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The European Health Parliament: Bogus Institution Is Industry Front

image from www.healthparliament.euBy John Stone

Our elected politicians may not be class I collectively respect, but at least they bother to get themselves elected. Recently our friends at the British based journal and group The Informed Parent received a letter announcing:

“My name is Alice Pignacca, Member of the European Vaccine Committee of the European Health Parliament, a platform of 55 young professionals and students with the goal of shaping the future of healthcare in Europe. We work in 5 committees around various topics. Specifically, our committee intends to provide recommendations on vaccination plans, taking into account the reasons for not trusting vaccines.”

What Ms Pignacca – who is requesting information -  does not mention is that the European Health Parliament (which no one had heard of before) but which sounds vaguely plausible, is no more a parliament than you or I are a parliament. It does not have representatives elected by citizens, and it is not an institution of the European Union: it is an unelected body affiliated to Johnson and Johnson, Google, POLITICO, the College of Europe, the European Patients Forum (a group which receives significant funding from most of the major pharmaceutical manufacturers)and Euro40 (a group of Euro MPs under the age of 40). The letter is copied to Matteo Pedralli, who like Pignacca seems to be a student at the 'the College of Europe', an independent educational institution situated in Brussels (one of the two homes of the real European Parliament) and to Chiara Danelli, who works for Johnson and Johnson .

Johnson and Johnson may not be a name much associated with vaccines but they make Quinvaxem (DTPHibHep)  and Hepavax  (a single Hepatitis B vaccine), and are trying to expand into the sector:

“Johnson & Johnson currently has relatively low vaccine revenues, reflecting its small portfolio size, volume of doses sold and geographic scope. However, its pipeline and R&D investments indicate a growing focus on vaccines.”

So, in order to add their new products to an already obscenely crowded schedule they are going to have to lobby hard.

Among the questions that Pignacca asks:

“For which reason don’t you trust scientists, doctors, and institutions on this?..”

I am not speaking for the Informed Parent but of course if you write from an industry sponsored lobby organization pretending to be a legitimate public body it scarcely helps your case.

‘Would you agree that the scientific method has helped human progress?”

Well, yes but that does not mean that every industrial product manufactured is an example of progress or necessarily safe. I do not know why Ms Pignacca would expect anyone to respect such naive or twisted logic.

The European Health Parliament seems have been launched as a project in 2015 with the motto echoing the 'Occupy Wall Street' campaign 'Occupy Health Street' but the pretence of being a citizens’ body is ridiculous, another Trojan horse.

Or perhaps European Health Parliament is just a rather up-market youth employment scheme: the door-to-door sales-people of the cyber age.

The government pharmaceutical complex cannot play it straight to save their lives.

John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.


The Fox Guarding the Hen House: Outgoing GSK Chief to Head New UK Government Agency Fast Tracking the Licensing of Pharma Products

image from www.rescuepost.comby John Stone

The really scary news is the news you do not see reported. If eyebrows were raised last week that GSK’s head of Research and Development, Patrick Vallance, was to leave his highly paid position to become Chief Scientist to the British government, it was barely reported the same day that the British government has also appointed his former boss, Sir Andrew Witty, to head a new agency to fast track the licensing of pharmaceutical products. Witty left his post as CEO of GSK earlier this year and has already taken up a role with North Carolina biotech company, G1 Therapeutics. Witty became CEO of GSK in 2008, having joined Glaxo in 1985, while GSK was formed in a merger with SmithKline Beecham in 2001.

As reported in Wikipedia:

On 2 July 2012, GSK pleaded guilty to criminal charges and agreed to a $3 billion settlement of the largest health-care fraud case in the U.S. and the largest payment by a drug company.[12] The settlement is related to the company's illegal promotion of prescription drugs, its failure to report safety data, bribing doctors, and promoting medicines for uses for which they were not licensed. The drugs involved were Paxil, Wellbutrin, Advair, Lamictal, and Zofran for off-label, non-covered uses. Those and the drugs Imitrex, Lotronex, Flovent, and Valtrex were involved in the kickback scheme….

In July 2013, the People's Republic of China announced that they were investigating allegations of fraud perpetrated by GSK going back to 2007 and involving thousands of millions of renminbi… Four GSK executives have already been arrested in China. It is alleged that the money was used, inter alia, to bribe around 25 travel agencies that organize conferences for doctors, in order to encourage the agencies to host GSK events. Witty later claimed that he knew nothing about the China fraud and tried to pass the blame onto subordinates…

In November 2015 Witty's leadership of GSK was criticised by Neil Woodford, who said that "he’s not doing a very good job". Woodford called for GSK to be split into four companies… In March 2016 Witty announced that he was to stand down as chief executive

In April 2017 GSK lost a $3m action when Wendy Dolin sued them for her husband’s suicide after taking the anti-depressant Paxil (which is the same as Seroxat), after presenting a technical defence. Among GSK’s other products are the controversial vaccines Cervarix, Infanrix Hexa and Pandemrix. The Cervarix vaccine was marketed without any certainty that it could prevent cervical cancer and is associated with a high level of injury. Infanrix Hexa has been implicated by Jacob Puliyel in excess infant deaths, and the Pandemrix swine flu vaccine has caused narcolepsy. An early trial for Pandemrix left a trail of unexplained deaths. The pre-cursor to GSK, SKB also manufactured the Pluserix MMR vaccine which was withdrawn in Canada and later the UK because of cases of mumps meningitis.

Witty has for a long time enjoyed close relations with the British government: he was lead non-executive board member of the Department of Trade  (BIS) between 2011 and 14, and is a “business ambassador” for the present Prime Minister.

Slow or fast, licensing is already over deferential to the industry, but even if GSK had had an unimpeachable record - instead of a nightmare one - the appointment would still be outrageous.

With acknowledgments to Truthman's blog.


Is there Mercury in the Present UK Flu Vaccine?

Calvin-harris-press-gavin-bond-2015-billboard-650by John Stone

"However, another authoritative source British National Formulary/National Institutes for Healthcare Excellence (BNF NICE) listing this season's products states that all the suspensions "may contain" thiomersal. The position is ambiguous to say the least."  

A row has apparently blown up in the media between a mega star that I have never heard of, Calvin Harris, with 12.7 million twitter followers and British health officials. Harris has apparently claimed that there is mercury in the 2017 UK flu shot. No such claim I would like to make clear has ever been made on this website. While it is difficult to find out exactly which products are being given I have just checked through the ingredients of ten products I was able to identify and none had mercury, thiomersal or thimerosal listed.

Perhaps Mr Harris was basing his claim on the situation in the US where officials seem more inclined to brazen it out. It may be pointed out as well that the same health officials who are out now trying to re-assure people that there is no mercury in the shot are very likely the same ones who were previously trying assure them it was perfectly safe.

Post Script: This appears to be the bottom line. There is a letter 20 March 2017 signed by representatives of the UK Department of Health, Public Health England, NHS England (Dame Sally C Davies, Prof Paul Cosford and Prof Sir Bruce Keogh). On pages 24-6 there is a list of products with one or two additions to those I linked to. Underneath is the statement p. 26:"None of the influenza vaccines for the 2017/18 season contain thiomersal as an added preservative"

The odd wording suggests the possibility that thiomersal may have been used in the preparation of some of the products, perhaps as a sterilising agent, and therefore could be present at trace levels.

 Post Post Script: However, another authoritative source British National Formulary/National Institutes for Healthcare Excellence (BNF NICE) listing this season's products states that all the suspensions "may contain" thiomersal. The position is ambiguous to say the least.  

Suspension for injection All products

Excipients

May contain

Gentamicin, kanamycin, neomycin penicillins, polymyxin b, thiomersal


Has the HHS Capped Reports on VAERS?

image from upload.wikimedia.orgBy John Stone

Earlier this year I happened to note in a letter (dated 26 May 2017) to British Medical Journal Rapid Responses that 599,972 reports had accumulated on US Vaccine Adverse Events System since it started back in 1990 and out of curiosity decided to see how it had advanced (using the Medalerts website  rather than the CDC’s) and found on 17 October 2017 that it had progressed to 607,223. On this basis I made the calculation that almost exactly 50 cases a day had been added in the interim. My first thought was that this was rather a lot, when actually it was rather a little. This would yield a rate of 18,250 cases a year whereas in the previous two years the rate had been close to 50,000 or around 130 reports a day.

I do not know whether the problem is that the database is just incomplete for later reports, but then you would have expected more cases to have accumulated from earlier in the year as well. It maybe if we look back in six months a further 80 cases per day will have accumulated for the period, or about 11,500 cases. What does not seem likely is that there was a dramatic spontaneous decline in case reporting.

Either way it is a daunting proposition. The database has in recent year been accumulating at more than 100 reports a day and as I pointed out back in May 2015  and as Del Bigtree pointed out in his new TV program last week because VAERS is a passive reporting system it may only represent 1% of cases.

Of course, health officials and web trolls will always point out that these are not confirmed cases, but the truth is that within the official system there are never any confirmed cases, even cases where awards have been made for damage. The fundamental flaw is that unless there is an independent system of active monitoring “they” will be left playing the game of hit and run – of automatic denial – till Kingdom Come. Meanwhile, we can assume that 130 cases a day is a very small percentage of the true figure. And not to have an independent active monitoring system - so long as we have a program, or even allow products to be marketed - is a fraud on the public.

John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.


Autism and the Mark of Thimerosal – a Hypothesis

ThimerosalBy John Stone

This is a simple observation, which may help to explain where we have been and where we are going with autism epidemic. I have made the comment privately a few times recently and posted it on-line to “Barry” the other day. But in the absence of properly conducted studies it may be that just posting it for comment is the way to go. I take as a starting point the history described by Mark Blaxill and Dan Olmsted in their recently published book Denial, that autism was vanishingly rare when Leo Kanner first described it in the early 1940s and even more vanishingly rare (but perhaps not absolutely non-existent) before that. Mark and Dan specifically associated the arrival of the condition with the introduction of mercury compound products in agriculture and particularly in vaccines (containing the ethyl mercury compound thimerosal). In this history autism remains a relatively rare condition until the 1980s and what might be called the international consequences of the US Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which enabled the US government-pharmaceutical complex to load the vaccine schedule with ever more mandated products, with other governments across the globe finding parallel strategies for expanding their schedules. What we then see is that autistic spectrum type brain injuries go on increasing to the present time though thimerosal itself was removed in the first half of the last decade in the United States and the United Kingdom.This is my comment to “Barry”:

My thought on this - as the vaccine program expands it continues to cause encephalopathies and random neurological damage on ever larger scale. What I am not seeing which seems to go back about a decade in the UK, following the removal of thimerosal (c. October 2004) is the toddlers who used to spin and flap, and walk on their toes, and it was like you used to see them every time you went to the shops, and now I haven't seen this for a very long time, and I am guessing this was the specific indicator. I don't know whether I am out on limb in making this observation. I would be quite interested to know what others think.

I do not know whether this is an original observation, but all I can say is that many readers will be familiar with symptoms which have accompanied autism but which are not part of its definition, and which seem to have the character of neurological symptoms. It may also be recalled how William Thompson in his telephone conversations with Brian Hooker was particularly troubled about the association of thimerosal with tics: spinning, flapping and tip-toeing goes beyond tics but was highly specific symptom of ASD which seems to have disappeared in the part of the world in which I live about a decade ago was highly characteristic before that, at least in the early stages of the condition. I wonder what our governments knew about this?

John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.


The Rest is Silence - My Letter to Ian Birrell

Ian BirrellBy John Stone

Ian Birrell is not a minor journalist and he has experience with the disability scene. Years ago I used to see his wife and daughter at my son’s music therapy sessions and I know the family had to cope with difficulties of a special order. But he is also well connected, and was David Cameron’s speech writer during the 2010 election.

This weekend I was dismayed to see a journalist – in this case Birrell -  once again smear Andrew Wakefield. Birrell is capable of doing research but instead he just repeats the old whispers. I noticed that back in May he had written an excellent piece on the contaminated blood scandal with which the United Kingdom Department of Health in the early 1980s wiped out a generation of haemophiliacs, and went on to try and pull the wool for more than three decades. Quite rightly he is outraged, but what he does not seem to understand is the flawed culture that leads to such things. Another example was the Camelford water disaster, in which at exactly moment that DH was arranging to import a known to be faulty version of the MMR vaccine, they began a twenty-five year cover up of the poisoning of residents by aluminium sulphate in a Cornish village – they may not in this instance have got the media to believe them, but from the legal point of view it was perfectly executed exercise in time wasting.

One thing that Birrell could learn from the contaminated blood incident is that things that are supposed to be good for you are not always. Preventing disease is a fine idea, but what happens if the products are neither as  safer or effective as claimed in the propaganda, and what happens when there ever more of them?

Birrell can state that Wakefield was disgraced (I suppose Jan Hus was disgraced when the Papal inquisition put a dunce's cap on his head and set light to him) and that the General Medical Council erased him from the register, but that is superficial stuff. History asks intelligent people to ask serious questions. The reality is that the proceedings against Wakefield and colleagues were based substantially on false allegations and these were shown in detail to be false allegations when they were reviewed by a High Court judge, Sir John Mitting, in the case of Wakefield’s senior colleague Prof Walker-Smith. Though neither Wakefield or Prof Murch was in a position to appeal it does not mean that claims which were inherently false were somehow true about them. If the products are so wonderful, why this incredible litany of lies which has to be endlessly repeated?

Continue reading "The Rest is Silence - My Letter to Ian Birrell" »


Revisiting the Swine Flu Fiasco of 2009

Child pigBy John Stone

AoA re-posts a sequence of articles by UK editor, John Stone, from 2009-10 highlighting an  earlier shadowy attempt to hi-jack global health agenda by the vaccine industry. Republication coincides with his recent letter to the British Medical Journal.

A Lethal Mixture: Swine and Bird Flu. Can We Trust Baxter, GSK and the WHO?

By John Stone (May 17, 2009)

The most recent paroxysm in the swine flu saga begs some interesting questions  which scarcely ought to be swept aside. Last week veteran Australian  scientist,  Adrian Gibbs, author of 250 peer review studies raised the issue whether H1N1 virus could have been created in a lab error. Of course, denials were rapid. ABC News reported (HERE.)

"Technically it's plausible but not likely," (said) Christopher Ohl, an associate professor of medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, and a specialist in infectious diseases.

"In this case I'm not concerned that this virus represents anything other than a naturally occurring mixture of viruses happening in nature," concluded Dr. Julie Gerberding, an infectious disease expert and the former director of the CDC...

Regardless of the validity of Gibb's claims, he and several experts say that just bringing the idea of laboratory security to the public's attention is important.

 "There are lives at risk," Gibbs said. "The sooner this idea gets out, the better."

