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Paul Offit and the “Original Sin” of Autism

Snow fieldBy J.B. Handley

OK, let me be clear: I think Paul Offit is a blowhard liar, a vaccine profiteer and apologist, and every time he opens his mouth he disrespects my son. When the final chapter is finally written on this man-made autism epidemic, I will do everything within my power to ensure that Offit is remembered by history as one of the most sinister, dishonest, well-funded talking heads pharma ever produced, and that his efforts served to afflict so many children with autism who may otherwise have avoided it.

In one of the most absurd snowjobs ever put on the media, Offit, a doctor who has never seen a patient with autism, never treated autism, and never published a study about autism, is somehow considered to be an expert on autism. Given his status as a multi-millionaire vaccine patent holder who has had much of his career supported by Merck, this isn’t just absurd, it’s highway robbery, and yet the media persists, and rarely even mentions Offit’s Mount Everest-sized pile of conflicts.

In the latest example of Offit’s dishonesty, AOL recently published a two-person interview HERE with Offit and Geri Dawson, chief Science Officer at Autism Speaks.

In this interview, Offit commits what I consider to be the “Original Sin” of Autism, and something that should be condemned by every autism organization in the country, including Autism Speaks. To quote Paul Offit:

“It's not an actual epidemic. In the mid-1990s, the definition of autism was broadened to what is now called autism spectrum disorder. Much milder parts of the spectrum -- problems with speech, social interaction -- were brought into the spectrum. We also have more awareness, so we see it more often. And there is a financial impetus to include children in the wider definition so that their treatment will be covered by insurance. People say if you took the current criteria and went back 50 years, you'd see about as many children with autism then.”

Is this guy actually insane? Denying the existence of an autism epidemic is truly the original sin. In Offit’s world, there is absolutely NO PROBLEM HERE. Things are as they always were, we just understand it better. Of course, we all know, if there’s no epidemic, there is no environmental trigger, because why have a trigger if something hasn’t actually grown? Said differently:

Denying the autism epidemic is to deny the suffering of millions of children and their families and also to deny the exploration into the true cause so the epidemic might end.

It’s truly despicable. And, I’m certainly not alone in disagreeing with Offit’s absurd position on autism prevalence. Look what Geraldine Dawson, no friend of our community, does in the very same interview. She says:

“We know that the broadening of the diagnosis, as well as more awareness and access to services, accounts for some of this increase, but these variables don't account for all of the increase. Over the last two decades, the prevalence of autism has increased by over 600 percent. Between 2004 and 2006 we saw a 57 percent increase. A large percentage is unexplained, and that's why there is a focus on identifying environmental factors.”

Blink. Blink. Knock, knock! Hello? Is anyone home?

Do you think the interviewer of these two wondered, as she transcribed these two answers, if something was amiss? The most basic question, but also the most important question, just got two completely different answers. Lest you think me and Geraldine Dawson are the only two human beings who believe there has been a REAL rise in children with autism, consider these:

"It irritates me to no end that we still argue over whether there is an increase in incidence [of autism]. I think there is lots of evidence for increased incidence. Overwhelmingly it supports that there are things in the environment that are contributing to the rate of incidence. But people still argue."

- Michael Merzenich, Ph.D., neuroscientist, UCSF

"It’s time to start looking for the environmental culprits responsible for the remarkable increase in the rate of autism in California."

- Dr. Irva Hertz-Picciotto

"There is no evidence that a loosening in the diagnostic criteria has contributed to increased number of autism clients...we conclude that some, if not all, of the observed increase represents a true increase in cases of autism in California...a purely genetic basis for autism does not fully explain the increasing autism prevalence. Other theories that attempt to better explain the observed increase in autism cases include environmental exposures to substances such as mercury; viral exposures; autoimmune disorders; and childhood vaccinations."

- UC Davis MIND Institute

Hmm…whom to believe, whom to believe. I don’t know, journalists, what do you think? Behind door number one, a vaccine inventor who has been supported by pharma’s largesse his entire career. Door number two? Pretty much the entire world of scientists who specialize in autism.

It actually gets worse. I had to squint while reading most of this interview because it was so painful, but I thought I’d leave you with one final Offit quote that I think really reveals who we are dealing with, it goes like this:

AOL Health: Do you believe that there is a cure for autism?

Dr doomOffit: No. Children who show signs of autism sometimes can get better between 2 and 5, but it probably has nothing to do with the biomedical treatments -- they simply improve with time.

*         *

Move along, everyone, nothing to see here, Offit the Prophet has spoken. Interestingly, the question didn’t mention biomedical treatments, but Offit slammed the door on them anyway? No, no chance for recovery. And, oh, by the way, everything that can be invented already has, and every innovation in medicine to help people get better is already here.

This guy is a doctor? A Doctor of Doom, perhaps, but certainly not a Doctor of kids. Join me in condemning this lunatic.

J.B. Handley is the father of a child with autism, the co-founder of Generation Rescue, and a contributing writer for AoA.



The "sceptics" try to hide the truth about Offit on Wikipedia. See how they removed important facts. How will it end?

(cur | prev) 11:34, 16 December 2011‎ (talk)‎ (20,212 bytes) (ACSH is a very successfull lobby-organizastion and it is important for the public to know. Why do you want to hide that??) (undo)
(cur | prev) 22:05, 15 December 2011‎ MastCell (talk | contribs)‎ (20,059 bytes) (agree with GrahamColm; while this may be notable, it's not notable enough for the lead) (undo)
(cur | prev) 21:24, 15 December 2011‎ (talk)‎ (20,211 bytes) (Undid revision 466057011 by GrahamColm (talk)) (undo)
(cur | prev) 21:12, 15 December 2011‎ GrahamColm (talk | contribs)‎ (20,059 bytes) (Reverted good faith edits by (talk): See WP:MOS and not sure of WP:WEIGHT. (TW)) (undo)


Paul A Offit belong to the leaders in the lobby organisation ACSH. Paul A. Offit, M.D.
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia belongs to ACSH BOARD OF TRUSTEES.

