Parents No Longer Mollified by the "Science Says, So Trust Us" Approach to Healthcare
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Joan Cranmer’s Fateful Decisions and the Suppression of Autism Science

Suppression By Mark Blaxill

On February 12, 2010 the journal Neurotoxicology made a quiet change on its web-site to an “in-press” article that had previously been available as an “epub ahead of print.”  There was no press release or public announcement, simply an entry change. The entry for the article, “Delayed acquisition of neonatal reflexes in newborn primates receiving a thimerosal-containing Hepatitis B vaccine: Influence of gestational age and birth weight”, was first modified to read “Withdrawn” and has since been removed altogether from the Neurotoxicology web-site. The only remaining official trace of the paper is now the following listing on the National Library of Medicine’s “PubMed” site.

Neurotoxicology. 2009 Oct 2. [Epub ahead of print]

WITHDRAWN: Delayed acquisition of neonatal reflexes in newborn primates receiving a thimerosal-containing Hepatitis B vaccine: Influence of gestational age and birth weight.

Hewitson L, Houser LA, Stott C, Sackett G, Tomko JL, Atwood D, Blue L, White ER, Wakefield AJ.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, United States; Thoughtful House Center for Children, Austin, TX 78746, United States.

This article has been withdrawn at the request of the editor. The Publisher apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.

How can a scientific study simply vanish? This paper had cleared every hurdle for entry into the public scientific record: it had passed peer review at a prestigious journal, received the editor’s approval for publication, been disseminated in electronic publication format (a common practice to ensure timely dissemination of new scientific information), and received the designation “in press” as it stood in line awaiting future publication in a print version of the journal. Now, and inexplicably, it has been erased from the official record. For practical scientific purposes it no longer exists.

The answer, of course, is that this is no ordinary scientific study.  Age of Autism reported previously on its importance HERE , where we noted that “one likely tactic of critics of the study will include attempts to nullify the evidence based on the alleged bias of those involved.” The obvious risk, of course, was that a co-investigator on the paper, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, might make the study a target, especially in light of the hearings then underway at the U.K.’s General Medical Council (GMC).  In the wake of last month’s GMC findings of misconduct, we also reported on the calls by Generation Rescue to recognize the even greater importance of Dr. Wakefield’s work on this primate project, an analysis of the health outcomes of vaccinated and unvaccinated macaque monkeys (see HERE and HERE). Sadly, true to our prediction, and despite the quality of the work and the importance of the findings, it appears that the “attempts to nullify the evidence” have been successful.

Over the least several weeks, Age of Autism has tried repeatedly to contact the journal and spoke briefly with Joan Cranmer, the editor-in-chief of Neurotoxicology. She declined comment on the issue. We have obtained evidence, however, that Cranmer has participated in two separate communications on her decisions regarding the primate paper. The first of these came last November, in the form of a response to a threatening letter she had received, at which time Cranmer gave a strong defense of Neurotoxicology’s review procedures.

“As Editor of Neurotoxicology this is to inform you that the referenced manuscript has been subjected to rigorous independent peer review according to our journal standards.   If you have issues with the science in the paper please submit them to me as a Letter to the Editor which will undergo peer review and will be subject to publication if deemed acceptable.”

That response, of course, came before the subsequent media storm over the GMC findings and the decision by another journal, The Lancet to retract a paper co-authored by Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the last listed author (a slot typically reserved for a project’s senior scientist) on the primate paper.

Shortly before the primate paper vanished in February, a second communication involving Cranmer took place, when she received a query from Lyn Redwood of SafeMinds who had learned from the study authors that there might be a problem with publication. As a co-funder of the project, Redwood wrote to Cranmer asking why Neurotoxicology would consider not publishing the primate paper.  This time, Cranmer declined comment and instead referred Redwood to an Elsevier executive named Elizabeth Perill (Elsevier is a division of Reed Elsevier PLC, a large scientific publishing corporation and owner of Neurotoxicology). Perill wrote the following note to Ms. Redwood on February 4th.

Dear Dr. Redwood [sic],
Aside from any authorship concerns, on reflection the paper is not suitable for publication in this journal. The decision was based on the fact that the paper should not have been accepted in Neurotoxicology and the paper is not suitable for the audience of Neurotoxicology.
Kind regards,
Elizabeth Perill
Publisher, Toxicology,
360 Park Av. South, New York, NY 10010

It’s hard to find much evidence to substantiate Perill’s claim. Quite the contrary, available evidence shows that the primate paper lies squarely within Neurotoxicology’s  suitable topic range: a recent search of the journal’s publication history identified 17 papers on thimerosal, 280 papers on mercury, 12 papers on vaccines, 738 papers on animal models, 64 papers on primates, 28 papers on autism and 63 papers on neurodevelopment. Furthermore, this oddly inconsistent sequence of decisions by the editor-in-chief of a leading scientific journal--to publish a scientific study on vaccine safety, to defend that decision to a critic and then to refer questions to her publisher once the journal reversed its previous decision--raises an important question. Did Cranmer make her publication decisions based on the scientific merits of the work involved or did Elsevier contravene Cranmer’s editorial authority with a corporate decision to suppress unpopular research? Any way one looks at it, the need for an Elsevier executive to speak for Joan Cranmer on this subject raises important questions about her own editorial independence. And in a world where autism science, especially the science surrounding controversial questions of vaccine safety, is increasingly influenced by the pervasive power of the medical industry, Cranmer’s decisions deserve more explanation than she has been willing to provide.