In 2001, foot-and-mouth disease led to the slaughter of more than 6 million animals, all after a vial went missing from a research laboratory in the United Kingdom.

Since then, however, experts said lab security and regulations have been getting tighter and better.

"Laboratories have a lot of security from having this happen, and it's very unlikely," Ohl said of the new theory about swine flu's origin.

But have things improved since 2001? Probably the scariest story this year has so far been overlooked by the media at large. On  February 27 an article appeared in the Toronto Sun  by Helen Branwell, ‘Baxter: Product contained live bird flu virus’ (link no longer available, but confirmation in the record of the British parliament):

The company that released contaminated flu virus material from a plant in Austria confirmed Friday that the experimental product contained live H5N1 avian flu viruses. 
And an official of the World Health Organization’s European operation said the body is closely monitoring the investigation into the events that took place at Baxter International’s research facility in Orth-Donau, Austria.

“At this juncture we are confident in saying that public health and occupational risk is minimal at present,” medical officer Roberta Andraghetti said from Copenhagen, Denmark.

But what remains unanswered are the circumstances surrounding the incident in the Baxter facility in Orth-Donau.

The contaminated product, a mix of H3N2 seasonal flu viruses and unlabelled H5N1 viruses, was supplied to an Austrian research company. The Austrian firm, Avir Green Hills Biotechnology, then sent portions of it to sub-contractors in the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Germany.

The contamination incident, which is being investigated by the four European countries, came to light when the subcontractor in the Czech Republic inoculated ferrets with the product and they died. Ferrets shouldn’t die from exposure to human H3N2 flu viruses...” 

According to science columnist Mark Henderson writing in the London Times on May 4, the real danger from the new swine flu virus H1N1 would be if it combined with the previous big viral scare, avian flu H5N1:

The biggest worry would be if a person or a pig became infected with both swine flu and H5N1 avian flu at the same time. As the former is highly transmissible but does not appear to be particularly lethal, while the latter is highly virulent but does not spread easily, a reassortment between the two could generate a very dangerous strain.

Of course, it would not be wise on its own to take anything Henderson says too seriously, bearing in mind his boss is a director of pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline and he is associated with the pharmaceutical lobby organisation Sense About Science .  However, bearing in mind  the Toronto Sun story of February it is not exactly encouraging that WHO and the CDC have chosen Baxter as well as GlaxoSmithKline to develop a vaccine against H1N1.

Continue reading "Revisiting the Swine Flu Fiasco of 2009" »


Pollard Tyrannos: Another Power Bid from the Vaccine Lobby – Some Real News  

PollardBy John Stone

An Oxford University website features an appeal by Prof Andrew Pollard – who has often appeared in our columns – calling for compulsory vaccination, quoting from a report in the Guardian newspaper which followed three weeks after the newspaper’s egregious and deceitful editorial on the subject. However, both web-feature and newspaper report failed to mention a rather important detail: Prof Pollard heads the United Kingdom body, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which recommends vaccines for the schedule, and a 2009 act of Parliament (though itself of dubious legality) already places a responsibility on the Secretary of State for Health (ie an elected parliamentarian and member of the government) to follow the advice of the committee. This means that if the UK Parliament did legislate to make vaccines compulsory, Prof Pollard himself would have effective dictatorial powers over citizens telling them which vaccines they and their children must have.

Prof Pollard was appointed chair of the JCVI in 2013 and at his second meeting in February 2014 chaired a discussion which led to the recommendation of Bexsero Meningitis B vaccine to the schedule, a product of which he was also lead developer as director of Oxford Vaccine Group: previously the committee had refused to recommend the vaccine despite political pressure. This event was followed within weeks by the transfer of the Novartis vaccine division – which manufactured Bexsero -  to GlaxoSmithKline and a huge up-swing in the product’s sale potential.

Pollard was appointed to the JCVI by a panel chaired the government’s head of immunisation, Dr David Salisbury. Shortly afterwards Dr Salisbury retired and became chair of the Jenner Vaccine Foundation, a funding body for Oxford Vaccine Group, on which he sits with Prof Polllard and Dr Norman Begg, Vice-President and Chief Medical Officer of GSK Biologicals. Dr Norman Begg was formerly attached to the Public Health Service Laboratory and was the co-author with Dr Salisbury of the Department of Health guide to vaccination, the Green Book 1996, prior to departing to join one of the fore-runner companies to GSK (not clear whether Glaxo Wellcome or SmithKline Beecham) at the beginning of 2000 as “Director of Medical Affairs”, without there apparently being any gap between appointments.  Among the funders of the Jenner Vaccine Foundation are the Wellcome Trust (which sold its pharmaceutical interests to Glaxo in 1995), the UK Medical Research Council, the UK Department of Health, the European Commission, the US National Institutes of Health, The Foundation for National Institutes of Health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Continue reading "Pollard Tyrannos: Another Power Bid from the Vaccine Lobby – Some Real News  " »


An Open Letter to the Editor of the Guardian, Katharine Viner

Guardian vaccines editorial
By John Stone

Dear Ms Viner,

I am writing to you somewhat retrospectively to ask for some explanation of the Guardian’s unsigned editorial last month The Guardian view on vaccinations: a matter of public health [1] which was both an attempt to jockey opinion and a blatant attempt to mislead. The issue as presented was that compulsory vaccination was a necessary step, because certain bad people labelled collectively “anti-vaxxers” were gaining too much influence. This in effect bundled together all critics of the programme and the vaccine lobby as bad people (frequently apparently wealthy people like Gwyneth Paltrow) and allegedly all free-loaders on the system, rather than as many are people who vaccinated their children and rue the day. Moreover, the cited authority on this was not scientific literature but the comedian TV presenter, John Oliver. This is scarcely the material of respectable argument.

Even the illustration of protesters in Italy demonstrates the distortion of the issue. In Italy – unreported by your newspaper as far as I know – tens of thousands of citizens have been turning out weekly on the streets not to demand the banning of vaccines, which you might suppose would be what an “anti-vaxxer” wanted, but the right to have some choice over what their children were vaccinated with and when. This had been provoked by legislation following an agreement between the Italian government and GlaxoSmithKline in which investment in Italy was made contingent on the government creating a captive market. The CEO of GSK Italy, Daniel Finnochiaro, is reported on an industry website as saying [2]:

“Among the aspects, I also met with Minister Lorenzin and other members of the government who reiterated the sensitivity of the government towards those who invest, create jobs and opportunities for young people. In short, we started on the right foot.

“Such sensitivity in the Roman palaces is not to be dismissed. As for us, Andrew Witty has asked for a few things: clear rules and stability in return for strong investment in advanced research and production equipment. We were of one intent.”

It may be remarked that without the prospect of forced vaccination there would have been no demonstrators at all, and what actually seems to be happening is that the vaccine industry is picking fights with citizens using such proxies as the Italian government and the Guardian newspaper. It is evident that whatever the arguments are for compulsory vaccination that a competent newspaper, informing its readership, should report that it is actually the industry - the people selling the products - making the running.

Although we should not take the events surrounding the career eclipse of Andrew Wakefield at face value [3], it is a shoddy argument that if one line of research about one product has been discredited that all the products can be supposed safe. That such an argument could be deployed by a “serious” newspaper again beggars belief (although it has become a cynical and lazy resort of the vaccine lobby). It should also be noted that British health officials have repeatedly deployed false arguments about the safety of the expanded schedule citing the flawed and fraudulent ‘spare capacity’ arguments of Paul Offit [4].

Continue reading "An Open Letter to the Editor of the Guardian, Katharine Viner" »


Hit and Run Vaccine Policy of the British Government Revealed: Damage Settlements Go from Hundreds to Zero in Four Decades.

Broken-britain-finalBy John Stone

Bad faith through and through: we have reached a point with the vaccination program where it is impossible to draw attention to or discuss openly even government published data. Information which has recently to come to light concerns the way the British parliament moved to recognise vaccine damage nearly forty years ago, making many – if modest – settlements, but then the government machine massaged the problem out of existence by silently changing the criteria.

In the first two complete years of the scheme in 1979-81 – when the program itself was much less ambitious -  the United Kingdom Vaccine Damage Payment Unit recognised 573 cases. Settlements had reduced to a trickle by the end of the 1980s, and by the beginning the present decade (the years 2011-14) there were none at all. Indeed, earlier this year even the Court of Appeal was forced to reject the absurdly flawed and contradictory criteria of the United Kingdom Department of Works and Pensions.

Sad to report that once again the British Medical Journal has so far failed to publish a letter drawing attention to this issue. I submitted a letter twice adjusting the language the second time to make sure it could be no obstruction to publication, while the information I cite is in government documents. This is the second submitted letter:-

Request for an open discussion

If we look at the table of damage settlements from the Vaccine Damage Payment Unit provided under Freedom of Information in December 2014 it tells a pitiful and disturbing story [1]. In the first full year of the scheme, 1979/80, there were 317 settlements, and in the second 256. It is not to be supposed the Department of Health and Social Security, as it was then, paid out frivolously. But it must also be reflected that in those day there were only 5 or 6 infant vaccines on the schedule, with relatively low compliance.

It is evident that the VDPU then began to play by different rules or use different criteria for assessment. By 1988/9 -  the year Social Security was split from Health - they had got it down to just three settlements, and after 2010 until the end of 2014 there were none at all, even though the schedule just kept on expanding and compliance was generally over 90%. Bureaucratically speaking there was indeed no vaccine damage at all during this period, though even on the basis of manufacturers' data you would expect some. We also, of course, know from the Court of Appeal earlier this year that the Department of Works and Pensions was subverting the spirit and letter of the act by employing logically contradictory rules [2], and unfortunately what we fear is that they will seek out new pretexts to deny compensation, because this means has failed. It can only be said that this is a profoundly opaque culture, and one which could lead to untold damage, because major checks have been removed from the system.

Does anyone want to answer for this?

[1] https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/242813/response/599844/attach/3/Annex%20A.pdf?cookie_passthrough=1

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/feb/09/ministers-lose-fight-to-stop-payouts-in-swine-flu-jab-narcolepsy-cases

John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.


The British Establishment In Ethical Collapse Over Vaccine Damage

House of CommonsBy John Stone

This is the text of my third submission on behalf of Age of Autism to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Inquiry into Research Integrity last April, which has gained extra urgency because of the debate about compulsory vaccination. Though two earlier submissions could have been excluded because of submission criteria, there were no obvious grounds for excluding this one, except that like the others it tackled the core claims of their discussion document head on - that the 1998 Wakefield Lancet paper was an example of research fraud, or that it should be considered inherently reprehensible on the grounds that it subverted policy. The one thing that became apparent in my brief discussions with the secretary to the committee, Mr Fiander, was that the committee would stand by its claim of fraud simply because the claim had been made in a British Medical Journal editorial in January 2011 which had never been retracted (despite overwhelming evidence against it claims). The committee itself was dissolved without the inquiry proceeding at the time of the General Election and has not yet been re-formed.

This evidence has been shaped by statements made in the Committee’s prior publication POSTnote 544 singling out the Wakefield “Lancet paper” as an example of fraud, and particularly in relation to the defence of a public health programme and policy [1]. It becomes particularly relevant in the light the latest campaign in February 2017, led by Times Newspapers, to further discredit Andrew Wakefield [2,3].

This submission is not motivated by indifference to the control of infectious disease. While the control of disease is important it is not a good enough reason to stand the rules of research integrity or public discussion on their head. This is not only about the Wakefield paper but the problematic nature of vaccine science, and also the general exclusion of the subject from contemporary mainstream public debate. Even the reasons for going to war at times of national peril are debated, but here it is as if everything has been conceded in advance to an industry and its public advocates. In these circumstances reasonable comment is driven to the margins with unreasonable, even to the extent of being buried by search engines such as google.

It is also problematic that virtually every public defence of the vaccine programme begins with an attack on the integrity of Dr Andrew Wakefield, as if the public humiliation of one man could provide scientific justification in perpetuity for an entire class of products. Wakefield has been globally transformed into the Emmanuel Goldstein of public health (to reference Orwell’s 1984) but we should not mistake that this is actually occurring at the level of propaganda and not of scientific (or historic) fact: indeed when people cite Wakefield as an example few have the remotest idea what body of facts they are citing, and this has reduced to zero the quality of informed public discussion.

Continue reading "The British Establishment In Ethical Collapse Over Vaccine Damage " »


Not Published In The British Medical Journal: 'Lies, Damn Lies And Statistics'

British-Medical-Journal_0By Jackie Fletcher
 
In the controversy over compulsory vaccination this letter by Jackie Fletcher, director of JABS, remains unpublished. Given the British mainstream media's craven failure to report any of the issues over the vaccine lobby's moves to make vaccination compulsory in the UK, the BMJ must be given some credit for allowing comments in their Rapid Responses, but they do not allow all. In 2010 her son Robert's vaccine injury was finally acknowledged, after a  legal appeal. It should be noted further in response to the outrageous, conscienceless lies of the Italian Health Minister, Beatrice Lorenzin, that according to official sources - and irrespective of any alleged influence of Andrew Wakefield - only three people have died in the United Kingdom from contracting measles since 1992 (out of about 13m deaths all told). Even the official record admits that the main cause for the last of these deaths was medical negligence.
 
Lies, damned lies, and statistics
 
Further to Dr Anand's earlier post about accurate information I would like to add that Public Health (PH) spokespersons, even after almost 28 years of the MMR controversy, still refer to MMR vaccines as 'perfectly safe'.

Continue reading "Not Published In The British Medical Journal: 'Lies, Damn Lies And Statistics'" »


Responses To The British Medical Association Opening A Debate About Vaccine Mandates

British-Medical-Journal_0By John Stone & Jackie Fletcher

Letters published in British Medical Journal Rapid Responses:

UK doctors re-examine case for mandatory vaccination

I read with concern Tom Moberly's report that the British Medical Association is trying to open a debate about mandating vaccines in the United Kingdom [1] having already made a number of relevant observations under an earlier article [2]. Most fundamentally, I would urge the medical establishment to exercise a little humility when today's scientific orthodoxy could so easily in retrospect become tomorrow's horrific misjudgement. It does not help when we see all vaccine critics dismissed by the Guardian newspaper or, by CEO of Gavi, in the Spectator in abusive terms as "anti-vaxxers" [3, 4], when it is far from clear that every issue in vaccine safety has been resolved - or that we can even begin to assess the risks while denying a respectful hearing to patients or their families, which pre-empts both evidence and argument in an inappropriate way. In my experience the most vociferous vaccine critics hitherto have not so much been people with an ideological objection to vaccination as people who had had their children vaccinated and regretted it. Such indiscriminate (scorched earth) strategies scarcely command the moral high ground.