Read about ACSH on Sourcewatch:


Paul A. Offit, M.D.
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
belongs to

Read about the lobby organisation ACSH on sourcewatch

Managing Editor

Ben, it's called "The greater good," and is the bedrock of public health. Sacrifice some for the many. Herd immunity. Your baby calf might fall, but if the rest of the herd escapes, that's a win.

And Jenny hasn't been a centerfold in a long time - that's merely a way to denigrate her. And it's misogynistic. The science is there for those willing to look. Dr. Bernadine Healy (RIP) said it best, "the science is incomplete." The vaccine courts also concur that vaccine injury is very real. Most of us can just look at out beautiful children to see that though.



Ben Edwards

How can you possibly believe someone would deliberately give someone autism?! What would they have to gain?! Not one credible source has shown genuine research that vaccines and autism have a connection. Vaccines have been tested for over a decade and no connection has been found. You people who believe former Playboy centerfold Jenny McCarthy and Andrew Wakefield have no case!

Ben Edwards

That wasn't an article. That was just a bunch of ranting about credible figures who have more experience than the author on issues related to vaccines and autism. The 'author' doesn't provide any support for their thesis. He or she doesn't even have any thing to say about Paul Offit's statement, just,"Is this guy actually insane? Denying the existence of an autism epidemic is truly the original sin." The author of this article has no prove autism is rising as opposed to new awareness and broader defintion of it. He or she also has no evidence that isn't forged or made by a reliable expert that vaccines have any connection to autism.


What, exactly are Offit's conflicts of interest? How much money has he been paid directly by vaccine makers during his career? I'm told his job at Children's Hospital is funded entirely by Merck? Is that true? And if so, how much is he paid by Merck (indirectly?) annually?

What is the vaccine he's patented? Is it in general use? How much money has he been paid by the vaccine maker for developing this vaccine? How much money does he receive/will he receive in royalties from this vaccine for the ten years starting with its introduction?


We do have standards, Mr. Lister. (Hey, that rhymes!) It's easy to see when folks come in to stir the pot. We allow some stirring. Where ever you are - hot cold or in between. Doesn't matter to us.


Greydon Lister


Is it possible for it to be all three of those things were I am? You say "for now" and we all know what that means. If you don't agree at AoA your opinion goes bye-bye.


I ask every teacher over 50 to describe their classes - and the special ed landscape - NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER do I hear anyone say, "Oh, yes, lots of kids with diagnostic substitution." Mr. Lister is having a bit of fun here (for now) - it must be very very cold or hot or boring where he is.

Greydon Lister

John Stone

1. Just because you are offended doesn't mean you are right.
2. What did I say that was sexist or ageist? "Two elderly aunts" was a direct quote from her comment, which I was referring to.

John Stone

Greydon Lister

I really can't understand the hypocrisy of someone who covers themselves for being offensive by saying "no offense": it really is offensively ignorant and boorish (not to mention sexist and ageist). The point is pretty obvious when you have children with these immensely intractable, disruptive and costly problems turning up in practically every class when they patently didn't in the past. Of course, this may belong with the equally offensive and ignorant comments of people who argue autism is just bad behaviour (which no doubt the aunts would have encountered).

Greydon Lister

@ Julie Swenson

No offense, but I don't see how two elderly aunts who taught pre-school (how many years ago?) and don't remember seeing something that they wouldn't have even known to look for is credible evidence.


When Offit says that there is no cure for autism, he is not saying that there will NEVER be a cure, he is saying that there is no cure NOW. He is saying that there is no evidence that the "cures" being offered at present actually work.



Offit does not treat autism because he is Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases and Director, Vaccine Education Center for Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

He has no business treating children with autism as it in no way falls under the realm of his dept. and thereby has no business speaking about autism.

Vaccine Royalties aside...he is conflicted on the possibility that vaccines may cause autism by mere nature of his official role with CHOPS and the fact that pharma puts so much funding into his dept. This should be a major no brainer to journalists.

Julie Swenson

"People say if you took the current criteria and went back 50 years, you'd see about as many children with autism then.”

Oh reaallllly?? Just ask my two elderly aunts, both of whom taught preschool for decades...I recall one of them telling me that she MAYBE remembered one or two children, out of thousands of children over the decades, that seemed autistic...if what Offit says is true, shouldn't she have seen hundreds, if not thousands?

In my 4-year old son's preschool, there are three boys (out of nine total boys) that I would bet money are on the spectrum...two have already been tested by the state.

Keep pushing that lie, do you sleep at night? Oh, right..on top of a huge pile of money.

Cynthia Cournoyer

The more Offit speaks the dumber he sounds.


Since when is Paul Offit and autism expert? He is an imposter and the media is his enabler.

Dick Augspurger


Go for it, man!

I like the passion with which you write, and I appreciate you using the sources that you quote. I am sick of the press assuming that people like Offit and Brian Deer are "accurate and truthful" when in fact, the entire debate should be reversed - let's assume that environmental factors are a powerful trigger - in LOTS of different kinds of disorders, and go from there! Why not treat Offit and Deer like Dr. Wakefield gets treated, repeatedly, by various members of the press?


Cam Pearson

Why is it that Offitt doesn't treat children with Autism? Is it A)He doesn't believe Autism exists,
B)He has no idea how to go about treating it,
C)NO sane parent with a child with Autism would step foot in his office,
D) All of the above.

He keeps telling us all of the things that Autism is NOT:
Increasing in prevalence, Caused by environmental factors, Treatable. Exactly what valuable insight does he have about this issue? For the life of me, I can't understand what anyone gleans from his commentary.

kathy blanco

It seems like today, what is being told us is, vaccines are based on rock-solid science that proves them to be completely safe and widely effective. These beliefs, however, are not factually based on real science but rather a persistent vaccine mythology that has been propagandized by the vaccine industry, medical practitioners and even governments which underwrite vaccine risks. It's ok if some soldiers die or are maimed on the front of vaccine wars, these are the acceptible losses. Well guess what...I think no one is going unscathed. We have a lot of kids on psychotropic drugs, lowered Iq's with a vast variety of expressions of autoimmune problems, and that's not coming from genetics. Obviously we have a problem, and physicians who deny it, even if they have autistic children, will never convince me that we don't.


