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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:-

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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

Continue reading "Urgent Questions: Men B Vaccine and the United Kingdom Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation" »


The True Data Revealed: Adult Autism Data Fabrication in the United Kingdom Part 3

Dept Health UKBy John Stone

In part 1 of this series I examined the desperate attempt of National Health Service  in the UK to locate a hidden horde of adults replicating the numbers in the child population in its survey of adult psychiatric morbidity in England 2007-9. In the end using non-standard and diluted psychiatric testing tools they managed to find only 19 cases, less than a third of the one per cent figure they were looking for and postulated that they had mislaid most of the cases (which notwithstanding were held to be there and accounted for). This is only to give a brief summary of this extraordinarily ramshackle project which was carried out to be incorporated in National Statistics (which in turn became a reference point for US National Institute of Mental Health director Thomas Insel).  (Part 2 is here.)

Where the autism problem was beginning to show was in the childhood surveys conducted for National Statistics (there seem to be two such documents, one for 1999 and one for 2004 but not subsequently). In the survey conducted in 1999 between January and May from approx. 10,500 interviews they discovered a rate of PDD of 0.2% (i.e. 1 in 500) among 11-15 year-olds and 0.4% (i.e. 1 in 250) among 5-10 year-olds (Table 4.1). It should be noted that with these children, who would have been monitored by the same services, you would expect if the rate was stable for the older group to have a higher rate of diagnosis (the older they were the more likely they would be to get one) but in fact it was lower.

The same pattern is evident in the survey carried out between March and June 2004 from approx. 8,000 children. In the older group now 11-16 year-olds and classified as ASD the rate is 0.8% (1 in 125), also Table 4.1 in this document. This would be roughly the same birth cohort as the younger group in the earlier survey and the fact that rate has now doubled may be partly explained by the fact that they are older and will therefore be more likely to have a diagnosis, but it also has to be allowed that the study group is different and that may be a variable. But again the younger group of 5 to 10 year-olds have a higher rate of 1% despite not having had as long to get a diagnosis (notable also that remarkably few girls in this cohort have a diagnosis). In both cases autism disorder whether PDD or ASD is listed as “a less common disorder”. However, we note a five-fold rise between those born between 1983-88 and those born between 1994-1999 despite the fact that former group had had longer to get a diagnosis - so the position was undoubtedly worse than immediately visible.

At this point we may turn to Baron-Cohen’s long suppressed study of 5-9 year-olds in Cambridgeshire studied in 2003-4, a very similar group perhaps to the younger cohort in 2004 study. This study, which provoked a vicious and unprincipled establishment backlash when a story was published about it in 2007  in The Observer (just before the corrupt General Medical Council proceedings against Wakefield and colleagues), showed that the figure of 1% in the National Statistic cohort was more or less replicated but there would be a further two cases for every three already identified. In 2007 The Observer reported a figure of 1 in 58: when the study was finally published two years later a figure was given of 157 in 10,000 or 1 in 64, still a lot higher than National Statistics figure for children (and suggesting a nearly eight-fold rise from the older group in the first set of National Statistics). Here it is from the abstract:

The prevalence estimates generated from the SEN register and diagnosis survey were 94 per 10 000 and 99 per 10 000 respectively. A total of 11 children received a research diagnosis of an autism-spectrum condition following screening and assessment. The ratio of known:unknown cases is about 3:2 (following statistical weighting procedures). Taken together, we estimate the prevalence to be 157 per 10 000, including previously undiagnosed cases.

Continue reading "The True Data Revealed: Adult Autism Data Fabrication in the United Kingdom Part 3" »


Adult Autism Data Fabrication in the United Kingdom Part 2

RabbitsRead Part 1 here.

By John Stone Missing adults

Amid continuing false claims regarding the historical incidence of autism by mainstream media plugged authors Steve Silberman, John Donvan and Caren Zucker AoA re-publishes a series of articles by John Stone, UK Editor, chronicling data abuse and fabricated adult autism numbers, which also impacted heavily on opinion in the United States. These articles document the official drive to paper over the catastrophe engulfing so many of our children. The second of these stories from June 2014 examines an Autism Speaks which purported to examine the costs of autism and its numbers in both the United Kingdom and the United States. One thing it does admit is that autism is a thing with immense financial costs – after that it goes seriously awry. If autism has always been with us, why the contortions.

Still Covering Up: the New Autism Speaks/JAMA Study of the Cost of Autism

"The present study seems to do two things: regard notional cases based on a half-baked theory of general prevalence as actual, but also underestimating costs of individual real cases by more than three times (on a breakdown of their own figures)."

There have been many news stories in the past days of a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association - funded by Autism Speaks - of the financial cost of autism in both the United States and the United Kingdom. The Daily Mail notably reported that the calculated annual cost of autism in the UK of £32 billion ($ 51billion) was greater than the cost of “heart disease, cancer and strokes combined”.  It might have seemed momentarily as if someone for once was dealing with the autism issue honestly. After all co-author Martin Knapp, London School of Economics professor, was co-author of a similar study in 2001 which estimated the cost to the UK as exceeding a mere £1 billion ($1.6 billion). That the scale of the problem might be 30 times worse now than thirteen years ago is something that many of us might have suspected. Unfortunately, what Prof Knapp seems to have discovered - rather incredibly - is that he just happened to have missed most of the cases back then. Already in 1998 (the year of the Wakefield Lancet paper) the UK's National Autistic Society had started to make out that there were in excess of half a million cases in the UK population but the 2001 paper properly ignored this assuming a prevalence of 5 in 10,000.

In the new study (table 2) we read that there are 196,489 autistic people in the UK of 18 or over with intellectual disability (ID) and 294,734 without ID.

The authors state:

“...Third, there is some controversy about current ASD prevalence. The prevalence estimates we used are lower than new figures from Peacock et al..or Kim et al…(1.5% and 2.6%, respectively). Although this does not affect our per-person costs, it can markedly affect the estimated total societal costs.We rejected the estimate of Peacock et al because it is based on healthcare claims data with no verification of the diagnosis. We rejected the estimate of Kim et al because it is based on data from South Korea and may not be applicable to the United Kingdom or the United States...”

Continue reading "Adult Autism Data Fabrication in the United Kingdom Part 2" »


Adult Autism Data Fabrication in the United Kingdom Part 1

RabbitsBy John Stone Missing adults

Amid continuing false claims regarding the historical incidence of autism by mainstream media plugged authors Steve Silberman, John Donvan and Caren Zucker AoA re-publishes a series of articles by John Stone, UK Editor, chronicling data abuse and fabricated adult autism numbers, which also impacted heavily on opinion in the United States. These articles document the official drive to paper over the catastrophe engulfing so many of our children. The first in the series dates from October 2009 (updated 2015) deconstructing the then recently published National Statistics survey of "Autism Spectrum Disorders in adults living in households throughout England”. Interesting to note that its publication in 2009 coincided with the US National Institutes of Mental Health unveiling a figure of 1 in 100 fur US children. Six years later the figure has been admitted as 1 in 45. But for Silberman, Donvan and Zucker they are out there dancing around pretending the Emperor has clothes.

1 in 100: How the UK Government Arrived at the Adult Autism Figures

By John Stone

UPDATE April 10, 2015 (corrected). Revisiting this article five and half years on there are a small number of additional points. For clarity the original survey of 2007 from which this data was derived was looking for instances of Asperger Syndrome only. No mention was made of "higher-functioning autism" until the Eurekalert Press Release in 2008 but by 2009 both the terms "Asperger" and "high-functioning autism" had disappeared to be replaced by "autism spectrum disorders" but it was the same data set re-labelled to give a false idea of what was being surveyed. It can also be pointed out that not only were the diagnostic tests non-standard, and diluted the criteria for diagnosis but also that the assessments were not carried out by people qualified to make a diagnosis of autism. In the end it is impossible to say that there were any real cases of Asperger Syndrome let alone autism in this survey. Finally, the survey, originally published as National Statistics, was re-published as peer review study which came to be cited by Thomas Insel, Director of the National Institutes of Mental Health, and Chair of the Interagency Autism Coordinating committee (herehere and at IACC meetings) as if it was a credible source.

[Original article] Sometimes events across the pond seem connected. Just a few days ago the UK National Health Service’s Information Centre announced its new survey, which purportedly showed adult incidence of Autistic Spectrum Disorders running at the rate of 1 in 100 – according to them exactly the same rate as for schoolchildren, thus clearing MMR vaccine (or any other vaccine exposure for that matter) from being implicated in autism. Never mind that the rate was projected from a base of just 19 unconfirmed cases, or that the survey included young adults born between 1986 and 1991 who may have had MMR, or that the study had only high functioning and Asperger cases in it, or that the autism rate amongst schoolchildren in the UK runs at more like 1 in 64 - what an excellent opportunity for the US National Institute of Mental Health to concede that the autism rate for US children was also now 1 in 100, up from 1 in 150. There is now an official statistic they can cite that a rate of 1 in 100 for autism in both children and adults is perfectly normal, and nothing whatever to worry about.

To set the very curious British adult autism survey in context it is enlightening to return to the Eurekalert media announcement of May 2008 ‘University of Leicester to lead adult autism audit’ (HERE) . We read:

“Professor Terry Brugha, Professor of Psychiatry in the Department of Health Sciences is spearheading the study in conjunction with a team of research experts including the the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), Research Autism and Professor Simon Baron-Cohen of the Autism Research Centre. It will report in 2009.”

Interesting, first of all, to note that though it does not anticipate the result of the survey it does go on to cite a 1 in 100 autism rate figure for children in the UK:

“The number of children with autism is as high as 1 in 100 (according to studies by Prof Howard Meltzer of the University of Leicester and Prof. Baird's 2006 study). The new prevalence study now underway will give the first ever accurate picture of how many adults have the condition. “

This statement was highly misleading. Meltzer, who is a signatory to the new paper, seems to have been responsible for the 1 in 100 figure for children in UK National Statistics but this was not true of the Baird study which gave a rate of 1 in 86, while Baron-Cohen - who was not in the end a signatory - had already headed a study which when it was finally published furnished a childhood figure of 1 in 64 (HERE).

But perhaps the most astonishing statement from the 2008 press release in retrospect is this:

‘The prevalence study will make use of new data collected in 2007 by NatCen and Professor Brugha’s team to record the number of adults with Asperger's syndrome and high functioning autism. There will also be an additional part to the study on the number of people with autism who have more complex needs and learning disabilities. The aim of the combined research will provide good epidemiological information in terms of prevalence and the characteristics and problems of this group.’

The new report, therefore, is based not on the full range of ASDs but solely on the data collected for the “Asperger syndrome and high functioning autism” by Prof Brugha in 2007; the “additional part” on “more complex needs and learning disabilities” has not been included at all, if it was ever conducted. On the other hand the report has been incorrectly published under a title which suggests that it is in fact a survey of all Autistic Spectrum Disorders “Autistic Spectrum Disorders in adults living in household throughout England” (HERE) , and this was how it was announced to the media.

Other key questions arise:

Continue reading "Adult Autism Data Fabrication in the United Kingdom Part 1" »


Bill Welsh Presents Mycoplasma Vaccine/Autism Hypothesis to Scottish Parliament

AoA today re-publishes Bill Welsh’s hypothesis first presented here two years ago, which on Tuesday he spoke about before the Scottish Parliament Petitions Committee  (from 1.23.57) raising several important issues concerning the rise of autism, MMR and the possible contamination of vaccine products. A formal publication Bill’s hypothesis can be read here.