The unique importance of the primate project

In the ongoing controversy over the potential role of vaccines and their components in autism causation, the publication of the Neurotoxicology article in October provided a crucial pivot point. Despite the oft-repeated talking points from public health officials and medical industry representatives that any and all concerns have been “asked and answered”, the scientific support for these assurances is weak. Such claims rely exclusively on a controversial set of epidemiology studies of varying quality, ignore epidemiology that provides contradictory evidence and neglect the fact that none of the exculpatory evidence considers the interactions between different elements of the expanding childhood vaccine program. Instead, the studies (reviewed in depth HERE) cover only one vaccine product (the MMR vaccine) and one vaccine component (thimerosal) in isolation.

For many years, autism parents have called for higher quality research into vaccine safety. Inspired in part by Age of Autism Editor Dan Olmsted’s pioneering work on the low frequency of autism in less-vaccinated populations such as the Amish, parent groups have long called for human studies comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated populations. These calls have received support from many quarters. Representative Carolyn Maloney (Dem. NY) has introduced a bill in front of Congress asking for a vaccinated/unvaccinated study. In June of last year, the National Vaccine Advisory Group (NVAC) issued a similar call, asking the CDC to consider the “strengths and weaknesses, ethical issues and feasibility including timelines and cost of various study designs to examine outcomes in unvaccinated, vaccine delayed and vaccinated children.” So far, however, little progress has been made.

One important alternative to epidemiology studies that investigate vaccine safety in human populations is to conduct more invasive research using animal models. Animal models offer many advantages over human epidemiology studies; the vaccine exposures and outcomes can be tightly controlled and measured, while precise biological outcomes can be measured in far greater detail in tissue since the animals can be sacrificed. We’ve reported extensively on recent animal studies that address vaccine safety concerns, much of it focused on rodents (mice, hamsters and rats) and thimerosal (see HERE and HERE). A number of years ago, however, private funding emerged for the gold standard animal experiment on vaccine safety, this one using primates. This multi-year project has been conducted by some of the nation’s leading primate researchers and led by scientists affiliated with Thoughtful House of Austin, Texas.

From the beginning of the primate project, Andrew Wakefield has been a senior scientist. With philanthropic support from autism families, he started Thoughtful House in 2005. Even before that, work on the primate project had already begun. The first results from the team’s research were reported at an autism conference in London in May 2008 (see HERE). Then, in October 2009, the first peer-reviewed output of the effort, the Neurotoxicology paper, was published (see HERE). In that initial paper (clearly the first of many), Wakefield and his colleagues reported convincing evidence that the birth dose of thimerosal-containing hepatitis B vaccine caused developmental delay involving brainstem damage in infant primates. Despite the obvious importance of these animal experiments, Age of Autism has been virtually the sole news outlet covering this story.

When Joan Cranmer accepted the primate paper in Neurotoxicology, her decision could not have been an easy one. The study subject and one of the study authors, Andrew Wakefield, were known to be highly controversial. All of the information about the GMC proceedings and the accusations against Wakefield were well known to the editors and peer reviewers. Despite that knowledge and the risks involved, Cranmer and her editorial team judged the science to be sound and decided to go ahead. We complimented them at the time, noting that “the journal editors at Neurotoxicology have taken a courageous stand in publishing what is sure to be unwelcome evidence in some circles.” It appears, however, that Cranmer’s superiors within Elsevier did not share those views.

Did Reed Elsevier interfere in the editorial decisions of Neurotoxicology?

In wake of last month’s GMC findings, a rapid-fire series of events followed. The editor-in-chief of The Lancet, Richard Horton, issued a retraction of Wakefield’s case series report published by the journal in 1998. Although regrettable the retraction was not especially surprising, since Horton’s well-documented betrayal of Wakefield has placed him at the center of what we have called the Wakefield Inquisition (see HERE). Although Horton has consistently defended his scientific judgments in public, including the decision to publish the 1998 case series, Horton claimed to be surprised to learn that Wakefield was assisting autism parents in the U.K.’s equivalent of vaccine court. He then used the occasion to set the Inquisition in motion, admitting in his 2004 book, MMR: Science and Fiction, to meeting with an unnamed medical regulator and counseling him on how to build their case against Wakefield (see HERE). Unlike Cranmer, Horton has made himself one of the primary agents in the suppression of inconvenient science.  In scientific terms, however, The Lancet case series carries far less significance than the primate paper. Contrary to the bulk of media coverage on this issue, the 1998 “early report” provided neither evidence nor claims of causation. By contrast, the Thoughtful House primate project was carefully designed to test causation hypotheses.