Moreover, disregarding the highly intolerant atmosphere which is being generated in some quarters it is not evident that even if the science involved could approach the level of being definitive that it is anywhere near that at present. For example, three successive reports by Cochrane on the safety of MMR have declared [5,6,7]:

"The design and reporting of safety outcomes in MMR vaccine studies, both pre- and post-marketing, are largely inadequate."

Continue reading "Responses To The British Medical Association Opening A Debate About Vaccine Mandates" »


Not published in the British Medical Journal: the dangers and conflicts of Infanrix Hexa

InfarixBy John Stone

The British government have announced the addition to the infant vaccine schedule of a Hepatitis B vaccine from August 1, as one component of GSK’s controversial hexavalent vaccine Infanrix Hexa which also includes DTaP, polio and HiB. Additional to this a two month old infant will receive rotavirus vaccine, 13 strain pneumococcal, and Meningitis B vaccines. So far, the British Medical Journal have not allowed my electronic response to its news story:

I read with concern the report by Torjesen that the United Kingdom government plan to add a Hepatitis  B vaccine to the infant schedule as part of hexavalent vaccine product Infanrix Hexa, manufactured by GSK [1].

Irrespective of considerations such as the policy of the World Health Organisation, or the financial viability of the intervention, eyebrows may be raised at the ethics of  the vaccination of many children against a disease from which they are little at risk (as Torjesen's article admits).

In 2015 Puliyel calculated  a potential excess of 69 sudden infant deaths from Infanrix Hexa over a two year period based on a confidential pharmacovigilance report submitted by GSK to the regulatory authorities which had been released to the public domain by the Italian Ministry of Justice. His observations are published on PubMed Commons [2].

The recommendation to include this vaccine on the infant schedule was made at the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation meeting of October 2014, chaired then [3] and now by Prof Andrew Pollard [4]. Prof Pollard is Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group which develops vaccines and conducts trials on behalf of industry [5]. Prof Pollard is also a Trustee of the Jenner Vaccine Foundation with Dr Norman Begg, Vice-President and Chief Medical Officer of GSK Biologicals [6] which manufactures Infanrix Hexa. The Jenner Vaccine Foundation is chaired by Dr David Salisbury [6] who as Director of Immunisation, Department of Health, chaired the panel that appointed Prof Pollard as Chair of the JCVI in 2013 [7].

[1] Ingrid Torjesen, 'UK adds hepatitis B to infant vaccination schedule', BMJ 2017; 358 doi:  (Published 10 July 2017)

[2] Response to Baldo et al, 'Combined hexavalent diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis-hepatitis B-inactivated poliovirus-Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine; Infanrix™ hexa: twelve years of experience in Italy', PumMed Commons 2015, January 13, 06.40am

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La Scalata della Glaxo (Glaxo's Rapid Rise in Italy)

Northern ItalyBy John Stone (Traduzione di GM)

John Stone wrote about the ascent (la scalata) of Glaxo on June 21st of this year. Below is an Italian translation that we hope will find its way across the pond to our friends in Italy. We support Italy's health choice and parent community as they fight against the tough new mandates and financial penalties now in place.

(English version here)

Mentre il parlamento italiano si accinge a votare nuove drastiche leggi per aumentare il numero dei vaccini obbligatori rivolti alla fascia pediatrica, sarebbe forse utile ripercorrere le origini dell'accordo che ha portato alla conquista della Divisione Vaccini della Novartis da parte della Glaxo.

La scalata inizia ad Aprile 2014 poco dopo la controversa decisione da parte della Commissione per le Vaccinazioni e l'Immunizzazione del Regno Unito (JCVI) di raccomandare l'uso in età pediatrica del vaccino Bexsero della Novartis per la Meningite B (una delle vaccinazioni obbligatorie sul nuovo calendario vaccinale italiano), decisione presa dal neo presidente Andrew Pollard che, caso vuole, sia anche lo sviluppatore principale del prodotto. Meno di un anno prima il Ministro della Sanità Jeremy Hunt aveva fatto pressione sulla JCVI per raccomandare il Bexsero, ma l'accordo non c'era stato.

La decisione viene presa durante il secondo incontro presieduto dal Prof. Pollard senza che nessuno dei presenti abbia pensato di sollevarsi dell'incarico per conflitto di interessi e senza necessità di votare. Questa decisione ha dato un grande impulso commerciale al prodotto che fino a quel momento stentava ad affermarsi sul mercato.

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July 4th Best Of: The American Revolution and Health Tyranny

British-american_flagBy John Stone

This article was originally written by John for HealthChoice.org in 2014. It's more relevant than ever.

I have always been drawn to United States history so I hope it will not be taken amiss if I offer an Independence Day  perspective of a British citizen: we are, of course, all heirs of that revolution one way or another across the globe: more so today than ever perhaps. Immediately speaking there are two striking facets (I just had to correct the typographic error “strifing”): the incredible historic dynamism of the nation created by this event but also the great amount of thought that the founding fathers went into trying to prevent the re-emergence of the tyranny which they had just escaped. Perhaps never has so much thought gone into avoiding “oppressive government” even if many of the leading participants in the new republic still regarded it as their right to own slaves.

Nearly two and a half centuries on it is possible to see that powerful interests can buy their way into every aspect of a nation’s life defying almost every measure that was ever laid out against oppressive government. Just over half a century ago, as he left office, President Eisenhower famously warned about the military industrial complex and the domination of intellectual enquiry by commercial interest:

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades. In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific/ technological elite.

As a commentary on this whistleblowing scientist David L Lewis recently bluntly wrote in  the “prologue” to his book Science for Sale: How the US govern uses powerful corporations and leading universities to support government policies, silence top scientists, jeopardize our health, and protect corporate profits:

During my thirty-plus years as a research microbiologist in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) and the University of Georgia, I experienced the far-reaching influence of corrupt special interests firsthand. As this book will describe, my dealings with civil servants, corporate manager, elected officials, and other scientists expose the ease – and disturbing regularity – with which a small group , motivated by profit or personal advancement can completely hijack important areas of research science at even our most trusted institutions. 

Continue reading "July 4th Best Of: The American Revolution and Health Tyranny" »


The British Government, the Murdochs, Prof Pollard and the GSK Takeover in Italy

JS 6 20By John Stone

As Italy’s parliament votes in draconian new laws to expand and enforce vaccine mandates over its children it may be helpful to look at some of the origins of the deal which led to the takeover over the Novartis vaccine division by GSK (Glaxo SmithKline). The takeover move began in April 2014 shortly after the United Kingdom’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) made a controversial decision to recommend Novartis’s Bexsero Meningitis B vaccine for infant use – one of the items on Italy’s compulsory schedule. The decision was presided over by the JCVI’s recently appointed chairman, Andrew Pollard, who also happened to be the product’s lead developer . Less than a year earlier the JCVI had been put under pressure to recommend Bexsero by the UK’s Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt (see picture), but failed to agree. The decision was taken at the second meeting presided over by Prof Pollard, without anybody recusing themselves and without a vote being taken. This greatly enhanced the commercial prospect of the vaccine which hitherto had been having difficulty establishing itself in the market.

As Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport during the early years of the Cameron coalition government Hunt was shown to have colluded with the interests of the Murdoch media empire and made inappropriate communications with James Murdoch, despite which he was promoted to the role of Secretary of State for Health in 2012 and is the only British cabinet minister to remain in position since that time (despite great unpopularity and mistrust). The Murdoch news empire has notably been at root of relentless fraudulent claims against Andrew Wakefield who questioned the safety of MMR vaccine in 1998 and subsequently, while in February 2009 James Murdoch was appointed to the board of GSK with a brief to help defend the group’s reputation. Within days a further string of attacks on Wakefield followed. Murdoch retired from the board of GSK in January 2012 with his own name surrounded in controversy. GSK or its precursor SKB, was the manufacturer of an MMR type vaccine which had to be withdrawn in Canada in 1987/8 and the United Kingdom in 1992, and was subject of a legal suit in which Wakefield was a witness.

However the appointment of Prof Pollard came about it is apparent that it furthered the policy request of the Health Secretary Hunt (and the new Men B vaccine was also used as political window dressing in the in 2015 British General Election). While the Secretariat of the JCVI has continued to defend the appointment of Prof Pollard, hiding behind a maze of complex rules, it is hard to see on the basis of any normal public standards a scientist can sit in judgment on the future of a product of which he was lead developer, any more than an architect could head a planning committee considering his own design. Blatantly, Pollard later addressed a GSK sponsored meeting in September 2015 at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health under the title:

Evening of Evidence

Vaccination Science to Policy

Introduction of new vaccines to the UK vaccine schedule with limited evidence of efficacy [sic]: Meningococcal group B and maternal pertussis vaccination

Another departure in standards took place when in February 2016 the Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation enjoyed the hospitality of Prof Pollard’s institutions in Oxford. As well as having limited efficacy the Bexsero vaccine which is now being mandated and made compulsory for infants in Italy was recorded as having serious side effects in above 1 in 50 cases in a group of 10 to 25 year-olds, according to the FDA package insert.

Continue reading "The British Government, the Murdochs, Prof Pollard and the GSK Takeover in Italy" »


10,000 New Cases of Autism in London a Year as Bureaucrats Plan to Dump Children

British autism invasionBy John Stone

The BBC reported on Saturday that autistic children are appearing so fast in five South-West London boroughs that facilities presently only exist to diagnose half of them. This follows on very similar reports at the end of last year from Scotland and Northern Ireland. The proposed solution by health managers  -  protested by the National Autistic Society – is to only give a diagnosis in the most serious cases, which begs the question how do you even know which are the most serious cases if you do not assess the children? At the same time it should be said the NAS only have themselves to blame because they have for the last two decades covered up for the government over the autism epidemic.

Since this is based on referrals rather than diagnosis it seems to be supply led – the children will not even qualify as autistic or get support services if they do not get a diagnosis, but now we are looking at each of these boroughs having to potentially cater for 300 new cases a year. There are 32 London boroughs so this is in the order of 10,000 new cases a year for the city. No mainstream source asks why this is happening or how it is sustainable. Anyone who mentions this unfortunate matter will no doubt slip down the google rankings into oblivion.

The present increase may follow additions to the maternal (influenza and DTaP) and infant vaccine schedules (Prevenar 13, Rotarix).

John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.


More Fantasies and Falsehoods from Brian Deer

Deer Black and WhiteBy John Stone

A comment posted by Brian Deer earlier this month on the Orac blog about the 2012 appeal of Prof John Walker-Smith – Andrew Wakefield’s senior colleague - against the GMC findings two years earlier has been forwarded to me and can be read beneath my comments.

The most fundamental flaw in the General Medical Council  (GMC) case – thrown out in the instance of Prof Walker-Smith who unlike Wakefield received funding to appeal – originated with the incompetence or malice of Deer himself. It was the claim that the Wakefield Lancet 1998 paper rather than being an early report of cases seen and investigated of the basis of clinical need as it stated, was conducted under a protocol for a study to be funded by the United Kingdom Legal Aid Board (sometimes referred to as Project 172-96). Once the GMC accepted this false and absurd claim – which originated in Deer’s hidden complaints to the body - it was destined to unravel under any careful judicial scrutiny, and what was untrue for Walker-Smith was also untrue Wakefield, not to mention the Prof Simon Murch, the third doctor to fall under this GMC prosecution. The crux lies with Mr Justice Mitting’s observation:

Its conclusion that Professor Walker-Smith was guilty of serious professional misconduct in relation to the Lancet children was in part founded upon its conclusion that the investigations into them were carried out pursuant to Project 172-96. The only explanation given for that conclusion is that it was reached “in the light of all the available evidence”. On any view, that was an inadequate explanation of the finding.

At the Walker-Smith hearing the GMC counsel, Joanna Glynn QC, came under pressure from the judge to provide an explanation, and she was unable to do so. After two and half years of the hearing the GMC were unable to offer an explanation, and two years further on they were unable to do so again before a High Court judge. The GMC would have had ample warning of the substance of the Walker-Smith appeal and yet they could not, when the chips were down, provide arguments to counter it.

Continue reading "More Fantasies and Falsehoods from Brian Deer" »


Show-down in Ireland over Gardasil

Irish break your heartBy John Stone

A video from the VaXxed team highlights the controversy involving two of the Republic of Ireland’s most prominent citizens, the veteran philanthropist Jonathan Irwin  and the country’s most ambitious young politician, Simon Harris – who at the age of 30 is not only the youngest member of the Dáil (Ireland’s parliament) but also Minister of Health.

British in origin and an old-boy of Eton, Irwin built a fortune in the Republic trading in horses, and in the 1990s – following a succession of personal tragedies – set up a charity which presently supports two and half thousand families with sick children, whose needs the Irish state would otherwise disregard. He has finally become disaffected following injury to his teenage daughter from Gardasil vaccine. Formally an outstanding athlete and horsewoman, she presently suffers from all the side-effects listed in the products package insert, which he points out was not made available at the time of administration and routinely is not.

Horrified by the denial of the problem by the medical profession and government and the hate campaigns waged in the media against the several hundred families in Ireland blighted by Gardasil injury, Irwin decided to speak to Polly Tommey of the VaXxed team on their recent visit. A small country – population 4.6 million – in which most of the leading citizens are likely to know each other, Ireland is an interesting theatre to watch this drama played out. If Irwin is appalled by the treatment of himself and the families, he also evidently believes he will see the scandal exposed, just another in a succession of scandal that have engulfed Irish public life over the decades. Irwin understands the misbehaviour partly in the light of Irish public life, but he also sees the criminal behaviour underpinning compliance strategies in the vaccine program on a global footing.

This a riveting interview.

 

 


My Correspondence with the Committee

Stephen MetcalfeBy John Stone

Below is my correspondence with the United Kingdom House of Commons Science and Technology Committee from January, which I am publishing now partly in response to further malicious attacks on the reputation of Andrew Wakefield in the London Times.  The committee – presently dissolved due to the General Election – naturally failed to deal with the matter. The chairman of the committee, Stephen Metcalfe (in photo) –an elected politician – handed on my complaint to the clerk, Simon Fiander, who defended their claim that Wakefield had committed fraud by citing a British Medical Journal editorial of January in 2011 as if nothing had happened the interim. In essence they were claiming that because something had been said six years before it could be idly repeated. Although Fiander extended a specific invitation to submit evidence to the committee’s inquiry into research integrity three attempts were rejected. The reality is that when it comes to vaccination the British establishment cannot deal with the truth in any shape or form:

To the Hon Stephen Metcalfe MP, Chair of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee

14 January 2017

Dear Mr Metcalfe,

It is my intention to submit evidence to the committee about research integrity but after consideration I decided to write to you about statements made in the committee’s recent publication Integrity in Research (Postnote 544) [1], which singles out the Wakefield 1998 Lancet paper as an example of fraud citing the editorial in the British Medical Journal by Godlee et al from January 2011[2]. While the committee may have done this in good faith it should not be in the position of knowingly committing errors of its own and therefore I suggest that the pamphlet is urgently withdrawn. Subsequent, to the publication of the Godlee editorial (and the accompanying articles by journalist Brian Deer) the position of the BMJ began to crumble.

