Blame the Car, Not the Needle
There was an interesting juxtaposition on the Fox news website the other day.
On one side was an article about the BMJ's report claiming that "Study Linking Vaccine to Autism was 'Elaborate Fraud' Journal Says" HERE while right next to it was an article which read, "Study Finds Link Between Autism and Air Pollution." HERE
Sometimes when you're an attorney and presenting a case you engage in an exercise in which you assume that the other side's assertions are true. What then? Let me be clear about my own opinions. I've read Dr. Wakefield's articles, his book, listened to him lecture, and have even sat across the table from him to have a conversation. I believe Wakefield is innocent of any wrongdoing and that he has identified an important piece of the autism puzzle, namely, that something has gone so wrong in the immune system of many children with autism that a weakened measles virus from a vaccine can persist for years in their gastrointestinal systems.
But just for the sake of argument let's say I didn't believe that.
Instead I'll go to that second, supposedly non-controversial article, "Study Finds Link Between Autism, Air Pollution." From the first paragraph of the article it states, "Researchers have found that children who live near freeways at birth (within 1,000 feet) have twice the risk of autism, suggesting that environmental factors may play a role in the disorder's growing incidence." The study was undertaken by researchers from the Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital of Los Angeles.
Further on we're told that "The study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, looked at 304 children with autism and 259 normally developing children," and that, "A 2006 study also found autistic children were 50 percent more likely to have been born around contaminated air."
So if I'm a typical, fairly well-informed person I'm a little confused. I've heard enough on the news to know that vaccines contain a number of chemicals I'm not too thrilled for my child to get, like thimerosal, (still in many flu formulations, and used in the "manufacture" of the vaccine, but then supposedly removed), aluminum, formaldehyde, and that the viruses in the vaccines need to be first grown in some medium like chicken eggs, or pig, mouse, or monkey parts, or aborted human fetal tissue, and who knows what pathogens might be lurking in that toxic stew. But we're told that those worrisome ingredients are in amounts too small for us to be concerned about. And besides, we're also told that autism is most likely genetic in origin.
But these two air pollution studies throw one for a loop. It's been said that the most exciting expression in scientific research isn't "Eureka!", but instead, "Now that's an unusual result!" The air pollution studies strike one as unusual, especially since we've been told autism is genetic in origin.
Think of how dramatically living near a freeway increases a child's risk factors for autism. If somebody told you getting married in June would double your chances of a happy marriage you'd seriously consider a June wedding. If somebody told you using a certain product would double your chances of dying in the next year, you'd probably think twice before using that product.
But giving a child the toxic stew of chemicals in a hepatitis B shot as they enter the world supposedly does nothing to their risk of acquiring autism. Much safer than crossing the street, or even living near a freeway, right?
Oh, forgive me, I'm wrong. According to a study from the Stony Brook University University Medical Center in New York, HERE, it does. "Boys who received the hepatitis B vaccine during the first month of life had 2.94 greater odds for ASD compared to later or unvaccinated boys." Maybe that hepatitis B shot is a little more dangerous than living near a freeway.
The study from the Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital of Los Angeles sounds credible to the average person. We know pollution can affect a person's health. My wife and I were living in an urban area when our daughter was born. We may have doubled her risk right there. Then, she did receive a hepatitis B shot, not just during her first month of life, but on her first day. That almost tripled her risk. I'm already at a nearly six-fold increased risk of autism for my daughter and I haven't yet gotten to the rest of the vaccination schedule.
So even before one gets to Wakefield and the MMR shot, autism seems to even the casually inquisitive person to be some sort of environmentally caused illness, not a genetic one. Do all of these environmental insults set the body up for the MMR shot and its trio of live viruses to tip some children over into autism? It's a reasonable question.
The average person may recall the recent warning that cough medicines should not be given to children younger than the age of two years old because of the possibility of adverse reactions. Something about the immune system of a toddler appears to be uniquely vulnerable to environmental insults. It makes one wonder if the twenty-nine vaccinations children are supposed to get before the age of two on the current schedule is such a good idea. Can toxins retained in the body somehow upset the immune system so that it doesn't clear a virus as it should?
And so we're left with the question of whether a weakened measles virus from a vaccine can persist in the gastro-intestinal system of children with autism and if so, what this might tell us about the disease? It's said that when Galileo faced his persecutors during the Inquisition he muttered the words, eppur si muove, which means "And yet it moves." By it he meant that whatever he was forced to say upon fear of death, that didn't affect whether the Earth moved around the sun.
