Silenced Witnesses: UK Autism Parents Speak Out
Joan Cranmer’s Fateful Decisions and the Suppression of Autism Science

Parents No Longer Mollified by the "Science Says, So Trust Us" Approach to Healthcare

Extra_extra In the last couple of weeks, the four articles below have appeared in mainstream media. They illustrate that parents are no longer mollified by "science says" arguments in children's health and healthcare. US News, Time Magazine, The Boston Globe and The New York Times each ran reports related to vaccination and/or drug safety concerns. As Jim Carrey has said, "We are not the problem. The problem is the problem." Note: We have provided excerpts, some of the media outlets might require a subscription to read the full article.

US News, March 1, Nancy Shute - Parents’ Vaccine Safety Fears Mean Big Trouble for Children’s Health

"Parents are really worried about childhood vaccine safety, but the public-health community doesn't seem to get it. A new survey reveals that 54 percent of parents are concerned about the adverse effects of vaccines, and 25 percent think some vaccines cause autism in healthy children. Yet just last week, the federal government vaccine advisory board called for all Americans 6 months and older to get flu shots next fall, including the vaccine against the H1N1 flu strain. If the goal is to protect the public's health, you'd think the feds would first want to address the fact that a big chunk of parents think vaccines aren't safe..."

...That science-says message is clearly no longer working for many parents. If doctors and public-health officials want to use the power of vaccines to protect children's health, they're going to have to first figure out how to effectively respond to parents' fears.

Time Magazine, February 25,  Karl Taro Greenfeld: The Autism Debate: Who's Afraid of Jenny McCarthy?

"In person, surprisingly, Jenny McCarthy comes across as corn-fed cute rather than overwhelmingly beautiful. She has a common touch, and a woman even slightly more beautiful would struggle to connect as she does. When McCarthy meets a mom, when she spits forth a stream of profanity and common sense — the foulmouthed comedian from Chicago never far from the surface — she is there as a mother, not as a celebrity or starlet. That's what got her there, but that's not who she is once she's there. She speaks to so many frustrated, despairing mothers of autistic children because she is plausible, authentic. If you needed a woman to bring hope to these mothers, you couldn't ask for better casting than Jenny McCarthy..."   

New York Times, February 25, 2009, Nicholas Kristof: Do Toxins Cause Autism?
Do Toxins Cause Autism?

"...Over recent decades, other development disorders also appear to have proliferated, along with certain cancers in children and adults. Why? No one knows for certain. And despite their financial and human cost, they presumably won’t be discussed much at Thursday’s White House summit on health care.

Yet they constitute a huge national health burden, and suspicions are growing that one culprit may be chemicals in the environment. An article in a forthcoming issue of a peer-reviewed medical journal, Current Opinion in Pediatrics, just posted online, makes this explicit.

The article cites “historically important, proof-of-concept studies that specifically link autism to environmental exposures experienced prenatally.” It adds that the “likelihood is high” that many chemicals “have potential to cause injury to the developing brain and to produce neurodevelopmental disorders.”

The author is not a granola-munching crank but Dr. Philip J. Landrigan, professor of pediatrics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and chairman of the school’s department of preventive medicine. While his article is full of cautionary language, Dr. Landrigan told me that he is increasingly confident that autism and other ailments are, in part, the result of the impact of environmental chemicals on the brain as it is being formed.

“The crux of this is brain development,” he said. “If babies are exposed in the womb or shortly after birth to chemicals that interfere with brain development, the consequences last a lifetime...”, February 27, Joanna Weiss: Seeking common ground in the autism-vaccine debate

"...American Academy of Pediatrics urges doctors to work with skeptical patients, but Fisher says that isn’t always easy. Doctors worry that children will get sick or spread diseases to other patients. They don’t want their good intentions to be questioned. And so parents who raise doubts can find themselves treated like nuisances or enemies of science. Some of them walk away.

I’m not arguing against vaccinations, but I do think doctors need to give parents more credit for seeking information, and approaching medicine with some degree of skepticism. History is filled with stories of well-meaning doctors prescribing medicines that turned out to be harmful. In very rare cases, vaccines can cause damage. And while vaccines have been made significantly safer over the years, it’s not irrational to think that, with more study, they could become safer still.