A fundamental error in the Deer/BMJ case to swiftly emerge was that Mr Deer (who had no competence to interpret medical records) was making use of GP notes which were not available to the authors of the paper, and could not be used as a guide to what they knew.

Early on Dr Godlee was forced into a covering statement [3]:

"The case we presented against Andrew Wakefield that the1998 Lancet paper was intended to mislead was not critically reliant on GP records. It is primarily based on Royal Free hospital records, including histories taken by clinicians, and letters and other documents received at the Royal Free from GPs and consultants."

This sidesteps rather than addresses the problem.

Another issue that Godlee was forced to respond to was that the BMJ had failed to acknowledge its own conflicts, with its commercial relationships with MMR manufacturers Merck and GSK.  In the end the BMJ put up a notice with a partial admission of the problem over the on-line editorial but not over the Mr Deer’s articles (which left readers none the wiser). Even so, the published notice only mentioned advertising revenue from the two companies and not the fact that the BMJ learning division received unlimited grants from Merck through its non-profit arm Univadis. And none of this, of course, received any of the publicity of the original publication [4, 5].

Continue reading "My Correspondence with the Committee" »


Paul Offit, Every Child By Two and the Black Hole Swallowing Our Children

BarnumBy John Stone

"Children have an enormous capacity to respond safely to challenges to the immune system from vaccines," says Dr. Offit. "A baby's body is bombarded with immunologic challenges - from bacteria in food to the dust they breathe. Compared to what they typically encounter and manage during the day, vaccines are literally a drop in the ocean." In fact, Dr. Offit's studies show that in theory, healthy infants could safely get up to 100,000 vaccines at once.

From a feature in Babytalk Magazine reproduced in a Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia pamphlet (2005).

"Of course, most vaccines contain far fewer than 100 antigens (for example, the hepatitis B, diphtheria, and tetanus vaccines each contain 1 antigen), so the estimated number of vaccines to which a child could respond is conservative. But using this estimate, we would predict that if 11 vaccines were given to infants at one time, then about 0.1% of the immune system would be “used up.”

Offit et alAddressing Parents’ Concerns: Do Multiple Vaccines Overwhelm or Weaken the Infant’s Immune System? (2002).

“I think conservatively, one could say that, based on their caveats, that one could probably respond to about 100,000 different vaccines at one time."... "I would say you probably could get 100,000 vaccines every day.”

Paul Offit, Lecture: Are vaccines safe? (2008). 

Here is an interesting question. As regular readers will be aware I have been berated on the Every Child By Two (ECBT) and Shot of Prevention websites by resident expert Dr Joel Harrison  for being naïve in my understanding of Paul Offit’s claim (Prof Offit is on the Executive Board  and Scientific Board of ECBT , a charitable foundation started by Rosalynn Carter and Betty Bumper ). Well, I am not sure who is being naïve (though I note that Dr Harrison’s article was warmly received by vaccine industry advocate Dorit Reiss ), or that I was giving anything else but a straight reading of what was being said. Meanwhile, Offit continues to hide behind pawns and surrogates who deny the obvious truth: his ideas were pseudo-scientific fantasy, although enthusiastically taken up by health officials in the United Kingdom, particularly. It is apparently not something he, or anyone else directly connected with him, wants to own up to now. If he wants to stand up as things are and say he did not mean it like that, there is quite a lot evidence that he meant it pretty much like that.

Continue reading "Paul Offit, Every Child By Two and the Black Hole Swallowing Our Children" »


Paul Offit’s 10,000 Vaccine Doctrine and Deception on Every Child By Two

Paul offit babyBy John Stone

The charity started by Rosalynn Carter and Betty Bumper and which has Dr Offit on both its Executive Board and Scientific Advisory Board continue to attack me for allegedly misrepresenting his views on vaccination overload. The explanation by resident “expert” Joel Harrison is that I am being naïve in my understanding of Dr Offit’s claim about 10,000 vaccines. Unfortunately, it was not me who made the extravagant and wild claims claims and this is very easy to document. So, it is very interesting if ECBT are now ashamed of them. For instance in 2005 Dr Offit’s institution Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, alarmingly known as CHOP proudly reproduced a feature from the magazine Babytalk in which the following Q&A appears:

Myth1: Getting so many vaccines will overwhelm my child's immune system

No doubt about it, the immunization schedule recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) can seem daunting. Your child can receive up to 23 shots by the time she's 2 years old and as many as six shots at a singledoctor visit. So it's not surprising that many parents have concerns about how vaccines might affect a child's developing immunity and often cite these as a reason to refuse a vaccine.

But it should be the least of your worries. "Children have an enormous capacity to respond safely to challenges to the immune system from vaccines," says Dr. Offit. "A baby's body is bombarded with immunologic challenges - from bacteria in food to the dust they breathe. Compared to what they typically encounter and manage during the day, vaccines are literally a drop in the ocean." In fact, Dr. Offit's studies show that in theory, healthy infants could safely get up to 100,000 vaccines at once.

The bottom line: It's safe to give your child simultaneous vaccines or vaccine combinations, such as the five-in-one vaccine called Pediarix, which protects against hepatitis B, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (also known as whooping cough). Equally important, vaccines are as effective given in combination as they are given individually.

In a lecture from 2008 on youtube Dr Offit states:

I think conservatively, one could say that, based on their caveats, that one could probably respond to about 100,000 different vaccines at one time."... "I would say you probably could get 100,000 vaccines every day.

Dr Offit’s claims which originate in an article in PEDIATRICS in 2002 were immediately take up by the United Kingdom Department of Health and National Health Service. A leaflet from the MMR the Facts website from 2002 reads:

What about giving three live vaccines at once – it overloads the immune system? A baby’s immune system has an enormous capacity to fight the thousands of bacteria, viruses and other pathogens that it is bombarded with every day. A study from America shows quite clearly that even babies who are poorly can still produce protective immune responses to vaccines. This study also shows that a baby could, in theory, respond to around 10,000 vaccines at any one time. If, for example, 11 vaccines were given to a baby at one time, this might only use about a thousandth of the immune system. In providing protection vaccines prevent ‘weakening’ of the immune system.

In July 2004 I reported in a letter to BMJ Rapid Responses:

In an NHS leaflet …Sir Liam Donaldson, the Chief Medical Officer is asked: "Does MMR overload young bodies?" to which he replies: "Again, all the evidence refutes this. In fact, a child's immune system is designed to cope with many different viruses at the same time, so a combined vaccine is a natural choice.

Continue reading "Paul Offit’s 10,000 Vaccine Doctrine and Deception on Every Child By Two" »


Dr Offit and the Milgram Experiment on ECBT

What is milgramBy John Stone

This article first appeared in 2010, but has recently become the subject of a take-down by Joel A Harrison  on the Every Child by Two website , Dr Offit being on the board and advisory board of that organization. I commented  to Harrison on Monday  on Age of Autism regarding his article (amended):

"I note there appears to be nowhere to comment on your splendid new article on ECBT. A basic point - and this may not be the same in the US - but Dr Offit's 10,000 vaccines was frequently used by health officials in the UK as an almost a doctrinal point in support of an extended vaccine program, when addressing public concern about multiple vaccines. I made an analogy with the famous Milgram experiment - I acknowledge there were at least several - but there was one very famous one. And my point is that it was inappropriate to use this to persuade parents that their children could safely have several vaccines at one time, against the evidence that were hurting or had damage - and I was saying that Milgram rulesif you were worried about this you should not be reassured by such statements: just as the people administering the fantasy shocks (who were the people who were really being experimented on) should not have been reassured that what they were doing was beneficial. I think the idea of Dr Offit's article was to reassure parents, but what has happened to our children is not at all theoretical. In the paper reported this morning children who were given DPT vaccine in Guinea Bissau in 1981 had 5 times the mortality of those that did not, and I would suggest that was not very theoretical either...

 "The one thing I do get is that that you could not actually vaccinate an infant with 10,000 vaccines but who said I didn't? But we are talking lunacy. What is the point of saying it is theoretical. In human science nothing is theoretical: if it doesn't work the theory has been disproven. Each one of these products has significant risks but we are just banging more and more of them in regardless. The new one on the UK infant schedule, Bexsero Men B, was said in the package insert to have a serious adverse reaction in 10-25 year-olds in above 1 in 50 administrations, and that is being given Milgramto an 8 week old with DTaP-polio-HiB, rotavirus, 13 strain pneumococcal. But I don't know why we should not add in small pox, anthrax and bubonic plague, because it is all theoretically safe.

"I am not sure what your point is about the Milgram experiment and coercion. There is huge coercion with the vaccine program and it is getting worse."



The Milgram experiment has long passed into modern folklore. In 1961 a 28 year-old psychologist at Yale, Stanley Milgram, devised an experiment to test the preparedness of ordinary citizens to co-operate in performing inhuman acts.



In the experiment volunteers were induced (as they believed at the time) into subjecting another party to ever larger doses of electricity:

“The subjects believed they were part of an experiment supposedly dealing with the relationship between punishment and learning. An experimenter—who used no coercive powers beyond a stern aura of mechanical and vacant-eyed efficiency—instructed participants to shock a learner by pressing a lever on a machine each time the learner made a mistake on a word-matching task. Each subsequent error led to an increase in the intensity of the shock in 15-volt increments, from 15 to 450 volts.

Continue reading "Dr Offit and the Milgram Experiment on ECBT" »


Best of: Princess Pharma and the Pea

Princess PeaBy John Stone

Re-posted from July 2014

Two weeks to go before the publication of Robert F Kennedy jr’s book about vaccine mercury and we all know where we are headed: the same place as last year when Jenny McCarthy was given a job on ‘The View’  and Katie Couric scheduled a program in which the safety of HPV vaccines were questioned: the unspontaneous howls of pain are starting. It does not matter that the book is apparently couched in the most diplomatic language or that its claims have been diluted, it will be too much for the sensibilities of the vaccine lobby. I am sure we have often referred on these pages to Hans Christian Andersen’s tale ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ but this time I have been thinking of an even more succinct and ironic tale ‘The Princess and the Pea’. A prince wants to marry a princess but the only way it can be confirmed that she is a real princess is because the candidate is so sensitive that a pea hidden under a pile of mattresses causes her to lose a night’s sleep. I think we can be sure that the vaccine lobby is according to this definition “a real princess”, and that there is no criticism so slight that we will not be told about the terrible pain it has caused.

There is no doubt either that the voice of the princess is about to be heard in the land. There is no criticism so gentle or diplomatically couched that the princess can withstand the pain: the outraged opinion pieces will appear in every newspaper, the sage doctors will emerge from every corner on the TV saying “Get the damn vaccines”, we will have wall to wall Dorit Reiss: the princess will tell us how painful it all is. Of course the moral of Anderson’s story is that it is not princesses who have to endure a lot, it is ordinary people: the princess is a great deal more trouble than she is worth. She has also arranged that ordinary people cannot be heard, or they are brusquely pushed to the side. Only the princess’s pain really matters in the great scheme.

Continue reading "Best of: Princess Pharma and the Pea" »


More Despicable Behaviour from Murdoch’s London Times

Times-blackBy John Stone

Update: The Times this morning are putting pressure on Amazon and Apple Itunes to withdraw VaXxed - but The Times is mightily conflicted: they have told falsehood after falsehood. It is to be hoped that they will be ignored but if anyone has not yet seen the film do not delay in downloading it, just in case.

I did not suspect when I posted my article about the London premiere of VaXxed yesterday morning that a hate report was also appearing on the front page of the London Times “Disgraced fraud doctor back in the UK” but let us be clear to start of there have never been any fraud findings against Wakefield. Why should Wakefield, who has not committed fraud, has never committed any crime, not set foot as a British citizen in his own country? So, why is this a news story for the front page of a once serious newspaper?

When the High Court reviewed the General Medical Council (GMC) case against the senior author of the Wakefield Lancet paper, Prof John Walker-Smith (Wakefield having been denied funding to appeal) he was completely exonerated. If any of the central charges against Walker-Smith had been upheld he could not have been cleared. If the paper – as alleged by Times newspapers – had been based on a protocol submitted by Wakefield to the Legal Aid Board Walker-Smith could not have been exonerated, if there had been misreporting, if there had been unauthorised or unethical procedures, Walker-Smith could not have been exonerated. The Times got it wrong and the GMC got it wrong (and between them they had arranged to hide the fact that the principle reporter, Brian Deer, was the only author of complaints against Wakefield   ).

The Times does not have a very credible expert, Dr David Robert Grimes, a physicist associated with the lobby agency Sense About Science . Grimes, the mouth, says “We should never forget that he (Wakefield) falsified data and engaged in unethical conduct and that this lie killed and maimed innocent people”. Well, it is interesting that Grimes has no expertise which would make him professionally accountable for his statements. As it happens approximately 10 million people have died in the UK since the publication of the controversial paper and only three of them from measles (in one case involving extreme medical negligence and all three involving otherwise very sick people ).

That Wakefield had not falsified data was shown once again in 2011 when the British Medical Journal alleged fraud based on re-cycling of material by Brian Deer first seen  in the Sunday Times in 2009, just after the Times’s proprietor James Murdoch had been made a director of GSK with a brief to protect the group’s reputation. The BMJ case crumbled: Deer had been working from and misinterpreting data Wakefield and the authors of the paper did not have. Print outs of the lost pathology slides came to light (produced by whistleblowing scientist Dr David Lewis) which supported the paper’s findings. Deer and the BMJ editor Fiona Godlee were forced to eat humble pie in a Nature news report. BMJ were embarrassed by their undisclosed commercial conflicts as partners of the manufacturers, and it turned out that their “external peer reviewer” was Harvey Marcovitch, an associate editor who had signed the editorial denouncing Wakefield and was also head of GMC panels.

Continue reading "More Despicable Behaviour from Murdoch’s London Times" »


London Premiere of VaXxed

LondonBy John Stone

VaxxedPlease also read the update on the article.

On Tuesday evening the London premiere of VaXxed took place under the auspices of the centre for Homeopathic Education at Regent’s University, after the Curzon Group of cinemas were intimidated into dropping the film – the new venue made room for an extra hundred people to attend. Nevertheless, it is tragic  reflection of a so-called “liberal democracy” that this highly successful film cannot be shown at a commercial venue in London - a victory for bullying and intellectual intolerance. The nature of our society is being radically changed, without any wide understanding.

