Her husband, Larry Fortensky, was watching CNN.

One person handled her magnificent chestnut mane; another applied makeup around those extraordinary eyes, which up close seemed to be more pale lilac than deep violet. As a third assistant began painting her nails, Elizabeth set down her Richard Burton diamond, a square ice cube, just inches from my face. You don’t forget these moments..

Read the full entry at  My Travels with Elizabeth Taylor HERE.

 

 

 

David Kirby in Discover Magazine:

Click Made in China: Our Toxic Imported Air Pollution to read the full story in Discover by David Kirby.

“There is no place called away.” It is a statement worthy of 
Gertrude Stein, but University of Washington atmospheric chemist 
Dan Jaffe says it with conviction: None of the contamination we pump into the air just disappears. It might get diluted, blended, or chemically transformed, but it has to go somewhere. And when it comes to pollutants produced by the booming economies of East Asia, that somewhere often means right here, the mainland of the United States.

Jaffe and a new breed of global air detectives are delivering a sobering message to policy makers everywhere: Carbon dioxide, the predominant driver of global warming, is not the only industrial by-product whose effects can be felt around the world. Prevailing winds across the Pacific are pushing thousands of tons of other contaminants—including mercury, sulfates, ozone, black carbon, and desert dust—over the ocean each year. Some of this atmospheric junk settles into the cold waters of the North Pacific, but much of it eventually merges 
with the global air pollution pool that circumnavigates the planet.

These contaminants are implicated in a long list of health problems, including neurodegenerative disease, cancer, emphysema, and perhaps even pandemics like avian flu. And when wind and weather conditions are right, they reach North America within days. Dust, ozone, and carbon can accumulate in valleys and basins, and mercury can be pulled to earth through atmospheric sinks that deposit it across large swaths of land...


David Kirby on HuffPo: CDC to Study Vaccines and Autism

Davidkirby Click HERE to read and comment on the full post.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wants to study autism as a possible clinical outcome of immunization, as part of its newly adopted 5-year research agenda for vaccine safety, the agency said on its website.

The CDC will also study mitochondrial dysfunction and the potential risk for post-vaccine "neurological deterioration," and convene an expert panel on the feasibility of studying health outcomes such as autism among vaccinated and unvaccinated children.

The CDC move comes one month after the federal government's leading autism body, the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) announced a shift in research priorities toward environmental triggers for autism, which the IACC said could include toxins, biological agents and "adverse events following immunization."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Immunization Safety Office Scientific Agenda indentified the need to research "Neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD)" as a possible clinical outcome of vaccination.

The plan also seeks to deternine if the mercury-based preservative thimerosal is associated with increased risk for "clinically important tics or Tourette syndrome." The CDC cited one study (Thompson, NEJM, 2007), which "found that increasing exposure to mercury from birth to age 7 months was associated with motor and phonic tics in boys," and added that "an association between exposure to thimerosal and tics was found in two earlier studies (Andrews, Pediatrics, 2004; Verstraeten, Pediatrics, 2003)."

And, noting that the IACC federal autism panel "suggested several studies including vaccinated versus unvaccinated children to determine if there are differences in health outcomes," the CDC said it will convene an "external expert committee to offer guidance on the feasibility of conducting such studies and additional studies related to the immunization schedule, including studies that may indicate if multiple vaccinations increase risk for immune system disorders."

Meanwhile, the IACC has signaled a major shift in research priorities into the causes of autism, moving away from purely genetic studies in favor of investigating the interaction between genes and environmental factors, which it said could include toxins, biological agents and vaccines.

Click HERE to read and comment on the full post.

David Kirby On The Autism Vaccine Debate: Why It Won't Go Away

Rock-and-a-hard-place David Kirby has a thought proviking post at HuffPO, Part 1 is up today, read and comment at HuffPo on  The Autism-Vaccine Debate: Why It Won't Go Away.

...The temporal association might be coincidental, but for many autism parents, now tens of thousands in number (but certainly not all parents), there is nothing to dissuade them: they are certain that vaccines harmed their kids. I have spoken with thousands of them personally. Their stories of regression are hauntingly similar, describing a childhood catastrophe that was virtually unheard of when I was growing up.

Continue reading "David Kirby On The Autism Vaccine Debate: Why It Won't Go Away" »

Age of Autism Awards 2010: Dr. Paul Offit, Denialist of the Decade

Denial_hole_in_ground By Dan Olmsted 

Why bother to call attention to Dr. Paul Offit, the vaccine patent-holder who has led the attack on the idea that vaccines have anything to do with autism or any of the myriad of other ailments afflicting this generation of American children? Well, because other people are paying attention -- including the nation's pediatricians and the mainstream journalists who need to start calling him to account. Offit has a new book out -- "Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All." Here's the question doctors who recommend him to nervous parents, and parents unsure what to think, and journalists who interview him, need to ask: Why is Offit transparently opposed to ever studying the health outcomes of vaccinated versus unvaccinated Americans, even as he acknowledges that vaccines have a long history of causing serious side effects?

While his last book, "Autism's False Prophets," focused squarely on the disability now afflicting 1 in 100 children, Offit branches out here to deride those who have any concerns whatsoever about the safety of the current vaccine schedule. There is plenty of sympathy for parents of children who have died of infectious diseases, but perfunctory dismissal in cases where parents blame vaccines. 

Thus Michael Belkin, whose daughter Lyla died after her hepatitis B shot, is treated as a gullible gadfly, goaded by Barbara Loe Fisher into heading "the Hepatitis B Vaccine Project at her National Vaccine information Center. Soon Belkin, a Wall Street financial adviser, was everywhere" -- everywhere being the CDC and Congress, which is exactly where he should have been as a citizen and parent who believes that Hep B is a dangerous and unnecessary childhood vaccine that killed his daughter. Sniffs Offit: "Despite Belkin's certainty that hepatitis B vaccine had caused his daughter's SIDS, study after study failed to support him."

Parents of girls who died after Gardasil vaccination get similar treatment. The idea that Gardasil is dangerous is "a contention refuted by careful study" and "established science." 

And chickenpox vaccines are critically important because chickenpox can lead to shingles, "one of medicine's most debilitating diseases. Shingles is so painful that it has at times led to suicide. And shingles doesn't only affect the skin; sometimes when the virus reawakens it causes strokes, resulting in permanent paralysis. Chickenpox is a disease worth preventing." Absent is any acknowledgement of the evidence that the vaccine itself, by reducing cases of simple childhood chickenpox, has led to a big increase in shingles by removing the protective immunological "bump" those who already harbor the virus receive when they are re-exposed.

Hannah Poling and the government's $20 million concession that vaccines resulted in her autistic regression? Not mentioned. Billions paid out by vaccine court for all sorts of injuries over the past 20 years? Well, vaccine court is a strange place ...