So if Horton’s decision to retract the 1998 paper was unsurprising, Neurotoxicology’s decision not to proceed with publication of the primate paper was a different story; it shocked many of those close to the project. Despite protests from study participants, on February 2nd, the same day Horton announced The Lancet’s decision, Neurotoxicology informed the primate study authors of their decision not to proceed with publication in the print edition and soon removed the epub from its web-site. In a further ripple effect, within days of the Neurotoxicology decision, Thoughtful House announced Wakefield’s resignation. In the middle of the media frenzy sparked by The Lancet’s actions, the decision at Neurotoxicology went largely unnoticed.

At first glance, the two journals--The Lancet and Neurotoxicology--couldn’t be more different: The Lancet, a general purpose medical journal founded in 1823 and named after a device used to bleed patients under the now obsolete theory of the humors, is headquartered in London; Neurotoxicology, founded in 1979 and headquartered in Arkansas, is a specialized journal focused on “dealing with the effects of toxic substances on the nervous system of humans and experimental animals of all ages.” There is, however, a critical connection between the two. Both journals are published by Elsevier, a division of publishing giant Reed Elsevier, a multi-billion dollar corporation. Elsevier publishes close to 2400 scientific journals and also distributes millions of scientific articles through its online site ScienceDirect. According to Reed Elsevier’s 2008 Annual Report, “ScienceDirect from Elsevier contains over 25% of the world’s science, technological and medical information.”

As a leading publisher of scientific and medical journals, Reed Elsevier possesses enormous power over what studies actually make it into the scientific record. Moreover, in its quest for profits, the company has displayed an inclination to provide privileged access to that record to its commercial partners. In 2009, Elsevier acknowledged publishing nine journals, with titles such as “Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine" that were entirely sponsored by mostly undisclosed pharmaceutical advertisers (one was solely sponsored by Merck and published articles favorable to products like Vioxx and Fosamax). Although Reed Elsevier doesn’t manufacture drugs or vaccines, as a for-profit publisher it clearly has an interest in generating revenue from commercial partners in the medical industry.

Suspicions over the editorial independence of Reed Elsevier on the question of vaccine safety draw support from evidence of board level conflicts of interest involving Reed Elsevier’s CEO, Sir Crispin Davis. Davis, who retired in 2009 as CEO of Reed Elsevier, has served since July 2003 on the board of directors of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) a major vaccine manufacturer (also recently appointed to the board of GSK is James Murdoch, publisher of News Corp., which owns The Times of London, the newspaper which launched the media attack on Wakefield). In 2008, vaccines accounted for 12.5% of GSK’s worldwide revenues. And although Reed Elsevier has no known vaccine liability risk, GSK has been directly exposed to two of the most prominent autism/vaccine controversies. GSK manufactured Pluserix, a version of the MMR vaccine introduced in the UK in 1989 and withdrawn in 1992 due to safety concerns. GSK also produced a thimerosal containing vaccine similar to the one examined in the primate paper (which was a Merck product) named Engerix B, for hepatitis B. GSK lists its financial exposure to thimerosal litigation in the U.S. under the “legal proceedings” section in its 2008 Annual Report.

Tensions between publishers, who attend to a publication’s profitability, and editors, who attend to independent content, are well known. In their normal operations, there is little reason to believe that Reed Elsevier executives might involve themselves in the scientific review process. However, when scientific publications that can threaten the profitability (and commercial sponsorship) of valued partners of Reed Elsevier such as Glaxosmithkline and Merck are suppressed, Reed Elsevier’s actions should raise concerns among the scientists who lend their names and reputations to the journals the company distributes.

What should Joan Cranmer do?

In October 2008, Neurotoxicology hosted its annual conference in Rochester, New York. One of the featured speakers at the meeting was an elderly pediatrician named Herbert Needleman. Now in his eighties, Needleman is revered in neurotoxicology circles as the man responsible for identifying the developmental risk of lead exposure in children. His pioneering work led to the removal of lead additives from paint and gasoline. I had the opportunity to attend the conference and even to meet Needleman briefly. As I watched him speak I observed with interest the high regard with which the other attendees held him. It was clear that Needleman has attained iconic status in the field of neurotoxicology.