Andrew Wakefield speaking at the occasion said if there had been any factual errors in the film (which  tells the story of Centers for Disease Control whistleblower William Thomson who admitted that they had altered data in an MMR/autism study) legal action could have been taken to stop it long ago. Wakefield also spoke powerfully in support of Polly Tommey’s Autism Trust, whose charitable status is currently being challenged through a scurrilous and vile campaign started by the Murdoch owned London Times, and he called for everyone connected with the charity to stand with it.

The occasion was also used to present Wakefield with the annual award of the European Forum for Vaccine Vigilance (EFVV).

Wakefield, director of the film, received a prolonged standing ovation.

Following the event the film VaXxed also became available on live stream in the UK, and can be downloaded from from UK Amazon and iTunes.

Please also read the update on this article.


Support for Trump’s Vaccine Scepticism in the British Medical Journal

P DoshiBy John Stone

An associate editor of British Medical Journal and member of the Cochrane Collaboration, Peter Doshi of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, has written an article in the journal supporting Donald Trump’s sceptical attitude to vaccines. In the article Doshi challenges the mainstream media’s lazy agenda based reporting both of Trump generally and of the vaccine issue. Doshi, who has long been a critic of flu vaccination writes:

One topic the new president may test journalists on is vaccines. Candidate Trump expressed doubts about vaccine policy...there is reason to think a “vaccine safety commission” may be in the works…Good journalism on this topic will require abandoning current practices of avoiding interviewing, understanding, and presenting critical voices out of fear that expressing any criticism amounts to presenting a “false balance” that will result in health scares.

Doshi makes several interesting points. He criticises labelling vaccine critical parents who had vaccinated as “anti-vaccine”:

Many parents of children with developmental disorders who question the role of vaccines had their children vaccinated. Anti-vaccination is an ideology, and people who have their children vaccinated seem unlikely candidates for the title…Secondly, they [the  mainstream media] lump all vaccines together as if the decision about risks and benefits is the same irrespective of disease—

Doshi would like de-polarise the issue, though for many here it will be a little late. One problem that arises is that when you have such very successful repressive machinery any real assessment of risk-benefit is heavily prejudiced, and it makes it much easier to market and mandate faulty products. Given the place of publication it is not surprising that Doshi dismisses the MMR-autism connection  - perhaps at odds with his acknowledgement that developmental disorders are likely implicated - but the call for tolerant and open discussion is at the very least welcome.

John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.


India Boots Out “Philanthropy” From Bill Gates

Bill-gates_reutBy John Stone

In a devastating blow to the reputation of Bill Gates  as a philanthropist India’s National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) has severed “all financial ties” with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation over the Foundation’s manifold conflicts, Anubhuti Vishnoi reports in India’s Economic Times (February 9). The action has been taken following the publication of a paper in December 2015 by Jens Marten and Karolin Seitz Philanthropic Power and Development – Who Shapes the Agenda published by the Global Policy Forum.

This is Forum’s press release from 2015:

Aachen/Berlin/Bonn/New York, 4 December 2015. For the last few decades, increasing globalization of the world economy and waves of deregulation and privatization have facilitated the emergence and increased the power of private actors, particularly of large transnational corporations. However, it is not only “big business” but also “big philanthropy” that has an increasing influence in global (development) policy, particularly large philanthropic foundations. They have become influential actors in international policy debates, including, most importantly, how to address poverty eradication, sustainable development, climate change and the protection of human rights. The scope of their influence in both past and present discourse and decision-making processes is fully equal to and in some cases goes beyond that of other private actors. Through the sheer size of their grant-making, personal networking and active advocacy, large global foundations, most notably the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, have played an increasingly active role in shaping the agenda-setting and funding priorities of international organizations and governments. So far, there has been a fairly willing belief among governments and international organizations in the positive role of philanthropy in global development.

Philanthropic Power and Development – Who shapes the agenda? released today, examines the role and impact of philanthropic foundations in development. It addresses the impacts and side effects of philanthropic engagement by taking a closer look at the priorities and operations of two of the most prominent foundations, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in two crucial sectors, health and agriculture. The findings of the study range from the foundations’ application of a business model to the measurement of results, their influence on policies and agenda-setting, the fragmentation and weakening of global governance, and the lack of transparency and accountability mechanisms. The key message it seeks to get across in the concluding chapter is that governments, international organizations and civil society organizations must carefully differentiate among foundations in the philanthropic sector, assess the growing influence of the large global philanthropic foundations, especially the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, on political discourse and agenda-setting in targeted fields, and fully analyze the risks and side effects—intended and unintended—of these activities on sustainable development.

Post Script A further explanation of the institutional setting of these events has been forwarded to me. While these events do not mark the exit of the Gates Foundation from India it does signify their exclusion from policy making. But it is clear from this report that politics and the battles for influence go on.


Lies and Misrepresentations from the New York Times and Seth Mnookin

JC Seth_MnookinBy John Stone

Elizabeth Hart has provided me with a transcript of newsreel footage by the New York Times full of lies and distortions, and using old footage Seth Mnookin and Andrew Wakefield (tinted to make him look scary). To be clear, despite the denials and  heavy talk the mainstream media - which is completely dependent on advertising revenue from the pharmaceutical industry - is disguising the fact that the United States government has already conceded that vaccines cause autism, and it does not remotely hinge upon the reputation of Andrew Wakefield. Here is Centers for Disease Control director, Julie Gerberding, on CNN explaining the Hannah Poling settlement, before she took the revolving door to become head of Merck’s vaccine division:

Now, we all know that vaccines can occasionally cause fevers in kids. So if a child was immunized, got a fever, had other complications from the vaccines. And if you’re predisposed with the mitochondrial disorder, it can certainly set off some damage. Some of the symptoms can be symptoms that have characteristics of autism.

And here is the statement given on separate occasions to journalists Sharyl Attkisson and David Kirby by government (HHS HRSA) officials:

The government has never compensated, nor has it ever been ordered to compensate, any case based on a determination that autism was actually caused by vaccines. We have compensated cases in which children exhibited an encephalopathy, or general brain disease. Encephalopathy may be accompanied by a medical progression of an array of symptoms including autistic behavior, autism, or seizures.

Beyond the weasel bureaucratic language the issue is clear: vaccines cause encephalopathies and some encephalopathies result in autism. If there were no long term effects from the encephalopathy there would be no compensation. Most significantly the United States government has avoided wider liability by coming to confidentiality agreements with the litigants. But they had conceded privately that vaccines cause autism.

Regarding the Wakefield episode the issue raised by a 12 case study is not one of statistical significance, it is one of causation. Of course, the paper never claimed to show causation - contrary to the deliberate misleading impression  given by the New York Times - but what we are talking about here are doctors quite properly listening to patient histories. Nor was there ever a claim that these were randomly selected children. That is a red herring dismissed by Mr Justice Mitting with much in the United Kingdom High Court in 2012 when he completely exonerated the senior author of the study, Prof John Walker-Smith (Wakefield having been denied funding to appeal).

Continue reading "Lies and Misrepresentations from the New York Times and Seth Mnookin" »


Google Leads the Charge with Fake News

Ministry of truthBy John Stone

Age of Autism is a sufficiently visited and prominent website to qualify for coverage by Google News but over the years I have come to view this stoically since my articles have a remarkable tendency to disappear, or to have been given a misleading caption of some kind. But it gets serious. In the past couple of weeks I attempted to highlight the tsunami of children entering the school system in Scotland with an autism spectrum diagnosis or other neurological problems such as ADHD. I did not make any of this up: the information was drawn from official Scottish data. You would think the data was generated for a purpose, and moreover this could not be in any sustainable democracy a more important matter, BUT NO ONE WANTS TO TALK ABOUT IT.

Scottish Mental Health Services in Collapse Because of Rise in Autism and ADHD

Time for Scotland's Politicians to Ask the Awkward Question What's Happening To Its Children

I sometimes wonder which agency or public relations outfit is liaising with Google about my articles, all of which are thoroughly researched.

Continue reading "Google Leads the Charge with Fake News" »


Time for Scotland’s Politicians to Ask the Awkward Questions: What’s Happening to its Children?

by John Stone

image from upload.wikimedia.orgScotland is one of the first nations that will have to confront the meltdown of its services because of the tsunami of neurological problems engulfing its children. No amount of public relations whimsy can cover up the scale of this calamity. And nothing must stop its representative politicians demanding from its health executive the real reasons why this has happened – they are in the dock of history. For two decades we have had the siren song that there is better recognition of autism, that there are as many unidentified cases hidden among the adult population: this is no longer tenable when the rate of ASD among younger children is now well above 1 in 30, and when there are a host of other impairments and health problems confronting Scotland’s children. By now, it could well be that 1 in 10 boys at the younger end of the cohort is autistic spectrum.

As of September 2016 based on Scottish Executive figures the rate of diagnosed autism in Scottish schools was 1 in 51 in a 15 year rolling cohort, but seven years before in 2009 it was just 1 in 129 (in 1998, the first year of data, it was 1 in 925). According to another set of figures the total number of pupils with “additional needs support” in Scottish schools rose 73% in just five years from 98,253 to 170, 239, or 25% of Scotland’s children (again the proportion is likely to be much worse among younger children). A report last July by Scottish Conservatives highlighted rising prescriptions for Ritalin, a drug used for the treatment of attention and hyperactivity deficit disorder (ADHD)  :

“The 123,222 items dispensed for the treatment of ADHD is a new record high, compared to 112,000 in 2014/15 and just 105,000 the year before that.”

Whatever their politically correct special needs rhetoric, every government in history (as any autism parent will tell you) has fought tooth and nail to keep the cost of special educational needs down. Diagnoses are not handed out easily. Moreover, most parents are not delighted to be told there is something amiss with their child, and most professionals will not enjoy telling them. This is not a chimaera, it is real and there is certainly worse to come. Something similar is also happening in Northern Ireland .

The statistics, released by the Health and Social Care Board, show that the number of youngsters on waiting lists is up from 607 in 2012, to 2,325 this year.

The figures were disclosed in response to an Assembly question from Upper Bann MLA Jo-Anne Dobson.

Ms Dobson said she was shocked at the dramatic rise and said the figures showed that the crisis engulfing our hospitals had now spread to autism services.

Assembly member Dobson is only half right because this is actually a story about sevices being engulfed by an epidemic, not because they are being run down. In English schools Autistic Spectrum cases continue to rise and are less than three year behind the levels now reported in Scotland.

At some point reality has to dawn. This is happening because our children are having to sustain an unprecedented toxic burden of which an endlessly and recklessly extended vaccine schedule is a major component.

Continue reading "Time for Scotland’s Politicians to Ask the Awkward Questions: What’s Happening to its Children?" »


Scottish Mental Health Services In Collapse Because Of Rise In Autism And ADHD

Scottish collapseBy John Stone

Scotland’s mental health services for young people are beyond breaking point from the flood of autistic and ADHD children. The Scottish daily newspaper, The Herald, reports that nearly 7,000 young people were denied help from mental health services in 2015. Correspondent, Helen McArdle, writes:

Neil Findlay, convener of the Scottish Parliament's Health and Sport Committee called for an investigation after 6,931 referrals to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) were rejected in 2015.

Evidence to the committee suggested that a surge in diagnoses for autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was putting pressure on services…

This is a figure of extraordinary magnitude in a country with a population of just 5.3 million at the census in 2011 – the number of children in Scottish schools in 2015 was just 680,000. In a single  year above 1 in 100 children out of the entire school population had had an unsuccessful referrral to mental health services.  This would be equivalent to more than 400 thousand children mapped on to the US population. Those are only the ones who did not get treated.

McArdle’s article does not report just how much autism has risen in Scotland in the last two decades. In 1998, the first year in which the Scottish Executive published on the numbers of  autism cases in Scottish schools there were just 820 pupils (1 in 925) with a diagnosis and this had risen to 11,722 in 2015. By September 2016 the figure had risen yet again to 13,423  (1 in 51), a factor of more than 18 in just 18 years. The figures, however, will be incomplete because there are often delays in diagnosis, and indeed many children will presumably still be awaiting a diagnosis out of  the 6,931 who had been turned away by the service in 2015. Also, given that this is a rolling 15 year cohort the rate will likely be much higher than 1 in 51 among younger children as the overall rate was a mere 1 in 129 in 2009.

The reality is that since Andrew Wakefield reported on the possibility that autism could in some cases

Loch ness
Honorary member of the "hidden horde""

be caused by the MMR vaccine in 1998, and the scandal over other infant vaccines containing a mercury excipient (Thimerosal), which blew up in the USA the following year, government agencies across the world have been in denial about the rise in autism, fudging figures and inventing hidden hoards of adults. But it is no use citing missing adults when our children cannot now be diagnosed fast enough, and demands on the system are unprecedented. This report shows that the system in one small country - part of the United Kingdom - is now in complete and utter breakdown, and the masquerade cannot go on much longer.

Citizens in Scotland and across the globe have been betrayed by industry captured agencies, pusillanimous politicians together with the bought out, intimidated mainstream media. It is already too late but the nettle must be grasped.

*

Post Script: Baron-Cohen's Cambridgeshire survey published in 2009 provided a figure that for every three cases identified there were likely two which had not. If anything it looks now as if the speed of diagnosis has slowed down but if we followed that figure for 2016 the Scottish schools figure that would be 1 in 30.5. Also, if there are 4 boys to 1 girl  that would yield a rate of  about 1 in 31.5. That combined would yield a figure of 1 in 19 for boys. But, of course, the rate would be still higher among younger children.

John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.


Andrew Pollard Named in Le Monde over HPV vaccine Cover up at the European Medicines Agency

By PollardJohn Stone

A report in the leading French newspaper Le Monde (followed by other news outlets) names Prof Andrew Pollard as a controversial figure in the activities of the European Medicines Agency (to the EMA). Echoing reports in AoA during the last year (and evidence presented by Angus Files and myself  to the Scottish Parliament) that Prof Pollard chaired a British government committee which recommended for infant use Bexsero Men B vaccine of which he himself was the lead developer, Le Monde cites a complaint from the Nordic Cochrane Centre which has now been brought forward for further consideration by the European Ombudsman. Stephane Foucart, writes:

The complainants also questioned why the agency dismissed some experts from deliberations due to conflicts of interest, while the chairman of one of the EMA panels, Andrew Pollard from Oxford) has been maintained. The latter has, in particular, conducted four studies financed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) or Sanofi, between 2010 and 2014. Moreover, according to our information, its declaration of interests at the EMA omits to mention certain financial support from manufacturers of some welknown vaccines at his institution. There was no response to the enquiries of Le Monde over these interests.

The complaint  followed: “reports to the Danish health authorities [of] several dozen cases of girls who have been vaccinated against HPV and who, in the following months [developed] disorders, grouped under various names: "chronic fatigue syndrome", "complex regional pain syndrome", "postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome" ...”