 

Offit and baby no $ Anyone concerned about any of these things fits Offit's definition of anti-vaccine, because vaccines don't cause any of them, because Paul Offit says so, a solipsism that is really quite breathtaking: "[B]ecause anti-vaccine activists today define safe as free from side effects such as autism, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, strokes, heart attacks, and blood clots -- conditions that aren't caused by vaccines -- safer vaccines, using their definition, can never be made."

Yet Offit himself yields an amazing amount of ground by describing unsafe vaccines -- including early polio shots and a rotavirus vaccine that was the immediate predecessor of his own. His technique is to situate all this as historical, part of the triumphant march of progress into the bright sunshine of vaccine safety. Here's a description I find especially astonishing: "When Barbara Loe Fisher burst onto the scene, several vaccines had serious side effects, every year causing allergic reactions, paralysis, or death. Public health officials and doctors didn't hide these problems. But they didn't do anything to correct them, either. And most parents had no idea they existed."

Public health officials did nothing to fix vaccine problems that led to paralysis and death? And parents didn't know about it? Is this not an indictment of the medical industry, and an unintentional endorsement advocates who have worked to remedy it?  Does it not argue that at least some of the time parental observations may well be correct, an early warning system of the first order? Well, no, because apparently those things no longer happen -- to say otherwise, in Offit's parallel universe, would be anti-vaccine conspiratorial quackery. 

Jenny and evan Much of the book is a score-settling screed against anyone who's ever criticized him or vaccine safety surveillance, including Fisher, Jenny McCarthy and J.B. Handley. So it's no surprise that his "can't be done" argument against studying unvaccinated populations for any untoward outcomes arrives in the middle of an attack on Handley. Offit quotes J.B.'s comments on a Larry King segment in April 2009: "Larry, we have no idea what the combination risk of our vaccine schedule looks like. At the two-month visit, a child gets six vaccines in under fifteen minutes. The only way to test that properly would be to have a group of kids who get all six and a group of kids who got none and see what happens. They don't do that testing. They have no idea."

Offit's comment: "Handley was asking for a study of vaccinated and unvaccinated children. One result is certain: given recent outbreaks of Hib, measles, mumps, and pertussis, no vaccinated children would suffer and possibly die from preventable infections. It would be, of course, an entirely unethical experiment. No investigator could prospectively study children who are denied a potentially lifesaving medical product. And no university's or hospital's institutional review board worth its salt would ever approve such a study." 

Offit goes on, outrageously, to compare Handley's proposal to the infamous Tuskegee experiment in which doctors withheld treatment from black males suffering from syphilis in order to study the natural course of the disease. 

P-LEEZE. No one I know of is suggesting that a study of unvaccinated children deliberately withhold vaccination. Rather, there are growing numbers of never-vaccinated children in America -- a fact Offit acknowledges with dismay -- and plenty of families willing to participate in such a study. State governments have vaccine waivers on file for public school attendance that are another obvious source of non-life-threatening data.

The real problem for Offit is not an ethical one; the real problem is that any such study would trump all the self-interested industry and CDC studies that never manage to include never-vaccinated chldren as a control group. Informal efforts to do that -- by myself, J.B.'s Generation Rescue and others -- have pointed toward less autism and asthma, and been met by the medical establishment and its sycophantic sock puppets with an absolute frenzy of denial and misdirection.

In our book, "The Age of Autism -- Mercury, Medicine, and a Man-made Epidemic," MarkAge of Autism_cover quote (3)  Blaxill and I discuss this aversion to doing the obvious. "A very simple test goes right to the heart of the vaccine controversy: What is the difference in total health outcomes, including autism, between vaccinated and unvaccinated populations? We would argue that we've uncovered a number of natural experiments in human populations that suggest we should be seriously concerned over the ever-increasing load of childhood vaccinations, especially in the United States. ... Oddly, when it comes to doing such studies in human populations, and studying the autism levels in the Amish, the homeschooled, or philosophical objectors, vaccine industry proponents resist mightily. Conducting human vax/unvax studies in existing unvaccinated groups would be so fraught with methodological problems that they are 'retrospectively impossible.' As for controlled studies, they would be so burdened with permission problems that they would be 'prospectively unethical.' In short, the resistance to the proposal to do vax/unvax work has not only taken the attitude that 'we already know the answers,' but 'we should not seek to know.' It's pretty hard to make scientific progress in the face of this kind of epistemological nihilism."  

I am begging, on bended knee, that pediatricians quit putting Offit on a pedestal, and that mainstream journalists do their job and ask him why he is so averse to any study that involves the health of never-vaccinated children. Don't let him call you "anti-vaccine," and don't let him change the subject to the quite thoroughly separate issue of preventing deadly disease. That's an important topic, but there is room at the table for both effective public health policies against disease AND a fearless examination of whether today's vaccine schedule contributes to chronic health problems -- whether Paul Offit denies it or not.

--

Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism

 

 

 

Live Town Hall "Autism Today and Beyond" with David Kirby & Many Others

Davidkirby Managing Editor's Note: This program runs on Monday 11/1.  David Kirby is live at 3:18pm EDT. Click HERE for full details on the live webcast and how to participate.

IMPLEMENTING SOLUTIONS for Autism Today and Beyond

The First in a Series of Live Interactive Video Webcasts, November 1, 2010 at 2PM ET

Find answers to the question, "Now that many of our little children with autism are reaching adulthood, what's next?"  Experts will assemble to address this issue.
 
The Facts: As of April 2010, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website reports that an average of one in 110 children are diagnosed with autism, resulting in hundreds of thousands of people who need information and services immediately.The Need: Autism rates exponentially increased since the mid-eighties, and thousands of families have a child with autism who are reaching adulthood without a comprehensive resource to help them make that transition. Autism Today and Beyond gives you the comprehensive resource and life guide you need to help your child make a smooth transition into adulthood.When you have questions about whether your child can work, go to college, live independently, date, get married, have children, be safe, have a secure financial future, or any one of a hundred others, the experts in this our webcasts will help you with important decisions on how to proceed. The goal is to help your child not only survive, but thrive in the real world.

The First in a Series of Live Interactive National Town Hall Video Webcasts, November 1, 2010 at 2PM EST

Continue reading "Live Town Hall "Autism Today and Beyond" with David Kirby & Many Others" »

Lessons From the Egg Recall: Cheap Food Makes You Sick

Animal Factory Managing Editor's Note: This is an important post from our colleague and friend David Kirby, author of Animal Factory. Please comment at Huffington Post.

Americans currently "enjoy" the cheapest animal protein in history. Such a monumental achievement could only have been attained through the industrialized mega-production of meat, milk and eggs -- which now cost about $1.56 on average for a large white dozen in the nation's supermarkets.

At just 13 cents apiece, even the poorest American can afford a two-egg omelet in the morning: It will set them back by less than four-percent of the Federal hourly minimum wage

But now Americans are finally coming to terms with the true cost of their wondrous 26-cent breakfasts: a gargantuan recall of mass-produced eggs -- 380 million of them -- contaminated with deadly salmonella bacteria. Hundreds of people have reportedly been sickened, and the true number could be higher.

