Best of A of A: NEW FOIA EMAILS SHOW: GRINKER SPEAKS AND THE CDC LISTENS
Here's a Best of A of A. Atrributing the increase in autism to better diagnosis and "acceptance" serves only to deflect attention from the skyrocketing rates of profoundly injured children. Folks at Autism Speaks, CDC, AAP and many major research facilities, like that one with the bulldog mascot up the street from me here in CT, desperately want you to believe that the ever growing rates of autism are due to better diagnosis. Drug 'em, and hug 'em, but don't ask why... A recent UC Davis study says otherwise (HERE.) KS
Managing Editor's Note: Make sure you scroll down to click open the PDF of the emails JB is referencing, complete with blacked out sentences.
By J.B. Handley
Roy Richard Grinker is Professor of Anthropology, Human Sciences and International Affairs at the George Washington University. It’s worth noting that his Dad and Grandfather are somewhat famous psychiatrists. He wrote a book about autism called Unstrange Minds. Two things are interesting:
1. The book was written with the help of a $120,000 grant from Autism Speaks. From his own website: “In 2005, he received a grant of $120,000 from the National Alliance for Autism Research/Autism Speaks, to conduct the first ever prevalence study of autism in Korea.”
2. The book, according to a description on Dr. Grinker’s website: “Unstrange Minds presents the controversial idea that there is no evidence for an autism epidemic. Instead, the high rates of prevalence and diagnosis today are instead evidence that scientists are finally counting cases correctly. And this is a good thing, not only for the US but for the world, including cultures that have only just begun to learn about autism.”
Dr. Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp is a CDC employee and sits on the Scientific Advisory Board of Autism Speaks. She helps determine where Autism Speaks directs research funds. Here’s an excerpt from a speech she gave about autism:
“Dr. Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp, a specialist in pediatric neurodevelopmental disabilities, delivered a speech on "Autism: Is There an Epidemic?" at the annual Andrew J. Kirch Conference at the Burgundy Basin Inn in Pittsford. Yeargin-Allsopp is a chief at the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention….Autism, a neurological disorder affecting children's social interaction and communication skills, has appeared to be increasing at alarming rates, said Yeargin-Allsopp…But Yeargin-Allsopp said that the increases corresponded with new federal and medical guidelines that changed what was considered an autism-related disorder, or what experts call autism spectrum disorders, and who qualified for those services.”
Dr. Yeargin-Allsopp, directing Autism Speaks research dollars, doesn’t think there is an autism epidemic. Given her position at CDC, there’s no doubt she was instrumental in the language CDC uses on their own website to discuss whether or not the prevalence of autism is actually growing:
“It is clear that more children than ever before are being classified as having autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). But, it is unclear how much of this increase is due to changes in how we identify and classify ASDs in people, and how much is due to a true increase in prevalence.”
Meet Cathy Rice, and Thank God for The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA.)
Cathy Rice, Ph.D., is part of the Developmental Disabilities Team at the CDC. According to private emails the Age of Autism recently obtained between Ms. Rice and Roy Grinker, she really liked his book. She also asked Dr. Grinker:
“Have you gotten much of a strong reaction for not fully embracing the epidemic as a phenomenon of increased risk?”
Read the Correspondence for Yourself between Roy, Marshalyn, and Cathy
You can read the email chains HERE.
It’s really hard to know where to begin after reading these emails many times, as I have done.
Is it really OK for CDC employees to be corresponding with privately funded autism epidemic deniers (funded by Autism Speaks)?
Why did so much of their correspondence have to be redacted (see the white spaces on the emails)?
What did they talk about in the conference call Roy Grinker is invited to participate in (referenced in the email)? Who else was on that call – any other private citizens? Autism Speaks?
Did the CDC help Roy Grinker publish his book, get his editorial placed in the Wall Street Journal, or craft his P.R. approach in general?
Did Grinker make money from the book? Does he have to pay back the $120,000 from Autism Speaks if the book made a profit?
Do you think in a million years the CDC would privately correspond with a researcher who was, say, injecting primates with Thimerosal to see where the Thimerosal ended up? Not in a million years.
What in living hell is Autism Speaks doing funding an epidemic denier, and privately corresponding with this person to profusely thank him for sharing his Wall Street Journal editorial? From Dr. Yeargin-Allsop’s email: “Thank you so much for sharing this with us.”
If you walk for Autism Speaks, ask for your money back. Maybe Roy has a few extra bucks.
JB Handley Co-Founder of Generation Rescue.