Regressive Autism---A New Hypothesis to End an Enigma?

By Bill Welsh.

It is difficult to imagine a worse scenario than the one experienced by the many parents I have met.

To witness a perfect child gradually lose all his or her skills, regress, and develop distressing behavioural difficulties, often including self injury, should never be visited on any family, but the sad reality is it has been occurring increasingly for over twenty or more years. And as if observing the deterioration of the child is not enough- even worse eventually follows, sometimes years later—an official diagnosis of autism (ASD)! Parents soon discover that ‘lifelong’, ‘incurable’ and ‘genetic’ are the three words most associated with the condition. ‘Regressive autism’ is a diagnosis wrapped in bleak negativity.

The latest figures for the UK inform us that over 100,000 schoolchildren have an autism diagnosis. Medical officialdom is quick to re-assure society that there are valid reasons for this significant increase in ASD, including for example ‘better recognition’ and ‘widening diagnostic criteria’.

They are mistaken.

Over 70 years ago autism was identified as a new condition, and was regarded as ‘rare’, that is until about 1990 when its diagnosis began to increase markedly. It is now common. No one in medical science has offered a plausible (one that has survived close scrutiny) explanation for the mystery known as the ‘autism enigma’. This is surprising as there are plenty of clues:

Most, but not all, parents have no hesitation in identifying a vaccination event as the forerunner to their child’s gradual withdrawal. With over 1,500 parents taking legal action, in the usually non-litigious UK, during the MMR vaccine episode one would have thought the role of vaccination would have received very close scientific examination. Inexplicably this did not happen. Official focus remained on the need to maintain public confidence in MMR in order to prevent communicable diseases rather than on a thorough examination of parental testimony. Vaccination as a precursor to a child’s descent into regressive autism became a neglected vital clue.

Continue reading "Bill Welsh Presents Mycoplasma Vaccine/Autism Hypothesis to Scottish Parliament" »


Bexsero: More Questions for the British and Scottish Governments Over Vaccine Committee Chair

Pollardandrew2.previewBy John Stone

Further evidence has come to light relating to the UK government vaccine committee chair, Prof Andrew Pollard, and the controversial Meningitis B vaccine, Bexsero, which the committee recommended for use in February 2014 . A document from the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFC) assessing the impact of scientific research projects stresses the key role of Prof Pollard in the development of meningitis vaccines and Bexsero in particular - and the product was founded on Prof Pollard's patents.The document states:

Underpinning research:

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.

Clinical Trials of New Meningitis Vaccines

The University of Oxford has been at the forefront of the evaluation of novel meningitis candidates in infants and young children. The first global clinical trials in infants of a quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine (MenACYW, Menveo, Novartis vaccines)…, a combination Haemophilus influenza type -serogroup C meningococcal vaccine (Menitorix, GSK vaccines)…and the first trials of the leading serogroup B meningococcal candidate vaccine (MenB, Bexsero, Novartis vaccines)…were undertaken in Oxford and Professor Pollard was the chief investigator for the pan-European phase 3 study of theMenB vaccine (1,885 infants enrolled)... These studies showed that the vaccines were safe and highly immunogenic in infants and toddlers. Oxford researchers have alsoled the development of novel vaccine candidates for the prevention of serogroup B meningococcal disease.

Regarding the meningitis B research the document records:

Studies on serogroup B meningococcal vaccines have led to major media interest following conference presentations of trials conducted in Oxford including numerous newspaper reports, front page coverage by the Independent (2008), Daily Mail and extensive BBC News reporting. The first infant studies of a new serogroup B vaccine (Bexsero) were conducted in Oxford and have been extensively cited. Professor Pollard was asked to give evidence to the World Health Organization in April 2011 on serogroup B meningococcal vaccine... In addition, the first phase 3 infant study in Europe, led by Oxford University investigators, assembled with data from other global studies, led to licensure of the vaccine by the European Medicines Agency in early 2013. A recommendation in the UK for use of the vaccine among high risk groups and laboratory workers has been made.., and its routine use for children is being considered by the Department of Health…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, PorAm and FetA), which provide a licensing position for the University as these vaccines progress through early phase clinical trials.

Conduct of Trials:

Studies on plain polysaccharide meningococcal and pneumococcal vaccines provided the first direct demonstration that these vaccines do not induce memory B cells, explaining the phenomenon of hyporesponsiveness (where “booster” doses of vaccines do not induce an immune response). This led to a change in policy for vaccine trials, which had previously used plain polysaccharides to test immunological memory. This outcome was cited in a commentary from Novartis Vaccines in 2009.

A web-search brings up four relevant patents in which Prof Pollard is named with co-inventors Martin Maiden and Ian Feavers . In two cases the patents also mention Isis Innovations Ltd, in one case as applicant and in the other as assignee – Isis Innovations is a subsidiary of the University of Oxford  .

Prof Pollard was appointed to the chairmanship of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) in October 2013. The JCVI is the body that recommends vaccines inclusion in the schedule, and is equivalent to the US Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

The Oxford Vaccine Group, of which Pollard is Director is sub-division of the Jenner Institute, another Oxford body and charitable trust founded in 2005. In the minutes of the very same meeting in which the JCVI under Prof Pollard’s chairmanship agreed to recommend Bexsero we can also read:

Continue reading "Bexsero: More Questions for the British and Scottish Governments Over Vaccine Committee Chair" »


GSK Document Appears to Show Vaccine Committee Chair Used Position to Favour Own Product

Pollard
Prof. Pollard

By John Stone

Riordan
Dr. Riordan

The chairman of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), the British equivalent of the ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices), Prof Andrew J Pollard spoke this September at an event sponsored by vaccine manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline "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". Prof Pollard spoke on the subject of Meningitis B vaccine which he helped to develop and latterly seems to have superintended the process of having it added to the United Kingdom vaccine schedule as chairman of the JCVI – his talk was entitled: "JCVI decision-making process informing the recommendation for the introduction of Bexsero to the UK vaccination schedule". Bexsero vaccine was developed by Novartis but their vaccine division was acquired by GSK earlier this year, following the approval of Bexsero vaccine by the JCVI (negotiations began within days of the JCVI approval). A deputy chair of the JCVI, Dr Andrew Riordan, spoke at the same meeting on the subject: "Evidence considered by the JCVI to recommend antenatal pertussis vaccination in the UK". GSK also manufacture Boostrix – in fact a pertussis, tetanus and diphtheria vaccine – which is the product currently given to pregnant women in the UK, which also has an aluminium adjuvant.

Last week members of the Scottish Parliament heard how Prof Pollard apparently chaired a session of the JCVI in March 2014 which recommended Bexsero for British infants, though the committee under a different chairmanship had rejected it months earlier. It was not disclosed on the records of the committee that Prof Pollard was “named in patents in the field of meningococcal vaccines” and was contracted in continuing research relating to Bexsero. The JCVI revised Code Of Practice requires that the Chair “cannot have any interests that may conflict with his or her responsibilities to JCVI” and also that “the JCVI Chair and Sub committee chairs cannot have interests that could conflict with the issues under consideration by the JCVI or Sub Committee respectively”. Prof Pollard also heads the Oxford Vaccines Group, which though an agency of the National Health Service owes its existence to accepting contracts from pharmaceutical manufacturers and other bodies trying to promote vaccines.


GSK Programme

It is disturbing to note that every single one of the eight speakers at the GSK sponsored event, hosted by the Royal College of Child Health and Paediatrics were in some way employees of the British state including bodies such as Public Health England (which is supposed to provide independent scientific advice) and the MHRA (the UK licensing authority). The drinks interval was nudgingly billed on the flier as “Refreshments and Networking”.

That the Bexsero Meningitis B vaccine is at the very least controversial is underlined by its rejection by the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee:

- The PBAC rejected the re-submission requesting listing of the 4CMenB vaccine on the NIP Schedule for the prevention of meningococcal B disease in infants and adolescents. The basis of the rejection was that the re-submission did not address multiple uncertainties in relation to the clinical effectiveness of the vaccine against the disease when delivered in a vaccination program, that the use of optimistic assumptions about the extent and duration of effect and herd immunity as raised by the PBAC in previous consideration of this vaccine were not addressed, and the unacceptably high and uncertain ICER, presented in the re-submission.

Continue reading "GSK Document Appears to Show Vaccine Committee Chair Used Position to Favour Own Product" »


Angus Files and John Stone Speak at Public Petitions Committee - Scottish Parliament

Stone files parliament
Age of Autism's John Stone and Angus Files (live video is below)



NOTE: Advocacy for vaccination rights is taking place on both sides of the pond.  Age of Autism's UK Editor John Stone and valued contributor Angus Files spoke at the Public Petitions Committee - Scottish Parliament: 8th December 2015.

From Scottish Parliament TV:




Continue reading "Angus Files and John Stone Speak at Public Petitions Committee - Scottish Parliament" »


Bexsero: Offit Article Still the Theoretical Basis of the Ever Expanding Vaccine Schedule

Prof liz millerBy John Stone

Paul Offit’s notorious article in which he claimed it would be “theoretically” safe to give 10,000 vaccines to an infant in one go remains the dogma underpinning the United Kingdom’s ever expanding vaccine schedule (EEVS), for which the latest edition is the Meningitis B vaccine, Bexsero. In a recent interview Prof Elizabeth Miller of Public Health England cites the 2002 article when referring  to "strong scientific arguments against the immune overload hypothesis": Offit’s article is listed in the footnotes. The language is notable: Miller can scarcely cite strong evidence so she cites “arguments” instead. It should be clear that the supposed safety of the expanding schedule is based on a mixture of conjecture and whimsy. For the industry to market new products for your baby they have to have a dogma that there can never be too many and Offit created the dogma.

I first tried to highlight the yawning scientific gap in BMJ Rapid Responses in June 2004 quoting the words of the then Chief Medical Officer for England, Sir Liam Donaldson in an National Health Service pamphlet in answer to the question: “Does MMR overload young bodies?” To which Sir Liam responds:

"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."

I asked mmrthefacts NHS website:

"Is the CMO entitled to present this as a medically established fact rather than a theoretical proposition? What is the experimental evidence that all children are equally able to sustain multiple exposure? What does the CMO mean by "designed?"

To which I had a reply after some pause:

"The CMO is entitled to present his statement about the immune system as a medically established fact rather than theoretical proposition. From the moment of birth a child's immune system is able to cope with the constant barrage of pathogens. As the CMO stated, this is what the..."immune system is designed cope tih (sic)..."As for example, the digestive system is "designed" to digest food and liver is "designed" to detoxify the blood. Part of the licensing process of any combination vaccine, such as MMR, has to show that the combination is safe and effective when administered to the age group for which it is intended.

There is recent research from the US which supports this statement as it has specifically looked at the ability of children's immune systems, estimating that a child's immune system could cope with 10,000 vaccines any one time. Please see Offit PA et al (2002) Addressing parents' concerns: Do multiple vaccines overwhelm or weaken infant's immune system?Pediatics, 109 (1): 124-9

Thanks

Support Team"

Apart from anything else it is a deceit to call it research, since it is simply a projection based on certain assumptions.