The laying hens in question were raised (held prisoner is a more apt term) in Iowa, in a massive concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO), better known as a factory farm. In the typical egg-laying CAFO, hens are crammed into battery cages and given room to move in an area that's roughly equivalent to a piece of typing paper.

Cages are stacked one on top of the other, sometimes 10 or more high, inside large confinements that never see the light of day. Fresh air is pumped into one end, and air fouled with bacteria, viruses, mold, dust, antibiotics, litter and dander spits out the other...

Read the full post at
Huffington Post.

David Kirby: Get Our Farm Animals Off Drugs, First Get Our Politicians Off Farm (and Drug) Money

Money-and-drugs-1 Please read the full post and comment at HuffPo HERE. David's book, Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy, and Poultry Farms to Humans and the Environment is available now at Amazon.

Get Our Farm Animals Off Drugs, First Get Our Politicians Off Farm (and Drug) Money

When it comes to all the addictions that plague our society, there are two that rarely get enough attention, let alone a badly needed intervention: our factory farms' addiction to low-dose antibiotics, and our politicians' addiction to high-octane cash from mega industries like Big Ag and Big Pharma.

On Monday, the FDA gingerly announced that it is thinking about maybe recommending that livestock and poultry operations use antibiotics more judiciously.

Many animal factory farms (or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations -- CAFOs) rely heavily on sub-therapeutic doses of antibiotics mixed into animal feed to prevent disease and make their animals grow faster. Operators can buy these pharmaceuticals by the barrel-full at a feed store, without a prescription and without the supervision of a vet. According to some figures, up to 70% of all US antibiotics are given to farm animals.

Most CAFOs need these drugs to make a profit. Take the antibiotics away and many would not be able to cram so many animals into such a tight confinement without those creatures getting sick and dying. And without these drugs, the industrialists would not be able to get their pigs and chickens to market with the warp speed they are now able to achieve -- and that would mean more feed, less profit...

Happy Birthday, David Kirby!

Kirbybanner Today we're celebrating our good friend David Kirby's birthday. Since you won't have time to bake him a cake and schlep it to New York, we have an idea for you.

Purchase a copy of his book Animal Factory at Amazon and we'll give him a great ranking today. And then we'll do something nice for you. Email me your Amazon receipt with your address and size (M-XL) (HERE) and we'll send you a free AofA t-shirt. Presents for you too! Already own a copy? Send one to your Senator or Congressman.

The Birth of the Autism Epidemic, 1988? David Kirby on Huffington Post

1988 Please read and comment at Huffington Post HERE.

By David Kirby

If it seems like most of the people you know with autism are 22 or younger, that's because most people diagnosed with autism were born after 1987. A recent US EPA study has found a distinct "changepoint" year - or spike - in autism in California and elsewhere and concludes that it would be "prudent to assume that at least some portion of this increase is real and results from environmental factors."

"In the Danish, California, and worldwide data sets, we found that an increase in autism disorder cumulative incidence began about (the birth cohort years) 1988-1989," wrote the authors Michael E. Mc Donald and John F. Paul, of the EPA's National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory.

"Although the debate about the nature of increasing autism continues," they added, "the potential for this increase to be real and involve exogenous (external) environmental stressors exists."

But it was the distinct timing in the increase of autism - the birth of an epidemic, as many believe - that was most notable, and which "may help in screening for potential candidate environmental stressors."

"The calculated year was determined to be significant," the EPA scientists said. The rate of increase before 1988 "was significantly different" than the rate after that year (the "postchangepoint," in epidemiology parlance). In California, the rate spiked from 5.7-per-10,000 before the changepoint, to 20.8-per 10,000 in its wake, and the worldwide dataset showed a similar jump (from 6.0 to 24.2). In Denmark, the rise was even more dramatic, though total incidence was only a fraction of that in the US: from 0.6 to 6.6....

Please read and comment at Huffington Post HERE.

David Kirby is the author of the critically acclaimed Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy, and Poultry Farms to Humans and the Environment available now at Amazon.  He is also the author of Evidence of Harm, a contributor to Huffington Post and a contributor to Age of Autism

David Kirby on HuffPo: For Americans On a Budget, Meats Are The New Carbs

Animal Factory Read and comment at Huffington Post

By David Kirby

For Americans on a Budget, Meats Are the New Carbs
 
When I was in my 20's, my friends and I knew that the cheapest food available was made of carbs, and we survived on mounds of mac-n-cheese and home fries for lunch, and ramen, rice and beer for dinner.

But animal factory farming has changed all that.

Last week while speaking on tour at San Francisco's Book Passage, my 20-something nephew Michael commented that he and his struggling friends now fill up on cheap meat to tame their growling bellies, more than on bread, noodles, rice and tater-tots.

"We can go to the store and get a pork roast, cook it, and stuff our faces on it for days -- and it's really, really cheap," Michael said. "Meat has become the new carb..."

David Kirby is the author of , Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy, and Poultry Farms to Humans and the Environment  available at Amazon. He is author of Evidence of Harm, a contributor to Huffington Post and a contributor to Age of Autism
 

David Kirby On HuffPo: Drugs, Poisons and Metals in our Meat...

Don't eat poop Drugs, Poisons and Metals in Our Meat -- USDA Needs A Major Overhaul

Washington dumped some more bad news Friday afternoon when the USDA's Office of Inspector General issued a damning and unsettling report on the department's "National Residue Program for Cattle." It found gaping holes in the safety of American beef production, including residue of drugs, poisons and heavy metals in the meat we eat.

It's a stomach-turning, chilling read, even for a federal government document with the driest of titles: "Audit Report 24601-08-KC." And it's something that every omnivore in America should take the time to read.

"Based on our review, we found that the national residue program is not accomplishing its mission of monitoring the food supply for harmful residues," the USDA's oversight office wrote. The audit revealed that USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), along with the FDA and EPA, "have not established thresholds for many dangerous substances (e.g., copper or dioxin), which has resulted in meat with these substances being distributed in commerce."

Even worse, the federal government does not attempt to recall meat, "even when its tests have confirmed the excessive presence of veterinary drugs," the audit said...

Read and comment on the full post at HuffPo HERE. Buy a copy of David Kirby's new book, Animal Factory HERE.