Yes of course, there is no increase in Gastroesophigitisrefluxdisease, not children who are mute, nor children rocking back and forth while banging their heads. Why, in the 1960's 70's and 80's 1 third wore football helmets to school to protect their heads as they banged, 1 half were in the nurse's office for lunchtime medication, 1 third of the children were mute and everyone had a life threatening peanut allergy..half my friends died of measles, the other half died of chicken pox...yes we are all suddenly diagnosed better..especially sociopaths with a psychology degree who made this all up.
Posted by: Shell Tzorfas | December 14, 2011 at 03:50 PM
The part I really wish they hadn't deleted is where he mentions the vaxed vs. unvaxed study...I think whatever comments followed that would have really given us an even more unvarnished picture of what this man's motivations are and where his loyalties really lie. I would have loved to have been able to spread his comments far & wide. And what possible reason could they have had for blacking out what was obviously a lot more commentary? I can understand removing names of individuals, but other than that, what gives?
Posted by: Carrie Elsass | January 08, 2008 at 07:29 PM
Nice gig Grinker, Yeargin-Allsopp and other CDC folks. Nice use of non profit funds for a for profit venture with a cover up. Sounds like a plot line for the next Hollywood mega blockbuster (once the writer strike is done.) Oh wait - no - its my life.
Posted by: Lisa A jeffs mom | January 08, 2008 at 06:58 PM
When you request something through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) from a Federal agency and you see white spaces/or blacked out pages on the email (redacted) then you know there is a major cover-up that had to cause this.
I'm not surprised.
Too bad the media or politicians can't put pressure on them to get this redacted information.
The whole issue of autism and the link of vaccines has been covered up for years by these Federal agencies at the CDC, FDA and NIH as well as autism organizations like Autism Speaks.
A shameful travesty that is not only hurting families and their kids but the American public.
Posted by: Raymond Gallup | January 08, 2008 at 02:41 PM
This whole Grinker book deal stinks worse than a dead fish!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: Richard | January 08, 2008 at 02:37 PM
Troubling indeed. Interesting comment from the woman at the CDC who you would think/hope/pray is actually interested in finding out the truth about autism. She writes:
"We at CDC are *very* interested in identifying adults with ASD".
Emphasis on *very* was hers, not mine. Why would you be very interested in identifying adults with ASD -- they should be very easy to find, shouldn't they? Why are they having such a problem finding them?
Then, in her sign off, she wishes Grinker luck on his radio show. I just picture her sitting there with her fingers and toes crossed hoping that people will actually fall for the bs he is spreading. Sad state of afairs.
Posted by: Sue M | January 08, 2008 at 12:54 PM
This chain of emails is so upsetting. I don't think anything makes me as mad as denial of the epidemic of autism, especially among those who are supposed to be helping to find causes and treatments.
I would like to mention that the other day I was watching a speech by Hilary Clinton at a school in New Hampshire. Near the end, an audience member asked a question about the environment. Without even being asked about autism, she said (as best as I can recall): "There is an epidemic of autism. If I am elected president, we will investigate the causes of autism, and we will find the environmental causes which are triggering autism in those with a genetic vulnerability."
Yes, she is a politician -- Everyone running for president is a politician. Campaign promises are easy to make and often not kept. And she did not say the word, "vaccines". Never-the-less, in the context of so much denial of an epidemic, and so much focus on genes and the brain, and so much just plain ignoring of autism as if it does not even exist, I found her words to be refreshingly clear and enlightenned.
Posted by: Twyla | January 08, 2008 at 12:21 PM
Without even reading the whole thing, this is what I have understood.
Autism Speaks went to the autism community, took its money, and is actively in cahoots with the CDC. Autism Speaks has paid a private citizen the autism community's money, and together with CDC, is actively engaged in putting out false information against the entire autism community so that the CDC is exonerated from the autism-vaccine controversy.
No wonder God is hopping mad. I would not want to be any of these people right now :).
Posted by: WHAT??? | January 08, 2008 at 11:43 AM
It's frightening that these people are making careers out of skewing statistics, encapsulating their ideology with sycophantic surroundings, to the point where inconvenient realities such as children's lab tests are deemed irrelevant.
Like armchair quarterbacks, or chickenhawk generals, these bean counters are far, far removed from reality -- and thus the effects of their action or inaction.
Meanwhile countless children suffer unnecessarily because these co-called authority figures issue self-serving press releases. But comforting words are no substitute for toxicological data, gastrointestinal scoping and immune panels.
Posted by: nhokkanen | January 08, 2008 at 11:07 AM
Did he study US too, or just Korea?
Posted by: AnneS | January 08, 2008 at 07:41 AM