It seems as though both the interviewer and the interviewees live in another world. Make that another planet!


well, Jimmy Olsen and Ped with two kids with autism; I had plenty to say yesterday to help you two out. But I see that so many people have already tried to help you see.

But perhaps Jimmy I could help you a little more by gently reminding you that Stats are only as good as those that choose to collect and use them. That is why they now have classes in college called "Stats and ethics"

And ped with two kids - I am so very sorry. I too was indoctrinated about vaccines in college. I did not go to school to be indoctrinated but to be educated.

If you look back at your education; did you major first in another subject like biology or chemistry? I did, and sometimes I drifted into classes that were medical oriented for nurses. In those classes I experienced something that I did not get in my other classes. Highly emotional speeches of how vaccines cause no harm, they just don't - and while most material is rapidly presented and I found myself scrambling to get it all digested before new material was dumped on me - the whole subject of vaccines were revisted during every class session. NOw what was that all about?


Offit is offit his rocker. My children didnt have any vaccines and havent had any biomedical treatments, but HAVENT 'gotten better' after age 5. My 7 year old has finally received her statement of SEN a few weeks ago to legally bind her support at school, because this ISNT GOING AWAY! My 2.5 year old is about to start nursery in a few months, and we will apply for a statement for her as well, to cement support into place.


Great article. We can't deny there is an increase epidemic in numbers of children having autism.
No doubt!
I can't stand when people try to act as pros in an area that they have not been experienced in.

Shelley Tzorfas

It is reported that 1 out of 10 children in USA now has a learning Disability, or Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Diabetes, cancer, ADHD, Dyslexia, Deadly peanut Allergy (Peanut by productsadded to vaccines! Please see ,"RECOVERING AUTISM and SPECIAL NEEDS," on youtube Does Offit live in the lab? No wonder his eyes are closed. Children throwing desks outside of a classroom, vomiting, head banging would NOT have been accidentally Not diagnosed 25 years ago.


Vaccine proponents repeatedly say “the benefits outweigh the risks” But on what basis can this claim be substantiated if: a) there are no long term controlled studies comparing vaccinated versus non-vaccinated children b) vaccine trials are short-term and do not use an inert saline placebo c) vaccine trials are not designed to detect carcinogenic, mutagenic, neurological or autoimmune potential and d) diseases/reactions are redefined to rule out a vaccination link thereby further skewing the statistics.

"Incredible as it sounds a controlled study comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated children has never been done in America for any vaccination... The only explanation for this is bias and political pressure... This means that vaccination is essentially a large scale experiment in our nation's children."
Dr. Philip Incao MD Hepatitis B Vaccine Testimony, 1999 

"There has never been a single vaccine in this country that has ever been submitted to a controlled scientific study. They never took a group of 100 people who were candidates for a vaccine, gave 50 of them a vaccine and left the other 50 alone, and measured the outcome. And since that's never been done, that means if you want to be kind, you will call vaccines an unproven remedy. If you want to be accurate you will call people who give vaccines quacks."
Robert S. Mendelsohn MD, Pediatrician, Professor of Pediatrics, University of Illinios, College of Medicine 

"There is a wider problem because of the failure to carry out long-term, randomized, controlled studies properly conducted scientific investigations which would monitor the effects of multiple, early vaccination versus non-vaccination into adulthood."
Michel Odent MD, London 

"The CDC immunization policy is a scientific disgrace because vaccines only get short-term tests, NOT controlled tests for long-term side effects."
Dr. Roger Schlafy, PhD 'Official Vaccine Policy Flawed' 

"Evaluation of side-effects in most studies was restricted to 48-72 hours. Needless to say, many serious side effects show up long after that time span. Nevertheless, most of these studies pretend to prove the safety of the vaccine."
Dr. Kris Gaublome, MD Belgium 


Please take a look at this video series of Dr Russell Blaylock, world renowned neurosurgeon,on vaccines and brain development. You will never look at vaccines the same again.

Dr. L'Hommedieu

It’s interesting how many pediatricians will refer to the “evidence” of science to validate their positions to vaccinate, but at the same time entirely miss the facts. Of course, when reading deranged responses such as from “pediatrician with autistic children,” you have to consider that this misinformed pediatrician is probably not a pediatrician at all, but rather some pharma disinformation specialist. Their directive is to infiltrate effective websites in an attempt to discredit any true information that reaches the mainstream public. Tragically, the evidence behind the vaccine “science” mr. pediatrician refers to is the kind that only money can buy, and can only be purchased and published by the inside Players.

It is worth noting how these vaccine apologists can only regress to the use of discrediting tactics such as classifying those with opposing scientific facts as members of a cult. However, there is probably no greater cult in science today than the vaccine “science” cult. It appears to me from mr. pediatrician’s comment that he himself fulfills the basic requirement: “I have great passion in defending vaccines.” I could almost appreciate his alacrity if it was sincere, but why didn’t he share some of this defense? It’s because these people know that pushing technical propaganda on a website with well informed and educated people would be easily dismantled and the real truth reinforced. So their tactic is to discredit without the possibility of being discredited themselves. Mr. pediatrician simply regurgitates empty rhetoric.

Mr. pediatrician claims his science “continues to solidify the theory that vaccines do not cause autism,” but that could only be possible if you eliminate all of the facts, all of the research, and all of the practitioners who work closely with these children and their parents.

Authentic scientific research and researchers had confirmed the FACT, not “evidence” or “theory,” that thimerosal was a neurotoxin back in the 1920’s; that verdict still stands today, and thimerosal is still nothing less than a biological disaster. This doesn’t mean that neurotoxins in vaccines such as thimerosal/mercury, aluminum, formaldehyde, engineered viral components, etc. are the only contributing factors responsible for inducing autism, just major players.

So let me get this straight; mr. pediatrician claims we do “nothing with regard to promoting the movement of science toward finding those etiologies except diversion and deflection of the true focus.” However, it appears that the true focus of his vaccine “science” is to reject the obvious. So while we’re looking right at the horses, his “science” is telling us to look for zebras. Of course, his comment; “I fully understand that millions of children have autism without a clear etiology,” is in clear opposition to his colleague’s, Offit, who claims that “if you took the current criteria and went back 50 years, you'd see about as many children with autism then.” Can they at least get their stories straight?