Critics Rave About David Kirby's Animal Factory

Animal Factory Congratulations to our good friend David Kirby, whose book Animal Factory is garnering high praise across the nation. You can purchase a copy HERE.|

“Kirby combines the narrative urgency of Sinclair's novel with the investigative reporting of Schlosser's book — Animal Factory is nonfiction, but reads like a thriller. There's no political pleading or ideological agitprop in this book; it's remarkably fair-minded, both sober and sobering. Like Sinclair's and Schlosser's work, it has the potential to change the collective American mind about contemporary food issues.”
-- NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO, “BOOKS WE LIKE”

“Kirby profiles three individuals who have been subjected to the stench, mess, environmental contamination, and health risks of megafarms. Stonewalling government agencies and evasive and hostile factory-farm owners and their corporate overseers ensure that the trio’s battles for safe air and water have been protracted, complicated, and dangerous, hence the magnitude of Kirby’s meticulously detailed yet propulsive chronicle. Thanks to Kirby’s extraordinary journalism, we have the most relatable, irrefutable, and unforgettable testimony yet to the hazards of industrial animal farming.”
-- BOOKLIST – JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSN *STARRED REVIEW*

Continue reading "Critics Rave About David Kirby's Animal Factory" »

Robert Kennedy Jr. Interviews David Kirby about Animal Factory on Ring of Fire Radio

Animal Factory From our friend David Kirby. (Purchase your copy HERE.) Now available on Kindle (Wendy...)

Hello, Bobby Kennedy Jr interviewed me for his Ring of Fire Radio program, which will air this weekend –

You can listen live on over 45 radio stations around the country: Ring of Fire Radio And live online at:

Green 960 Live 12-3 PT Saturdays click 
here
KPTK Seattle Live 12-3 PT on Saturdays click here
AM 769 Colorado’s progressive talk. 6:30 pm Saturday click here

Or it will also be podcast and archived here:
http://www.ringoffireradio.com/

cheers
DK

David Kirby Discusses Animal Factory on VoiceAmerica Radio

Animal Factory Listen to Teri Attanga interview David Kirby on VoiceAmericaRadio.

Weaving complex science, politics, business, and the lives of everyday people, ANIMAL FACTORY documents a crisis that has reached a critical juncture in the history of human health and our larger global environment. David Kirby, a contributor to The Huffington Post, is the author of the bestselling book Evidence of Harm, which was a finalist for the NYPL Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism, and has appeared in media outlets such as Larry King, CNN, Don Imus and Air America. Tune in as David describes to Teri how recalls of dangerous meats, fruits, and vegetables caused by farm pathogens, and increasing public health crises, including asthma, MRSA infection, and possibly swine flu, leukemia and other cancers in communities adjacent to these farms are affecting your family. Read more about Animal Factory.

Congratulations to David Kirby as Animal Factory Garners High Praise from NPR

Animal Factory Join us in congratulating David Kirby whose new book, Animal Factory is earning high praise at NPR in Books We Like and elsewhere. It is now featured on NPR's main Arts and Life Page. Of course, we've known since 2005 that when David Kirby tackles a topic, he does it with honesty and integrity. Order your copy HERE.
 
"Kirby combines the narrative urgency of Sinclair's novel with the investigative reporting of Schlosser's book — Animal Factory is nonfiction, but reads like a thriller."
 
"Heartbreaking"
 
"There's no political pleading or ideological agitprop in this book; it's remarkably fair-minded, both sober and sobering. Like Sinclair's and Schlosser's work, it has the potential to change the collective American mind about contemporary food issues. It deserves a wide audience, despite — or because of — the fact that it might be the most frightening book of the year." 
 
 

Teri Arranga Interviews David Kirby Author of Animal Factory on VoiceAmerica Radio

Animal Factory Tune in tomorrow (Tuesday) morning at 9:00am to hear Teri Arranga interview David Kirby, author of Animal Factory, on the VoiceAmerica Health & Wellness Network.

Log on to Listen:
http://www.voiceamerica.com

Winner: Signed Copy of David Kirby's Animal Factory

Animal Factory Congrats to Jaclyn Sands! The contest is closed.

Visit the website HERE. Order your copy at Amazon HERE.


"A propulsive chronicle. Thanks to Kirby’s extraordinary journalism, we have the most relatable, irrefutable, and unforgettable testimony yet to the hazards of industrial animal farming."
BOOKLIST

"Immensely readable, should be required reading for anybody concerned with how CAFOs are changing the nature of livestock farming." LIBRARY JOURNAL

Swine flu. MRSA. Unusual concentrations of cancer and other diseases. Massive fish kills from algal blooms and flesh-eating parasites. Recalls of meats, vegetables, and fruits because of deadly E-coli bacteria contamination.  Recent public health crises raise urgent questions about how our animal-derived food is raised and brought to market.  In Animal Factory, bestselling investigative journalist David Kirby exposes the powerful business and political interests behind large-scale factory farms, and tracks the far-reaching fallout that can contaminate our air, land, and water supply. 



Continue reading "Winner: Signed Copy of David Kirby's Animal Factory" »

Excerpt from David Kirby's Animal Factory on HuffPo

Animal Factory Read the full post, ANIMAL FACTORY Book Excerpt - Is Manure a Hazardous Substance? Blanche Lincoln Says "No" at Huffington Post. We have a contest running for a signed copy of David's book, enter HERE.

In my new book, "Animal Factory - The Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy and Poultry Farms to Humans and the Environment," I describe the efforts of Pro-Agribusiness members of Congress who are working hard to make sure that spilled animal waste from industrial farms is exempted from federal Superfund clean-up rules.

The now-endangered Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), along with House Agriculture Committee Chair Collin Petersen (D-MN), are among several outspoken congressional champions of a rather obscure piece of legislation on a topic that few Americans spend much time pondering: Who should pay for manure spills at animal factories?

Ever since 2007, their efforts to undermine the Superfund law by permanently exempting manure as a hazardous waste has been "ruffling feathers on Capitol Hill," according to Politco.com.

Their bill did not pass, and has not yet been reintroduced in the current Congress. But it does beg the question: Is manure an organic fertilizer, or it is a dangerous pollutant with potentially devastating consequences for human health, the environment, and even local economies? It can, in fact, can be both...

AoA Contest: Win a Signed Copy of David Kirby's Animal Factory

Animal Factory Leave a comment to enter our contest to win a signed copy of David Kirby's book, Animal Factory.

Visit the website HERE. Order your copy at Amazon HERE.


"A propulsive chronicle. Thanks to Kirby’s extraordinary journalism, we have the most relatable, irrefutable, and unforgettable testimony yet to the hazards of industrial animal farming."
BOOKLIST

"Immensely readable, should be required reading for anybody concerned with how CAFOs are changing the nature of livestock farming." LIBRARY JOURNAL

Swine flu. MRSA. Unusual concentrations of cancer and other diseases. Massive fish kills from algal blooms and flesh-eating parasites. Recalls of meats, vegetables, and fruits because of deadly E-coli bacteria contamination.  Recent public health crises raise urgent questions about how our animal-derived food is raised and brought to market.  In Animal Factory, bestselling investigative journalist David Kirby exposes the powerful business and political interests behind large-scale factory farms, and tracks the far-reaching fallout that can contaminate our air, land, and water supply. 