The truth endures, no matter how men may wish to deny it.
The British Medical Council has stripped Dr. Wakefield of his license to practice medicine and the British Medical Journal has now called his work fraudulent. Maybe next they'll call him ugly. The questions still remain. The millions of children with autism and their parents looking for answers still remain.
Eppur si muove. And yet it moves.
Kent Heckenlively is a Contributing Editor to Age of Autism
Patrick, There are many differences in environmental exposure between child and parent. For example on family I worked with discovered the reason their son was hospitalized was his "wooden" bed was off gassing formaldehyde at greater than 1,000 parts per billion(ppb), the upper limit of the equipment I have. State of CA says we should not be exposed to more than 7 ppb for 8-hours.
Many parents work outside of the home. This reduces their exposure as commercial buildings have fresher air than our homes.
During the past 4-decades the typical formaldehyde concentration in a home went from no detectable to 14 ppb, to 29 ppb, to 77 ppb, to 100+ ppb. Some homes have had formaldehyde measured greater than 400 ppb. This is the same time frame that autism has skyrocketed.
To some degree, it shouldn't matter where the formaldehyde comes from, shots or air. Formaldehyde is known to be bad and we should limit our exposure where ever we can. Determining the exposure level in our own home and then taking steps to reduce the formaldehyde concentration can only help..
Posted by: rich | January 10, 2011 at 12:49 PM
Seems to me the British Medical Establishment are shitting in their own bed. I dunno where they will LIE next...
STOP AUTISM NOW
Posted by: STOP AUTISM NOW | January 10, 2011 at 01:07 AM
Dr. Wakefield was speaking at this conference when the BMJ attack came out. That may explain the timing:
Posted by: Carol | January 09, 2011 at 10:51 PM
Thank You Kent for your logical legal analysis of this horrific situation and Thank You John Stone for providing us with the factual evidence in the Wakefield persecution [oops I mean prosecution] all along the road, and Thank You Dr. Wakefield for writing your book and making all of this crucial evidence available.
WHY is all this persecution increasing again? Obviously because Callous Disregard is being read, more people are listening to Dr. Wakefield, and all of the other people who ae supporting him in the Truth. The vaccine industry is getting panic striken and counter-attacking with more LIES. That is all they have to fight the TRUTH with--LIES, LIES AND MORE LIES.
Regarding freeway pollution, there was just as much if not more pollution from cars before the autism epidemic hit 20 years ago. Since then emissions controls have been enforced. So WHY wasn't there an autism epidemic occurring previous to the past 20 years then???!!!
Vehicle pollution doesn't hold a candle to injecting multiple poisons directly into vulnerable infants and children. This is just another wild goose chase and smokescreen to deflect attention away from the vaccines. There are so many toxic chemical pollutants that they can go in a million directions with this avenue and waste billions more of taxpayer money just to keep the focus away from vaccines. And that is exactly what they will keep doing.
Posted by: AutismGrandma | January 09, 2011 at 08:55 PM
I agree that the other environmental pollutions are a good way to try to comfort Mothers with children under 5.
The one problem is that as someone said earlier it does not explain why the Adult population does not have Autism. With air, water, or even mold in the home the adults have had far more exposure yet no negative health outcomes like Autism. The severe injuries or epidemics happening to the 5 and under population are obviously from medical interventions. It's the only environmental difference in the two populations. It is also the only environmental toxin that is spread equally across land, races, etc...., but NOT AGES.
In the Amish population with no medical intervention between the two populations the adult population would show environmental injuries far before the children, having more environmental exposure (polluted land and air). I would be curious who is more sick in the Amish population (Adults or children) in comparison to our population.
Posted by: patrick | January 09, 2011 at 08:54 PM
What are the upcoming hearings?
Posted by: treegirl | January 09, 2011 at 07:32 PM
But our government has restricted the amount of fuel emissions from our cars. Hasn't the EPA restricted the amount of harmful pollutants, through various means, emitted into our atmosphere?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but current EPA standards as pertains to environmental pollutants are higher than they were when I was growing up (in late 1960's). In fact, pesticides were used almost indiscriminately during those days as well. Yet, we did not see the epidemic of autism during those days as we do today.