One of the reasons that Needleman is revered in the neurotoxicology community is because he had to surmount formidable obstacles and fight powerful opponents in order to protect children from dangerous exposures to heavy metals.  Like Wakefield, Needleman once served as an expert witness in a legal proceeding, in this case on behalf of a child from Utah who had been injured by lead pollution. Also like Wakefield, Needleman found himself facing off against powerful industry forces, in this case the oil and gas industry and their suppliers of lead, companies such as Ethyl Corp and E.I. DuPont de Nemours. Most notably, in order to defend their profits, the lead industry mounted an aggressive effort to discredit Needleman. In 1991, he was called before the Office of Scientific Integrity at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on charges of scientific misconduct.

NIH referred the hearings to his university, a fortunate turn of events for Needleman, who was able to blunt a skillfully orchestrated private attack by opening up the proceedings to the public and to his university colleagues (interestingly, he noted that in a crisis “you learn who your friends are. My friends were not people in the medical school but the faculty in the university at large”). Even more fortunately for the health of children, Needleman successfully defended his work and reputation and prevailed in the trial. As a consequence, we now all fuel our cars with unleaded gasoline and decorate our houses with lead free paint. Yet despite Needleman’s victory, the ruthless industry attacks he endured clearly disturbed and offended him, and he subsequently wrote an account of his experiences for the journal Pediatrics in a paper he called, “Salem Comes to the National Institutes of Health: Notes From Inside the Crucible of Scientific Integrity.” The title speaks to the intensity of emotion that Needleman brought to the conflict and the jeopardy in which he felt himself.

We like to assume that in conflicts like this the good guy always wins. But what if that isn’t always the case? What if the product involved hadn’t been leaded gasoline and the companies Needleman was up against were more influential than the oil and gas industry? What if the hearings had been closely controlled by commercial interests and the committee that investigated Needleman had gone against the evidence and found him guilty of misconduct? What if the scientific record he created had been erased and his work on lead “withdrawn” from scientific journals? The progress in eliminating dangerous toxins from our environment is something we now take for granted, but Needleman certainly didn’t see the situation that way. Looking back, however, the difficulties Needleman faced seem almost quaint by comparison to the blitzkrieg-style character attacks of our modern media; the story of his conquest over the evils of corporate America appearing nostalgically Capra-esque when compared to the slick public relations techniques of the global corporation. Indeed, since Needleman’s experiences twenty years ago, the threat of corporate power has become far more menacing and the opportunity for miscarriages of justice many times greater.

Seen from this perspective, what if the next-generation incarnation of Herbert Needleman is Andrew Wakefield, but in today’s version of the story, the balance of power has shifted in critical ways? In Wakefield’s case the product is neither gasoline nor paint, but vaccines, one of the most privileged product categories ever invented, products that are produced and promoted by the medical industry with missionary zeal. In contrast to the limited scientific influence of the oil and gas industry, the medical industry Wakefield faces is far more powerful, pursues its interests with greater skill, controls the flow of scientific information and effectively dictates media coverage.  It appears now that the medical industry is so powerful that it can rewrite scientific history when it wants and even erase important scientific publications in a reputable journal.

This is a pessimistic view of course, for scientists can and do stand up against corporate influence and frequently do the right thing for children. But taking a stand can be more difficult in some situations than others. When it is difficult to stand for scientific principle, the toughest moral choices often fall to individuals who find themselves caught in the middle. In the area of vaccine safety, these moral choices have flowed most clearly to two journal editors. One, Richard Horton made his choice in favor of industry and has successfully turned much of the world against Andrew Wakefield. Another, Joan Cranmer, now faces a different choice. Last October, she made an honorable, science-based decision and then found her editorial judgment superseded last month by Elsevier. This reversal represents a clear violation of scientific values, the values of the neurotoxicology community and the interests of children. But Joan Cranmer is not a passive participant in this controversy. She has a moral choice to make herself.

So what should Joan Cranmer do?

I submit the answer is obvious. Cranmer should oppose the corporate interventions of Elsevier. She should defend the primate project, the health of children and her previous decision to publish the primate paper. More than any other human being on the planet, she can make a statement showing that medical science need not cower before the power of the medical industry. The best way to do that is for her to resign as editor of Neurotoxicology in protest over Elsevier’s interference.

What better way to honor the legacy of Herbert Needleman?

UPDATE: After publishing the article, Age of Autism received this statement from Joan Cranmer.

“Scientific integrity and good science are fundamental principles for publication of research articles in Neurotoxicology.   Although rare, the journal withdraws papers whenever these essential principles are cast into doubt. The January 28, 2010 UK General Medical Council ruling of research dishonesty by Dr. Andrew Wakefield cast into doubt the scientific integrity of a new related paper co-authored by Wakefield*.  However, it would be inappropriate for either me or the other editors to discuss the specific factors publicly.