Some week later the head of the UK vaccine programme, Prof David Salisbury, announced on BBC television that a baby’s immune system could “tolerate one thousand vaccines”. When I queried this in correspondence Salisbury wrote to me in clarification:

"Turning to my comments on Newsnight - I suggest you read Paul Offit's paper - as I have done. On page 126, he states: "Current data suggest that the theoretical capacity determined by diversity of antibody variable gene regions would allow for as many as 109 (1,000,000,000) to 1011(100,000,000,000) different antibody specificities". And "... then each infant would have the theoretical capacity to respond to about 10,000 vaccines at any one time" - not antigens. I was speaking very specifically about the infant immune system's ability to respond, in the context of the ridiculous suggestion that the new vaccine combination, containing far fewer antigens than the one it will replace, would overload the immune system. My words were "The immune system of a baby has got huge spare capacity to deal with challenge. If we didn't, the human race wouldn't survive. But let's look specifically at vaccine. This has been studied carefully. A baby's immune system could actually tolerate perfectly well 1,000 vaccines". At no point did I suggest that 1,000 vaccines would not increase the probability of adverse reactions - a quite different matter." (Email August 26, 2004 10.03 am)

One might have thought that if every infant’s immune system was that resourceful we would not have any need to fear diseases at all, let alone vaccinate against them – meanwhile Salisbury confesses that multiple vaccines heighten the risks.

Continue reading "Bexsero: Offit Article Still the Theoretical Basis of the Ever Expanding Vaccine Schedule" »


DeStefano Rides Again: GSK Rotavirus Vaccine Study Loses 80% Of Cases And 18 Deaths

DestefanoWe don't often bring back posts this soon, but in light of Robert Kennedy's calling Dr. Frank DeStefano to task, we thought we'd shed some light on his work. Like shining a flashlight in a very dirty kitchen at 2:00am. You know what happens....

Addendum (October 28, 2015)

I took this article down for 24 hours to consider the points made by "n davis" and "n davis is correct". I had overlooked the fact that the paper selects US cases only - that there are only a trickle of cases from the US against a relative flood from abroad - and this is basis of massive selection bias, particularly in relation to deaths. It also shows that the US reporting system while always vastly inadequate is wilting. Pharmaceutical companies are required by law to forward reports from abroad where they come to their attention: there is nothing in n davis's claim that these reports were unavailable to DeStefano - anyone interested in the safety of the vaccine to US children or any other would have considered all of the reports.

http://wonder.cdc.gov/wonder/help/vaers/VAERS%20Advisory%20Guide.htm

By John Stone

Frank DeStefano, the CDC's Director of Immunization Safety and the lead author at the centre of  CDC whistleblower William Thompson’s allegations about destroying  MMR/autism data, is involved in another  case of apparently hiding data, this time  involving intussusception and death, in a newly published paper concerning the safety of GSK’s rotavirus vaccine, Rotarix - a vaccine given according to schedule to infants at 2 and 4 months in the US, and 2 and 3 months in the UK.

Last month Representative Posey revealed Congress that Thompson told Dr Brian Hooker in a taped telephone conversation regarding the DeStefano MMR paper that:

Sometime soon after the meeting, we decided to exclude reporting any race effects, the co-authors scheduled a meeting to destroy documents related to the study.  The remaining four co-authors all met and brought a big garbage can into the meeting room and reviewed and went through all the hard copy documents that we had thought we should discard and put them in a huge garbage can.

The new CDC based study of GSK’s Rotarix vaccine by Haber et al, of which DeStefano is senior author and therefore responsible for research integrity, admits a small association with the serious condition of intussusception (an intestinal obstruction secondary to the inversion of one portion of the intestine within another). The paper states that from February 2008 to December 2014 the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) “received 108 confirmed insusceptible reports after RV1” (Rotarix). However, a careful review of the database reveals no less  than 565 cases for the period. The paper claims to have excluded only 4 reports as unconfirmed (making a total of only 112).

This is a gigantic discrepancy bearing in mind that intussusception is not a speculative diagnosis. DeStefano and the CDC team have apparently discarded more than 80% of the cases reported, which in their turn are likely to be only a tiny fraction of actual cases.  VAERS is a passive reporting system   which may report as few as 1 or 2% of cases. It is also astonishing that the CDC would seriously attempt to estimate the excess rate from this data, but not surprising that as a result it is very small. Other recent studies include a meta-analysis which calculated that risk of intussusception was in the region of five and half times for both products in the first week after the first dose, and a study of Rotarix in Japan conducted by GSK itself which showed that intussuception was nearly three times more likely to occur in the week after the first dose  (based only on spontaneous reports).

Continue reading "DeStefano Rides Again: GSK Rotavirus Vaccine Study Loses 80% Of Cases And 18 Deaths " »


US Government Owns Patent of Lethal Indian Rotavirus Vaccine

India VaccineBy John Stone

The patent of the rotavirus vaccine Rotavac  – the present subject of controversy  in India - is owned by the US Department of Health and Human Services. The Indian government have refused to either end trials of the vaccine or publish crucial data from the original trial which would shed light on the occurrence of an exceptional number of cases of the life threatening condition intussusception in which a section of the intestine collapses into itself. The vaccine is being created by a partnership between the US National Institutes of Health, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, India’s Department of Science and Technology, PATH  and the manufacturer Bharat Biotech. All versions of rotavirus vaccine to date have been associated with increased incidence of intussusception: the first version Rotashield, manufactured by Wyeth, was withdrawn in the US after a year in 1999. Two successor versions, Merck’s Rotateq (part developed by Paul Offit), and GSK’s Rotarix were recently taken off the schedule in France, following incidents.

Dr Jacob Puliyel of St Stephen’s Hospital Delhi - a leading critic of program – has argued that initial the Indian trials produced results three times as bad as the withdrawn Wyeth vaccine: he wrote on Pubmed Commons :

With the 116E vaccine trial there were 6 cases of intussusceptions in 2267 controls which works out to be 2.6 cases per 1000 placebo recipients. The ‘normal rate of intussusception’ in this study was at least 10 times higher than the RotaSheild trial (where it was 0.2 cases per 1000 placebo recipients). There were 17 cases of ultrasound confirmed intussusceptions among the 4532 given the 116E vaccine which is 3.75 cases per 1000 babies vaccinated. The comparative figure for the RotaShield study was 0.5 cases/1000. In the 116E trial there was an excess of 1 case of intussusceptions for every 1000 children vaccinated with the rotavirus vaccine (compared to the RotaSheild trial where there were 3 excess intussusceptions per 10,000 vaccinated). RotaSheild vaccine was withdrawn after licensing, on account of unacceptable risk of intussusception. The risk of intussusception in the 116E trial was three times higher than with the RotaSheild trial. We are told that in the 116E trial, 50% intussusceptions diagnosed by ultrasound, resolved spontaneously John J, 2014. In the remaining 50% there is need for urgent treatment by a radiologist or pediatric surgeon. In remote parts of India, without motorable roads, let alone radiologists and pediatric surgeons, mortality will be near 100% http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/930708-overview. Such specialized care (radiological or surgical reduction of intussusception) is not available in vast swathes of India and we can assume vaccinated babies would die at home passing blood and mucus in the stools and it will be presumed they had died of dysentery and sepsis rather than intussusception caused by the vaccine.

Proponents of the vaccine have argues spuriously that the trial was too small to deduce anything about adverse reaction,  instead – which is more to the point - of the problems being too gross to hide even in a small trial. Meanwhile, data is withheld and it is proposed to conduct a much larger trial on a hundred thousand infants regardless.

John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.


British Government Denies Vaccine Damage Payment Against Own Rules

Broken-britain-finalBy John Stone

The British government has made a legal challenge to a boy awarded compensation for narcolepsy following vaccination against swine flu on the grounds that the condition is not serious enough, though the link between the vaccine Pandemrix manufactured by GSK and the condition is not disputed.  The award would have been the first vaccine damage payment in the United Kingdom since 2010,  even though (unlike the United States) awards are limited to a maximum of £120,000 ($190,000).  The grounds for appeal border appparently on the nonsensical but would also be against the government’s own long-standing guidelines.

According to the report in ‘World 24 Monitor’  the British government are attempting to argue to the Appeal Court that it should only have to compensate on the “immediate rather than future impact of the vaccine related injury”. This is despite the fact that it has repeatedly been stated that it is the purpose of the vaccine damage scheme “to ease the present and future burdens of those suffering from severe vaccine damage” (government statement 19 June 2007), “to ease the present and future burdens of the vaccine damaged person and their families" Department of Health “Green Book” 10 June 2014 (chapter 10, p.7 ), “to ease the present and future burdens of the person affected by the vaccinations, and their family” (National Health Service Pamphlet p. 30, September 2015)).

Lawyer Peter Todd of Hodge, Jones and Allen told ‘World 24 Monitor’:

It is causing tremendous delay in getting compensation to those in dire need of help and who are entirely innocent and blameless people…They were responsible enough to get vaccinated and unfortunately have suffered a severe brain injury due to a defect with the vaccine, which was not detected as it was not tested at all on children before it was given out.

The 2009 swine flu scare quickly descended into farce and fraud as the government hyped the dangers and spread of the disease while distributing dangerous and ill-tested medical products:

A Lethal Mix: Can We Trust Baxter GSK and WHO

Calling Big Pharma's Bluff: Swine Flu

Lack of Administrative Grip

Swine Flu Burial Plans

In one of the trials of Pandemrix there were seven deaths which were never explained.

Whether it is actually responsible to vaccinate your children when the government treats its citizens like this is an interesting question. The UK’s National Health Service issues tens of millions of vaccines a year: even on accepted rates of vaccine damage there would have to be hundreds of cases a year which are never compensated, and just fall into a bureaucratic hole. According to the report:

The boy, who remains anonymous, has become disruptive at school because he is so tired and finds it almost impossible to socialise. He needs to take several naps in the school day and cannot shower unattended or take a bus alone. He may never be able to drive as an adult.

However, the government may be even more worried in this instance that they indemnified the manufacturers against legal suit (as was secretly the case with GSK’s MMR vaccine Pluserix in 1988), as ‘World 24 Monitor’ reports:

Continue reading "British Government Denies Vaccine Damage Payment Against Own Rules" »


If the IACC had Met It would Have to Consider the CDC Whistleblower

Insel_thumbAs Thomas Insel leaves the National Institutes of Mental Health in a surreal move to join "Google Life Sciences" AoA recalls how Insel prevaricated a year ago over William Thompson's revelations about how the CDC altered data on autism and the MMR. Insel has had a year to find out the answers to his questions during which time the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee have not met.

###

Dangling by a Thread in Washington: Insel Prevaricates Over the CDC Whistleblower (25 September 2014)

By John Stone

"I wish I knew more about that particular instance."