Kelli Ann Davis

Well I can see JB STILL ROCKS! (Been gone for a while)

"....they simply improve with time."

Several years ago while advocating in DC, an individual (who was in charge of a House Science Sub-Committee) told me he got the "same line" from some CDC attorneys and so he asked them point-blank: "Where's the study to prove it?" (Ah, gee they didn't have one) They also were trying to feed him the line about "no increase" to which he responded, "I can't walk down my block without seeing an autistic child nowadays"....

Getta Clue Offit! The ship is sinking and you're going down, down, down...THE TRUTH WILL ALWAYS PREVAIL!


Re Post by Chris: "What we know about autism could fill a thimble, but what we don't know about it could fill a five-gallon pitcher."

Actually it is the exact opposite. The autism vaccines connection is being well documented more and more, however the vaccine industy utilizes thier own studies funded and designed by them to produce the desired outcome so that they can continue to claim "Gee we just don't know what causes Autism, but we know for sure it's not the vaccines." The sick part is that Paul Offit and those like him DO KNOW what is really going on with the vaccine dangers and injuries and they are knowingly covering it up.

This is why so many people who are educated by both the facts and their own personal experiences regarding vaccines have such animosity for Paul Offit and those like him. It is only a matter of time before the the truth about this entire vaccine scam is uncovered, but in the meantime 40,000 new cases of autism will occur each year and we also have 1 in 6 children with other learning neurological disorders, not to mention a myriad of other health disorders which have been linked to vaccines.

Now honestly, why shouldn't anyone who has come to investigate and realize the reality of this horror, be totally disgusted with the corruption behind this???!!! Why do people find it so difficult to believe the possibility of corruption with vaccines when all kinds of other corruption within the pharmaceutical industry is continually uncovered: falsified studies, FDA collusion to keep drugs on the market that cause death and other serious health damages, conflict of interest within FDA administration. The autism and vaccines situation is just one part of an entire corrupt pharmaceutical business venture that seeks to maintain a monopoly over our health care at all costs, including human lives lost and permanently damaged. It makes no difference to these monsters if Avandia causes 53,000 heart attacks as was recently proven in a Senate investigation. They keep it on the market through their industry paid advisors at the FDA, as they have done for the last 50 years with so many dangerous and deadly drugs that kill people and ruin their health. THEY ONLY CARE ABOUT THE $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

Try researching under "pharmaceutical" articles at Dr. Mercola's website and Mike Adams website, Natural News. Anyone can easily get a clue about all of this within a few hours of reading. You just have to become open minded enough to LOOK for the truth. As the Bible says, "Keep on Seeking and Ye Shall Find; Keep on Knocking and the Door Shall Be Opened to YOU."


Ignorance is the greatest disability. I won't be reading the responses anymore, but I must say Jimmy is to young since he believes the "stats" to be in this conversation. Please do a little research honey, come back in a year or so. Also, Thank you JB for knowing your stuff and being passionate.


Dear Pediatrican with autistic children:

Here is another gem from J.B. that I am sure you will enjoy reading:


J.B. Speaks for me!!


Jimmy Olsen: "vaccinate is to protect them, and the harm is barely present, if at all." LOL What cave are you in? Harm barely present...HA! Even the autism neighbor (200lb 16 YO) responded with NAAaaaaaaaaauauuu.


To "Jimmy Olsen" -
Skip the stats. They've been manipulated.
Look at the kids. They are sick. They need help.

To the pediatrician with 2 ASD kids:
Look in a mirror. There's another cult member.
Again, look at the kids. They are sick. They need help.

Tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of families trapped at home with vaccine-injured children stacks of lab tests just waiting for someone with compassion, funding and a brain to make vaccine injury prevention a personal priority. With enough caring medical professionals, it becomes a national priority.


I'm not trying to turn this into a political thing...but just for an example, let me tell you about my Republican friends. They hang out with other Republicans, and they don't spend a lot of time discussing politics with people who disagree with them. So many of them believe that they are in the majority. Why? Because the majority of people they know are Republicans. They don't stop to think about the people whose voices they haven't heard, don't eat lunch with, and so on. I could say the same thing (but opposite) about my Democrat friends, who also think they are in the majority because they surround themselves with like-minded people.

If you are saying that vaccines cause autism and you call people who disagree with you names...then say, "We're in the majority," you are making the same mistake. Likewise, if you are saying that vaccines don't cause autism and call those who believe otherwise "ignorant," and so on, you are also making the same mistake.

Basically, I don't want to hang out with people who call me names, so I don't. If you call me a name, you will never really find out what is in my heart or why I believe a certain way. You will never have a chance to hear the evidence as I see it, and you will also never have a chance to present your evidence that contradicts my world view in a comprehensive way. If I call you names, I'm sure you'd split just as quickly as I would.

Get it?

I know it gets tiresome hearing the comments of people. "It's all your fault." "If you would have ____, this wouldn't have happened." and so on. Still, it's worth it to fight the good fight...but with humility and understanding. Just because the majority of people *you know* or *you listen to* think the way you think doesn't mean the majority of people in the country/world think the way you think. Or, maybe they do, but you'll never know if you never venture out of your comfort circle.

So, get off your high horse and stop calling people who disagree with you names. Stop pretending you know everything. What we know about autism could fill a thimble, but what we don't know about it could fill a five-gallon pitcher. If you know a fraction of the thimble, great! But, don't boast in your intelligence. because it's still just a drop in the bucket. Yes, I'm talking to you.

Oh wait, I'm also talking to me.

Lois Lane Stagliano

Jimmy, the "well there's some risk" argument just doesn't fly here. We have very sick kids. I saw an 8 year old girl cross the parking lot safely at Trader Joe's today - to return her Moms cart. I stood there with my jaw dragging on the ground - none of girls - so seriously impaired (and it kills me to write that) by their autism could do that at 16, 14 and 10 years of age. They need 24/7 supervision. They face rape. One has already been assaulted. Give me the chicken pox, the measles and other childhood diseases if need be - but in reality, it should NEVER be an either or crap shoot. I vaxed my older girls fully and they have paid the price with their very lives - this is no joke to us - not a "oh well, toss out this batch of kids and try again." It's life changing, heart breaking terrifying. I suggest you read my book to learn the realities we face. And thanks for the comment.