 Professor Joan M. Cranmer, Editor, Neurotoxicology 

Mark Blaxill is Editor-at-Large of Age of Autism and a Director of SafeMinds. He is a co-author of a paper published in Neurotoxicology and a past presenter at Neurotoxicology conferences. SafeMinds is a co-funder of the primate project and has been a sponsor of past Neurotoxicology conferences.


Christina Waldman

For people looking for the article, I've seen it at a few websites. Here is one: (when it was still "in press").


The article in question is no longer available at (in ANY form).

You can still find it in googlecache (for now, anyway) at:


My son has just been diagnosed as being on the spectrum, I refused to give my son the MMR Jab as I did not want him to have due to the links to Autism. He did however have the HIB jab and was at early age. He had a reaction to it when his fontanel pulsed and his perfectly formed skull softened, I however complete the courses of 3 Jabs over longer period as we had not linked this to the HIB jab yet.
On his 3rd Jab he went pale and his again his fontanel was bulging.
He now has been placed on the Austin spectrum.
I would ask why has panorama not taken this up and to be able to understand, we need to see this paper.
More children are giving the HIB every day and this has to stop until these links are rule out.
I am not sure if it is due to HIB or not,
But I do think if can they could stop Hib for a year or 3 and test results of ratios then it would be black and white, parents wanting to opt in to HIB should be able to do so.
No parent want's autism in their child's life.
Please find a way, parent have power too you know.
We don't need study we need action

For point and purpose I have had no confirmation what so ever from any doctors re soften of the skull and the HIB, it might have just be coincidence that every time the Jab was given this happened
I could not say as I am not medical expert, just a very worried mum.

Hugh Goggin

At least here in the UK we still have the freedom to vaccinate our children or not. I really feel for you USA citzens, you are in a vice.

Mind you we are as well.

I was present at a public briefing given by David Kirby here in London where you would have needed to be wilfully blind, deaf and mute to not conclude that vaccines cause autism. There were NO journalists there despite DK having invited the health correspondent of every national paper we have. When this became evident, the question was raised as to: 'why?'. The answer was provided by a member of the audience who had been told by a friend of his who worked in Whitehall (our real government) that a section D(?I may not have heard it well enough) notice had been imposed on the press on this subject.

The sense of betrayal was palpable in the hall. Then the only journalist to have made it to the briefing stood up and said that she was an interested freelance and had offered a report to all the national newspapers but not one would give her the assignment.

There is a worldwide hidden lobby by big pharma on this issue. And for a good reason: what would happen to world economics if all autistic children could claim damages from big pharma?

But the truth will out in the end. Thanks for your invaluable work. A way will be found to beat this.

Autism Grandma

Re: Post by nhokkanen: "We're watching the medical profession reinvent holocaust, with its victims fighting for their lives while onlookers either bask in the benefits or gape in passive denial."

Posted by: michael framson: "We need to remember a bit of history.

January 20, 1942 a meeting took place with the purpose of "coordinating a Final Solution to the European Jewish Question.” More than half of the 15 Nazi's present held doctor-al degrees. Adolph Eichmann took minutes. - The Wannsee Conference, 1942 A Final Solution

All those who participated were eventually executed."

We must remember that the truth was finally exposed and the Nazi movement was ultimately taken down.


A copy of the study can still be found at:

Here's the direct link to the PDF:

JB Handley

GR has removed the article from its site.

Given the withdrawal of the paper by Neurotoxicology, we don't want to interfere with the opportunity for the paper to be published elsewhere. Sorry for any confusion. JB

Heather White

How can I get my hands on the article. I want to read it!
mother of a vaccine injured child July 2005


Perhaps science was better off when it was just in the hands of the independently weathly and some noble family members. Science for sale is not pretty. It is hard to trust in science when it is no different than trusting in advertising.


"..However, it would be inappropriate for either me or the other editors to discuss the specific factors publicly...."


Gloria L.

On that note- let me piggy back and say-

Our country is on crusades to "FREE" countries so they can enjoy "Democracy" while we sit here in the USA being fed advertisements in guise of "NEWS".

I have never seen "conflict of interest" more today than anytime in the history of this country.

I know it has been around but today- there is no NEWS- it is completely suppressed and we have to pick and find it and share it with each other in these media/mediums to keep informed of the horrors of how commercial business is contriving the NEWS in order to get us to DO what they want- namely give up the cash to their "program".

We need to pull the plug on:

Medical industry- insurance scam
by healing ourselves through pure herbals/ aromatherapy and massage ( Rainbow Technique- spine purification and alignment) and cleanses (NOT GNC- but AFNOR grade products)

FOOD industry-
no more GMO
no more polysorbate 80
no more sucralose /Splenda
no more Aspartame
no more MSG

make it at home or find a reliable source of food/ create your own patriotic garden and boycott crap!

