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Ben Goldacre, Can We Have it Straight Now about Wakefield and the GMC?

Janus stone By John Stone

Nearly a year after the United Kingdom’s General Medical Council (GMC) brought in its findings on fact against Andrew Wakefield, John Walker-Smith and Simon Murch, one of Wakefield’s principal adversaries, doctor and Guardian newspaper journalist Ben Goldacre, has published comments in IrishHealth which challenge the basis of the GMC’s central finding against the three doctors at its foundations. Goldacre, who initially welcomed the verdict has reverted to the views he expressed in an award winning article in 2005, in which he expressed the opinion that the Lancet paper was a legitimate study. He told the Irish on-line publication:

“But you have to remember this paper didn’t actually say MMR causes autism, it didn’t even speculate on that. It was accompanied by an editorial that said by the way people should be very clear that it doesn’t mean that MMR causes autism.

“Also, this was a 12 subject case series report - it was a description of only 12 children’s clinical anecdotes, and while this is not good evidence to say MMR causes autism, it is a perfectly legitimate thing to publish.”

This is at variance with the GMC finding that rather than being “a 12 case series report” it was an ill-conducted version of a protocol sponsored by the United Kingdom’s Legal Aid Board (now Legal Services Commission), and a totally different kind of study. The lack of correspondence between the Lancet paper and the LAB protocol led in turn to the panel finding the three doctors were in detailed breach of the protocol despite their representations that they had never been doing it, and also to the single most distressing finding against Wakefield that he was dishonest because he had failed to account for the LAB’s sponsorship.

The GMC panel stated (HERE):

“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 12 children’s investigations were clinically indicated and the research parts of those clinically justified investigations were covered by Project 162- 95. In the light of all the available evidence, the Panel rejected this proposition.”

However, the panel never explained what specific “available evidence” had led them to disregard the evidence presented by the defence on this matter, and their statement was additionally misleading because ‘162-95’ was not “a Project” at all but simply the generic permission granted to Prof Walker-Smith to retain biopsies for further research, thus avoiding having to explain in front of the media why this permission did not pertain in the instance of the Lancet paper.

Goldacre originally stated his views in an article in 2005 (HERE) in which he wrote:

"...people periodically come up to me and say, isn't it funny how that Wakefield MMR paper turned out to be Bad Science after all? And I say: no. The paper always was and still remains a perfectly good small case series report, but it was systematically misrepresented as being more than that, by media that are incapable of interpreting and reporting scientific data."

And remarkably when the article won an Association of British Science Writer’s award the following year Evan Harris the Liberal Democrat politician who first made these allegations against Wakefield with Sunday Times journalist Brian Deer was on the panel of judges (HERE). Whatever Harris’s private views the article seems to have led to bad feeling between Goldacre and Deer (HERE).

It is apparent that Goldacre’s views, stated first of all in 2005 and then again last month are incompatible with the findings of the GMC hearing against the three doctors, and that he must consider that a grave and prolonged injustice has been done. If this is the case he surely has a moral obligation to say so.

Then, when the legal prejudice has been removed from this matter we can get back to considering the science on a level playing field.

Ben, the ball is in your court.

(With thanks to Jake Crosby who drew my attention to the article.)

John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.


John Fryer Chemist

Last comment was for the flu shot article by Dan Olmsted

John Fryer Chemist

I don't have five million patients. This doctor had five people with adverse vaccine events and could not believe the safety figures quoted for the vaccine.

Outrageous lies claiming safety that is not there just as much as the estimated deaths which take in every death not attributable to an exact cause overinflates the risk to silly proportions.

Using diametrically opposed criteria. Assuming the best possible scenario for the vaccine including passing them fit for use when several die in the trials. Then, when it comes to deaths if you don't take the vaccine they count everything in even if totally unrelated.

Add the third element which is to get a diagnosis is now impossible, so any flu is now a cold or some such illness. Polio deaths do not occur today but meningitis is epidemic.

Plenty are paralysed and in olden times would get the iron lung to save them. Today we just seem to let them die if they can't get over paralysis. My own brother-in-law in a toxic poisoning case had paralysis which prevented breathing but no iron lungs for him. Fortunately after a week the paralysis went but left him permanently weak and a diagnosis of ME but a 100 per cent healthy heart.

From my even smaller world than a doctor and not being paid one dime, cent or euro I have several cases of abuse, toxic poisoning or murder where the guilty person was not sent to prison ie the person injecting brain destroying chemicals deliberately add to a safe vaccine but the parent or carer got the blame.