Lois Lane - aka Kim Stagliano, looking for Superman to turn the world back for my kids.


"pediatrician with autistic children"

could be a new code name for "Sullivan..."

She's baaaaack....

Jimmy Olsen


There is nothing wrong with being passionate about a very emotional subject, but emotion is the enemy of reason, and to bring those strong feelings to debate does everyone injustice. Fear and anger are powerful motivators, but terrible at rationale.

You are not incorrect; there is plenty of research that shows a statistically significant increase in cases of autism for vaccinated children. These studies, however, do not address causality in the slightest. There are a plethora of confounding factors that simply cannot be contained - certain genetic factors that may be conducive to autism may also be conducive to compliance, e.g. genetic disposition for autism may be linked to a genetic predisposition towards non-aggression. Whether this is the case or not is irrelevant; the point is that the evidence does not and cannot claim that vaccinations are the cause.

Further, while the increase is significant, statistical significance does not necessarily mean a dramatic difference, and as is the case here, often is the result of a large sample size. Most studies, in fact, show only a small increase in occurrence. This is not insignificant, but it's not damning evidence either.

Ultimately, it's not likely that vaccinations are a real threat to our children. It's a tragedy when it happens, but so are a myriad of other medical procedures when they do not work perfectly. This does not dampen their value, as the life-saving potential of a vaccine far outweighs the minimal increase in probability.

Ultimately, the choice is yours. You are not harming your child by rejecting vaccinations, but to vaccinate is to protect them, and the harm is barely present, if at all.

PS: I am not a parent, so I have no emotional investment in the issue, nor do I work for nor ever intend to work for pharmaceutics, as I find the work too necessarily cold for my tastes. I am a recent college graduate in mathematics and statistics. I may not understand fully the biology in the articles I've read, but I do understand the stats.


Would anyone claiming that vaccines (plural) do not cause autism please provide one study to back up the claim. Just one. It is as well scientists shift targets, otherwise we would still be targeting dinner with stone tipped spears.

An online search for 'biofilms' and 'microbiome' may also be educational.

kathy blanco

In my experience with pediatricians, they are no immunologist or virologist, and I take issue with the pediatricians comments there is no connection to vaccines, espeically in light of the fact they present with some kind of a problem if you will if you have an underyling immune dysfunction, viral or retroviral infection, lyme disease, or some other metabolic/mitochondrial dysfunction or deficiency which would make vaccines the ONE LAST STRAW. I take issue sir, that you can boldly state there is no connection when no studies have NOT ruled it out, nor studied the combined effects of what vaccines do to cellular immunity. And, I also take issue that you disregard the fact that thousands upon thousands of case studies of fevers with vaccines soon after, within days, doesn't cause ADEM or some kind of encephalopathy. I am sorry, for the fact you have an autistic child, and I feel sorry they don't have a father or mother who believes what autism is, an immune and metabolic assault on children. I find no USE of vaccines, they don't work, never have, and they shed to others unfavorable viruses and immune dysunfction. I for one, don't fear those diseases, AT ALL, when I have things on board that make them innocuous. They have been preached far too long as God's gift, and I for one, think they come from a different source.

Birgit Calhoun

Most of us are not anti-vaccine. We are against the indiscriminate dispensing of injection without proper investigation as far as synergistic effects go and the blind administration of poisons into tiny bodies. I have been fully vaccinated, but have never received a tri-valent vaccine. I think a person is better off getting immunization for one illness at a time. I don't see why anyone has to submit to building immunity for three things simultaneously.


Yikes, that comment from "pediatrician with autistic children" is frightning. Is this really the best shills can do? Come on people, step up the game. Way too obvious.


To the pediatrician with autistic children that says he has no doubt that vaccines do not cause autism -- please take a look at the actual science. It is not nearly as conclusive as the vaccine defenders make it out to be.

No doubt you, as a pediatrician, would feel terribly guilty and angry if/when you realized that the very vaccines you have been giving to every child who enters your office were responsible for destroying your own childrens' brains. Perhaps it is that guilt that is keeping you from accepting this as the truth.

pediatrician with autistic children

As a pediatrician who promotes vaccines, understanding than nothing in medicine is "100% safe" (yet also understanding the overwhelming evidence concerning vaccines means there is no doubt the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks), and having two children with autism, I feel particularly suited to debate this issue. However, I don't. I have great passion in defending vaccines and as it regards my children and my patients.

Science, by its very nature, continues to solidify the theory that vaccines do not cause autism. Thimerosol/mercury, MMR, etc. as potential targets years ago have been chipped away with science and have fallen to the wayside. The anti-vaccination cult will continue to change targets.

Scientists will continue to provide evidence, and the anti-vaccination cult will continue to change targets. I am fortunate that the power of cult belief did not damn my children with Fragile X syndrome ( to institutions and shackles, believing evil spirits or such was causing their behavior. Science progresses undeterred and for my children, provided EVIDENCE that not vaccines, not mercury, not other potential incorrect etiologies causes their autism. I fully understand that millions of children have autism without a clear etiology. However, the anti-vaccination cult does nothing with regard to promoting the movement of science toward finding those etiologies except diversion and deflection of the true focus.

Birgit Calhoun

It is obvious that Offit has no idea about autistic kids or adults. Does he even see patients? Surely he is too busy spreading falsehoods. As far as Colbert goes I am looking forward to the show tonight. Let's see if we have to call him on "truthiness."

I just received a newsletter from Natural News. Mike Adams is going to have articles on what's wrong with vaccines as well as several interviews with interesting people including Dr. Wakefield talking about vaccines.

Theodore Van Oosbree

That part about getting an autism diagnosis to qualify for insurance is a knee-slapper! Most plans don't cover it and plenty of parents spend large amounts of out-of-pocket money to get treatments for their children (we sure have).


"And there is a financial impetus to include children in the wider definition so that their treatment will be covered by insurance." -Paul Offit

Oh, you mean a financial impetus like say, getting your own patented vaccine included in the mandatory schedule? That kind of impetus?