Again, that’s not to say that parents should ignore the threat of infectious disease - anecdotes about children suffering from whooping cough are enough to give anyone pause. But something needs to change in the doctor-patient relationship, too, which is why some pediatricians are preaching compromise.

Perhaps the most famous of them is Dr. Bob Sears, the son of attachment-parenting guru William Sears. In “The Vaccine Book,’’ Sears, the son, promotes an alternative schedule he says urges vaccine coverage for some of the most common and life-threatening diseases for infants - such as meningitis and whooping cough - while giving parents permission to delay other shots..."

The New York Times, February 22, Gardiner Harris: A Face-Off on the Safety of a Drug for Diabetes

"Three years ago, Dr. Steven E. Nissen, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, conducted a landmark study that suggested that the best-selling diabetes drug Avandia raised the risk of heart attacks. The study led to a Congressional inquiry, stringent safety warnings, a sharp drop in the drug’s sales and a plunge in the share price of GlaxoSmithKline, Avandia’s maker.

The battle between Dr. Nissen and GlaxoSmithKline was waged from afar in news releases and published papers. But on May 10, 2007, 11 days before Dr. Nissen’s study was published in The New England Journal of Medicine, he and four company executives met face to face in a private meeting whose details have not been disclosed until now.

Fearing he would face pressure and criticism from executives, Dr. Nissen secretly recorded the meeting — which is legal in Ohio as long as one party to the conversation is aware of the taping. On a recent day in his sunny office at the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Nissen shared the contents of the recording with The Times.

What was said at the 2007 meeting raises questions about science and ethics that have suddenly become keenly relevant. A Congressional investigation released Saturday concluded that GlaxoSmithKline had threatened scientists who tried to point out Avandia’s risks, and internal memorandums from the Food and Drug Administration show that some government health officials want Avandia withdrawn. The drug is still being taken by hundreds of thousands of patients, and sales last year were $1.19 billion..."




If anyone knows how to access a copy of the survey questions (mentioned in Nancy Shute's article) I would greatly appreciate any guidance!

I understand this survey was conducted last year. I'm particularly curious as to what level of actual awareness of the vaccine/autism controversy there was among participants.

Cherry Sperlin Misra

Garbo, You are so right. We have a page of science topics in our Times of India daily newspaper. When I see articles about research - I read the article and then my first thought is, "Hmm, I wonder if they are trying to mislead me on the truth of this topic" This follows, in particular, years of articles announcing ANOTHER discovery of a gene for autism. Even more delightful are the articles about the "genetic disorders from Japan" - which are now being discovered to exist in India too !(Read Kawasaki, Brugada )


My experiences as an autism mom, and my dismay at the media's continual abetting of the big lie that vaccines are safe and have nothing to do with autism, has forever changed my perspective. I will never again read a newspaper or medical journal with presumptive credulity. Just as I will never, ever believe anything that the FDA or CDC or AAP has to say about health.


Journalists, or the parody of journalists that exist as copywriters for special interests take note:

The number of affected parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins with children in the family on the autism spectrum has reached critical mass.

We number more than triple the number of all licensed healthcare practitioners in the country.

We read, we research, we talk to each other and we compare notes on what happened, how it happened, what interventions and treatments work, what doesn't. We compare notes on the talking points we've been given by the second-hand pharma employees commonly known as "doctors" and hire doctors that are able to address our childrens' needs.

There is a gap larger than the unlimited reaches of outer space between science and what gets published as "the" science. Too bad one has to have a child affected with autism to understand that, but it is the Truth nonetheless...

and Truth ALWAYS wins.


This is not real science, just like global warming was not real science this is science made to fit a political agenda just like global warming was science made to fit a political agenda.

The problem of course is that real science stands on its own merit and has no agenda.

Real science is not only transparent but clear to the eye and irrefutable and reproducible even when you do not do the basic scientific studies to confirm it, real science shines through. That is why it is real science.