No more OTCs- this is where they have the bulk of America- popping pills for millions of symptoms- remove the symptoms- easy stop going to the Dr. and stop taking his/her drugs- that will remove 99.9% of them-

Get OFF of Hydrochlorozide- a HORRIFIC OTC
google it and see the catastrophic side effects- it will have you in a wheelchair and bald.

TRULY- America YOU are in control- it is your $$ that control whether these guys survive- examine (pray if you must) about how you spend each penny and find out where your products come from- what that company makes - and if it contributes to the ills of this countries people DO NOT GIVE THEM A RED CENT!

If you do- you have NO business whining about

michael framson

We need to remember a bit of history.

January 20, 1942 a meeting took place with the purpose of "coordinating a Final Solution to the European Jewish Question.” More than half of the 15 Nazi's present held doctor-al degrees. Adolph Eichmann took minutes. - The Wannsee Conference, 1942 A Final Solution

All those who participated were eventually executed.

Gwyn Johnson

THANK YOU AGE OF AUTISM for being AWESOME!! I am REALLY interested in this study and hope that it gets picked up by another medical journal! This is the single most threatening disease of our century and our children and our future as a nation is at stake. Thank you Age of Autism for publishing this!!

Jim Thompson

Richard Feynman, a Nobel Peace Prize winning scientist, had this to say about scientific integrity.

“It is very dangerous to have such a policy in teaching--to teach students only how to get certain results, rather than how to do an experiment with scientific integrity. So I have just one wish for you--the good luck to be somewhere where you are free to maintain the kind of integrity I have described, and where you do not feel forced by a need to maintain your position in the organization, or financial support, or so on, to lose your integrity. May you have that freedom."

See 1974 Caltch commencement address at

It sounds like luck ran out for another scientific journal editor.


It is a medical disgrace that THEY do not know what is dropping 1 in 100 children.

THEY cannot figure out something 30 times more common than polio, which they warn is going to return.... THEY continue to lie, hide the truth, hide documents, hide data, and create crap science from crap data to support their endless fraud.

THEY know they are running out of time.


I wonder what threats were made to Joan Cranmer by Elsevier? Is there any way to find out? I'd bet that it was much, much more than justthe threat of losing her job.

Judy L. Brett

One begins to wonder, with all the subjective politics poluting the objectivity of "science", how advances in scicence ever occur. There are certainly examples of science being ignored in the past. Semmelweiss and handwashing to prevent infection in women who had given birth is a case in point. I believe Semmelweiss eventually committed suicide as a result of the controversy surrounding his innovation. I thought however, that such examples of ignorance were the sins of the past. In our "enlightened" scientific age I thought we were better than that. Shows how naive and stupid I am.

Judy Brett, RN PhD

K Kauffman

I just e-mailed Joan and told her she sold her soul to the devil. Ooops, I mean to the Pharmaceutical Industry.

Angela Walker

The journal of medical veritas may publish this paper.

They have just done an edition on Elsevier and its control by 'certain' groups.
Here is an article that details some of this,Dr Len Horowitz and Sherri Kane.

Here is another,

Teresa Conrick

Great comments on this. Mark's analysis hit the bulls eye and then to read the UPDATE-

"However, it would be inappropriate for either me or the other editors to discuss the specific factors publicly." just an incredible and acute excuse.

Professor Joan M. Cranmer, Editor, Neurotoxicology has some soulful thinking ahead of her. Many scenarios possible. Only one - saving lives and reporting the truth - is correct.

I feel that there may be some serious foul play happening here and desperate characters are becoming more desperate.


Randy-- please blog if you aren't already.

"Prof. Cranmer - you up for a little redemption? If not, then thanks for crumbling".

You're brilliant.


Nine study authors, and their research is belatedly, mysteriously cast aside due to "doubt" manufactured against one author. Dubious? No. Nefarious.

I've hoped that members of our society would realize far sooner what their actions and inactions are propagating -- a damaged generation. This awakening shouldn't take decades, but perhaps time provides an objective distance necessary for that awful realization to sink in.

For those with recovered and/or neurotypical children, their progeny will ask their grandparents what it was like living in the Age of Autism, when public health administrators deafened themselves to the alarm and created convenient fictions to justify their incompetence.

We're watching the medical profession reinvent holocaust, with its victims fighting for their lives while onlookers either bask in the benefits or gape in passive denial.


God, and HLN is all surprised that a federal report (expressing serious concerns with killer whale training) would have been covered up/altered by Sea World. I think this is a little more important than that but you aren't hearing about it!


The "medical mafia" is alive and well in the medical-industrial-government-media-complex and they certainly want to stay in power.

They can pull strings from anywhere on anyone to get what they want. Pulling an article is just another days work.