The guy is morally corrupt to the core.

kathy blanco

If only most physicians would read something like this...and you all have read it, the same man that says your increase of alzheiemrs with every flu shot. World famous immunologist.

Typical Course of an Autistic patient

Hepatitis B immunization at 12 hours after birth. DPT immunization at 4 and 8 weeks*; oral polio immunization also at 4 and 8 weeks, again at 3 months. Schedule now being changed; children will receive 2 doses of live attenuated oral polio and 2 doses killed polio; oral polio can cause disease; only killed polio is used in Europe.

Because of great decrease in cell-mediated immunity (CMI) in infants, the vaccines lower CMI further; one decreases CMI by 50%; two together by 70%. Longest safety trial of of the triple vaccine (MMR, all live attenuated viruses) was three weeks.

Repeated immunizations with 3 vaccines simultaneously, e.g., pneumococcus, hemophilus, etc. from 4 weeks to 12 or 18 months. Repeat DPT is given at 12 months.* All these triple vaccines markedly impair CMI.

Resultant decrease in CMI predisoposes to recurrent viral infections, especially otitis media, since CMI controls response to viruses (also fungi [e.g., Candida], parasites [e.g., leishmaniasis], mycobacteria [e.g., tuberculosis, even if drug resistant, and leprosy].

When infections occur, bacterial cultures rarely performed, yet infants repeatedly given antibiotics. Antibiotics are of asbsolutely no help in viral infections; in some countries, antibiotic administration without a prior cultutre is considered malpractice.

Antibiotics wipe out helpful bacteria in the gut (e.g., lactobacilli, bifidobacteria) which have important protective functions, including prevention of infection by yeast, pathogenic bacteria, and/or parasites. The protection is provided in part by the helpful bacteria clinging to the intestinal cell wall, thus preventing pathogenic microorganisms from getting to it. The pathogenic bacteria compete with the body for vitamin B-12 and perhaps other vitamins and minerals.

After helpful bacteria wiped out, Candida usually develops. Candida produces toxin. However its main deleterious effect is avid binding of coenzyme q10, usually at barely adequate levels in the diet of normals to begin with, to a far greater extent than by normal tissues. Candida is not the cause of increased intestinal permeability, except in rare instances, since substances passing into the body enter via the small intestine (jejeunum) whereas Candida is almost always confined to the large intestine ( but if present in jejeunum, can be life-threatening).

The Candida infection is usually treated with ketoconazole or similar anti-yeast antibiotic.

Ketoconazole and similar compounds impair patient's liver function as shown by liver detoxification profile. This could also be a factor in increased intestinal permeability, because the liver also synthesizes the J piece (joining piece) that binds two molecules of IgA antibodies together to form secretory IgA, which protects the intestinal tract from a variety of damaging agents; severe diminution of secretory IgA predisposes to increased intestinal permeability. Furthermore, since the blood vessels from the colon go directly to the liver via the enterohepatic circulation, the various toxins from microorganisms and undigested food in the colon go directly to the liver and impairs the latter's detoxification mechanisms and its production of enzymes. (The liver produces the vast majority of the hundreds of different body enzymes necessary for normal metabolism.).

Decrease in production of the liver enzymes (phosphosulfotransferase and cytochrome p450 family) causes failure to break food proteins (including gluten and casein) into peptides. The intact proteins cross into circulation, and antibodies** are formed against them. The antibodies complex with the antigen to form antigen-antibody complexes, that in turn can enter various organs and seek out cells with receptors for antigen-antibody complexes, e.g., cells of the joints (causing arthritis), muscles (causing myalgia), or brain (causing cognitive dysfunction).

*DPT immunization in inbred mice has been shown to result in decrease synthesis of cytochrome p450 and of phosphosulfotransferase and of the messenger RNA's necessary for their production.

**If antibodies are not detectable, this may be due to immune complex in antigen access.


The law states that infants with immune defects should not receive immunizations. But no pediatricians test for immune deficiency before giving immunizations. They are always given out of convenience for pediatricians at well-baby follow-ups at 4 and 8 weeks in this country.

Defer Rubella vaccine in males completely, in females defer until age when menses begins. Rubella is only a mild disease in the developed countries, with mild fever and "spots" for three days. Reason for females taking it a menses is because if Rubella occurs in the first trimester of pregnancy the child will develop severe congenital defects starts to prevent congenital defects. If administered during first or second trimester do not give to women for at least 2½ years following delivery of last child, as the vaccine virus is present in respiratory secretions for seven days and can cause disease.

Defer other immunizations until age 4 (except for tetanus and diphtheria toxoid which should be given at 2½ years).

Obtain IgG antibody titers from cord blood to all vaccines currently in use and store away a sample of serum so they can be tested for vaccines which will be introduced later (we are introducing 1-2 new immunizations each year). If any of the IgG antibody to DPT, MMR, polio (and in the British Commonwealth countries 16 Coxsackie viruses), get IgM on infant from the stored serum (divided into 2 parts), and the mother, father and the sib of closest age should be tested for IgG and IgM antibodies to the relevant virus.

Do not take influenza vaccines or other new vaccines. Ask the physician if the vaccine bottle contains mercury (thiomerol or alum [which boosts the response to various immunizing agents]). Also ask physician to obtain vaccines free of these. Repeat injections of these agents can cause all kinds of immunologic aberrations.

Nurses in newborn nurseries should not receive rubella vaccine. Rubella immunization of nurses in Philadelphia 12 years ago, because of several cases of rubella in newborn infants, resulted in a micro-epidemic of CFIDS.


Michelle, I don't know what kind of "autism" you think you or your kids have, but if you can read a website and post comments you don't have anything resembling the severe brain damage my son has. Do you lay awake at night imagining your child being abused or murdered in a state mental hospital after you die? I do. That's why I'd like a cure. Do you get that

Kym Grosso

It is just unbelievable that he would say there is no epidemic. Get real. It is an insult to tell me that a non-verbal child with regressive autism (like my son) would have improved with no intervention. There is no way my son would have gotten better without ABA, OT, PT, ST, biomed....the list could go on and on.