A key issue is that EMA failed to conduct its own searches but and simply requested that pharmaceutical companies GSK and Sanofi Pasteur MSD (who market Gardasil in Europe) consult their own databases. Anne Chailleu, president of Formindep, which campaigns in France for the independent training doctors explained to Foucart:  "Pharmaceutical companies are obliged to record in their databases reports of side effects of their medicines…But the same disorder is sometimes indexed in several ways, so how to query a database is important: depending on the keywords searched, the results can be very different. "

Peter Gøtzsche, the lead author of the Nordic Cochrane Centre complaint had obtained a confidential EMA report which contrary to its public line that there was “unanimity among experts” admitted that some experts were “very critical of certain arguments”. Secrecy was also an issue.

Continue reading "Andrew Pollard Named in Le Monde over HPV vaccine Cover up at the European Medicines Agency" »


Dr. Heidi Larson - Who Lobbied the UN Claiming that "Not all Mercury is Toxic" - attacks AoA over Trump meeting

Heidi Larson

Two days ago Dr Heidi Larson published an article on vaccineconfidence.org  Dangerous Liaisons  citing Age of Autism's report by Jennifer Larson (no relation) of the meeting by members of our community with President-Elect Trump regarding the vaccine damage cover-up. Heidi Larson, who is a lynch-pin of the global vaccine complex, is not always open about the fact that she is employed by the great vaccine companies such as Merck and GSK.  She writes in her new article  "Faced with the Trump challenge we must make sure that our science is robust, transparent and accessible to all". A good place to begin would be by calling for Dr William Thompson to be subpoenaed to testify before Congress, which the vaccine lobby has steadfastly opposed for more than two years. And she could certainly be clearer about who is paying her.

Our John Stone wrote about Heidi Larson and her brazen claim in 2013 that the mercury in vaccines is not toxic, detailing some of her extraordinary affiliations.

By John Stone

The remarkable claim that thimerosal is not toxic is found in the headline and text of an article in the New Scientist in a last ditch stand to prevent a UN ban on mercury in paediatric vaccines . The author, Dr Heidi Larson of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine states:

“ In 2006, an expert panel convened by the WHO issued a statement on thiomersal in vaccines, concluding that there was "no evidence of toxicity". It highlighted the fact that while methyl mercury builds up in the body, ethyl mercury is excreted rapidly. The American Academy of Pediatrics has since endorsed the WHO's position.”

She does not mention that her colleague at LSHTM, Prof Stephen Evans was on the World Health Organization committee (Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety)  which issued the statement in July 2006 and he and another LSHTM employee, Dr Punam Mangtani, presently still sit on it . Evans  previously worked for the UK Medicines Control Agency (now the MHRA ) which is an agency of the Department of Health  funded by the pharmaceutical industry. The current chair of GACVS  is Dr Melinda Wharton of the US Centers for Disease Control, National Immunization Program.

Dr Larson fails to mention either the LSHTM conflicts :

“The School has expanded greatly in recent years. Its research funding now exceeds £M60 per annum, much of it from highly competitive national and international sources such as the UK Research Councils, the Wellcome Trust, the UK Department for International Development, the UK Department of Health, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the European Commission.”

Or her personal ones:

“Dr. Larson previously headed Global Communication for Immunization at UNICEF and Chaired the Advocacy Task Force for the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI).”

She also runs from LSHTM the Vaccine Confidence Project which has as its partners: Brighton Collaboration; CDC; Chatham House; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; GAVI Alliance; Health Map; Imperial College, London; The Inclen Trust; Institute for Child Health, Nigeria; International Pediatric Association; International Vaccine Institute; National Centre for Immunisation, Research Surveillance; National Network for Immunization Information; ProMed Mail; Public Health Foundation of India; Sabin Vaccine Institute; UNICEF; Vaccines for Africa; WHO. It is funded by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Also at LSHTM is the chair of the UK Joint Committee on Vaacination and Immunisation (JCVI),Prof Andrew Hall, which was granted dictatorial powers over the vaccine program by the English Parliament in 2009, although they did remove mercury from the UK vaccine schedule in 2004.

The claim that ethyl mercury is “excreted rapidly” is based on a study published in the Lancet by Pichichero et al   which was disproved by Burbacher et al in 2004  . Pichichero’s article failed to note the following conflicts disclosed in an earlier publication :

"The author has received research grants and/or honoraria from the following pharmaceutical companies: Abbott Laboratories, Inc.; Bristol Myers Squibb Company; Eli Lilly and Company; Merck&Co.; Pasteur Merieux Connaught; Pfizer Labs; Roche Laboratories; Roussel-Uclaf; Schering Corporation; Smith Kline Beecham Pharmaceuticals; Upjohn Company; Wyeth- Lederle."

In an earlier episode the WHO Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety had endorsed the continued use of thimerosal following the presentation of British paper in which there were many apparent irregularities. On the committee at the time were Dr Elizabeth Miller who was a lead author of the paper, and Dr Robert Chen of the US Centers for Disease Control, Immunization Branch who was responsible for giving the paper the go ahead despite warnings from Thomas Verstraeten. Among the shortcomings of Dr Miller’s  paper was the failure to acknowledge her laboratory’s funding from Aventis Pasteur, Wyeth Vaccines, SmithKline Beecham, Baxter Health Care, North American Vaccine, Wyeth- Lederle Vaccine, and Chiron Biocine.

Yesterday I wrote by email to Dr Larson and have yet to receive a reply:

 “Dear Dr Larson,

“I read your article  in New Scientist with curiosity but I also note a peculiar research bias: not only a belief that there is some mercury which is non-toxic to humans for which I defy you to produce any evidence, but also the idea that people who are sceptical of what they are told by public bodies need researching. The issue here is as much why you should be believed, and what you are saying is frankly incredible. 

“These are the links to the abstracts of 90 pubmed listed peer review studies which condemn the use of thimerosal: here and here. It is a bit high handed to announce that your mercury is non-toxic when there is a lot of published evidence saying it is just as toxic as any other.

“I also draw your attention to highly questionable way in which the WHO policy came to be endorsed in 2002, a matter which I have carefully researched  .

“I would be interested in your comments.

“Yours sincerely,

John Stone

“UK Editor, Age of Autism”

Tell Washington USA Should Not Export Mercury to Global Children  

Addendum (November 21, 2016)

Dr Larson may like to examine this MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) from Spectrum Laboratories. This is what she considers to be safe to inject into newborn infants of the basis of Prof Pichichero's less thr half-baked study and his egregious undisclosed commercial conflicts. It is evident from this document that Thimerosal is known to cause immutable genetic harm: -

 Potential Acute Health Efects: Hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant), of eye contact (irritant), of ingestion, of inhalation (lung irritant).Slightly hazardous in case of skin contact (permeator). Severe over-exposure can result in death.

Slightly hazardous in case of skin contact (sensitizer).

CARCINOGENIC EFFECTS: Not available.

MUTAGENIC EFFECTS: Mutagenic for mammalian somatic cells.

TERATOGENIC EFFECTS: Not available.

DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY: Not available.The substance is toxic to kidneys, central nervoussystem (CNS).The substance may be toxic to liver, spleen.Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance canproduce target organs damage. Repeated exposure to a highly toxic material may produce general deterioration of health by an accumulation in one or many human organs.

 


Not Allowed On Pubmed Commons: Reply To Prof Brugha On The UK Adult Autism Survey

Terry BrughaBy John Stone

Later this week the United Kingdom National Health Service is scheduled to publish a new set of adult psychiatric morbidity statistics, including autism, based on data collected in 2014. Below is the text of my response to Prof Traolach Brugha lead author of the 2009 UK adult autism survey and subsequent connected papers taken down from Pubmed Commons, after a complaint, three days ago. Clearly these are issues which deserve discussion and belong in the public domain. We would still be grateful to Prof Brugha if he would respond here if not on Pubmed. In an earlier reply to me on Pubmed Prof Brugha wrote:

Interested readers will find more information on the basis for the scoring of the diagnostic autism test ADOS-4 and evaluation of its use in a validation study published since (Brugha et al 2012). This additional research was required because the original scoring of the diagnostic autism test ADOS-4, at that time, had only been tested in teen age and young adult patients attending specialist US autism clinics; it had never been validated in the survey population, a random sample of adults and elderly people living in private households throughout England. The resulting validated scoring was different. We plan to publish more details of this.

This discloses the fundamental problem that Brugha and colleagues failed to use a standard method for diagnosing the “cases” in the survey (although they originally claimed they did) and have no real way of validating the method used a whole decade later. Here Brugha also introduces the red-herring that the diagnostic tool was developed in the US (though long in use in the UK as well), although it follows a letter in which they contest that their evidence has shown that autism is not only not rising in the UK but also not  rising in the US. The 2009 survey followed on a decade of inflated estimates by the UK National Autistic Society and the Department of Health of the numbers of adult autistic people in the population at large. The political agenda behind this was manifest in 2009 at the National Health Service launch of the survey when Sarah Boseley reported in the GuardianAutism just as common in adults, so MMR is off the hook'.

I am grateful to Prof Brugha for his response of 23 August.   The peer reviewers seem not to have noticed the missing the ADOS data?  Two of three of the ADOS Module 4 scores are missing from the from dataset provided to the NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care by NATCEN [1].  
It seems inappropriate to claim a calibrated diagnostic instrument like the ADOS has been applied when it has not been.  


The authors reported [2] that they applied Module 4 of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule [the ADOS].  It seems not to have been followed.

The ADOS Module 4 provides for and requires the use of all three Module 4 scores in classifying each case.  If the ADOS had been applied, the three Module 4 scores for each case would be in the dataset.  They are not there.  

The dataset contains only one of three of the ADOS scores required for each claimed  “case”.  Omitting two of the three inevitably includes as “cases” individuals whose scores were below the required thresholds of the ADOS.

I have not been able to find a statement by the authors that they abandoned two of the three Module 4 scores, nor have I been able to find an explanation.  If there is one, perhaps Professor Brugha might be kind enough please to provide a reference by document, page and paragraphs of a publication by the authors reporting that deviation from the ADOS and the reasons for it?

Module 4 does not apply to lower functioning non verbally fluent cases and is not applicable for use in their diagnoses [3].  Thus the study could not cover all adults across the autistic spectrum in any event.

Professor Brugha appears to proffer a reason for the change of the term “Asperger’s Syndrome” to “ASD” in 2009.  He suggests it was done in 2009 because in 2013, [four years after the statistics were published in the UK], the American Psychiatric Association did not include the term in their diagnostic manual for America.  The rest of the world however in 2016 appears to still to use “Asperger's Syndrome” which appears in ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code F84.5.

And what of the 13 missing potential cases omitted without mention by the authors? The authors reported [after the event] that they relied solely upon the >=10 ADOS Module 4 cut-off [4].  Regardless of their reasons the ADOS Module 4 was not applied yet the authors claimed to have applied it.   

32 cases in the dataset are above the ADOS Module 4 combined score minimum cut-off. 13 omitted cases have a combined score meeting the cut-off of >=7 and <10.      [For a verbally fluent case on the autistic spectrum the minimum combined score cut-off is >=7.  For a verbally fluent case of autism the combined score cut-off is >=10.]  [5].

These were not diagnoses using the ADOS and no claim to that effect should have been made.
Additionally what the authors reported was:

“The recommended threshold of a score of 10 or more on the phase two ADOS assesment was used to indicate a case of ASD.” [6]

The ADOS recommended combined score to qualify as a potential case was and remains >=7 for autistic spectrum disorder.  The >=10 threshold is used to indicate a case of higher functioning autism.

From what Professor Brugha says here it is clear that the method of diagnosis he and his colleagues employed is unique and was unvalidated at the time [which is obviously the case].  He also thereby confirms it still has not been validated 10 years later.  Aside from obvious potential author bias, in science researchers do not validate their own work.  The lack of independent validation of the authors’ methods is not corrected by publication of a paper by the same authors claiming the method was valid.  

Scientific peer review occurs when many other teams of researchers attempt to repeat and reproduce the same work independently thereby either supporting or falsifying it.

Journal “peer review” is not scientific peer review. It does not validate authors’ claims.  It is a modern development of questioned value including amongst the ranks of leading journal editors: “the practice of peer review is based on faith in its effects, rather than on facts.” [7].  It is effectively a method of vetting papers for publication, whether valid or not.  

This also by implication confirms the results are not now and were not then comparable to the internationally accepted methods of diagnoses employing over two decades diagnostic instruments including the ADOS.  As the statistics are not comparable to any other diagnoses under the ADOS, they do not seem to be support for the proposition that “The proportion of true cases of autism is not changing”.  

It is unsurprising therefore that the UK Statistics Authority’s May 2016 Assessment Report of these statistics [8] stated [in a diplomatically British way]:

“…. HSCIC might have helpfully labelled these statistics as ‘experimental’. …. HSCIC might consider ….. whether it is appropriate to label the statistics as ‘experimental’ until the fitness for purpose and robustness of the outcomes can be determined ...”

Even if the ADOS had been followed, which it had not been, Module 4 cannot be used for diagnosis across the full autistic spectrum.  Module 4 is for verbally fluent adults and adolescents.  It is not for those not verbally fluent.  The study by design could not identify the full range of Autistic Spectrum Disorder [ASD] but only higher functioning cases which are primarily Asperger’s Syndrome.  

A later study was commissioned, paid for out of public funds and published in 2012 to include lower functioning cases [9].  The outcome was a different prevalence figure.  Accordingly, the proposition that “The proportion of true cases of autism is not changing” is confounded as the proportion changed just by carrying out a further study.

Continue reading "Not Allowed On Pubmed Commons: Reply To Prof Brugha On The UK Adult Autism Survey " »


Guardian Health Editor Sarah Boseley's Little Problem

Sarah Boseley“The almost unavoidable conclusion is that large sections of the British media have always known that the “Wakefield” prosecution was based on an imposture, and have been holding their silence in contempt of fair reporting and of the public at large, and that these people are much more concerned about their own backs than they are about our children.”

The Guardian’s health editor, Sarah Boseley has been writing again about Andrew Wakefield, measles and MMR   . Boseley’s problem, as Age of Autism’s, UK editor John Stone pointed out in this article back in 2012 is that Boseley knew very well that the case against Wakefield was fabricated. Shortly after the article was written Wakefield’s senior colleague, Prof John Walker-Smith, was exonerated in the English High Court. The central case against Wakefield (who was not funded to appeal) and the other General Medical Council defendant Prof Simon Murch had been utterly disproven. The scapegoating, however, continues and Wakefield is still held accountable for events which never happened. Boseley also authored the 2009 news report 'Autism just as common in adults, so MMR is off the hook' based on the NHS Brugha survey


The Walker-Smith Appeal, the British Media and the Boseley Problem

By John Stone

Sarah Boseley  is the senior Guardian newspaper journalist who wrote on the occasion of the UK General Medical Council’s findings against Dr Andrew Wakefield and his colleagues Prof  John Walker-Smith and Prof Simon Murch in January 2010:

"Opinion is divided in the medical establishment on the wisdom of pursuing Wakefield – and particularly his colleagues who played a lesser role in the drama – at the GMC. Some say there was a clear case to answer and that the GMC had no other option but others believe that no good can come of it."