Huh. Google the title of the withdrawn article - "Delayed acquisition of neonatal reflexes in newborn primates receiving a thimerosal-containing Hepatitis B vaccine: Influence of gestational age and birth weight" - and see what other "related articles" were recently withdrawn, according to Pubmed. Hint: the top 3 have to do with vaccines/neurotoxicity.


"Scientific integrity and good science..."

in the same paragraph with

" would be inappropriate for either me or the other editors to discuss the specific factors publicly"

Character assassinations, censorship, retractions, and, of course, no "inappriate public discussion" around the "specifics" -- YAY SCIENCE!!!!

Another example of re-defining scientific integrity as an oxymoron. And what exactly constitutes "good science"? If Albert Einstein turned out to be a child molester, would every paper written on Relativity be crumpled up and thrown in the dumpster? Are the dead monkey suddenly risen and confessing, now that the GMC has "ruled"? What the hell has changed?

Emiliano Zapata Salazar once said "I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men." Loose translations include "It's better to die on your feet than to live on your knees". I don't think you'll see any pedigrees joining in any Revolution, not anytime soon. Too many careers to worry about, I suppose. Prof. Cranmer - you up for a little redemption? If not, then thanks for crumbling.

Cynthia Cournoyer

Thank you and please keep this "withdrawn" article and others always at the forefront. We must not let them disappear.

As a lay-person researcher and author, I regularly find articles previously on websites that disappear. Sometimes, I get redirected to the CDC website, with no trace of a previously available article in a newspaper with a provocative headline. They probably got tired of the questions and criticisms.

Please make room on somebody's website for a cataloging of articles whose history can be documented; i.e. where first appeared, when they were deleted, under what circumstances.


Could the study be published by a non cowardly journal? Or does that not exist?


It is like Garbo and Mr. Carey said - The problem is still the problem - 30 years later, I guess we are working on the next 30 years.

A Mom to Jenny again

Didn't mean for the "for one thing" to sound snarky, if it did. The Daubert standard is the only thing I can think of, in regard to your question.

A Mom to Jenny

The Daubert standard, for one thing:


Okay, I am still not getting this. If Elsevier owns 25% of the science research. Who owns the other 75%? Why does the study HAVE to be published by NeuroToxicology? Why can't the study just be let loose to the public? If Safeminds and whoever else financed it, why can't they control the flow of their own information? I am almost offended, because in its own way, the entire process is just as elitist toward the public as the medical establishment is toward the parents of autistic children. Are we too stupid to read it and make our own judgements? If the science is sound, put it out there. I'm happy to pay for it directly instead of through a research pub. Let the other scientists see it and judge for themselves. If everyone knows the story and what Elsevier is doing, maybe Elsevier's power and control will diminish because reseachers won't want their studies in those magazines to begin with. Really, seriously, what am I missing here?


I'm sorry...I thought I lived in the United States of America. Did I just wake up in North Korea?

This makes me ILL...

A Mom

If any ped shows you that crapifesto, direct them to Sharyl Atkisson's report on the number of vaccine injury cases that have won!

Ask him/her what a neurotoxin does?

Ask him/her why he/she is defending the injection of neurotoxins into babies by turning his/her back on YOUR baby.

I would post the link to Sharyl's story for you but I lost all of my favorite URLs when my PC crashed.

Maybe someone else still has it?

When the discussions about our daughter's vaccine injury began to get interesting (following the results of her UPPA), it became clear to me that some thing had to change.

We fired the ped.

It is interesting to me that: their malpractice insurance requires that they vaccinate, health insurance does not cover autism, insurance rates continue to skyrocket, and medicaid-medicare-SSI are taking the brunt of these new chronic illnesses brought on by vaccines. Meanwhile, the only industry that injects these toxins directly into people are the only people who are unscathed by this, and making billions in profits every year!!!!!!


Needleman is a GIANT, whom I have admired for many years. The parallels are eerie. He could do even more by publicly supporting Andy Wakefield and denouncing some of the practices of the medico-industrial complex.


The fix is in, for the short term. But in the long term, the problem is the problem. No amount of fixing the data is going to make the problem go away. The choice has always been to admit what's wrong and move forward with making it right, or to cover up what's wrong in the hopes that nobody will figure it out. Right now, all their resources are tied up in the latter. That's the choice they've made. Those who focus on the former will ultimately win out, because it's the only choice that actually addresses the problem.


Thank you, Mark.

How incredibly sad. The cheese was on the floor and Joan squeaked and ate it.

Herbert Needleman is still standing up against the shitstorm with our friends at the Alliance for Human Research Protection. He sits on the board along side Dr. Meryl Nass and Vera Sharav (testified against Eli Lilly at Zyprexa Papers trial). Though the organization primarily focuses on psychopharmaceutical and other drug research fraud and abuse of research subjects, they posted their defense of Dr. Wakefield's work a few weeks ago and linked to AOA.