The excuses are wearing thin. Here is a transcript of the remarks of Thomas Insel, National Institute of Mental Health director, regarding the whistleblowing activities of Centers for Disease Control employee William Thompson at the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee meeting two days ago  (view video here.):

“Again this is not for the IACC since that committee is not here in full. This is not a meeting to decide anything we are going to do in regard to policy and I wish I knew more about that particular instance. I don’t. I can tell you that the 2004 PEDIATRICS paper was one of about fourteen papers in the IOM [Institute of Medicine] review and there have been  another multiple papers since then that have weighed in on this all of which the IOM have said in 2011 are consistent with not finding a relationship between vaccination and autism. What the IOM doesn’t say and what nobody has said in a way that I find intelligible (?) is that there could still be the rare cases in which that could occur and what we need to think about is how one would investigate that if that were the case.”

What, of course, Insel does is respond as a bureaucrat, not a scientist. He tells you the IOM have rubber stamped 14 epidemiological studies, therefore the matter is decided. Apart from anything else even if the studies were not corrupt (and they all have a very similar line of patronage to the DeStefano study) it would not be enough to say that vaccines only rarely cause autism. It is not only because correlation does not equal causation - as they keep on reminding us - but because you could have tens of thousands of cases and they might not register as statistically significant. However, if you look at the way in which these studies were botched together it is apparent that the effects were so gross that they could only disguise them by fraud. DeStefano 2004 is only exceptional in that it has been admitted by Thompson and not denied by DeStefano (the latter in two interviews with Sharyl Attkisson ), but actually it is just typical of what they were doing in all of them as Lyn Redwood told Insel at the meeting.

Continue reading "If the IACC had Met It would Have to Consider the CDC Whistleblower" »


CDC Science/MMR Fraud: The Thompson/Hooker Conversations Published

Vaccine Whistleblower Skyhorse PublishingBy John Stone

A year on from the first revelations of the Thompson tapes we have the opportunity to get to grips with them at first hand, and perhaps understand their meaning better. A crucial aspect of this history is just what an angry man William Thompson is, a man frequently scathing about colleagues (and about the mainstream media) who had placed the incriminating documents in the hands of Congressman Posey before any of the recorded telephone calls had taken place, and had applied for whistleblower status to protect him from professional reprisal. Reading it you can only imagine how indifferent he probably was to his public  “outing” by Brian Hooker and Andrew Wakefield – it would come sooner or later. It might have waited more than a year with Bill Posey despairing of any help from his political colleagues making an end of term speech in Congress.  No timing is perfect: a year on we are potentially much better organized to support Thompson and Posey. Maybe we have lost some momentum but we will just have to gain it again.

One thing is clear, Thompson never expected any help from the mainstream media: he understood just how bought out and corrupt they were. Above all this is a tale of public negligence. The politicians sit there like the three wise monkeys with the lobbies on their backs, and leave it to the professionals. The agencies – in this case the Centers for Disease Control - gain no credit for telling it like it is, the incompetent and the deceitful get preferment: it would be the same with the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency. In the end the harms of the system just build up because no one wants to know about them: they have been marginalized so they are assumed to be marginal: this is what the bureaucratic machine is good at doing. The mantra goes out “vaccines are safe” or “the benefits greatly outweigh the risks” (two incompatible statements in themselves) but how can you ever corroborate it if you wage war on the dissenter victims.

You could no doubt draw a flow diagram: the lobby bears a carrot and stick to the politicians, the politicians defer to their advisors who would gain no benefit from telling the truth and anyhow have a revolving door relationship with the industry, not to mention direct professional relationship through such bodies as the CDC Foundation and Task Force for Global Health: the system is as completely dysfunctional as Eisenhower once warned: why should we be surprised?

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… 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.

Continue reading "CDC Science/MMR Fraud: The Thompson/Hooker Conversations Published" »


Rotavirus Vaccine Update

IntussusceptionBy John Stone

The row over the Indian rotavirus vaccine Rotavac being developed by Bharat Biotech is continuing. Jacob Puliyel, paediatrician at Delhi’s Stephen’s Hospital, had been drawing attention to an excess of intussusception cases in the vaccinated group in a trial of the new vaccine and is calling publicly and in a petition  for the raw data to be published. Intussusception is a blockage of the intestine associated with all rotavirus vaccines but the early figures for the Indian product seemed to be dramatically worse than for earlier versions.

In June in the British Medical Journal reported:

Gagandeep Kang, professor of gastrointestinal sciences at Christian Medical College, Vellore, who worked on the trial, said that the trial data cannot be used to estimate the risk of intussusception from the vaccine as the campaigners have argued. “This was not a study powered to detect rare events. If you want to find the rate of intussusception, you need to evaluate the vaccine in hundreds of thousands of children,” she told The BMJ.

It is not, however, clear why the study would be useful to study efficacy and not safety, particularly as unfortunately the events do not seem to be rare. Meanwhile  Bharat Biotech, the Indian Government and World Health Organization are determined to plough on with a larger trial which could injure more children. Dr Puliyel has written in the electronic responses of the BMJ:

Dr Kang does not provide the data that will allow easy calculation of the risk in Vellore but she quotes the WHO reporting that “existing data on Rotavac do not point to an increased risk from intussusceptions”. The data, when provided, will speak for itself and we do not have to rely on the say-so of the WHO.

Continue reading "Rotavirus Vaccine Update" »


Age of Autism Makes an Appeal to Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon

NicolaSturgeonOnce again Age of Autism highlights the disgraceful predicament of Andrew MacVicar and his family. Andrew is an autistic adult of 53 who is incarcerated and being forced to undergo medication with risperdal (a treatment for psychosis) against his will. Following his mother Christine’s harrowing account which we published two weeks ago she writes under the column today:

Just to bring this up to date. Andrew has now collapsed two days running and the hospital says it can find nothing wrong with him.

My son is terrified that he will die and angry that this is being done to him. The UN clearly states that this is torture.

This is human abuse on a high scale and we call upon Nicola Sturgeon to intervene to make sure that Andrew ‘s torment ends. Under new National Health Service guidelines Andrew might very well be protected in England.  We suggest it scarcely makes any difference whether Scotland is governed by a faceless, indifferent bureaucracy in London or a faceless, indifferent bureaucracy in Edinburgh.  NICOLA, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?


Letter to English Doctors Warns about Over-medicating Adults with Learning Disability

http://www.rescuepost.com/.a/6a00d8357f3f2969e2016767db0ee2970b-piBy John Stone

In a significant leap of progress a letter has gone out to doctors in England from the National Health Service warning of them about the inappropriate use of psychiatric medications . The letter co-authored by chief pharmacist Keith Ridge estimates that an excess of between 30-35,000 learning disabled adults are being medicated with anti-psychotic and anti-depressant medications as against the average in the general population. The letter is one of a number of official responses to the Winterbourne scandal, in which people with learning disabilities were horrifically maltreated in a private hospital near Bristol.

Age of Autism has frequently highlighted the tragic case of Harry Horne-Roberts (pictured) who died in London in 2009 after having been incompetently medicated with an anti-psychotic drug, without the knowledge of his family. While the letter does not challenge the use psychiatric medications in every case  it does acknowledge that they cause harm – particularly when prescribed on a prolonged basis - and that they have been used as a means of control, rather than because the patient had mental health problems.

The letter obviously stands as warning about the medical abuse of the learning disabled across the globe.

John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.


Best of AofA Scottish Autism Increase

NicolaSturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon

We ran this post last Spring.

By John Stone

Autism in Scottish schools rose from 820 cases in 1998 to 9,946 in 2013. We have to consider what it means in a civilised nation when you have to look after an autism rate of 1 in 30…Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, needs to stop being re-assured by the UK Department of Health in Westminster that they know what they are doing and everything is completely control. They don’t and it isn’t.

While the UK Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne contemplate how to trim billions from government spending they might like to bear in mind the projected cost to the British economy of autism, calculated a London School of Economics academic at an £34 billion ($54b) in 2013 and modestly downsized to £32b ($51b): this was up about 20 times from the greater than £1b figure calculated in 2001. But if as we shall see the basis of Prof Knapp’s calculations maybe erroneous we are hurtling to a situation where the costs will be even worse.  The problem is dramatically highlighted by the numbers of Autism Spectrum Disorder cases recorded in Scottish schools from 1998 to 2013 (it is worth concentrating on Scotland because the figures go back further and are more comprehensive than for England): in Scotland the figures rose from 820 cases in 1998 to 9,946 in 2013: allowing for the change in overall numbers this was 1 in 925 in 1998 and 1 in 68 in 2013. However, this in itself disguises the fact that the 2013 figure combines a lower rate in older students with a much higher rate in younger students: the present rate for children entering the system in the last five years will much higher than 1 in 68, and is perhaps conservatively in the region of 1 in 30 (data supplied by the Scottish Executive).

Year

Total number of pupils

Number of pupils with an ASD

1998

758,414

820

1999

755,081

959

2000

751,243

1,245

2001

745,063

1,515

2002

738,597

2,204

2003

732,122

2,663

2004

723,554

3,090

2005

713,240

3,484

2006

702,737

2,443

2007

692,215

3,919

2008

681,573

4,900

2009

676,740

5,254

2010

673,133

6,506

2011

670,511

7,801

2012

671,218

8,650

2013

673,530

9,946

 The Buescher study in JAMA  , co-authored by Prof Knapp last year, projected 604,824 ASD cases in the total UK population - of which 491,243 were said to be adults -  while the Department of Works and Pensions only knew of approximately 130,000 cases  (which includes children): they conjecture that a further 300,000 cases of learning difficulty may include ASD cases but presumably this is the ever elusive hidden hoard. The National Statistics survey which projected a 1% figure for adults in England - having used inappropriate means - had in reality failed to detect a single authentic case, and was further involved in fraudulent re-labelling . However, if the Buescher study greatly over-estimated the present number of adult cases in the UK it seems to have grossly under-calculated its per capita costs.  The study gives the lifetime cost of a person with autism and intellectual disability (ID) as £1.5m ($2.2). Not only is this absurdly low (even in 2001 Prof Knapp projected an average lifetime cost  -with or without ID - at £2.4m ($3.8)) a calculation based on its costs in Table 2 gives a figure for autism and ID of £4,864,911 (about $7.8m), or more than three times greater.

Continue reading "Best of AofA Scottish Autism Increase" »


Best of AofA: Offit and Milgram and Social Manipulation

Obedience We first ran this post in May of 2010.
By John Stone
 
Question: "How many vaccines is it safe for a pediatrician to give a two month old infant?" 

Answer: "It depends how much they are getting paid."
 An old joke.

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.

“In actuality, the shock box was a well-crafted prop and the learner an actor who did not actually get shocked. The result: A majority of the subjects continued to obey to the end—believing they were delivering 450 volt shocks—simply because the experimenter commanded them to. Although subjects were told about the deception afterward, the experience was a very real and powerful one for them during the laboratory hour itself
.” (See Psychology Today HERE)

65% of participants complied with the experiment to the bitter end. Milgram subsequently explained the experiment:

“The legal and philosophic aspects of obedience are of enormous importance, but they say very little about how most people behave in concrete situations. I set up a simple experiment at Yale University to test how much pain an ordinary citizen would inflict on another person simply because he was ordered to by an experimental scientist. Stark authority was pitted against the subjects' [participants'] strongest moral imperatives against hurting others, and, with the subjects' [participants'] ears ringing with the screams of the victims, authority won more often than not.