Continue reading "AoA Contest: Win a Signed Copy of David Kirby's Animal Factory" »

Win Signed Advance Reader Copy (Rare!) of David Kirby's Animal Factory

Animal Factory David Kirby has kindly given us one of the few advance reader copies (ARC) of his new book, Animal Factory, available NOW for presale. Publishers print a handful or ARCs before the final book is published and we have one for you, signed by David Kirby. Visit the website HERE. Order your copy at Amazon HERE.

THE CONTEST IS CLOSED. Thank you.

"A propulsive chronicle. Thanks to Kirby’s extraordinary journalism, we have the most relatable, irrefutable, and unforgettable testimony yet to the hazards of industrial animal farming." BOOKLIST

"Immensely readable, should be required reading for anybody concerned with how CAFOs are changing the nature of livestock farming." LIBRARY JOURNAL

Swine flu. MRSA. Unusual concentrations of cancer and other diseases. Massive fish kills from algal blooms and flesh-eating parasites. Recalls of meats, vegetables, and fruits because of deadly E-coli bacteria contamination.  Recent public health crises raise urgent questions about how our animal-derived food is raised and brought to market.  In Animal Factory, bestselling investigative journalist David Kirby exposes the powerful business and political interests behind large-scale factory farms, and tracks the far-reaching fallout that can contaminate our air, land, and water supply. 



Continue reading "Win Signed Advance Reader Copy (Rare!) of David Kirby's Animal Factory" »

David Kirby's "Animal Factory" Is Back Up At Amazon!

Animal Factory Our friend David Kirby’s new book, “ANIMAL FACTORY – The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy and Poultry Farms to Humans and the Environment,” was removed from sale at Amazon.com for over a week, because of fighting over the price of e-books between Amazon and Macmillan, which owns St. Martin’s Press. You can read the advance reviews below the jump.
 
We are happy to announce that David’s book and all Macmillan titles are back up for sale today at Amazon. If you haven’t yet, please show your support by pre-ordering Animal Factory prior to the publication date of March 2, 2010, at Amazon or any of these online retailers:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Books a Million

Borders

IndieBound

Powells

Alibris

Animal Factory is also available as a Blackstone Audio Book. To hear a brief reading from David’s work, please click here. http://tinyurl.com/animalaudio
 
Don Imus said on his show the other day that David’s book is “going to be an enormous best seller,” and we agree! In the book, David follows three families and communities whose lives are utterly changed by immense neighboring animal farms.  These farms (known as “Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations,” or CAFOs), confine thousands of pigs, dairy cattle, and poultry in small spaces, often under horrifying conditions, and generate enormous volumes of fecal and biological waste as well as other toxins.
 
Here is David’s preliminary media and public appearance schedule, with many more to come. More information will be available soon when the Animal Factory website is launched at www.animalfactorybook.com .
 
Please let people know that David is available for speaking engagements nationwide.
 
February 25 – (TBA) – Panel Discussion with Nicolette Hahn-Niman at the Public Interest Environment Law Conference, Eugene, Oregon - http://www.pielc.org/pages/home.html
 
Feb 25 – 6PM PST – Book signing, Public Interest Environment Law Conference, Eugene, Oregon -
 
March 2 – 7:30AM EST – Imus in the Morning – WABC-AM, Fox Business News, etc.
 
March 3 – (TBA) – The Leonard Lopate Show – WNYC-FM

Continue reading "David Kirby's "Animal Factory" Is Back Up At Amazon!" »

David Kirby: The Lancet Retraction Changes Nothing

Animal Factory Read and comment on David Kirby's Huffington Post piece, "The Lancet Retraction Changes Nothing" HERE.

Dr. Andrew Wakefield is one of the most vilified medical practitioners of recent times, and now he carries the extremely rare dishonor of a retraction in The Lancet, on the paper he coauthored in 1998 suggesting a potential link between autism, bowel disease and Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine.

I believe that the public lynching and shaming of Dr. Wakefield is unwarranted and overwrought, and that history will ultimately judge who was right and who was wrong about proposing a possible association between vaccination and regressive autistic spectrum disorder (ASD).

Wakefield's critics can condemn, retract, decry and de-license all they want, but that does nothing to stop or alter the march of science, which has come a long way over the past 12 years, and especially in the last year or two. The evidence that autism is increasing at alarming rates, and that some thing (or things) in our environment is wreaking havoc on a vulnerable one-percent of all US children is now so irrefutable that, finally, the federal government is climbing aboard the environmental research bandwagon - way late, but better than never...

David Kirby is author of Evidence of Harm, a  regular contributor to Huffington Post and a contributor to Age of Autism.  His next book, Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy, and Poultry Farms to Humans and the Environment will be released within the year and is available now for pre-order at  Barnes & Noble.

The Bloomington Alternative Presents Part 3 with David Kirby

David Kirby at home Read Part 3 of Steven Higg's Bloomington Alternative Blog with David Kirby.

BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Anyone with a passing knowledge of Indiana’s political and business cultures would not be surprised to learn state leaders played feature roles in one of the first great scandals of the George W. Bush administration. Or that the episode involved perhaps the greatest environmental disaster of the postmodern age -- the intravenous exposure of an entire generation of children to a powerful neurotoxin.

After all, “leaders” like Dan Quayle, Evan Bayh and Mitch Daniels have led their state to the No. 49 ranking in Forbes magazine’s 2007 comparison of state-by-state environmental quality. Of Indiana and other bottom-dwellers like No. 50 West Virginia, the business magazine said, “All suffer from a mix of toxic waste, lots of pollution and consumption and no clear plans to do anything about it. Expect them to remain that way."

Steven Higgs Interviews David Kirby for The Bloomington Alternative

Davidkirby BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Two days before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its newest data on U.S. autism rates, author David Kirby consented to a two-hour, videotaped interview in his street-level brownstone apartment in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. The government, the former New York Times reporter said, always drops its worst news late on Fridays, assuming the attention-addled mainstream media will forget it by Monday, when people actually pay some attention.

While the release of new autism data on the Friday before Christmas would normally trigger nervous anticipation in the whirlwind of Washington spin, this year's holiday news dump was anticlimactic. The CDC had revealed the gist of its autism findings in October, after a study in the journal Pediatrics said its incidence had reached 1 in every 91 children.

To inoculate the public against the 65 percent increase the Pediatrics study represented over the CDC's last estimate of 1 autistic child in every 150 born in 1994, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius herself intervened the day it came out. In a hastily arranged conference call with the autism community, Sebelius announced that preliminary numbers in the third in a series of CDC studies show the ratio was 1 in 100 for kids born in 1996.

"A 50 percent increase in a birth cohort two years apart is really cause for concern," Kirby said. "We really need to go back and look at what happened in those two years."

Dec. 18 would hold more than one surprise for Kirby, whose best-selling first book, Evidence of Harm: Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic: A Medical Controversy, was published in 2005.

By the time the CDC released the new data that Friday afternoon, the new incidence rate had been adjusted down to 1 in 110, still a 36 percent hike between 1994 and 1996.