I know more and more kids with autism, and there is no way anyone is going to convince me it is just because of better diagnosing. There is a reason my son has several friends with autism, and it isn't because someone expanded a definition. These kids and their parents work hard every day to make progress, and it is anything but easy or fast.

CT teacher

I posted this comment on JB's other piece about the Hungry Lie. As it was the last comment I'm not sure anyone read it. I posted about this physician a couple of months ago, too. A Greek physician, Dr. John Ionnides, believes that MOST medical studies have no value, even those common studies that are used by mainstream medicine to justify their treatment protocols. He believe the design studies are flawed for all of the reasons that we understand and that they don't ask the right questions. I immediately thought of JB's 14 studies. Dr. Ionnides is now in the U.S. as the head of Stanford U's Prevention Research Center. There are 2 very good articles about him in the Nov. issue of the ATLANTIC and the Jan. 24 issue of Newsweek. It might be helpful if he could be contacted and asked to take a look at those autism studies. Wouldn't it be great to have someone of his stature state publicly that all of the autism studies are worthless? Apparently, he is very well regarded as a researcher. Please everyone, Google these articles and read about him and his work. Maybe he would be willing to help.

Shiny Happy Person

Interesting coincidence - watching a bit of the 2003 film "Seabiscuit" on the weekend. In the film version of this story, Charles Howard (Seabiscuit's owner) consistently challenges the owner of War Admiral (Samuel Riddle) to a race, but Riddle won't bite. Howard finally decides he has to "take the race to them". He calls them out. Put up or shut up. The rest is history.

This is where Offit really deflates. He's been publicly challenged by perhaps his greatest detractor (Wakefield) to meet face to face on multiple occasions - yet to date he's still a no-show. The media has been in a feeding frenzy over Wakefield lately - Offit now more than ever has the opportunity to publicly dress down the "False Prophet" himself. Go for the jugular. Finish him off. What's he waiting for? Now - NOW - is the golden opportunity to destroy his arch nemesis once and for all. Wakefield is a data-falsifying liar, right? Everything Brian Deer says about him is true, right? There he is now - all bloody and "discredited" - FINISH HIM!

Or, uhmmm, just sit with Colbert where you can get off a few (more) shots from behind cover, unchallenged, and America can have a few laughs at my kid's expense.

This isn't about the science, as good or bad as various bits of it may be. Watching all this transpire for over a decade, it all boils down to this - somebody is completely full of sh$t. One (Offit) is afraid. The other (Wakefield) isn't. This is significant. In spite of my "mistrust of government and manufacturers, conspiratorial thinking, denialism, low cognitive complexity in thinking patterns, reasoning flaws, and a habit of substituting emotional anecdotes for data", I wanna know why.


I love J.B. Handley! he is the best along with Barb Fischer and Andy Wakefield. Yes yes yes! I condemn this evil sinister moronic man. I warned pediatricians in the 80's that this was happening and got the "wakefield treatment" at a large pharm/industrial/medical complex. These scumbag medical "doctors" should be prosecuted to the highest extent. They have committed the most horrendous crime: maiming and killing newborns and children.

Maurine meleck

Mark, Dan and Andy would do better to make Bill Maher a goal. He would appreciate them and their new books.


I guess Viacom got the same memo as all the others whose airtime relies on pharma advertising. Colbert's 2006 speech at the White House Correspondents dinner was the only thing that got me through the Bush years with my sanity intact. He has such intelligence, and such ability to speak truth to power, INCLUDING the media that fails to call bulls*it. I am praying that he's on the side of the angels here and playing rope-a-dope. How awesome if SOMEBODY saw that the "truthiness" of vaccine safety is a slippery lie that's destroying children.

Carolyn M

For an alleged autism expert, Offit has a very vague definition of autism. That, together with his embrace of neurodiversity serves his purpose of minimizing the extent of the epidemic - both in the number of children with autism and the severity with which they are affected. The lie about insurance coverage fits right in as well. I have a question for him: If autism is covered by insurance, then why are some of the state legislatures passing or even considering autism insurance mandate bills? If it is covered, surely the legislators know this and would not waste taxpayer funds. Parents of children with autism must have unbelievable persuasive powers in order to influence state government in this manner. Funny, I haven't noticed such an ability myself at my daughter's IEP meetings.

I would be honored to shake Dr. Wakefield's hand if the opportunity ever arose. If I were to be compelled to shake Offit's hand (or that of Brian Deer), I would need to put on a hazmat suit first.


I don't personally consider autism an epidemic only because it has that nasty "disease" ring to it when you say it like that. That's also one of my biggest complaints about Autism Speaks because they often use terminology to make it sound like all of us on the spectrum are dying of cancer, or worse, that there's something wrong with us. There's also a large percentage of the adult autistic community who are afraid they will come up with some cure while only a smaller percentage want one. In my experience (being someone who is on the spectrum with children on the spectrum), the only real negative thing that results from autism is when you bring in the majority who don't have it into the equation.


The Colbert interview will probably be very softball. Considering they have a link to both his website and book, it will be Paul Offit, unchallenged and spewing his crap:

...see link on upcoming guests halfway down on the right hand side of the page...

..although this opens up the door to a potential guest being Andy Wakefield, David Kirby, RFK Jr, etc for 'equal time'


AOL Health: Do you believe that there is a cure for autism?

Offit: No. Children who show signs of autism sometimes can get better between 2 and 5, but it probably has nothing to do with the biomedical treatments -- they simply improve with time.

Why would children sometimes "get better" between 2 and 5 (at least prior to the annual flu shot recommendation)?

My child did start getting better between two and four (and I was completely ignorant of "biomedical treatments"), until Kindergarten boosters knocked her further behind than ever before. How much responsibility does Offit, and those who take a similar position, bear for such added assault on an already injured child?

Debbie Voss

Oh, Andrea, I was thinking the same thing about Colbert! I am hoping he says something like, "now, you see hundreds of kids in your practice with Autism, right?" I am hoping for the jaw dropping sound of crickets. I will not hold my breath, but will have my fingers crossed.

Son in Recovery

Offit always seems to have some sort of crazy look in his eyes every time I see him, like Marshall Applewhite. You know what I am talking about ... or maybe he looks that way because he knows that he is lying. I'm a big believer in Karma, "Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity." ~Edwin Hubbel Chapin.