Continue reading "Best of AofA: Offit and Milgram and Social Manipulation" »


The Message From Scotland: Autism Up In Schools 13.6 Times In 16 Years And Accelerating

NicolaSturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon

By John Stone

Autism in Scottish schools rose from 820 cases in 1998 to 9,946 in 2013. We have to consider what it means in a civilised nation when you have to look after an autism rate of 1 in 30…Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, needs to stop being re-assured by the UK Department of Health in Westminster that they know what they are doing and everything is completely control. They don’t and it isn’t.

While the UK Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne contemplate how to trim billions from government spending they might like to bear in mind the projected cost to the British economy of autism, calculated a London School of Economics academic at an £34 billion ($54b) in 2013 and modestly downsized to £32b ($51b): this was up about 20 times from the greater than £1b figure calculated in 2001. But if as we shall see the basis of Prof Knapp’s calculations maybe erroneous we are hurtling to a situation where the costs will be even worse.  The problem is dramatically highlighted by the numbers of Autism Spectrum Disorder cases recorded in Scottish schools from 1998 to 2013 (it is worth concentrating on Scotland because the figures go back further and are more comprehensive than for England): in Scotland the figures rose from 820 cases in 1998 to 9,946 in 2013: allowing for the change in overall numbers this was 1 in 925 in 1998 and 1 in 68 in 2013. However, this in itself disguises the fact that the 2013 figure combines a lower rate in older students with a much higher rate in younger students: the present rate for children entering the system in the last five years will much higher than 1 in 68, and is perhaps conservatively in the region of 1 in 30 (data supplied by the Scottish Executive).

Year

Total number of pupils

Number of pupils with an ASD

1998

758,414

820

1999

755,081

959

2000

751,243

1,245

2001

745,063

1,515

2002

738,597

2,204

2003

732,122

2,663

2004

723,554

3,090

2005

713,240

3,484

2006

702,737

2,443

2007

692,215

3,919

2008

681,573

4,900

2009

676,740

5,254

2010

673,133

6,506

2011

670,511

7,801

2012

671,218

8,650

2013

673,530

9,946

 The Buescher study in JAMA  , co-authored by Prof Knapp last year, projected 604,824 ASD cases in the total UK population - of which 491,243 were said to be adults -  while the Department of Works and Pensions only knew of approximately 130,000 cases  (which includes children): they conjecture that a further 300,000 cases of learning difficulty may include ASD cases but presumably this is the ever elusive hidden hoard. The National Statistics survey which projected a 1% figure for adults in England - having used inappropriate means - had in reality failed to detect a single authentic case, and was further involved in fraudulent re-labelling . However, if the Buescher study greatly over-estimated the present number of adult cases in the UK it seems to have grossly under-calculated its per capita costs.  The study gives the lifetime cost of a person with autism and intellectual disability (ID) as £1.5m ($2.2). Not only is this absurdly low (even in 2001 Prof Knapp projected an average lifetime cost  -with or without ID - at £2.4m ($3.8)) a calculation based on its costs in Table 2 gives a figure for autism and ID of £4,864,911 (about $7.8m), or more than three times greater.

Continue reading "The Message From Scotland: Autism Up In Schools 13.6 Times In 16 Years And Accelerating" »


Index on Censorship Chair, David Aaronovitch, Still Covering up over Wakefield and MMR

AaronovitchBy John Stone

Two years on from our removed exchange about Andrew Wakefield and MMR in The Times of London David Aaronovitch, chair of Index on Censorship  , is still engaged in cheap innuendo against Andrew Wakefield (the latest sally being in a presentation on ‘Heresy’ at  the Institute of Art and Ideas’). When I published a column in Age of Autism attacking Aaronovitch in 2013  he complained on AoA that he was not responsible for the removal of the exchange, to which I responded:

“David

“Okay, I have altered the text and I apologise unreservedly for any false inference but it remains a problem - does it not? - that I offered well-mannered and informed comment and it was deleted (including your response to me). It should be obvious to you that none of this should have been taken down and that actually if it does not raise important issues about [what] you have said, we ought to have a proper discussion as to why not, rather than just consign the whole thing to the memory hole.

Continue reading "Index on Censorship Chair, David Aaronovitch, Still Covering up over Wakefield and MMR" »


VAERS -The US Government’s Human Garbage Dump - Reaches Half-a-Million Cases

Collateral Damage GraphicBy John Stone

In recent days the US Vaccine Adverse Events Reports database (VAERS), opened a quarter of a century ago, was updated to top more than half a million reports. While listing on VAERS does not mean a vaccine injury report is confirmed it is also as a passive reporting database likely to under-report by many times and may represent numerically no more than 1 or 2% of cases.

Although monitored by both the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration it is doubtful whether the database has ever led to the official acknowledgment of any single injury. It may be that in one instance a product, Wyeth’s Rotashield, was removed from the market as a result of evidence from the database. On that occasion the removal of the product was greatly to the benefit of the nation’s leading vaccine advocate, Paul Offit, who was piloting a rival product. On other occasions VAERS data may have contributed modestly to policy changes which would anyway have occurred .

A disquieting statistic is that although the schedule is dominated by infant vaccines less than a quarter of the reports are for infants. The concern must be that it is not that infants are less vulnerable to damage, but they cannot tell you what has happened, and if they fail to develop or are chronically sick this is easily passed over. Meanwhile, the schedule grows.

According to statistics I cited in 2011 in an open letter to Francis Collins, head of the National Institutes of Health, one in six US children had a developmental disability and more than half suffered from chronic ill-health. The US is also notoriously at the bottom the league in the developed world for infant mortality (presently 56th in the world)  . Collectively, US government agencies (the NIH, the CDC, the FDA, the EPA) are captured and failing to protect citizens. The answer is not to accord them more powers, but to hold them finally to account.

John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.


Offit Vaccine Under Review In France After Baby Deaths

OffitBy John Stone

Two brands of rotavirus vaccine licensed in the United States are under review in France after two infant deaths from intussusception in 2012 and 2014. A report has been submitted by the French licensing agency, the MSNA, to the ‘General Directorate of Health’. The brands include the Merck Rotateq vaccine, of which leading compulsory vaccination advocate Paul Offit was co-inventor and share-holder, and GSK’s Rotarix vaccine. The issue is particularly controversial because rotavirus itself only causes diarrhoea (and occasional hospital admissions) in the developed world while the vaccines are associated with mortality and the dangerous condition of intussusception. The MSNA report apparently added that there were other worrying side effects.

While these orally administered vaccines are seldom given on their own they are peculiarly Intussusceptionassociated with mortality, currently 305 on the US database VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System) for Rotateq  and 108 for Rotarix. However, Prof Offit may take consolation from the fact that the rate of death from intussusception was twice as bad on VAERS for the GSK product.

According to whistleblower Dr Jacob Puliyel recent trials in India of a home grown product may indicate that while some lives will be saved from rotavirus  even more may be lost due to intussusception. The inclusion of these products on vaccine schedules (Rotarix has recently been added in the UK) and mandates call the ethics and motivation into question of those behind the vaccine program. The only tenuous reasons for the inclusion of these products on the schedule in the developed world are to reduce minor hospital admissions at the expense of actual deaths, and to encourage their use in the developing world. It is a miracle that the French agency has reported them.

John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.


Dr Jacob Puliyel Blows Whistle On Indian Rotavirus Vaccine Trials

Dr. Jacob PuliyelBy John Stone

Please sign and circulate petition, and read new article at CHS.

Vaccine safety proponent Jacob Puliyel (consultant paediatrician at St Stephen’s Hospital, Delhi) has drawn attention in the Hindu newspaper  to malfeasance in trials for an Indian rotavirus vaccine. It is proposed to conduct a trial involving 100,000 infants when the data from an earlier smaller trial has been suppressed (the report refers to a lakh which is an Indian unit of 100,000). Puliyel comments in the report:

“Peer reviewed journal Vaccine, published a letter written by me and a colleague, asking for disaggregated data on the number of intussusceptions in Vellore in the randomized control trial during the 2 year study period. The protestation of the authors that the vaccine is safe has little meaning if they do not provide the data. However, the data is not available in the papers published and the peer reviewer of Vaccine and the Editor of this international journal felt that it needs to be provided. Serious concerns are raised if safety data in a vaccine trial done with Government of India funding is not provided in spite of a call for it in an internationally indexed scientific journal.”

In an earlier intervention on Pubmed (14 August 2014) Puliyel quoted actual figures:

Licensing the vaccine for general use (in remote areas of India), seems impossible to justify

I commend Dr John and colleagues for this report on the trial with the 116E Indian rotavirus vaccine. However the authors limit their discussion to comparisons with the trials of Rotarix and Rotateq which recruited some 60,000 patients each. It will be more useful to compare the 116E trial safety results with the RotaSheild vaccine trials http://www.path.org/vaccineresources/files/RotaShield_Fact_Sheet_CDC.pdf.

RotaSheild trial

The RotaSheild trial recruited double the numbers recruited in the present 116E study. RotaSheild was licensed after the trial involving 14,687 patients (10,054 received the rotavirus vaccine and 4,633 received placebo). In the study there was one case of intussusceptions among the 4633 receiving placebo. This suggests that the ‘normal rate of intussusception’ was approximately 2/10,000, in that population. Five cases of intussusceptions occurred among 10,054 RotaSheild vaccine recipients. Thus there were an excess of 3 cases of intussusceptions for each 10,000 children vaccinated. All the intussusceptions were among infants who received a second or a third dose of vaccine. The difference between the vaccinated and placebo recipients was not statistically significant http://www.path.org/vaccineresources/files/RotaShield_Fact_Sheet_CDC.pdf.

116E Trial

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A Reminder: Merck Strategy Chief, Former Vaccine President, Former CDC Chief told CNN Vaccines Cause Autism

Julie gerberding Managing Editor's Note: We ran this post in February, 2011. It seems Jan - Mar is the PR lead up to autism "awareness month" whereby Americans must be reminded (with a hammer to the head) that vaccine injury does not happen, nor is autism association with vaccination.  Dr. Paul Offit's books debut each winter like the Groundhog wriggling out of his grotto - Offit's goal of course is to protect vaccination while smearing autism and vaccine safety community members.  This year even Autism Speaks - The Blue Bomb of autism told Americans to vaccinate their children, amidst the measles hype.  

Dr. Julie Gerberding was the Head of the CDC. She left, and within a year, became President of the Vaccine Division for MERCK (makers of the MMRII and Gardasil vaccines.)  In December she received a promotion to Executive Vice President for Strategic Communications, Global Public Policy and Population Health.    Read that title again. "Strategic communications." Think about the intense media hype around the 100+ cases of measles, a disease that was so common and non-threatening that TV sitcoms like The Brady Bunch and Married with Children poked fun at transmission.   Here's some strategic communication from our John Stone - it was Dr. Gerberding who...

It wasn’t Andrew Wakefield who said vaccines cause autism Mr Gates, it was Julie Gerberding…and she told Sanjay Gupta

By John Stone

“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."

Julie Gerberding, present head of Merck’s vaccine division speaking to Sanjay Gupta on the subject of the Hannah Poling case when she was still head of the Centers for Disease Control.

Continue reading "A Reminder: Merck Strategy Chief, Former Vaccine President, Former CDC Chief told CNN Vaccines Cause Autism" »


Paul Offit and Rotavirus Vaccine: Deaths on VAERS

OffitBy John Stone

In the developed world rotavirus infection does not seem to be associated with mortality: this is not quite so with rotavirus vaccines, including Merck's RotaTeq vaccine in which Professor Offit had a share.