Read the full post at The Bloomington Alternative HERE.

David Kirby Reports Leading Federal Official Says Environmental Exposures Are Factor in Autism Rise

Davidkirby David Kirby is now on HuffPo with, Rising Autism Numbers -- Leading Federal Official Says "No Question" That Environmental Exposures Are A Factor.  Please pop over and comment.

Autism - CDC Avoids The Elephant in The Room

Elephant in the room Atlanta, GA – A study released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that autism prevalence has increased a staggering 57% from the 1994 rate of 1 in 150  to 1 in 110 for children born in 1998. SafeMinds is extremely dissatisfied with CDC’s lack of commitment to researching environmental causes and the timing of their announcement. 

Mark Blaxill, SafeMinds Director told FoxNews.com , “I would say that releasing something the Friday before Christmas is about as deep as you can bury something.”

CDC’s Catherine Rice said, “We know there are multiple complex genetic and environmental factors which result in multiple forms of autism and we have much to learn about the causes.” However, absent from press conference and subsequent call with autism advocacy groups were specifics on the types of environmental exposures to be investigated. They skirted questions about potential environmental causes and avoided using words like “toxic exposures” or “pollutants” despite very pointed questions from advocates. 

Continue reading "Autism - CDC Avoids The Elephant in The Room" »

David Kirby: Dr. Insel on Rising ASD Numbers: “No Question” About Environmental Factors

Davidkirby (Good morning. We've new posts below David's for today, Sunday the 20th. Please send David's post far and wide to your lists, FB, Twitter.  Click the headline to grab the URL, then copy it. Thanks.)

By David Kirby

On Friday, the CDC released its long-anticipated (HERE) autism figures, showing that the average rate of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) among 8-year-olds increased by nearly 60% between 2002 and 2006, with almost one percent of US kids affected.
 
Also on Friday, the nation's top autism research coordinator said that better diagnosis and reporting could not "explain away this huge increase," and that "there is no question that there has got to be an environmental component here."
 
He added that some ASDs may be preventable, that some children could recover from the disorder, and that a virus might conceivably play a role in some autism cases.
 
According to the latest CDC figures, the ASD rate at 11 sites among 8-year-olds in 2002 (kids born in 1994) was 60-per-10,000, and 94 per-10,000 in 2006 - among kids born just four years later, in 1998. Some of this increase was explained by better access to school records and other factors, the CDC said, though it added that a "true increase" could not be ruled out.
 
Some of the new figures were quite staggering. For example, the reported rate among all 8-year-olds in Arizona skyrocketed by 95 percent in just four years. Also in Arizona, among boys, the ASD rate reached 189-per-10,000. It also reached 193-per-10,000 in Missouri - or nearly two percent (1 in 50) of the total.
 
Another surprise was the difference between some of the racial and ethnic categories. In 2006, the rate among non-Hispanic white children was 102-per-10,000, but among black children it was 76-per-10,000, a 34-percent difference, and among Hispanic children it was 61-per-10,000, a difference of 67 percent.
 
Inexplicably, the rate among Hispanics in Alabama actually plummeted during the period in question, by 68%, from an already low 19-per-10,000 in 2002 to an almost rare 6-per-10,000 in 2006. Meanwhile, with the exception of Arizona, the CDC said, "prevalence among Hispanic children did not change significantly within any of the other 10 sites.”
 
So what do these increases mean? I put that question to Dr. Thomas Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health and Chair of the federal government's Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC), tasked with recommending funding priorities for autism research and services. Was the increase simply an artifact of better diagnosis and reporting? Or could there be an actual increase in the numbers and, if so, wouldn't that necessarily implicate environmental factors in ASD?
 
I was surprised by Dr. Insel's frankness.
 
"As far as I can tell, the burden of proof is upon anybody who feels that there is NOT a real increase here in the number of kids affected," Dr. Insel told me in a telephone interview on Friday. He said factors such as better ascertainment "don't really explain away this huge increase" and that "you really have to take this (increase) very seriously - from everything they are looking at, this is not something that can be explained away by methodology, by diagnosis."

Continue reading "David Kirby: Dr. Insel on Rising ASD Numbers: “No Question” About Environmental Factors " »

Support Autism Research & Shop for the Holidays at the SafeMinds Auction!

SafeMinds Masthead Wow, check out the 97 items in the auction for SafeMinds.  We autism families might not be able to afford everything on the list, but we can share the link with family and friends who ask, "How can I help?"

Items include lunch with David Kirby, lunch with Katie Wright, an autographed baseball by NY Yankee Mariano Rivera, gift cards to your favorite retailer and many more!

Click HERE to go to the auction site now! Bidding ends on December 10.

The Heroes of Autism Video

This is a beautiful way to end the holiday weekend. Thank you to AL for creating the video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ev8onanMtxc

Part 2: David Kirby on HuffPo "Is Obama Ready to Take on Factory Farming?"

Animal Factory Click HERE to read David Kirby's second post on factory farming.

Part Two: White House Realities

(Note: This is the second part of an essay adapted from David Kirby's upcoming book Animal Factory. To read PART ONE, please click here).

In 2008, Barack Obama was swept to victory on a national wave of desire for change -- change that included a coherent program for curbing many of the excesses associated with modern American animal agriculture.

Obama's Plan to Support Rural Communities appeared on the White House website in January, 2009, and read like a manifesto from grassroots groups trying to defend their vision of what a traditional, sustainable agrarian way of life should be.

David Kirby is author of Evidence of Harm, a founding contributor to Huffington Post and a contributor to Age of Autism.  His next book, Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy, and Poultry Farms to Humans and the Environment will be released within the year and is available now for pre-order at Amazon.
 

Top Federal Panel Endorses Autism Research That Includes Vaccines - Dueling Press Releases Ensue

Question-mark by David Kirby

On Tuesday, the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC), Washington's leading arbiter for directing federal funds to autism research, unanimously voted to recommend studies that include investigations into possible links between autism and environmental triggers - including vaccines - in certain subsets of children.

The IACC has not yet posted details on what was decided at the meeting, but two opposing autism organizations are already applauding either A) the inclusion of vaccine-autism studies in the federal research plan; or B) the rejection of such studies from the plan - depending on whose statement one reads.

On Wednesday, the nation's largest, most mainstream autism foundation, Autism Speaks, issued a press release under the headline: "IACC Includes Vaccine Research Objective In Strategic Plan For Autism Research - Autism Speaks is Encouraged by New Language Recommending Funding of Vaccine Research."

According to the release, Autism Speaks is pleased with the IACC, which it said "unanimously calls for studies to determine if there are sub-populations that are more susceptible to environmental exposures such as immune challenges related to naturally occurring infections, vaccines or underlying immune problems."