Shows some cases where justice prevailed including some I worked on.

Sadly too many still rest in prison and for example solely on testimonies of the likes of Professor Meadow and the now destroyed transcripts of the proceedings.

One expert involved later quoted on one of his cases as a set up or the biggest miscarriage of justice he had seen and to him amounted to perjury.

John Fryer Chemist

Its all in our genes


Ben Goldberg: Prize Winner for a 2003 article on Bad Science. After much education and specialisation in the 21st Century, this Good Science is now being converted to Bad Science by those we TRUST. Our doctors and government regulators.

Ben is from a stock of parents who have studied the KNOWN bad science of vaccines and specifically the KNOWN adverse effects of MMR vaccines in UK 1990's.

Vaccines are an ART form and at present may be suitably placed in the BLACK ART form of science at its very worst.

Autism is an illness that has risen from a base of zero 85 years ago to more than a million cases in today's world. It has had its definition changed and its accurate diagnosis made impossible, so we only know we have a problem but not the exact size or even inexact size of this disorder. Some « scientists » still claim it is not a problem, as these people have always been with us.

Good or Bad Science?

One million infants dying suddenly starting from 1969 while healthy and protected with vaccines plus now ten million children growing up with disordered brains also well vaccine protected from some illnesses only. Still dying, still becoming ill but who knows what causes it and again if it has been with us for ever or not.

Good or Bad Science?

Thimerosal: An organomercury compound known to destroy brain cells at exactly the concentration of one single mercury vaccine when evenly diluted in the body of an infant. But don't worry we have a compensation scheme in place if you can wait 18 years and are good at winning lotteries. Still in vaccines world wide in 2010 and especially for the unborn child or retired people.

Good or Bad Science?

All the above are at the least BAD science. But to me are beyond Good or Bad and totally in the realm of medico-legal MURDER and ABUSE by a medical profession not able to recognise LEFT from RIGHT, let alone if the science is BAD or just VERY BAD.

Most ACCEPTED research papers showing immense harm covered up with adverse data left out with the optimistic conclusions best reserved for Sci Fi than Sci Fact. Any papers that show harm are either not printed or are automatically condemned and the workers not allowed in ANY court of law to indicate their findings.

Good or Bad Science?

But the GOOD news is that there is also at work much much GOOD science matching that of most overpaid research « scientists ».

The ability of a life form to resist the known brain destroying capacity of thimerosal at nearly a hundred times the level of reference and not be affected in 49 children out of 50.

Good, good, good science at work.


Now that is really GOOD science at work every day. And by people NOT able to read and write.

So what happens when we pass people through 11 years of « education »?

Good sense or Bad sense.

Its all in our GENES

Martin Hewitt

"Is there no court of appeal for the Wakefield case?".
Yes, Wakefield and Walker-Smith have the right to appeal. The GMC's sentence (being struck off the practice list) has been delivered, but it's subject to the outcome of their two appeals.

The embedded links got lost on my earlier response. If you'd like to compare the Lancet paper and protocol 172-96, here are the ULRs.

Paul Shapiro

Is there no court of appeal for the Wakefield case?



Part of the problem with the paper is it did not say vaccines cause autism and it should have!!

VACCINES , THE MMR AND DPT AMONG OTHERS CAUSE AUTISM. The makers of the DPT even stated that in their drug insert published on this web site a year or so ago.

I tell patients everyday not to vaccinate thier children because vaccines cause autism and I point to my own daughter as an example and I do not mince words at all.

These people that produce and sell these vaccines are liars and hypocrites and that includes this ass Ben Goldacre and his twin idiot Brian Deer and many pediatricians that sell vaccines and vaccine books but do not vaccinate their own children. They will all burn in hell together.Yes there is a hell

DO NOT back down from the position that they are culpable for the persecution of this good man (Andy Wakefield) and his work. Andy did his job and he did it well.


Goldacre, Deer and others have by their persecution of Wakefield and his work caused millions of parents to continue to believe that vaccines are safe and to give vaccines that have hurt millions of children.