A table of cases of rotavirus reported by the UK National Health Service between 2000 and 2012 listed a remarkably consistent figure of around 15,000 annually  (approximately 200,000 cases): no deaths are mentioned. It was evident that when a vaccine, GSK’s Rotarix, was introduced to the British schedule last year it was to prevent diarrhoea not death.

The original rotavirus vaccine RotaShield, marketed by Lederle, was withdrawn after a year because Intussusseption of an association with a serious gastric condition intussusception in which the bowel folds in on itself causing a blockage. Intussusception can kill. Reports on VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System)  for Lederle’s RotaShield lists 124 reported cases of intussusception in one of which the patient died  (1 in 124). The newer products, Merck’s RotaTeq, which Paul Offit helped to develop and profitted from, and GSKs Rotarix are both associated with an elevated level of intussusception. Reports on VAERS (9 February 2015) for the Offit/Merck Rotateq vaccine introduced in 2006 list 1,068 cases of intussusception with 10 accompanying deaths  (1 in 107) while Rotarix (introduced in 2008?) has 553 cases of intussusception  and 11 deaths  (a very disturbing rate of 1 in 50). It is not known how many doses of the respective vaccines this represents.

RotaTeq Chart

Intussusception is a symptom specifically associated with rotavirus vaccines. It should be borne in mind that these vaccines have seldom been administered separately from other vaccines, however reports of total outcomes on VAERS in which the patient died are alarmingly high:

Rotashield 10

Rotateq 303

Rotarix 106

Unspecified 16

One of the evident problems is that exposure to multiple toxicities in one go might not just increase the overall risk of death it also makes it difficult to disentangle which vaccines are doing what. However, as a point of comparison there have been 425 deaths associated on VAERS with rotavirus vaccines since 2006 compared with a mere 329 for MMR since 1989.

Continue reading "Paul Offit and Rotavirus Vaccine: Deaths on VAERS" »


Baldo Study Authors Fail to Explain GSK Vaccine Deaths Following Puliyel Challenge

InfanrixBy John Stone

The challenge by Dr Jacob Puliyel previously reported in AoA  to explain an excess in 69 deaths from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) following the administration of  GSK Infanrix Hexa hexavalent vaccine has met with an irrelevant response from the authors of a paper exonerating the vaccine. Elisabetta Franco, replying on behalf of the eight author of the Baldo study writes:

The opinion of all the Authors is that the suggested imbalance in reported SIDS between 0-9 days and 10-19 days periods represents a well recognised bias in spontaneous report reporting, where the shorter the time that has elapsed between the vaccination procedure and the event, the more likely it is to be perceived as a trigger and subsequently be reported.

As Puliyel (consultant paediatrician at St Stephen’s Hospital, Delhi)  points out this would have been alright if we were talking about adverse reaction reports but these are SIDS reports. Two of the study authors are direct employees of GSK and other have a multitude of conflicts acknowledged in their paper. The anomaly of the SIDS  deaths came to light after an Italian court ordered the publication of the data following the regression of child into autism.

The original confidential report  by GSK hid the possible impact of the vaccine by spreading the deaths over a three week period.  Puliyel had written:

However if one analyses the data looking at deaths in first 10 days after administration of vaccine and compares it to the deaths in the next 10 days, it is clear that 97% of deaths (65 deaths) in the infants below 1 year, occur in the first 10 days and 3% (2 deaths) occur in the next 10 days. Had the deaths been coincidental SIDS deaths unrelated to vaccination, the numbers of deaths in the two 10 day periods should have been the same…The decelerating incremental-deaths further supports the contention that there is a clear relationship of ‘sudden death’ to the vaccination episode. 42 deaths had taken place in the first three days after vaccination, 16 deaths in the next 3 days between day 3 and day 5, 3 deaths between day 6 and day 8, 2 deaths between day 9 and day 11, and there were only 2 deaths in all of the remaining 10 days. The fact that rate of deaths decreases rapidly and continuously as time elapses after immunization, makes it clear that the deaths are related to the vaccination episode.

The 16 excess deaths on day 0 is perhaps an even more marked effect because infants are unlikely to be vaccinated at midnight and many of the background deaths will have occurred before administration.  After several days Dr Franco has not been back to defend her explanation or comment further.

In a further answer to Dr Tamás Ferenci of Budapest details another study documenting the problem.

Finally, Dr Ferenci says that active vaccine safety studies are better than passively acquired data. For well designed, managed and executed studies I wholeheartedly agree with him.

The TOKEN study aimed to assess comprehensively a possible causal relationship between vaccination and unexplained sudden unexpected death of children between their 2nd and 24th month of life. The study was supported and sponsored by the Paul-Ehrlich-Institute (PEI) and the Federal Ministry of Health (Bundesministerium für Gesundheit). Unfortunately this large study with a wealth of data has not been published in an indexed peer reviewed journal as yet. It is available here:

Parents of children who had died of SIDS were requested to participate in the study. 37.6% (254 cases) could be included in the study, where parental consent was obtained. Tables 31 and 36 show significantly increased risk of unexplained sudden unexpected death in the first 3 days after hexa- or pentavalent vaccination (1st and 2nd year of life).

So it appears that active studies have confirmed that there are two vaccines which cause 'sudden deaths'. I am grateful that the Italian Court has allowed public scrutiny of GSK's PSUR reports held as confidential by the EMA.

It is evident that European Medicines Agency have been content to sit on this matter with GSK watching more infants die from the vaccine, and even now they fail to respond even though the matter has been brought glaringly into the open.

John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.


Autism Speaks: Sock-Puppet For the CDC

Autism speaks puppetBy John Stone

Many people will have seen Robert H Ring of Autism Speaks endorsing the vaccine program amid the present controversy. While Ring - who is not a medical doctor -  is a pharmaceutical industry insider (formerly of Wyeth and Pfizer)  Autism Speaks was itself endowed at its inception by CDC Foundation board member emeritus and billionaire Bernie Marcus to the tune of $25m with the probable intention to defend the vaccine program.  Marcus, creator of the DIY empire Home Depot stated in 2006, the year Autism Speaks was founded, in an interview:

“The worst thing I could imagine is to be the CEO of a pharmaceutical company today. I can’t think of an industry that has done more to alleviate suffering and improve the human condition than pharmaceuticals. Yet the industry is under a withering assault from plaintiffs’ lawyers and is depicted by some in the media as a pariah. I don’t think that Jonas Salk could have developed the polio vaccine in today’s legal environment.”

This was an either an ill-informed or disingenuous claim when litigation over vaccine damage against the manufacturer  had already been made impossible for two decades following the Vaccine Injury Compensation Act and with pharmaceutical domination of the media at its financial height. The remark was also made in the immediate aftermath of the Vioxx affair in which MMR manufacturers Merck had been taken to the cleaners for its lethal painkiller.  Among other things Merck had paid Lancet publisher Reed Elsevier to promote the drug in a fraudulently created academic journal  and plotted to “destroy” medical critics “where they live”. In 2009 CDC director Julie Gerberding left her job to become president of Merck’s vaccine division. It seems unlikely that Marcus would have backed any enterprise that called vaccines into question.

Continue reading "Autism Speaks: Sock-Puppet For the CDC" »


The New York Times Emotes, The President Endorses MMR Safety, But No Mention of the CDC Whistleblower

By John Stone  Obama looking down

There is a feeling in the air rather like the last days of the Warsaw Pact and the Fall of the Berlin Wall.  When the President of the United States is called upon to endorse the safety of a vaccine its days are surely numbered.  The rhetoric is getting shrill, not to mention silly. The New York Times produces a corny video with the rubric: "How did we get to this point where personal belief is more powerful than science?"   The US nation is apparently being brought to its knees by a few cases of measles. As reports escalate  the official record MMWR so far reveal only one case nationally last week and only nine so far for the year. So, which figures are right? The only thing certain is the extraordinary and crude propaganda campaign mounted on the back of alleged cases reported at DisneyLand. Even if the reports can ever be shown to be well founded the exhibition and the rhetoric are way out of proportion.

The problem is, of course, that it is not science at all but the policy of the pharmaceutical government complex trying shut down, shut up and shut out ever increasing dissent over the safety and effectiveness of it products. The only way they maintain credibility for the policy is by a strategy of repression, but the policy is no more scientific than socialism was “scientific” in the former Soviet Union, and by now the New York Times and the Washington Post (not to mention the LA Times) look as credible as Izvestia and Pravda. If you cannot listen to ordinary citizens who tell you that the products are causing harm then you are actively suppressing the evidence and engaging in an act of social intimidation.

Continue reading "The New York Times Emotes, The President Endorses MMR Safety, But No Mention of the CDC Whistleblower " »


The Washington Post Whips Up Fear And Blames Andrew Wakefield

Washington-Post-LogoBy John Stone

In the US this week we are witnessing the replay of two years ago in the UK. The media whips up hysteria about a few cases of measles – which is usually not a serious illness - and casts Andrew Wakefield in the role of a popular villain who has caused the outbreaks to happen .  In order to get a perspective on these events it might not be necessary to recap the career and political trial of Wakefield because actually it would be impossible to locate any point at which he was in a position to influence popular US opinion against the use of MMR vaccine, whereas in the UK there was a famous TV press conference in 1998 when he offered the personal opinion that it might be safer to use single vaccines (an option at the time available through the UK’s National Health Service) rather than the triple vaccine containing three live viruses, measles, mumps and rubella.

All the present hullaballoo is not really about what Wakefield did. It is simply a ploy by a weak government and even weaker mainstream media to distract from the ever growing problem of vaccine damage and the expectation that the “CDC Whistleblower”  William Thompson will ultimately give evidence before Congress that the CDC have known all along that MMR can cause autism (which is what Wakefield feared in 1998). People should be concerned about measles like any illness, but they should be even more concerned about the ever increasing certainty of the toxic load on their children from vaccines and the sheer unaccountability of the system which mandates them while protecting the manufacturers for nearly these last 30 years from any litigation. What is really stake is not just a legislative situation which only protects the manufacturers  -  not the public, not the children – but the fact that the US’s sold out mainstream media will no longer even allow the matter to be discussed. Meanwhile the Supreme Court has pronounced vaccines to be “unavoidably unsafe”.  So they will harm you and your children but you have less and less say in the matter.

Worse, we know that the VICP (Vaccine Injury Compensation Program) has actually compensated cases where vaccines have caused autism while keeping the cases sealed so they cannot become legal precedents. HHS HRSA official admitted to both Sharyl Attkisson (at the time reporting for CBS) and David Kirby on Huffington Post:

"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."

While CDC director Julie Gerberding , who later left to become head of Merck’s vaccine division, told CNN of the decision to compensate Hannah Poling:

 “….. if you’re predisposed with the mitochondrial disorder, it [vaccination] can certainly set off some damage. Some of the symptoms can be symptoms that have characteristics of autism.”

However, the media have become amnesiac and none of them will report today what is matter of public record.