I am not at all stating that environmental causes have not impacted the numbers in incidence of autism. Given our current higher EPA standards as pertains environmental pollutants, logic/common sense would have it that rates of autism would have been on the increase back in the 1950's, 1960's, and all the way on through to the 1990's, when the incidence of autism just sky-rocketed.
Yet, we did not see this happening back then.
The one single common denominator that most of those afflicted with autism seem to have (and those on the spectrum), seems to be the number of vaccines those children have received.
Our son suffered a horrific whole cell DPT reaction at the age of 4 months, in 1993. His reaction was duly noted in his medical files.
News flash -- we weren't living anywhere near a freeway when he had his vaccine reaction. So if vaccine reactions are symptomatic of, and/or are pre-dispositive of, autoimmune dysfunction disease, then something is seriously askew with this recent research.
Just a hunch, but I daresay that many of our children of whom have either suffered vaccine reactions and/or suffered with chronic auto-immune dysfunction, have never lived near a freeway.
This research is, in my most humble opinion, yet but just another form of diversion with what is already known in the medical/drug industry.
There is a plethora of peer reviewed research in medical journals, for example, as to the known toxicity of pertussis (pertussis reactivity was written about in medical journals back during the 1940's). Baby teething rings of which contained mercury back in the 1940's, for example, were pulled from the market because they caused Pink's Disease, and so on and so forth.
This 'research' mentioned above, is but another diversionary tactic being used to thwart any and all conclusions that vaccines are in any way, attributable to the huge United States autism epidemic.
Posted by: Bayareamom | January 09, 2011 at 07:10 PM
"Formaldehyde is known to cause cancer and asthma with children being especially effected. Other research indicates formaldehyde is a neurological toxin that has been found to cross into the unborn child and the brain barrier."
Then I think one has to ask if any research has been done on the safety of formaldehyde used in vaccines, seeing as it is routinely injected into very young babies, and pregnant women.
In my opinion, it would be pointless studying the houses where autistic children live because more often than not non-autistic siblings also live in the same house.
Posted by: ATSC | January 09, 2011 at 07:03 PM
According to the Government site about Genes, genes do not cause illness. What causes illness are the enviromental factors such as chemicals injected, induced, inhaled etc..
After reading this and reading the many pubmed articles on multiple conditions one thing is apparent in MY opinion only. Chemicals injected, induced, inhaled etc are the cause of illness whether neurological or mental.
Posted by: tammie | January 09, 2011 at 05:18 PM
I am guessing the forthcoming appeal hearing precludes a defamation action; and that Deer and the editors of the BMJ are well aware of as much.
'I thought I could have my cake and eat it too' is a line in the Detroit Spinners: Working my Way Back to You Babe, and an international expression.
Posted by: GH | January 09, 2011 at 04:57 PM
Oh, come on Kent! You're thinking again, and we all know how dangerous that can be.
On a more serious note, thanks for the very clear logic in this article. What a shame more people don't have the ability to think logically and critically, especially those in public health and in pediatric medicine. How sad for all of us.
Posted by: Not an MD | January 09, 2011 at 03:08 PM
Autism typically develops in very young children. These very young children spend nearly 100% of the life in their own home. In my opinion, looking for the source in homes of children that have developed autism should be investigated. I would even start with the basics: air, water, and food. Water and food come from sources that are shared with many other families. Consequently, I would start by looking at indoor air quality.
EPA among a host of others, already state that residential indoor air quality is far worse inside a home than outside. So a concerned parent can start by simply opening a window. Basically, parents have a choice to pay for increased medical bills or increased heating/cooling bills.
Looking deeper into indoor air quality and autism, I find it interesting that the rate of autism appears to have started to climb with the introduction of energy codes. We even learned back in the 1970's when we sealed up commercial buildings bad things happened. Subsequently, we required commercial buildings to bring in fresh air exchanging the air at least once every hour. We have yet to take this experience and translate it to homes. Homes are getting sealed so tightly to save energy it is taking 5 to 10 hours to exchange the air once.
I'd suggest that the quickest way to find the cause of autism is to you inexpensive passive badges to accurately measure the air quality in homes. Because a Dec 15, 2009 report by California Air Resources Board found that 98% of the homes exceeded the State's 8-hour exposure concentration with respect to formaldehyde, that would be a great place to start. The Sierra Club used this method to initially discover the FEMA trailers.