Continue reading "Top Federal Panel Endorses Autism Research That Includes Vaccines - Dueling Press Releases Ensue" »

David Kirby on HuffPo: The Future of Factory Farming and the Obama Administration

Animal Factory Click ORDER HERE to pre-order David's book, Animal Factory. Pre-orders are very important to an author and David is a good friend to our community. Thank you.

Part 1 - Campaign Pledges

Today, most Americans get their meat, dairy and eggs from hyper-productive, industrialized, anonymous "confined animal feeding operations" (CAFOs) located hundreds or thousands of miles away from their home. Will it always be this way?

No one can predict the future -- especially when it comes to such a complex, emotional and volatile issue as how our food is produced. No one can know exactly what the typical American animal farm will look like in 10 or 20 years: Whether we will have all-CAFOs, all-the-time; a complete return to small, diversified, localized food production; or some type of patchwork hybrid in between.

Many of the people profiled in my upcoming book, Animal Factory -- from which this article was adapted -- would like to see CAFOs fade away entirely, in the obsolete manner of the 8-track tape player, ditto machine, or other clunky, outdated technologies we used to consider indispensable. But I am not convinced that is going to happen any time soon...

Click HERE to read the full post and comment at HuffPo.

H1N1 Virus Found in US Hogs David Kirby Reports on HuffPo

Usda From David Kirby:

On Monday, the USDA reported that pigs in a commercial swine herd at an Indiana factory farm had tested positive for novel H1N1 influenza virus. It was the first time that pigs raised for meat in the US had been found with signs of the bug. Last month, show pigs at the Minnesota State Fair also tested positive for H1N1... Read more and comment at: Huffington Post.

David Kirby is author of Evidence of Harm, a founding contributor to Huffington Post and a contributor to Age of Autism.  His next book, Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy, and Poultry Farms to Humans and the Environment will be released within the year and is available now for pre-order at Amazon.
 

David Kirby on HuffPo: Dr. Francis Collins of NIH Speaks Out

Tension Please click HERE to read and comment on David Kirby's HuffPo "NIH Director Francis Collins Blames Resignation Of Top Health Official From Autism Panel On "Tension And Lack Of Trust."  Thank you.

...Meanwhile, Dr. Francis Collins, head of the NIH, has spoken out on the resignation of Dr. Landis from the IACC, in a video clip posted by the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative.

Dr. Collins called autism a "disease" (as opposed to a disorder) that "ravages" children, and conceded that parents have "understandably" been left frustrated and impatient. He also rightly stated that we need to "poke around in every possible way" and not assume that there is just "one path" to solving the riddle that is autism.

But, some parents also wonder, was the NIH Director admonishing them for making Dr. Landis feel it was "necessary" for her to resign from the IACC? Was Collins also demanding that parents "step back" from pressuring federal offcials to find the cause of their children's disease?

David Kirby is author of Evidence of Harm, a founding contributor to Huffington Post and a contributor to Age of Autism.  His next book, Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy, and Poultry Farms to Humans and the Environment will be released within the year and is available now for pre-order at Amazon.
 

NIH Director Francis Collins Blames Resignation of Top Health Official from Autism Panel on “Tension and Lack of Trust

BlameGame_cover_2x3 Managing Editor's Note: David has added significant info at the end of this post.

By David Kirby

On Saturday, Story Landis, PhD, director of the National Institute of Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Stroke, an agency of the National Institutes of Health, abruptly resigned from the federal government’s premiere autism research panel – the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) – citing embarrassing notes she had left behind at a recent meeting.
 
But now, the Director of the NIH, Francis Collins, has come forth to blame “tension and a lack of trust,” (presumably among autism parents) for forcing Dr. Landis’s resignation.

Dr. Landis resigned from the powerful panel on Saturday after the Age of Autism blog published handwritten notes – assumed to be written by Dr. Landis – speculating on the motives of an autism mother and IACC member, Lyn Redwood – who wanted research into autism as a multisystem biological disorder, as opposed to a purely mental health disorder.

For more details on Dr. Landis’s resignation from the IACC, please see HERE.

Meanwhile, Dr, Francis Collins, head of the NIH, has spoken out on the resignation of Dr. Landis from the IACC, in a video clip posted by the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative: HERE.

Dr. Collins called autism a “disease” (as opposed to a disorder) that “ravages” children with autism, and that parents have “understandably” been left frustrated and impatient. He also rightly stated that we need to “poke around in every possible way” and not assume that there is just “one path” to solving the riddle that is autism.

But, some parents also wonder, was the NIH Director admonishing them for making Dr. Landis feel it was “necessary” for her to resign from the IACC? Was Collins also demanding that parents “step back?”

Continue reading "NIH Director Francis Collins Blames Resignation of Top Health Official from Autism Panel on “Tension and Lack of Trust" »

David Kirby on HuffPo: NIH Agency Head Backs Vaccine-Autism Research on Friday; Resigns from Federal Autism Panel on Saturday

Breaking news Managing Editor's Note: Read the Age of Autism post, Dr. Story Landis: Autism not a multi-symptom disease but a money making scheme?  to which Dr. Landis refers in her resignation. Read David's full post and comment at HuffPo HERE.

By David Kirby

Story Landis, PhD, director of the National Institute of Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), an NIH agency, surprised many parents on Friday by stating that autism researchers should study "the children who have been most profoundly affected" by adverse reactions to vaccination.

On Saturday, Dr. Landis abruptly resigned from the powerful Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC), which helps direct hundreds of millions in federal tax dollars to autism research, treatment, care and services.

In her letter of resignation, Dr. Landis cited embarrassing notes she had left behind after a recent meeting of the IACC that "triggered frustration and anger" among many autism parents; and for having "inadvertently introduced a distraction" from autism research. She did not mention her newfound support for vaccine-autism investigations in the letter.

Over the weekend, Dr. Landis wrote to IACC committee members:

I am very sorry that I passed notes to a colleague during the September 30 IACC meeting. It was unprofessional of me and I should not have done it. These notes were recovered after the meeting and posted on the Age of Autism blog. I understand how my comments triggered frustration and anger. Further, I inadvertently introduced a distraction from focusing on the important questions at hand. Therefore, I have decided to resign from the IACC effectively immediately. Again, my apologies to the other members of the IACC and to the autism community. I regret that my actions have eroded trust at a time when we need to build stronger ties across government and the community. Although I will no longer be a member of the IACC, I remain committed to finding the causes of and effective treatments for autism.

David Kirby is author of Evidence of Harm, a founding contributor to Huffington Post and a contributor to Age of Autism.  His next book, Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy, and Poultry Farms to Humans and the Environment will be released within the year and is available now for pre-order at Amazon.
 

Dr. Story Landis Resigns from the IACC. Here's the Note.

Story landis You can see the full note HERE.

David Kirby On Charlottesville - Right Now Today

Wina From David Kirby, "Hello, Coy Barefoot will have me on his radio show on WINA today at 4:35pm EDT to discuss my recent Huffpo Pieces today." Look for the PODCAST immediately following the interview at www.cvillepodcast.com- beginning at about 5pm.