Continue reading "The Washington Post Whips Up Fear And Blames Andrew Wakefield" »


Puliyel Further Challenges Study Authors, Baldo et al, Over GSK Vaccine Deaths

InfanrixBy John Stone

Dr Jacob Puliyel who last week published evidence that GSK and the European Medicines Agency had covered up or overlooked 69 deaths from the vaccine Infanrix Hexa  has published a further challenge  to the authors of a study exonerating the vaccine.  He points out that the rate of death is up to 5 times worse than the GSK document suggests because the denominator is not the number of vaccines distributed but the number of administrations, bearing in mind that in most instances the infants died on first administration (and there are up to 5 doses). He also points out that European agency had delicensed an earlier hexavalent vaccine of similar profile manufactured by Sanofi and Merck after 13 deaths. This, of course, poses huge questions not only about the product but the culture of the manufacturing company and the licensing agency.

Puliyel writes:

Apropos the earlier posting there are a couple of other facts that we must consider when looking at the incidence of sudden unexplained deaths immediately following vaccination with Infanrix.

a) The safety assessment document has used the number of doses of vaccine distributed as the denominator. The report acknowledges that all the doses of the vaccine distributed, need not have been utilized.

There can be another argument against using this denominator. As each child is given up to 5 doses (https://www.gsksource.com/gskprm/htdocs/documents/INFANRIX.PDF) and they could die after any one of the doses (and you can die only once), perhaps it would be more appropriate to look at the number of deaths against the number of babies vaccinated (rather than the number of units of vaccine distributed). The appropriate denominator would be about one fifth the denominator used in the report.

b) Appendix 5A in the document sent to the regulator gives the International Event Report in 13 fatal cases. It can be seen in this sample that there were more deaths after the first dose than after the second and more after the second than after the third dose. This is a pattern seen with adverse events following immunization (AEFI) that are causatively related.

c) In May 2005, Zinka and colleagues have reported six cases of sudden infant deaths caused by another hexavalent vaccine (similar to Infanrix), called Hexavac Zinka B, 2006. Marketing authorization in the European Union was withdrawn in August 2005 (Doc.Ref.EMEA/207369/2005).

d) The CIOMS /WHO’s have revised the widely used Brighton Protocol for assessment of AEFI. The new scheme facilitates misclassification of vaccine related deaths as [Not an AEFI] and this has been discussed on PubMed Commons earlier. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19061929 ) (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23452584 ) (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24021304 ).

e) In some ways the deaths with Infanrix is similar to deaths seen with the use in Asia of Pentavalent vaccine against 5 disease ( DPT, hepatitis B, Hib vaccines) Puliyel J, 2013. Some of these deaths have been investigated by the WHO using this revised method and the vaccine had been declared safe.

f) The deaths are completely unnecessary as the vaccines could have been given separately, and separately they have a long track record of safety. One hopes that the findings will result in an honest assessment of the harms being done by these new combined vaccines.

Conclusion

As mentioned earlier there is nothing sacrosanct about the original Brighton Classification (http://www.who.int/vaccine_safety/publications/AEFI_aide_memoire.pdf) but one has to evaluate the two schemes (Brighton vs CIOMS) from the point of view of patient safety to see which scheme would react to rare vaccine related adverse reaction signals early. “The causality scheme that insists on calling all reactions as ‘indeterminate’ or ‘inconsistent/coincidental’ just because they were not noticed in the original small clinical trials, undermines the very raison d'être of post marketing surveillance. Patient safety (meaning  protecting patients) rather than vaccine safety (protecting vaccines) should be more important.”

 


‘Upworthy’ Lies About the Wakefield Lancet Paper

PariserBy John Stone

'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.'

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]

When the Deer/BMJ findings came under the scrutiny of Dr David Lewis in November 2011 they were forced to re-trench (reported in Nature):

“But he (Bjarnason) says that the forms don't clearly support charges that Wakefield deliberately misinterpreted the records.

"The data are subjective. It's different to say it's deliberate falsification," he says.

“Deer notes that he never accused Wakefield of fraud over his interpretation of pathology records…

“Fiona Godlee, the editor of the BMJ, says that the journal's conclusion of fraud was not based on the pathology but on a number of discrepancies between the children's records and the claims in the Lancet paper…”

Although Godlee had previously stated in February 2011:

“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."

But it is clear that the judge who presided over Walker-Smith's exoneration and reviewed the Lancet paper in detail could not find any evidence of this. His one major quibble was over the statement about ethical approval paper which Walker-Smith says he did not see - however this is accurate too.

"Ethical approval and consent

"Investigations were approved by the Ethical Practices Committee of the Royal Free Hospital NHS Trust, and parents gave informed consent."

The paper did not have ethical approval and consent, and did not need it because it was simply a review of patient data (which was what was on the tin). The procedures needed ethical approval and consent and had them.

So Wiki does not tell you any of this but repeats an account that is long disproven.

Continue reading "‘Upworthy’ Lies About the Wakefield Lancet Paper" »


Brian Deer Remains Mute

Brian Deer B&WBy John Stone

Just before Christmas Brian Deer made an unusual appearance in the comment columns of Huffington Post.  Why he chose to do so is a bit of a mystery though typically tasteless since the column was about the plight of British doctors driven to suicide while under investigation by the UK General Medical Council. Possibly Deer does not think enough doctors commit suicide but otherwise his intervention was decidedly off subject (besides being a come-down from the London Sunday Times and the British Medical Journal).

Deer writes:

Equally pressing reform, in my view, is needed with regard to section 35(a) of the Medical Act 1983. This allows medical practitioners to stand mute in the face of charges, and not to disclose any information.

This unique provision to protect doctors contrasts with the civil law, under which parties in litigation are required under the CPR to disclose evidence and statements of case in good time before a hearing, and the criminal law, under which police are authorised to seize such evidence as they need and those accused are directly warned that to fail to answer questions may count against them at trial.

This unwarranted protection for doctors - slipped in to the act so long ago - almost entirely derailed the Wakefield, Walker-Smith, Murch GMC case in 2010, potentially costing at least five million of doctors' money and nearly causing a substantial part of the case to be reheard.

In that case, two of the three (Walker-Smith and Wakefield) stood mute in face of charges that the practitioners' claims of ethical approval for research on uniquely vulnerable patients was false. After the prosecution closed its case, the practitioners' then announced that they never carried out any research (as they had said they had before being charged) and Walker-Smith proceeded to retrospectively diagnose what he said were clinical indications for each of the patients. This then added about a year to the length of the hearing, and threw the management of the case into chaos.

This is, of course, complete and utter nonsense, and I responded:

There was no question of Walker-Smith or Wakefield remaining mute. The paper was what it said, a review of cases seen on the basis of patient need: it never claimed to be a research paper. That was the defence. I wrote unchallenged in BMJ Rapid Responses immediately after the findings:

"The panel stated in the short version of their findings on fact read out to journalists at the GMC last month [1]:

"“The Panel has heard that ethical approval had been sought and granted for other trials and it has been specifically suggested that Project 172-96 was never undertaken and that in fact, the Lancet 12children’s investigations were clinically indicated and the research partsof those clinically justified investigations were covered by Project 162-95. In the light of all the available evidence, the Panel rejected this proposition.”

"However, it is my understanding that 162-95 was not a "project" in any normal sense but the ethical approval granted Prof Walker-Smith on his arrival at the Royal Free Hospital in September 1995 - as probably the most senior figure in British paediatric gastroenterology - to retain biopsy samples from colonoscopies for research purposes. If this is the case it would seem a basic criticism of the panel, that in reaching their view, they did not explain why this ethical permission did not obtain in this instance. We are also confronted by the oddity that the panel having concluded that the study was in fact project 172-96 then found the three doctors to be in breach of its terms at every twist and turn, instead of drawing the more obvious inference that it wasn't 172-96 at all, but an "early report" as stated."

http://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/11/02/unexplained-puzzle-gmc-verdict-and-reponses-peter-flegg

Two years later Mr Justice Mitting accepted that Walker-Smith was not conducting research and he was exercising his clinical judgment in the best interests of the patients -clearly also Walker-Smith was ultimately responsible for all clinical decisions as well as being senior author of the paper. A more pertinent question is whether Deer when he was denouncing the doctors witheld evidence of 162-95 which he had obtained under FOI.

Unsurprisingly, challenged in this way Deer remained  “mute”. In 2010 my comment appeared under an article by Prof Trisha Greenhalgh: it was a direct challenge to Greenhalgh whose mischievous analysis  of the Wakefield Lancet paper had appeared on Deer’s website, to Brian Deer himself  and to journalist “opinion leader” Dr Ben Goldacre. Unsurprisingly, all three remained “mute”, although patently embarrassed. Five years on Deer is still …”mute”.

Continue reading "Brian Deer Remains Mute" »


NIH Cancels Massive Children's Health Study But US Child Health Is In Meltdown

Money down drain dollar sign waterBy John Stone

From ScienceMag.com:

Federal officials are pulling the plug on an ambitious plan hatched 14 years ago to follow the health of 100,000 U.S. children from before birth to age 21. The National Children’s Study (NCS), which has struggled to get off the ground and has already cost more than $1.2 billion, has too many flaws to be carried out in a tight budget environment, advisers today told National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins. He announced he is dismantling the study immediately. At the same time, the advisers endorsed the aims of the study and urged NIH to fund related research. NIH now plans to figure out a way to do that by redirecting some of NCS’s $165 million in funding for 2015, Collins said today at a meeting of the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD)....  Read the full article NIH Cancels Massive Children's Health Study.

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In June 2011 I recorded in my letter to NIH director Francis Collins data that 54% of US children are chronically sick and 17% have a developmental disability.

An Open Letter to National Institutes of Health's Dr. Francis Collins: 54% of American Children Suffer from Chronic Health Problems

Dear Dr Collins,

I am writing to you about the health catastrophe currently engulfing US children, but not only US children. Just five years ago you gave testimony to Congress as director of the Human Genome Research Institute (HERE ):

‘But genes alone do not tell the whole story. Recent increases in chronic diseases like diabetes, childhood asthma, obesity or autism cannot be due to major shifts in the human gene pool as those changes take much more time to occur. They must be due to changes in the environment, including diet and physical activity, which may produce disease in genetically predisposed persons. Therefore, GEI [Genes and Environment Initiative] will also invest in innovative new technologies/sensors to measure environmental toxins, dietary intake and physical activity, and using new tools of genomics, proteomics, and understanding metabolism rates to determine an individual's biological response to those influences.’

Continue reading "NIH Cancels Massive Children's Health Study But US Child Health Is In Meltdown" »


Best of Age of Autism: Brian Deer Basks at a Pharmaceutical Conference by Lake Annecy

Animal_farm

(Note: We published this post  three years ago this week. It serves as a reminder of the background of the "team" devoted to crushing the vaccine autism connection. In a rare mainstream re-appearance a few weeks ago Deer claimed to have inside knowledge of anonymised court case.)

By John Stone

This week journalist Brian Deer has been enjoying celebrity status at the luxury villa of Les Pensières of the Fondation Mérieux on the banks of Lake Annecy in the French alps: The Merieux foundation advertises its financial links to all three MMR manufacturers that were defendants in the UK litigation (GSK, Merck and Sanofi), as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

So far Deer has disclosed no pharmaceutical sponsorship or hospitality in his series of British Les-pensieres-outside-5 Medical Journal articles attacking Andrew Wakefield and now Wakefield’s colleagues at the Royal Free Hospital, the last published just twelve days before conference began. Nor does he mention this latest engagement in a letter yesterday to the journal  (presumably a dispatch from the conference itself). Meanwhile BMJ have failed to publish a letter pointing out the discrepancy and have once again given the lie to editor Fiona Godlee’s official ‘holier than thou’ stance on Conflict of Interest.