I concur with the above as to a challenge, J.B. Challenge him! Start a media campaign to challenge this guy. Dare him to come up front and mouth the words he so often does, to the rest of those of whom we 'know' he is frightened to stand next to. Dare to ask him the questions which need addressed, openly and to his face. Challenge the news media to a debate with him. Write open letters to him, asking him to sit down for a debate with you, J.B., with Dr. Wakefield, with Dr. Tenpenny, or with anyone who would willingly confront him regarding the Truth. Do not back down -- continue the momentum until the tide turns.


Offit is something much worse than a lunatic.

I know, in my family and social circle, a half dozen kids with autism. They have all benefited tremendously from biomed treatment. My own daughter is "recovered". I say recovered in that she is completely indistinguishable from her peers: straight A's, no supports in place, no behavioral issues and after 5 years of biomed she is currently only on a multivitamin and "mostly" gf/cf. After recent labs, we learned that most of her previous food intolerances are gone and her vitamin panel revealed everything in range except a couple B vitamins. This is a HUGE improvement over her labs of, even 3 years ago. Hew recovery came a piece at a time in direct correlation to very specific treatments as was the case with every other child I know.

Offit has absolutely NO basis for claiming biomed does not work. As J.B. pointed out he has never treated children with autism and has never conducted autism related research. This man is evil for trying to snatch hope away from families who want their kids to feel well and have every chance for a full, happy, productive life. I know not every child receives recovery but every child I know has benefited, tremendously, from treatment.


About Colbert ...... i don't think we should count him out just yet. He, Carell, and Stewart support Autism due mainly to a friend of theirs whose son is dx'd AND that same friend follows biomed protocol. Maybe he has some tricks up his sleeve for Offit? Here's to hoping!


[[[In the mid-1990s, the definition of autism was broadened to what is now called autism spectrum disorder. Much milder parts of the spectrum -- problems with speech, social interaction -- were brought into the spectrum. We also have more awareness, so we see it more often. ]]]

The very same thing happens with infectious disease reporting. When you increase awareness, you see it more often. Then you find the closest unvaccinated kid, or "cluster" and blame it on them.


Did anyone else catch the CBS Sunday Morning segment "The Truth About Lies" yestereday? Turns out, it's a pharma advertising "hit piece" and focuses (almost entirely) on the Lie of Vaccine/Autism connection and vaccine/injury "misconception." They would have you believe that folks who see a connection are tantamount to those who believe the sun revolves around the earth.
And yet, not a single word about the actual Hungry Lie or about Andrew Wakefield's clarification on the BMJ/Brian Deer lie.
(looks like they're capitalizing on virtually ANY way to disseminate their misinformation. That's good, though, right? Desparate people eventually make the wrong mistake, allowing the truth to surface.


Well, add Stephen Colbert to the pharma-punk list.

On good thing is Offit comes off like a total shyster on camera. As does Brian Deer.


Join you? Hah......... Join me ;-)

J.B., I strongly suggest that any time you or anyone else gets a hold of a microphone and a camera, and the topic of vaccines causing autism comes up, you challenge this guy.

Simply state that the loudest vaccine advocate out there, Paul Offit, REFUSES to do interviews with those who might ask him the challenging questions. Call him out. Dare the man to sit with you, or anyone else in the vaccine safety community. Dare him to discuss the facts, address the questions. Dare him to have an honest discussion.

We all know that Offit has only made it this far because he has been careful to avoid situations where his statements might be questioned. Call him out. Don't let him get away with it forever. Sooner or later after enough people in the vaccine safety community call this man out by name, he will have to agree to it. If he doesn't, then keep talking about the fact that he refuses to. I also suggest that you send him a letter to call him out as well. CC the news media. Write open letters. Whatever you have to do. No matter what though, this man needs to be called on the carpet for his statements. Because in many cases, they are patently untrue.

Right now, due to this media blitz that Offit is conducting, the fight is against him, and no longer the vaccines themselves. So, take it to him.

That's just my 2 cents.


Offit said: "And there is a financial impetus to include children in the wider definition so that their treatment will be covered by insurance."

Autism treatments (speech, OT, etc) aren't even covered by most insurance plans so this is doubly misleading! Doubly despicable!

John Stone

'UK "faked" national autism data to declare MMR "safe"':


Offit will be on Colbert on 1/31/11 to discuss his book.

Dan E. Burns -

In future TV interviews -- say, on the Colbert Report -- Paul Off-it should be played by Darth Vader. Now that would be comedy!

Alison MacNeil

In the Oller's new book they take the four most commonly used arguments against a true Autism increase and debunk them with chilling and exacting detail. It's a pleasure to read and afterwards you feel beyond competent to take down anyone using one of Offit's dangerous denialisms. Perhaps that's why this book makes everyone so nervous?

I agree with you JB, every time Offit makes one of his assanine comments like "they magically get better" it's as if he kicked my little boy in the teeth.


'The theory has just one problem: It is stupid. In fact, it is the most ridiculously stupid theory I have ever heard.' - Peter Sellers

John Fryer Chemist

Just as Professor Meadow sits on committees looking at death after vaccines and then testifies in court on oath that a vaccine given to Harry Clark 6 hours before his death means he is less likely to die. The vaccine with an overload of brain destroying (nerve messenger signals stopped for heart beats?) organomercury was injected into Harry's body hours before when he WAS healthy and fit. Organomercury banned in 1960 or so as TOO TOXIC for use was injected nearly 40 years later into an 8 week old baby that promptly died. Yes - Harry's body.

So too in January 2011 we see PO's own hospital having to admit death and injury from no other possible cause but VACCINES.

Is PO having a St Paul - the man's for turning. Or are there ANTI-VACCINE conspirists in the camp of PO who cant stand my and watch the children DIE?

Also breaking news in France 2011. Hep B vaccines are officially here a vaccine too far for use for anyone but still in USA good, very good and necessary for 1 day babes. God help them.

And ten years ago with brain destroying organomercury in liberal amounts which regularly blew up their brains if the doctors chose to measure change of head size for these infants.

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