Other research shows that formaldehyde has increased from not detectable in the 1970's to 14 parts per billion, to 29 ppb, to 77 ppb, to 100 ppb and now 200 ppb. That is a huge increase in just 4-decades.
Why would formaldehyde increase so rapidly? It is a great binder and is widely used in fiberglass insulation and manufactured products. Both of these have dramatically increased in the past 4-decades. Combined with the reduction in ventilation rate and you have the perfect storm.
Formaldehyde is known to cause cancer and asthma with children being especially effected. Other research indicates formaldehyde is a neurological toxin that has been found to cross into the unborn child and the brain barrier.
Formaldehyde is wide spread, easy to accurately measure for just $39 it seems like formaldehyde would be a great target toxin. The steps to reduce formaldehyde will also tend to reduce other toxins.
It amazes me that with all the money being spent on autism research nothing is being done to examine the home where the autistic child lives and comparing it to the homes of none autistic children.
Posted by: rich | January 09, 2011 at 02:00 PM
@ John Stone -
Pharma and their minions, e.g. BMJ and Deer, have crossed the line of medical ethics, morality, and basic civility. They deserve strong worldwide censure! Could this be a defining moment? How much longer will the public tolerate their B.S.?
Personally, I don’t want the likes of Smerck, the Wellcome Dis-Trust, Craig Venter, Billionaire Bill, the World Whealth Org, and the Center for Diseases, messing with my junk with their chemical and biologic intoxicants. Vaccine mandates dwarfs the TSA scanner in terms of its invasiveness and violation of our God-given right to medical freedom. Just look at what the Gulf Stream is taking out into the North Atlantic these days: BP’s corexit and Synthia’s synthetic life form. Evidentally, pharma (Novartis and Synthetic Genomics) now plans on adding synthetic life forms to the vaccine schedules. Can we all agree that it might be time to “just say no” to pharma?
Doesn’t pharma’s ongoing vaccine “madness” put a new “spin” on Mike Adams’ protest song?
“Don’t Touch My Junk Mike Adams Protest Song Goes Viral”
Those of us who don't vaccinate don't want to force our views on anyone - we just want to be left alone without being accused of spreading disease or FORCED to receive vaccinations. Our position is not in any way "extreme". In fact, I would call it a moderate, well-reasoned, non-negotiable position - a position that respects everyone's right to medical freedom.
VACCINES CAUSE AUTISM
MAKE AUTISM STOP
MEDICAL FREEDOM NOW
END MEDICAL FASCISM NOW
Posted by: patrons99 | January 09, 2011 at 01:46 PM
Great article. As Dr. Wakefield said earlier this year, "These parents aren’t going away, the children are not going away, and I most certainly am not going away.”
Posted by: Ann | January 09, 2011 at 12:53 PM
What a brilliant perspective...thank you
Posted by: Shannon Johnson | January 09, 2011 at 10:33 AM
Governments and politicians worldwide would do well to take notice that pharma’s global vaccination agenda might be seriously flawed. This policy should be re-evaluated NOW. Serious warning “signals” are showing up with ever greater frequency. What ever happened to the Precautionary Principle in preventive health? What effect does vaccine-induced serum sickness, partial immunity, and pathogenic immune complexes have on global health?
“Vaccines and Autoimmune Diseases of the Adult” by Hedi Orbach on February 4, 2010.
“Abstract: Infectious agents contribute to the environmental factors involved in the development of autoimmune diseases possibly through molecular mimicry mechanisms. Hence, it is feasible that vaccinations may also contribute to the mosaic of autoimmunity. Evidence for the association of vaccinations and the development of these diseases is presented in this review. Infrequently reported post-vaccination autoimmune diseases include systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory myopathies, multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and vasculitis. In addition, we will discuss macrophagic myofasciitis, aluminum containing vaccines, and the recent evidence for autoimmunity following human papilloma virus vaccine.”
Posted by: patrons99 | January 09, 2011 at 10:04 AM
John Stone says:-
'In my view the present allegations are a fabrication and a fraud, and there ought to be serious consequences.'
Yes 'in my view' too John, but WILL there be consequences for the BMJ? After all, this latest article by Deer is just a rehash of Deer's previous allegations, and the only 'consequences' resulting from those were the striking off and professional and character assassinations of Dr Wakefield and Professor Walker Smith.