David Kirby on HuffPo: Is Autism Associated with a Viral Infection?

XMRV Click HERE to comment at HuffPo please.

...Researchers tested blood samples from a "small group of children" with autism and found that 40% of them were positive for XMRV, according to a statement from the Nevada Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorders. More testing is underway which, the Commission said, "could dramatically increase that 40% positive finding." (Given the small sample size, such a statement is purely speculative).

As Dr. Mikovits explained to a television news program in Nevada, "It is not in the paper and not reported, but we have actually done some of these studies (in ASD children) and found the virus in a significant number of samples that we have tested for. It could be linked to a number of neuro-immune diseases, including autism. It certainly won't be all, because there are genetic defects that result in autism. But there are also the environmental effects; there is always the hypothesis that, 'My child was fine and then they got sick, and then they got autism.'"

.

David Kirby: Do You Believe that 1 in 60 Men Has Autism?

Billy goats gruff Click HERE to read David's full post at HuffPo.  (Listen, do you hear that? Trip-trap-trip-trap-trip-trap. Go comment please.)

It amazes me to see that the Obama Administration and mainstream media have been rather nonchalant about the startling news that 1-in-100 American children - and perhaps around 1-in-60 boys - have an autism spectrum disorder.

On Friday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told listeners on a conference call about an upcoming CDC study showing that the estimated rate of autism increased by about 50% among children living in study locations who were born in 1994, compared with those born in 1996.

Sharyl Attkisson Interviews David Kirby on Autism Numbers


Watch CBS News Videos Online

Kathleen Sebelius: “Autism Now Hits 1 in 100 Children. We Have No Idea Why.”

No idea By David Kirby

Washington loves to dump its bad news on a Friday afternoon, and today it confirmed that one percent of American children  (and by extension, perhaps 1-in-58 boys) - has an autism spectrum disorder.

On a hastily arranged telephone “visit” with US Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the autism community, the health chief announced that “the prevalence of autism might be even higher than previously thought.” But, she added, “We don’t know if it has gone up, and we are hoping to unlock these mysteries.”

The Secretary then declared autism “An urgent public health challenge,” declared that President Obama was “right to make it one of our top health priorities,” including research into “treatments and a cure” for the disorder, and promptly ended her visit.

Helping to fill in some of the details was Dr. Thomas R. Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and Chair of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, who confirmed that CDC data to be published later this year will estimate the current childhood ASD rate at 100-per-10,000 children.

The data, collected from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network, shows a significant uptick in ASD prevalence estimates in just two years.

According to ADDM, the average rate of autism among eight-year-olds across all study sites was 67-per-10,000 in 2000 (the 1992 birth cohort), and 66-per-10,000 in 2002 (the 1994 birth cohort). Only six sites were included in both studies, and their average prevalence rate increased by 10%, from 67-per-10,000 to 74-per-10,000.

Now, CDC has announced that among the 1996 birth cohort, the estimated rate of ASD is 100-per-10,000; a staggering 50% increase over the 1994 birth cohort.

Continue reading "Kathleen Sebelius: “Autism Now Hits 1 in 100 Children. We Have No Idea Why.”" »

David Kirby's Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy and Poultry Farms

Animal Factory

Our good friend and frequent contributor David Kirby, author of Evidence of Harm  is also the author of a new book titled, Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy and Poultry Farms to Humans and the Environment, that looks at the impact of the factory farm on our lives. You can pre-order Animal Factory at Amazon now Click HERE. It debuts on February 16th of 2010. 

On Saturday, the New York Times ran an article about the fallout from a dairy farm in Wisconsin. You can read the full article HERE.

MORRISON, Wis. — All it took was an early thaw for the drinking water here to become unsafe. 

There are 41,000 dairy cows in Brown County, which includes Morrison, and they produce more than 260 million gallons of manure each year, much of which is spread on nearby grain fields. Other farmers receive fees to cover their land with slaughterhouse waste and treated sewage.

In measured amounts, that waste acts as fertilizer. But if the amounts are excessive, bacteria and chemicals can flow into the ground and contaminate residents’ tap water.

In Morrison, more than 100 wells were polluted by agricultural runoff within a few months, according to local officials. As parasites and bacteria seeped into drinking water, residents suffered from chronic diarrhea, stomach illnesses and severe ear infections...

David Kirby: New Study: Hepatitis B Vaccine Triples the Risk of Autism in Infant Boys

Dice no yes maybe By David Kirby (Click HERE to read and comment on the HuffPo version of this post.)

“The science is largely complete. Ten epidemiological studies have shown MMR vaccine doesn’t cause autism; six have shown thimerosal doesn’t cause autism.”
-- Dr. Paul Offit, “Autism’s False Prophets”

“16 studies have shown no causal association between vaccines and autism, and these studies carry weight in the scientific industry.”
-- Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC Today Show Medical Editor

Conventional wisdom holds that the autism-vaccine question has been “asked and answered,” and that least 16 large, well-constructed epidemiological studies have thoroughly addressed and debunked any hypothesis that childhood vaccination is in any way associated with an increased risk for autism spectrum disorders.

But there are several critical flaws in such an oversimplified generalization, and they are rarely given close examination by public health experts or members of the media.

To begin with, it is unscientific and perilously misleading for anyone to assert that “vaccines and autism” have been studied and that no link has been found. That’s because the 16 or so studies constantly cited by critics of the hypothesis have examined just one vaccine and one vaccine ingredient. And the studies themselves have critical design flaws and limitations.

The current US childhood immunization schedule calls for 28 injections with 11 different vaccines against 15 different diseases by two years of age. Of those 11 vaccines, only the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) shot has been studied in association with autism, (although a CDC study of an MMR-plus-chickenpox vaccine did show that the risk for febrile seizures in infants was doubled.)

Meanwhile, those 11 vaccines contain scores of ingredients, only one of which, thimerosal, has ever been tested in association with autism.

It is illogical to exonerate all vaccines, all vaccine ingredients, and the total US vaccine program as a whole, based solely on a handful of epidemiological studies of just one vaccine and one vaccine ingredient. It is akin to claiming that every form of animal protein is beneficial to people, when all you have studied is fish.

Now, a new study has shown that giving Hepatitis B vaccine to newborn baby boys more than triples the associated risk of developing an autism spectrum disorder.

An abstract of the study was published in the September, 2009 issue of the respected journal Annals of Epidemiology. In it, Carolyn Gallagher and Melody Goodman of the Graduate Program in Public Health at Stony Brook University Medical Center, NY, wrote that, “Boys who received the hepatitis B vaccine during the first month of life had 2.94 greater odds for ASD compared to later- or unvaccinated boys.” The authors used U.S. probability samples obtained from National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) 1997–2002 datasets.

The conclusion states that: “Findings suggest that U.S. male neonates vaccinated with hepatitis B vaccine had a 3-fold greater risk of ASD; risk was greatest for non-white boys.”

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