Vaccines cause autism and it is transparent, clear to the eye, irrefutable, reliably reproducible in children all over the world even though the basic scientific studies have not been done. When we recklessly vaccinate the way the schedule recommends autism, among other things, results in some child somewhere.

Vaccines cause autism and that is real science.


It's the 1:70 boys, stupid. These "journalists" need not look any further than their local elementary school to discover the problem. That's where the message is coming from. There are too many sick kids -- autism, adhd, diabetes, other learning issues. It just was not there in this amount or severity when we were growing up. Ten - fifteen years ago, the "science has spoken" crowd could sweep it under the rug. Now, there is an absolute disconnect between "science" (marketing) and the reality in schools, churches, and neighborhoods. Ironically, I think our kids are "speaking".


More and more parents aren't buying the "science says so" crap because they have something going for them that these "scientists" didn't count on - a brain and the ability to use it.


Gee, Nancy Shute, here's something to help doctors figure out how to respond to parents' fears:
- By listening to parents, rather than bullying them;
- By acknowledging that vaccine injury occurs;
- By learning how to medically treat vaccine injury;
- By being open to alternative vaccine schedules based on individual sensitivity and longer time frames;
- By applying collective pressure on vaccine manufacturers to perform more comprehensive research;
- By doing independent study into vaccine-induced asthma, allergies, autoimmune conditions and gastrointestinal disorders.

That would be a nice, ethical start.

Cynthia Cournoyer

And yesterday, the associated press reported that 1 in 4 parents believe some vaccines cause autism.

More and more we are "not going to take it!"

Craig Willoughby

The man behind the curtain.

Dude! That is a classic!!

Still laughing

Anne McElroy Dachel

Nancy Shute and Karl Taro Greenfield are great examples of the massive effort of the press to make this controversy go away. They lie and distort reality.
Shute pretends that Dr. Wakefield is solely responsible for misleading parents into the mistaken belief that vaccines are linked to autism.
Greenfield dumps the blame on Jenny McCarthy.

Their work is one huge fraud. Slamming Jenny McCarthy and Andrew Wakefield is a hopeless effort. This issue is so huge and will continue to explode because they can't make our children go away! Notice the fact that they never talk about all the sick kids---it's just about those annoying people like McCarthy and Wakefield.

Shute and Greenfield are like two helpless people with their fingers in the dike, trying to stop the leaks. Their two little holes are nothing compared to the massive cracks that are appearing everywhere.
Anne Dachel


Nancy Shute's US News article makes one hell of a good point: "They're going to first have to figure out how to effectively respond to parent's fears." But, "they" (pharmaceutical companies and the journals they fund- the Joan Cranmers) keep trying to put their fingers in the dam to try and stop the rush of truth that will be coming out. This fact is becoming more and more obvious and the AAP, pharma, medical journals are actually contributing to parent's mistrust when they act in this way. Word gets around!
In Canadian news there was an major news outlet that may be cut and I wrote to tell them that I have less and less sympathy for mainstream media when they are merely puppets when it comes to health issues like autism. I also emailed Anderson Cooper's segment about uncovering the real story (can't remember the name right now) and suggested they tackle the real f'g story on vaccines and damage!


Today's science is manipulated, just like laws, politics, religion, and anything that has rules - when they're corrupted, people will lose faith in them.

When we find real meaning in our own lives, that becomes "truth" to us. Real science is a doctor/practitioner who figures out the root cause and reverses the damage. Real religion is a one-to-one prayer without someone else imposing their thoughts on what they think God is, does or whom He punishes.

The mainstream medical community (and politicians, churches, etc) did it to themselves. We woke up, they're still trying to fool me. I'm not buying their bullsh*t anymore.

Kevin Barry

The proper cite for that is Scroll of Shitmydadsays, Vol. 1, 2/27/2010, epub ahead of print.

The man behind the curtain

It's hard to understand how little 'SCIENCE' (thunderclap!) has to offer until you bring a brain injured two year old to the neurologist.

From S@%tmydadsays the other day: "Science and Mother Nature are in a marriage where Science is always surprised to come home and find Mother Nature blowing the neighbor."

The autism epidemic is likely an unintended consequence of overvaccination. Mother Nature surprised Science again.

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