The 'big pharma' lobby and the powerful Murdoch media empire continue to ensure that Deer's increasingly ridiculous allegations and misrepresentations are given prominence, and Wakefield's attempts to defend himself and his colleagues are suppressed.
So what's new?? Well, for a start, Deer is now involving the ENTIRE Royal Free Hospital research team members named as co authors in the 1998 Lancet article. This is a new 'angle' for Deer. Even more incredible is Deer's assertion that this entire research project was set up from the start as some kind of elaborate hoax to fool both the public and the medical establishment. This does not only stretch credibility, but will have upset a large number of prominent medical and establishment personnel, in particular those involved with government research funding and licensing. I imagine that former Royal Free Hospital executives and managers will not take kindly to this implied slur on them either.
Few persons within the UK medical establishment were prepared to support Wakefield when he was a lone voice. For those research scientists and clinicians employed within the NHS, this represented professional suicide. However, it now seems that Dr Wakefield is NOT the only target of Deer's increasingly deranged sounding allegations.
Someone on an AoA comment thread recently pointed out the similarity to the Salen witch trials. This ended when the accusers were themselves being accused. I look forward to further developments with interest.
Posted by: Jenny Allan | January 09, 2011 at 10:00 AM
"And yet it moves"
Conventional argument says the church opposed Galileo but it wasn't just the church, his fellow scientists in the universities opposed him first.
Posted by: dugmaze | January 09, 2011 at 09:49 AM
Wow...thank you for such a well written piece explaining exactly what is going on..
Posted by: emily's mom | January 09, 2011 at 09:46 AM
Perhaps now is a good time to remember that the doctor, Herbert Needleman, who discovered and published that even low levels of lead caused neurological damage in children was accused of scientific misconduct and harassed for almost two decades by two researchers and a couple of public relations firms, all of them funded by the lead industry.
From Dr. Needleman's wikipedia entry:
"Dr. Needleman played a key role in securing some of the most significant environmental health protections achieved during the 20th century, which resulted in a fivefold reduction in the prevalence of lead poisoning among children in the United States by the early 1990s. Despite engendering strong resistance from related industries, which made him the target of frequent attacks, Needleman persisted in campaigning to educate stakeholders, including parents and government panels, about the dangers of lead poisoning. Needleman has been credited with having played the key role in triggering environmental safety measures that have reduced average blood lead levels by an estimated 78 percent between 1976 and 1991."
Posted by: Carol | January 09, 2011 at 09:37 AM
Another excellent post, Kent!
@ John Stone -
"In my view the present allegations are a fabrication and a fraud, and there ought to be serious consequences."
Very well stated, sir! Bravo! BMJ deserves our censure. They have crossed the line of medical ethics and basic civility. There ought to be serious consequences.
“The pharmaceutical industry gangsters made one of their periodic fraudulent declarations of "victory" today. They repeat that "science" (the best their money can buy) now proves that injecting mercury and other known neurotoxins into the bloodstreams of small children Is a fine and entirely safe practice - and thus no liability to them for thousands of serious vaccine injuries over the years. The morning TV network shows in the US were crowing this BS with maximum enthusiasm today. (Why not? The pharmaceutical gangsters pay them to.)
Here's real story...
Robert F Kennedy Jr speaking before an audience largely made up of the mothers of vaccine injured children...about the real vaccine scandal that the government and Big Pharma went to criminal lengths to cover up.”
“The Mercury-Autism Cover Up”
“Tobacco Science and the Thimerosal Scandal” by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. On June 22, 2005.
Posted by: patrons99 | January 09, 2011 at 09:03 AM
PS Readers might like to follow the BMJ correspondence:
Posted by: John Stone | January 09, 2011 at 06:46 AM
I just wanted to point out, since it has been somewhat overlooked, that one of the signatories of the main BMJ editorial is paediatrician Harvey Marcovitch, who is not only an associate editor of BMJ he is presently chairman of GMC Fitness to Practice Panels. This is disclosed but Marcovitch also states:
"He had no association with the Wakefield hearings and the views expressed in this article are his own and do not represent those of the GMC."
which sounds rather like "having your cake and eating it" (I don't know whether the expression has currency in the US). As to Godlee the editor, she can bask in the comfort that she has already apparently de-registered as a doctor and therefore cannot face disciplinary action herself.
In my view the present allegations are a fabrication and a fraud, and there ought to be serious consequences.
Posted by: John Stone | January 09, 2011 at 06:34 AM