At a conference entitled  ‘See Re-invigorating Immunisation Policy Implementation and Success: From Parent to Partner and from Broadcast to Engagement' Deer was keynote speaker at the introductory evening on Monday with an address ‘Money, media and retrospection. What drove the MMR crisis, and what lessons should we learn for the future?’ but also was listed to chair two sessions on Tuesday afternoon and evening.

This puts in ironic perspective the scathing remarks that Deer made about Dr David Lewis attending a vaccine safety conference in Jamaica in January in both in BMJ and in Nature News, but is also perhaps a gratifying apotheosis for everyone who has watched his remarkable career.

John Stone is Contributing Editor to Age of Autism.

 


Autism Speaks, Business and the CDC

Quote-when-money-speaks-the-truth-is-silent-proverbs-336806
By John Stone

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

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

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

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

Before that Wang was with Pfizer:

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

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

Continue reading "Autism Speaks, Business and the CDC" »


Dangling by a Thread in Washington: Insel Prevaricates Over the CDC Whistleblower

Insel_thumbBy John Stone

"I wish I knew more about that particular instance."

The excuses are wearing thin. Here is a transcript of the remarks of Thomas Insel, National Institute of Mental Health director, regarding the whistleblowing activities of Centers for Disease Control employee William Thompson at the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee meeting two days ago  (view video here.):

“Again this is not for the IACC since that committee is not here in full. This is not a meeting to decide anything we are going to do in regard to policy and I wish I knew more about that particular instance. I don’t. I can tell you that the 2004 PEDIATRICS paper was one of about fourteen papers in the IOM [Institute of Medicine] review and there have been  another multiple papers since then that have weighed in on this all of which the IOM have said in 2011 are consistent with not finding a relationship between vaccination and autism. What the IOM doesn’t say and what nobody has said in a way that I find intelligible (?) is that there could still be the rare cases in which that could occur and what we need to think about is how one would investigate that if that were the case.”

What, of course, Insel does is respond as a bureaucrat, not a scientist. He tells you the IOM have rubber stamped 14 epidemiological studies, therefore the matter is decided. Apart from anything else even if the studies were not corrupt (and they all have a very similar line of patronage to the DeStefano study) it would not be enough to say that vaccines only rarely cause autism. It is not only because correlation does not equal causation - as they keep on reminding us - but because you could have tens of thousands of cases and they might not register as statistically significant. However, if you look at the way in which these studies were botched together it is apparent that the effects were so gross that they could only disguise them by fraud. DeStefano 2004 is only exceptional in that it has been admitted by Thompson and not denied by DeStefano (the latter in two interviews with Sharyl Attkisson ), but actually it is just typical of what they were doing in all of them as Lyn Redwood told Insel at the meeting.

 

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Continue reading "Dangling by a Thread in Washington: Insel Prevaricates Over the CDC Whistleblower" »


The Texas Court: Business as Usual

Texas UKBy John Stone

Without commenting in detail on how Judge Scott Field sliced up Andy Wakefield’s petition against BMJ and Brian Deer it is interesting to note the line of patronage in the Texas court system. Field enjoys the endorsement of the Texas Civil Justice League Political Action Committee (TCJL)  . Represented on the committee (Board of Directors) are many of the great corporations of the world including MMR manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline in the person of Gaspar X Laca , who also enjoys the title of ‘Acct Director Govt Relations’ and has two addresses: one at GSK’s London Office  and the other in Scottsdale, Arizona  (which suggests he has less claim on the protection of the Texas court than Andy). If I understand Mr Laca’s profession correctly he is a corporate government lobbyist. Zoominfo quotes a now 16 year old report of Laca’s views (is this the most recent?):

“Glaxo-Wellcome's Senior Government Affairs Manager Gaspar Laca spoke about How to Become More Effective Advocates."If you want to become a true advocate, do it all year round."said Gaspar Laca, Senior Manger of Government Affairs at Glaxo.

“He said it is important to stay in constant communication with the elected officials.Laca suggests setting up appointments to meet with legislators or staying in touch through the mail.

“He said letters should be brief and to the point (three paragraphs will suffice).First, identify yourself as a constituent, and state whether you support or oppose a bill and then tell the lawmaker how you want them to vote.Second, state why the bill is important to you.And third, thank them.Short hand written notes are the best.

“Laca also suggests that advocates keep lawmakers informed by mailing them newspaper articles about pertinent issues.He said it is important to monitor a bill's progress and that it is easier to kill a bill than to pass one.He added that the best place to amend a bill is at the committee level.

As for public testimony, Laca recommends that it be short, direct, and factual.He said to distribute written copies of statements to committee members and if a committee member is absent, mail that person a copy of the testimony.After testifying, he said to be prepared for questions.”

TJCL PAC state as their mission:

“Texas businesses, health care providers, and trade and professional associations established the Texas Civil Justice League Political Action Committee (TCJL PAC) in 1986 for the purpose of supporting candidates for the Texas Supreme Court committed to the doctrine of judicial restraint and deference to the Legislature in matters involving new rights to sue. During that time the Court became the most plaintiff-friendly high court in the nation, earning the Wall Street Journal’s moniker, “the courthouse for the world.”

Continue reading "The Texas Court: Business as Usual" »


The Official Stamp of the CDC: IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

Thought crimeBy John Stone

“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.” 1984, George Orwell

This does not need a lengthy article. It is only to remark about the way science is conducted in the future of 2014. One study (DeStefano 2004) remains un-retracted, not subject to any significant review by the journal in which it appeared though results have been declared a fraud by one of its co-authors. Another study criticising it (Hooker 2014 ) is withdrawn by it journal without any coherent reasons being offered. Meanwhile, the pretence that countless thousands have not been brain injured by government mandated products goes on. The whole thing is controlled and manipulated by an unaccountable bureaucracy, as cold-blooded and ruthless as anything George Orwell imagined, ostensibly for the greater good, but far more likely for its own preservation and that of its pharmaceutical industry sponsors.

On page two of Orwell’s novel Winston Smith glimpses the slogans on the side of the Ministry of Truth

WAR IS PEACE

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

In this saga we have had a lot of “IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH”: Orwell neglected to include “SICKNESS IS HEALTH” though he well understood the way bureaucracies distort data. Having lived through a decade in which diagnosing more cases of autism is always pronounced to be a triumph of contemporary enlightenment we can only draw our own conclusions.

The recent Hooker/Focus Autism Press Release can be viewed here  . Sharyl Attkisson has just written about the lamentable situation at PEDIATRICS in regard to the DeStefano study.

Added September 13, 2014. Dr Hooker and Focus Autism have provided this further analysis.


The CDC: the Detective Agency Which Could Never Find Anything

HumphreyBy John Stone

An interruption yester-evening from a troll styling themselves Sam Spade set me ruminating: no doubt the thoughts are not very original but some of them may benefit from re-stating.

And so to Mr Spade and his brief response to Kent Heckenlively’s ‘A Break in the Wall’:

Bullshit. You people will murder a lot of children with this false story.

Perhaps the first thing to point out is that our ranks are almost entirely comprised of citizens who uncomplainingly did what was supposed to be the right thing in vaccinating their children: their views were not formed by ideology but by experience. The experience comprises not only the awful reality of what happened to their children after vaccinating but the way institutions deal with the issue. To even raise the issue of vaccine damage is also to raise the hostility and anger in every quarter.

This anger –  Mr Spade’s anger – is not based on reason or knowledge. There is nothing inherently implausible in a pharmaceutical product injected into an infant or toddler causing damage:  we have just been educated not to think that. Actually, a lot of even official literature acknowledges the possibility of damage it is just supposed to be vanishingly rare – unfortunately, the only thing that is guaranteed to make it rare is not good science but the waves of officially inspired hatred that will be triggered against anyone daring to stand up and say "This went wrong". The point about Mr Spade is that his rage is not determined by science but by institutions: institutions which are not happy to have their errors reported back to them, not happy if they fear that they can be detected. They will never find anything that they don’t want to, as Ed Yazbak pointed out years ago. It is not a question of whether we like the diseases, it is question of whether the products are as safe and effective as they should be, whether there are far too many of them etc.

The very thing that determines that the vaccine program is unsafe as well as unjust is this whipped up anger: we are not allowed to discuss the science – scientists who speak out must be shunned and persecuted, citizens who speak out must be declared intellectually incompetent. This anger constitutes social control not reasoned debate.

Continue reading "The CDC: the Detective Agency Which Could Never Find Anything" »


CDC Frauds: Connections Between the DeStefano Paper and the Thorsen Affair.

Destefano
Frank Destefano

By John Stone

Last week a Centers for Disease Control employee, William Thompson, came forward as whistleblower to admit that a 2004 study led by Frank DeStefano, of which Thompson himself was co-author was fraudulent, disguising the fact that incidence of autism was three and a half times higher in African Americans vaccinated with MMR before 36 months. In this light it is interesting that another co-author of the study, Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp, also liaised with Poul Thorsen over commissioning the equally fraudulent Madsen MMR/autism study. Thorsen who coordinated a series of studies between the CDC and Aarhus University/Staaten Serum Institut, Denmark was indicted in 2011 in the US on 13 counts of wire fraud involving the CDC and 9 of money laundering , but no attempt has been made to extradite him from Denmark.

None of the studies coordinated and co-authored by Thorsen have ever been retracted. At a congressional hearing in 2012 Coleen Boyle, another CDC employee and another co-author of the fraudulent DeStefano paper, failed to give straight answers when questioned by congressman Posey about Thorsen. Boyle could only recall two studies co-authored by Thorsen when in fact there were at least 21. On that occasion Congressman Posey memorably referred to Thorsen as “a humongous scum bag and one of the most wanted men on earth” .

If Cochrane 2005 smelt a rat with DeStefano 2004:

The conclusion, however, implied bias in the enrollment of cases which may not be representative of the rest of the autistic population of the city of Atlanta, USA where the study was set.

it actually stated there was a rat in the case of Madsen:

The follow up of diagnostic records ends one year (31 Dec 1999) after the last day of admission to the cohort. Because of the length of time from birth to diagnosis, it becomes increasingly unlikely that those born later in the cohort could have a diagnosis.

To put it more bluntly Madsen had included in the vaccinated group children who were too young to be vaccinated and children who were too young to have been diagnosed. The data was subject to review in two articles published Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, one by Goldman and Yazbak, the other by Stott, Blaxill and Wakefield    with differing results but both detecting a hoard of missing autism cases among the vaccinated implicit in Cochrane (actually published afterwards). Notable was the suppressed 2002 letter to NEJM from Prof Suissa, an epidemiologist from McGill, published in the Stott article which recalculated the Madsen data to suggest that autism was 45% higher in the vaccinated group. Brian Hooker also contributed to the correspondence in the following issue.

We may never know exactly what was the surplus of autism cases in the vaccinated group, except that it was evidently going to be substantial.

Continue reading "CDC Frauds: Connections Between the DeStefano Paper and the Thorsen Affair." »