Small world when it boils down to backbone, unfortunately-- though the company is excellent.


I asked for everyone and their mother to send this link to Big Noise films and ask them to be good journalists and put the truth out like they do on so many other topics.

[email protected]


What is the hell is going on here? ... these people are so unbelievably ruthless

First they publically humiliate/ discredit Dr. Wakefield and attack his studies. They try to silence Jenny McCarthy (good luck) then they viciously attack Desiree Jennings for going public with her story saying her dystonia was "psychogenic".

Now, they are trying to kill the supplement industry, restrict insurance benefits for ASD kids, and malign parents for not vaxing as well as pit us against those who do (divide and conquer?).

and get we parents have to deal with the "vaccine police".

I just read today that doctors are handing put a so called manifesto to parents .. it goes like this:

"vaccines do not cause autism or other developmental disabilities. Furthermore, by not vaccinating your child you are taking selfish advantage of thousands of other who do vaccinate their children ... We feel such an attitude to be self-centered and unacceptable," the statement says, urging those who "absolutely refuse" vaccines to find another physician"

Source- Newvine

"1 in 4 parents thinks shots cause autism"

sorry for going off topic but I jut had to the vent... I feel more and more like we're living in a medical police state.

JB Handley


The one complete copy of this study is still available online here:

Please, print out a copy, save the pdf to other blogs and websites, and make sure it has wide availability on the web.


Santa Clara County sues Glaxo over diabetes drug

March 01, 2010 3:12 PM

SAN JOSE (AP) — A Northern California county has filed suit against GlaxoSmithKline accusing the pharmaceutical company of suppressing evidence that its diabetes drug Avandia causes increased risk of heart attacks.

The lawsuit filed by Santa Clara County seeks restitution for all Avandia purchasers in California claiming the company violated state false-advertising statutes.

"GSK's unlawful conduct has cost patients, their insurers, and government payors millions of dollars, and it has caused needless suffering to thousands of Californians," said Santa Clara County's acting county counsel Miguel Marquez. "This is precisely the sort of corporate malfeasance that California law prohibits."

County officials say their lawsuit is the first by a government entity against the company over Avandia. It was filed in U.S. District Court, Northern California District, on Friday.

The company, which is based in London, says the lawsuit has no merit and that scientific evidence shows the FDA-approved drug doesn't increase heart attack risk.

The lawsuit follows the release of a U.S. Senate report last month charging that Glaxo minimized Avandia's safety risks and withheld data from the Food and Drug Administration.

Senators said the Senate Finance Committee's report was based on researchers' studies of Avandia, internal GlaxoSmithKline documents and FDA documents.

Cindy Keenan

Thanks for answering the questions surrounding this pathetic, cowardly move by Neurotoxicology. As Anne Dachel has written many times, the truth will become undeniable in future years, but I'm afraid not soon enough to spare many more thousands the injuries our children have suffered. I wish I had a crystal ball to see how history will regard the craven, opportunistic players in this vaccine program debacle.

Lisa @ TACA

Mark - thanks again for your time and summary.

My only question- when will the health and well being of our children become a priority?

The fact is so horrific that money Is clouding this key responsibilty.


If David is right, then Crammer might be ripe pickins' for a new independently owned neurotoxicology magazine. If she was strong enough morally to initially publish the information despite knowing the pushback that might occur, I cringe to imagine what kind of strongarming may have gone on to get her to get her to change her mind. It reminds me of business owners who have to pay the thugs protection money.

Fed Up

I can set my watch to the predictability of this juggernaut. I'm no longer surprised by anything, and it allows me to accurately predict the future of this whole debate.

Here is some advice: put zero faith in man, govt, or industry.

A juggernaut is a term used to describe a literal or metaphorical force regarded as unstoppable. It is often applied to a large machine or collectively to a team or group of people working together, and often bears association with crushing or being physically destructive.


This is so Orwellian!

A Mom

Well guess what Elsevier, AS, GMC, pharmaceutical industry, NIH, AAP et all: We parents of vaccine injured children STILL are NOT backing down or giving up. You continue to fuel our resolve.

The pharmaceutical industry is the only industry that injects environmental toxins (and live virus rubella, associated with certain cases of autism) directly into human bodies.

David Taylor

One last quick thought/prediction: Even if Joan Cranmer does not resign, she will not remain in her current position for more than another year.

Two scenarios:

Once the waters are calm, she will be eased out because she stood up to the suits.

The loss of credibility she's suffered will infect her ability to function in her leadership role. She's damaged goods now.

David Taylor

Thank you for a powerful, sweeping and cogent piece on this issue. Your dire warnings of corporatism at the end, unfortunately, are not overstated. They may be understated.

Any chance this article could make it to HuffPost?

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