You tell theses snobish uneducated cowards who are guilty of misconduct on a number of levels themselves, including accessing private files of patients, that we want our pound of flesh and our drop of blood out of their asses in true shakespearian fashion and with all of the trimmings


Martin Hewitt

The core of the GMC's case was that the case series, whose findings were published in the 1998 Lancet paper was approved by the Royal Free Hospital ethics committee approval for protocol 172-96 in 1996 and not, as the three doctors claimed, approval 162-95 a year earlier. The fact that approval 172-96 was not the correct approval for the Lancet case series is a matter readers can decide for themselves, especially as (as John points out) the GMC panel gave no justification for their decision to dismiss 162-95. Readers might spend some time comparing the two and reaching their own judgment as to whether 192-96 refers to the Lancet paper.

Protocol 172-96 majors on the role of B12 metabolism in autism and associated bowel disease and minors on malfunctions of the immune system, the possibility of a congenital predisposition in C4B complement protein and vaccine assault. The Lancet paper devotes one penultimate paragraph to B12 deficiency, whilst the protocol lends 11 of 18 paragraphs in its scientific discussion to B12. If protocol 172-96 had outlined the research programme for the case series (as the GMC claimed), the Lancet paper would have discussed B12 malabsorption at far greater length than in one paragraph.

The truth the panel refused to accept is that the Lancet paper was no more than an 'early report' (the Lancet's term) of initial findings from a small group of child patients treated at the Royal Free together with equally initial conjecture about possible reasons for the association found between autism and bowl disease. The paper did not set out to present a major breakthrough in medical science, but a few initial findings that would lead subsequently to more substantial research. The protocol was part of the next stage in outlining more focused research into the initial findings including B12 metabolism. This in essence is Goldacre's point.

However, that a panel of three doctors and two lay members could not see the difference between an early report and a worked-up research protocol is a serious matter, not least because it resulted in Wakefield and Walker-Smith being found guilty of serious professional misconduct and losing their right to practice medicine ON THE WRONG EVIDENCE, the consequences of which can be found at

Given that the verdict rested on a criminal standard of proof, 'beyond reasonable doubt', the GMC is duty bound to say why it insisted that 172-96 governed the Lancet case series and not 162-95. Without such an explanation, it is legitimate to question the GMC's motivation for changing the rules and ask if this was a strategy to produce an easy but profoundly unjust win by 'moving the goal posts' and framing the evidence.

Autism Grandma

I am no Sherlock Holmes like John Stone or Jake Crosby who always do such an excellent job of digging up the dirty laundry and exposing the truth under a magnifying glass, but even a simple old lady like me could easily see from all of the evidence regarding this political case against Wakefield and his associates, that all trails lead back to a joint vaccine industry-government cover up of the dangers of MMR.

They misconstrued and falsely manipulated the facts about the entire situation because they went into panic mode when the reality of MMR causing autism and bowel disease emerged through Dr. Wakefield and his esteemed highly qualified associates. Their position was that MMR required further investigation based on the medical evidence, and although they did not state that "MMR causes Autism and bowel disease" the vaccine industry CEO's certainly KNEW THAT IT DID and they deviously conspired to keep the truth hidden. They were not about to do any further studies on MMR and they never will. They are not about to be held responsible for their dangerous defective products and therefore "killed the messenger" instead of taking responsibility to correct a very seriously flawed vaccine program, which includes ALL of the vaccines, not just MMR. They have no regard for the millions of innocent children that their defective toxic vaccines have damaged and killed, and their primary goals are maintaining their power and control with their financial empire, NOT the health and safety of babies and children.

Mike Kohloff

Is this a case Accusing with a shout & Apologizing with a whisper"


Goldacre is one of probably several hundred of the British medical and scientific elite who know that the GMC's misconstruction of events cannot prevail indefinitely. In 2006 articles appeared all over the place calling for the GMC to back off before it was too late. They did not do it out of love of Wakefield, they did it because ultimately it would leave them exposed.


Perhaps Ben sees it differently , Dr Wakefield never said MMR causes Autism what he did say was i am seeing to many children who have become Autistic after this vaccination to many parents are coming to me and telling me that their children are being damaged , it is my duty to investigate IF there is a connection between the vaccine and Autism Ben is not showing any common sense here although maybe he has read Andy,s book and know takes a different view we can always live in hope


It is like all things autism: Nothing is over untill we are all dead! Untill we are all dead it will never be forgotten or left alone.


Hey, Ben! What info or thoughts do you need to process to enable your cognitive shift that will inevidably help thousands of people? :)


In a Wakefield interview a couple of months back he said he hoped his appeal would be heard later in the year, I guess it has been pushed into next year, but the sooner it is heard the better.

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