What Boseley omitted to do as a decent journalist and a competent reporter was to tell her readership what the medical establishment was worried about. And what they were worried about may be by now coming back round to haunt both the medical establishment itself and the media, although no doubt damage limitation measures are already being put in a state of readiness.  The spectre came in the form of a UK Press Association report of Prof Walker-Smith’s High Court appeal misleadingly entitled ‘MMR row doctor decision was “fair”’  . However, underneath the headline the story begins to hint at the real matter:

“The decision to strike off an eminent doctor over the MMR jab controversy has been defended at the High Court as "just and fair - not wrong".

“The General Medical Council (GMC) admitted to a judge that "inadequate reasons" may have been given by a disciplinary panel that found Professor John Walker-Smith guilty of serious professional misconduct. Those reasons related to conflicts over expert evidence.

“But Joanna Glynn QC, appearing for the GMC, said: "In spite of inadequate reasons it is quite clear on overwhelming evidence that the charges are made out."

“Professor Walker-Smith is asking Mr Justice Mitting at London's High Court to rule that he was denied a fair hearing. On the fourth day of his challenge, the judge said that the case had been "complex and difficult from the start - it greatly troubles me".”

Continue reading "Guardian Health Editor Sarah Boseley's Little Problem" »


UK Statistics Authority Bins Controversial 2009 Adult Autism Survey

UK binBy John Stone

In a remarkable move the influential 2009 survey which purported to show similar rates of autism in adults to those is children, and has often been criticised in these columns, was officially downgraded to the status of “experimental  statistics” by the Statistics Authority in May according to British government documents (here and here). The British survey which was published as National Statistics and subsequent associated studies were frequently cited as evidence that autism was not on the rise by Thomas Insel, until last year director of the US National Institute of Mental Health.  The survey when published in 2009 was advertised by the UK National Health Service as showing that the MMR vaccine had not affected autism rates.

Among the criticisms of the survey was that the diagnostic assessment was incorrectly scored, was not a stand-alone tool for diagnosing autism anyway, that abstruse and arcane weighting methods were used to inflate the 19 identified “cases” to 72 in order apparently to obtain a 1% rate which matched the National Statistic for children as last recorded in 2004/5   . The ground work for the survey was carried out in 2007 as part of a national mental health morbidity survey which was to include Asperger Syndrome as one of the categories, but by 2009 Asperger Syndrome had been supplanted by Autistic Spectrum Disorder. One serious anomaly is whether genuine ASD cases would even have been capable of taking part in survey. There is also a question mark over whether the data was properly obtained: participants were not told that they were being assessed for morbid conditions.

The team responsible for the 2009 survey led by Traolach Brugha published at least five related papers listed on Pubmed, including one last month (which was widely circulated last month by the National Autistic Society) after the National Statistics Authority ruling.   A new survey is imminently expected from the same team based on data collected in 2014. It remains to be seen whether it fares any better.

According to data provided by the Scottish executive as of last September 1 in 58 children had a diagnosis of autism (11,722 ASD cases out  of 680,007pupils), however  the data will be incomplete since many children will not yet have received a diagnosis and the numbers will be much higher among younger children, since the figures have been rising steeply year on year.


John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.


The American Revolution and Health Tyranny

British-american_flagNote: We first ran this post on 7/4/14. It's as relevant as ever, perhaps more, as SB277 has taken effect in California, removing almost all vaccine exemptions and punishing families.  Why is it a country founded on freedom has so freely relinquished medical rights from coast to coast?

By John Stone

This article is written for HealthChoice.org

I have always been drawn to United States history so I hope it will not be taken amiss if I offer an Independence Day  perspective of a British citizen: we are, of course, all heirs of that revolution one way or another across the globe: more so today than ever perhaps. Immediately speaking there are two striking facets (I just had to correct the typographic error “strifing”): the incredible historic dynamism of the nation created by this event but also the great amount of thought that the founding fathers went into trying to prevent the re-emergence of the tyranny which they had just escaped. Perhaps never has so much thought gone into avoiding “oppressive government” even if many of the leading participants in the new republic still regarded it as their right to own slaves.

Nearly two and a half centuries on it is possible to see that powerful interests can buy their way into every aspect of a nation’s life defying almost every measure that was ever laid out against oppressive government. Just over half a century ago, as he left office, President Eisenhower famously warned about the military industrial complex and the domination of intellectual enquiry by commercial interest:

Continue reading "The American Revolution and Health Tyranny" »


Man Made Epidemic (Film Review)

ManMade epidemic
By John Stone

It is reported that the UK’s East End film festival withdrew Man Made Epidemic after a petition from no more than six people who had not seen it. I do not know who the six signatories were but this sounds more like a surface event. I have no doubt that the powers that be (and “still are” even after Brexit) let it be known that festival organisers would have cause to regret their decision if it was shown – nor would it surprise me if some quasi government agency like Science Media Centre or Sense About Science was behind it. For one performance only, the film premiered at a cinema in London’s West End at 12.30 in the afternoon, so as not to get in anyone’s way.

It should be said that the most polemical bit of Natalie Beer’s film is the title, except that by now saying anything critical about vaccine products is enough  to bring down the wrath of the institutional heavens. Beer set out as a mother to investigate what the safest course for her children would be, and obtained interview footage from many quarters (it is said over a thousand hours edited down to an hour and a half). No one is caricatured or ridiculed, nor does she decide not to vaccinate, but rather to proceed with extreme caution. The impression is that even with a polite and deferential approach the reality that things were not quite as they should be was inescapable – the autism epidemic could not be explained away. Beer had found more than was comfortable.

Continue reading "Man Made Epidemic (Film Review)" »


Best of: UK Inquiry Cuts Deal With News International Not To Investigate Brian Deer

Lord-Justice-LevesonBest of from 2012.

UK's Leveson Inquiry plays cat and mouse with public interest over the Murdoch press investigation into MMR.

It has been said that vaccines are the greatest cause of coincidence known to man. What was extraordinary about the Leveson Inquiry was not only that all these people connected with the MMR affair re-emerged in connection with the Inquiry but also the way it kept returning to a defence of MMR as a safe product (which had nothing to do with its brief) and even with its first report which included an attack on Andrew Wakefield, while excluding concerns about the way the media had conducted themselves towards the MMR families and towards Wakefield and colleagues - a subject which easily did fall within its remit. (Note added May 2016).

By John Stone

When it comes to the MMR affair the UK’s inquiry into the conduct of the press and Rupert Murdoch’s News International media empire seems to have been biased, have hidden historical connections and to be anything but transparent. Four family members of vaccine damaged children who submitted evidence to the Inquiry have found themselves arbitrarily rebuffed at News International’s behest. Their concerns, based on publically available information, were:

-    The obtaining of confidential medical records by Sunday Times hired journalist Brian Deer  

-    Deer’s use of an alias when interviewing parents   and  Brian Deer's Use of an Alias Part 2,  

-    The circumstances in which Deer was hired by the Sunday Times to find something “big” on “MMR”  Open Letter to Sunday Times Editor 

-    That Deer and the Sunday Times did not make clear in the newspaper that he had personally initiated the prosecution against Wakefield and colleagues with a series of complaints whilst continuing to report the GMC hearing  

-    That Deer received advice from MedicoLegal Investigations, an agency with close connections to the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry 

-    That the Sunday Times/Times launched a new raft of articles  against Wakefield following the announcement of the appointment of News International boss, James Murdoch, to the board of MMR manufacturers and defendants GlaxoSmithKline in February 2009 

Faced with these important issues the Leveson Inquiry has simply chosen to draw a veil over the matter, while happily taking evidence that the press abused its role by reporting concerns about MMR safety in the first place. It is a remarkable and unhappy coincidence, therefore, that Lord Leveson and lead attorney for the Inquiry,  Robert Jay QC, were both involved in blocking litigant families’ interests in the MMR proceedings.

Below is the joint statement of the four co-authors of the submission (which cannot be reproduced for reasons of confidentiality):

A key question of the UK Leveson Inquiry into press ethics is how independent will the inquiry be in the face of powerful press corporations such as News International and their media outlets. Set up last summer after revelations of a decade of phone hacking by the press, the Inquiry into the Culture, Practice and Ethics of the Press, chaired by Lord Justice Leveson, has come to be seen as a potential solution to unbridled press powers to intrude into private life. Whether it succeeds in establishing a new system of press regulation and legal rights against intrusion must await the publication of Leveson's report later this year. But our experience as four parents of autistic children who submitted a detailed account of the Sunday Times’ 7-year investigation into the 1998 Lancet paper by Dr Andrew Wakefield et al, demonstrates NI’s continuing power to influence the evidence submitted to the Inquiry and its agenda.

Continue reading "Best of: UK Inquiry Cuts Deal With News International Not To Investigate Brian Deer" »


Best of: Watch-Dog Boss, Martin Moore, Sat on UK Government Panel with Editor who Hired Brian Deer

Martin moore NukiJohn Stone wrote this post in February of 2012. We are running it today to give readers some background on the unethical journalism practices vis a vis science and particularly the topic of pediatric vaccination.  

By John Stone

Martin Moore (left), the unresponsive boss of the organisation ostensibly set up to support members of the public who have fallen victim of the unethical journalistic practices of the Murdoch media empire in the UK (See Age of Autism "Write to Hacked Off.." HERE), sat on a panel set up by the UK’s Department for Business to plan the future of science journalism in Britain producing a report ‘Science and the Media: Securing a Future’. Moore has repeatedly refused to be drawn on a catalogue of apparent abuses in Deer’s MMR investigation, including Deer’s assertion that a Sunday Times news editor, Paul Nuki (right), had hired him to find “something big” on “MMR” (which sounds suspiciously like a fishing expedition). It now turns out that Nuki and Moore sat on the same government committee in 2009-10 to determine the future of British science journalism under the chairmanship of Fiona Fox. Fox, the head of Science Media Centre, has also recently given evidence regarding the MMR to Leveson Inquiry on ethics in British journalism.

FoxMeanwhile, Moore’s organisation Hacked Off effectively sits as unofficial guard dog to the government appointed Leveson Inquiry, which has now heard a succession of witnesses including Fox condemn as irresponsible earlier media concerns about the safety of MMR, but has so far failed to hear witness statements based any of the submissions about Deer’s investigation.

To date Moore and Hacked Off have ignored documented concerns that:-

Continue reading "Best of: Watch-Dog Boss, Martin Moore, Sat on UK Government Panel with Editor who Hired Brian Deer" »


Book Review: (Poul Thorsen) The Master Manipulator by James Grundvig from Skyhorse Publishing

Master ManipulatorPlease share this post on social media, on your blogs, in email to friends and family. Purchase this book this week to help the launch sales numbers, which leads to more shelves stocked!   Buy here.
By John Stone

A welcome for James Grundvig’s book about the Thorsen affair, The Master Manipulator , notwithstanding a certain irony in the title: Poul Thorsen, it must be said, was no Moriarty. In the end this is a tawdry saga of a man who went a little too far in defrauding an institution, the US Centers for Disease Control, which habitually rewarded dishonesty and mediocrity in the public service. We have been here before, for example with David Lewis’s exposé of the Environmental  Protection Agency in Science for Sale . This was certainly a place where Poul Thorsen fitted.

Many elements in this story are already familiar though Grundvig sheds a little light on the murky  corridors of power and influence. We learn how on secondment to the CDC Thorsen  steps into the breach to provide a data source of Denmark’s national disease registry, to which he had free access. The early part of this enterprise, as we know, was the autism vaccine cover-up: the CDC needed data and Thorsen had a fortuitous supply. It was against this background that Thorsen’s very grand sounding  research group North Atlantic Neuro-Epidemiology Alliance (NANEA) had been formed in 1999 (was he the Secretary General?): the basic idea seems to have been that the CDC paid the research group a lot of money while Thorsen had a free data source and could underpay and cheat his Danish employees.

It is not very clear how much of a role Thorsen actually played in the research: Kreesten Madsen, lead author of the two key autism studies used by the CDC and the Institute of Medicine in supposedly refuting a vaccine connection, denied to Grundvig that Thorsen had played any at all. This in itself – given the presence over Thorsen on the list of authors – suggests fraud. But in all probability the strategy for massaging the figures in the notorious MMR paper (which echoes that used at the CDC for the thimerosal paper by Vestraeten) came from the CDC’s veteran of the Agent Orange cover up, Coleen Boyle. Boyle wrote in a memo about  thimerosal and autism in April 2000:

“... "2. Since most of the dx's [diagnoses] are generally not picked up until the 2nd or 3rd year of life had you considered eligibility criteria of at least 18 months or 2 years?? What happens if you do this?" ....”

In other words: “Why don’t we dilute the autism data  for the vaccinated group using the cases that will not have been diagnosed yet to mask the effect that we all know about?”.

There is inevitably a lot of speculation about the role in all of this of Thorsen’s girlfriend and co-author, Diane Schendel. Schendel, an epidemiologist employed within the CDC, followed Thorsen out to Denmark. It seems plausible that she was actually sent out to keep an eye on him, which may have worked in the early years (which of course were the most critical for the autism/vaccine issue and the CDC). And as we learn from Grundvig it was only the retirement of Thorsen’s business partner in NANEA, Ib Terp, in 2005 that Thorsen started syphoning off huge sums of money for his own personal use. By that time the Institute of Medicine report was in and the autism/vaccine connection was supposed to be history. Schendel remained on in Denmark at Aarhus University - still closely (and perhaps anomalously) associated with the CDC but increasingly less associated with Thorsen.

Thorsen’s basic problem is that he does not seem to have been good at anything much: by all accounts he was a poor scientist, researcher and teacher, and he was not good with money – nor in the end was he a good fraudster. But unextradited by the US government, five years after his indictment, he remains (scandalously) a protected man.

James Grundvig’s book gives us many insights into thoroughly rotten culture which gave rise to this chilling, outrageous story.

John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.


Best of: Sir Crispin Davis and James Murdoch Leave GSK Board

GskWe are running this "Best of" in light of the VaXed, The Movie controversy having been pulled from the Tribeca Film Festival and subsequently thrust into the limelight.  From January, 2012.

By John Stone

The Wall Street Journal reports that James Murdoch, son of beleaguered media mogul Rupert Murdoch, whose empire is embroiled in scandal, has stepped down  from the GlaxoSmithKline board. See WSJ online HERE.  In addition, Sir Crispin Davis, former Chief Executive of Reed Elsevier, which owns The Lancet, which published the paper that included Dr. Andrew Wakefield's MMR information,  is leaving the board after a nine year tenure.

The heir to Rupert Murdoch’s media empire has quit the board of Britain’s biggest drugs company in the wake of the phone hacking scandal.

James Murdoch joined  GlaxoSmithKline less than two years ago.

He has come under fire from MPs who have questioned him about signing off out-of-court settlements to hacking victims without a full picture of what had gone on at the News of the World.

He was forced to deny misleading Parliament over the extent of his knowledge.

Glaxo said Mr Murdoch’s decision to turn his back on the £98,000 role was entirely his own.

Chairman Chris Gent said: ‘James has taken this decision to focus on his current duties as non-executive chairman of BSkyB and following his decision to re-locate to the United States as chairman and chief executive, international, of News Corporation.’

John Stone has written about both Murdoch and Davis and their proximity to the Dr. Andrew Wakefield MMR Lancet Paper BMJ topic.

James Murdoch Still Supported by GlaxoSmithKline
ran last July:

Lancet Boss Failed to Disclose Own Conflicts to Parliament While Denouncing Wakefield

Both posts run in full following the jump:

Continue reading "Best of: Sir Crispin Davis and James Murdoch Leave GSK Board" »


Incognito at Agincourt: Shakespeare Accuses the King - On the Occasion of the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s Death

King_Henry_V_at_the_Battle_of_Agincourt,_1415By John Stone Shakespeare

‘…the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place’.

This article is intended as a piece of literary criticism, however it also poses questions about the legitimacy of the political order which resonate today. It is an interesting question how - in what is now called the early modern period - an ordinary subject could challenge a monarch (and by implication the order for which the monarch stood).  But supposing two men were in disguise, they might briefly exchange ideas on a level playing field. The confrontation between Henry V before Agincourt and the common soldier, Williams, in the play Henry V has occasionally been recognised as a crux, notably by leading Shakespeare scholar Frank Kermode in his brief discussion of the play in his late book The Age of Shakespeare (2004 p.81):

Here is one of the moments when Shakespeare can make us feel out of our depth: the part of surly the Williams is so strongly written, his arguments so persuasive compared with Henry’s, that we are left querying our assent to the royal cause, however warmly solicited.

It was unusual feature of Shakespeare’s career as a playwright of the Elizabethan and Jacobean age that he was also an actor within the company he was writing for. Scholars generally believed he took smaller roles, and it is against this background that the following suggestion is made.

The night before the battle of Agincourt, in the play, King Henry borrows the cloak of company commander Sir Thomas Erpingham indicating that he seeks anonymity and solitude, but perhaps with the real intention (as it follows in the action) of eavesdropping unrecognised on his men. He first runs into his former low-life acquaintance Pistol who fails to recognise the king even when Henry all but identifies himself as “Harry Le Roy”, and is presumably gratified that Pistol speaks well of him:

I love the lovely bully.*

They also exchange banter about the garrulous and absurd Welsh captain, Fluellen. Fluellen has been first encountered in the play at the siege of Harfleur driving the soldiers “into the breach” and trying to engage the infuriated and irascible  Irish captain MacMorris - who is busy digging tunnels to lay explosive – in a conversation on “the disciplines of war”. MacMorris gives him a piece of his mind:

It is not time to discourse, so Chrish save me. The day is hot and the weather and the wars and the king and the dukes: it is not time to discourse. The town is beseeched [besieged], and the trumpet call us to the breach, and we talk and, by Chrish, do nothing…

To make the point of Fluellen’s  fantasy world further as Pistol exits Henry overhears an exchange between Fluellen and Captain Gower, Fluellen insisting that Gower speak more softly despite the clamour coming from the enemy camp.

Henry’s next encounter is altogether more troubling for him. The second scene begins with three common soldiers – for the immediate purpose it might seem that they do not need to be allocated names, but perhaps it is part of the point that they have names as they appear in the character list even if no one knows them. Indeed, the name of only one of them, John Bates, is ever mentioned in the action. The first speaker, who has only a single line, is identified in the Folio as Alexander Court, which is very likely a play on the name of the company’s sixteen year-old apprentice Alexander Cook, the court of Alexander the Great being referenced in a succeeding scene by Fluellen.

The most significant and complex of the three characters, who is never named in the action, but present when the death toll from the battle is announced in the final scene of the act, bears the name Michael Williams. It is my suggestion that Shakespeare was marking the role to be played by himself:  barely encrypted it might be saying “My call – William S”. Why Michael Williams otherwise? There is no such historical character from the chronicles. It is - to re-inforce the point - Michael Williams who “calls out” to Henry in the night in his opening line:

We see yonder the beginning of the day, but I think we shall never see the end of it. Who goes there?

Henry is drawn into the justification of the military campaign by Williams and Bates, leading to the double-edged statement:

Methinks I could not die anywhere so contentedly as in the king’s company, his cause being just and his quarrel honourable.

To which Williams responds bluntly:

That’s more than we know.

Indeed, it is. The justification for war as we have seen in the first act of the play have hinged on the blessing of the Archbishop of Canterbury anxious to escape a parliamentary bill attacking the wealth of the church, and the provocative slight to Henry by the Dauphin (heir to the King of France) of the tennis ball gift. The chilling cynicism with which the archbishop instigates the invasion of France by looking for pretexts in ancient history and canon law could scarcely be more blatant (as it already is in Shakespeare’s main source, Hollinshed’s Chronicle). Following this Henry had responded to the French ambassador over the tennis balls insult with his famous “mock” speech:

…….For many a thousand widows

Shall this his mock mock out their dear husbands

Mock mother’s from their sons, mock castles down;

And some are yet ungotten and unborn

That shall have cause to curse the Dauphin’s scorn.

In this way Henry places responsibility for his proposed hideous actions on the Dauphin, for the Dauphin’s admittedly irresponsible taunt – a particularly narcissistic version of honour is being invoked.

Continue reading "Incognito at Agincourt: Shakespeare Accuses the King - On the Occasion of the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s Death" »


Fighting with Your Hands Tied: How Low Can the Mainstream Media Sink in the Vaccine Debate?

MudBy John Stone

For a year or two now I have more or less given up trying to comment on mainstream blogs - what with the harassment and the censorship I felt I ought to devote more of my time to other projects. But I have been back in the past few days given the disgraceful debacle over "Vaxxed". Below is an example of unacceptable comment to the UK's Guardian newspaper in 2016, made after several comments disappeared.

One of the notable features of the three year long hearing against Wakefield and colleagues was that at no point did any of the mainstream media report any of the defence - no one unless they were prepared to search wider on the internet would have any idea of what it was. It goes on. Below I put up a link to my own blog and it was deleted as infringing community rules, but there is no possible way it did that. We are having a discussion where all the counter argument is being deftly removed. If an international terrorist was on trial they would stand a much better chance of having their defence reported by the mainstream media than someone voicing mild concern about the safety of the vaccine program. The problem is that with these voices of concern systematically removed the program is destined to become ever more harmful because basic checks and balances have been eliminated.

This is something which apparently falls outside reasonable comment now.

John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.


PM Modi Must Rescue Vaccine Programme from Vested Interests

Logo_2Opinion piece ran March 26, 2016

By Jacob Puliyel

Dr Puliyel, paediatrician  at  Delhi’s St Stephen’s Hospital, describes in Sunday Guardian Live    how the direction of India’s National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI), the equivalent of US’s Advisory Committee on Immunization (ACIP)or the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has been handed over to the direction of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with potentially disastrous consequences for Indian health. The situation has disturbing  parallels with what is now happening in the UK.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s (BMGF’s) prescription of foreign drugs for India’s poor and the way in which it has become a major influence within key ministries in Government of India was mentioned in this newspaper recently (The Sunday Guardian, 7 February 2016). The links with the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunisation (GAVI) and Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) were described. The article also highlighted the investments of the foundation and the board members in US-EU Big Pharma stocks and the resulting possible conflict of interests.

The vaccine market in India is potentially one of the largest in the world. The government is advised on what vaccines to include in the national immunisation programme by a committee of experts called the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI).

This body is expected to evaluate the vaccines, their costs and benefits for the country. Vaccines whose cost far exceeds the benefits are not to be recommended. But the entire secretariat of the NTAGI has now been outsourced to the BMGF. Called the Immunisation Technical Support Unit (ITSU), the secretariat is funded by the Gates Foundation and has been moved out of the Nirman Bhawan, where the Ministry of Health is located, into the PHFI.

Continue reading "PM Modi Must Rescue Vaccine Programme from Vested Interests" »


The Lies About Andrew Wakefield

Pariser'If the vaccine program is so good, why the dirty tactics? Why the straw man? Vaccine safety and effectiveness is a messy business: making Wakefield the scapegoat won't work much longer.'

This morning Age of Autism re-posts a brief article published last year about the key allegations against Andrew Wakefield, which have been long disproven but go on being endlessly recycled by a  mainstream media in the pay of, and intimidated by, the pharmaceutical industry.

By John Stone

 Before yesterday morning I had not heard of ‘Upworthy’ which according to Wiki is a “website for viral content” founded by Eli Pariser (Chairman of AVAAZ, pictured) and Peter Koechley (former managing editor of 'The Onion'), for which Kim Kellerher of 'Wired' is also a board member. A presentation “curated” by  Adam Mordecai and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation states:

"After years of controversy and making parents mistrust vaccines, along with collecting $674,000 from lawyers who would benefit from suing vaccine makers, it was discovered he had made the whole thing up. The Lancet publicly apologized and reported that further investigation led to the discovery that he had fabricated everything."

What, of course, this does not tell you is that the senior author and clinician in the paper, Prof John Walker-Smith,  who also compiled eleven of the twelve case histories appealed to the English High Court over the GMC findings and was completely exonerated nearly three years ago – Walker-Smith, unlike  Wakefield, was funded to appeal. All that ‘Upworthy’ are doing is playing the same trick as CNN and Wiki – which I reported on last year - and peddling disproven stories without mentioning that they have been disproven.

CNN, having cited wiki, blocked the following comment:

But this is a flawed account. The findings were confirmed by both histopathologists in the paper subsequent to the hearing. [See also here]

Continue reading "The Lies About Andrew Wakefield" »


Prof Pollard Again: Oxford University Hosts British Government Vaccine Committee

Pollardandrew2.previewBy John Stone

By now Age of Autism readers will be familiar with the story of Prof Andrew Pollard who was appointed to the chairmanship of the British body which makes recommendations for the UK vaccine schedule (the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) and soon afterwards chaired a discussion which recommended the infant use of the Meningitis B vaccine (Bexsero) for which he has been named lead developer in official documents as Director of Oxford Vaccine Group. It will be no surprise (since this has become routinely the case) that the minutes of the latest JCVI meeting are published without disclosures of interest. Rather more unusual is the fact that instead of being held at a Department of Health building in London the most recent meeting was held at the lavishly funded Oxford research institution Oxford Martin School, at which Prof Pollard is listed as Senior Fellow and lead researcher.

Equally noteworthy is mention of a substantially unminuted event the previous day referred to as a “retreat” in which the Mad tea partycommittee were entertained at Prof Pollard’s college St. Cross (which sounds like something out of one of the more fanciful episodes of Inspector Morse). While nothing in the JCVI Code of Practice would seem to preclude this departure – perhaps no one ever anticipated it - in practice it might seem cavalier and unwise. Among the roles of the chairman of JCVI is also his job of appraising other members and senior officials every year (Code of Practice clause 21) so presumably everyone was on their best behaviour.

John Stone is UK Editor of Age of Autism.


Urgent Questions: Men B Vaccine and the United Kingdom Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation

UK joint committee
By John Stone

Urgent Questions About Men B Vaccine and the United Kingdom Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation: Open Letter to Andrew Earnshaw, Secretary to the Committee

As a Downing Street petition to the British government about the general availability of the recently marketed Meningitis B vaccine Bexsero becomes the most signed in history Age of Autism’s UK editor poses some serious and awkward questions to the committee that recommended the vaccine for infant use.

Dear Mr Earnshaw,

I refer to your letter [1] on behalf the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation Secretariat to Michael McMahon, convener of the Petitions Committee of the Scottish Parliament, of 7 January 2016 regarding petition PE1584 presented by Mr Angus Files with myself in support. While noting your defence of the position of Prof Pollard as chair of the JCVI I am surprised that there is no reference to his role as the developer of Bexsero vaccine. Contemporaneous with his appointment to the JCVI chairmanship a document submitted by Oxford University to the Higher Education Funding Committees’ survey REF2014 describes the position thus:

Oxford University research has also led to the planned use of vaccines against serogroup B meningococcal disease, which have been licensed and recommended for the prevention of disease in high-risk individuals, and broader use is under consideration.

It seems likely that at the time of this submission Prof Pollard was already chair of the committee considering this matter, but no mention is made of this. The submission continues:

Meningococcal disease is the leading infectious cause of death in children in the UK, and its prevention is a major objective of the Oxford Vaccine Group, directed by Professor Andrew Pollard. During the period from 2001-2013 more than 10,000 volunteers were enrolled in clinical studies in Oxford, mainly children, and the research provided new insight into the design, development and evaluation of novel vaccines for meningitis and specifically meningococcal disease..

Mention is also made of patents:

The design and development of new vaccines for serogroup B meningococcus by Oxford University have led to a number of patents on the candidate vaccines (based on various surface proteins including Opa, PorA and FetA 17), which provide a licensing position for the University as these vaccines progress through early phase clinical trials.

Without getting into the technical issue of whether conflicts are “personal”, “pecuniary” or “special” I note that the JCVI code of conduct states (2013 Section 42(2) [3]:

If a member has in the last 12 months received, or plans to receive a financial payment or other benefit from a business or representative body relating to vaccines or any other product or service that could be under consideration by JCVI...including... holding a directorship or other paid position...the member must declare this interest... If this interest is specific to an agenda item and the payment or other benefit is connected specifically with the product under consideration, the member will be required to absent him/herself from the discussion and any subsequent vote.

But according to JCVI minutes of February 2014 [4] Prof Pollard led the discussion on Bexsero – numerous references are made to the “the chair” in the record. This could of course be a formal reference rather than a personal reference, but no record is provided of Prof Pollard absenting himself, nor have you suggested that he did in your letter. This also conflicts with the long established Nolan Standards in Public Life.  The JCVI needs to explain how this conflict was allowed to arise, and without being disclosed.

I also note that Prof Pollard and his deputy Dr Riordan took part in an industry sponsored presentation in September las year discussing the JCVI’s business [5]:

Evening of Evidence/Vaccination Science to Policy: Introduction of new vaccines to the UK vaccine schedule with limited evidence of efficacy: Meningococcal Group B and maternal pertussis vaccination

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