An Elaborate Fraud, Part 9: in Which the BMJ's Fraud Claim Collapses -- and No One Hears It Fall
One of the 12 children on a doctor visit not long after the BMJ articles were published in January.
Read parts 1 - 8 of An Elaborate Fraud in Age of Autism Exclusives.
By Dan Olmsted
In 37 years in the news business, I’ve never seen anything like it.
The stunning collapse of the British Medical Journal's allegation of fraud against Dr. Andrew Wakefield, less than a year after it was made with so much fanfare, raises an inevitable question: when is the mainstream media going to realize they've been had, and what are they going to do about it?
When will they notice that not only were the allegations recycled from a two-year-old account produced by the Murdoch media empire's disavowed methods, but that the whole tangled mess has landed right on the doorstep of the BMJ in Trafalgar Square?
NOW would be a good time to notice -- now that the central premise of the paper has been shown by the BMJ itself to be a "matter of interpretation" -- not an elaborate fraud perpetrated by Wakefield in plain sight of his 12 well-respected co-authors at one of the top medical clinics in the world. And now that "multiple discrepancies" claimed as the remaining evidence are turning out to be the journal’s, not Wakefield’s.
"A syndrome necessarily requires at least some consistency," author Brian Deer wrote in January in "How the Case Against the MMR Was Fixed," attacking the Wakefield paper's claim that a consecutive series of children arrived at the Royal Free Hospital in the late 1990s with signs of regressive autism and bowel disease, and that some of the parents blamed the MMR. "But, as the records were laid out, Wakefield's crumbled."
What's crumbling now is the credibility of the British Medical Journal.
Like Gaul, the allegation of fraud is divided into three parts. According to BMJ Editor Fiona Godlee, speaking at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the fraud was constituted of Wakefield’s statements about "inflammatory bowel problems, regressive autism, and the parental claim that MMR was the underlying cause. What these articles [by Brian Deer] also say [is] that when those three things didn't come up trumps on the twelve children included, and the subsequent series of children, Andrew Wakefield altered the data to make those three things emerge."
Altered the data on those three things? That seems clear enough. A sidebar titled "How the linked was fixed" – fixed as in faked as in fraudulent -- makes the same claims:
"--Three of nine children reported with regressive autism did not have autism diagnoses at all. Only one child clearly had regressive autism.
-- Despite the paper claiming that all 12 children were 'previously normal,' five had documented pre-existing developmental concerns.
-- In nine cases, unremarkable colonic histopathology results -- noting no or minimal fluctuations in inflammatory cell populations -- were changed after a medical school research review to 'non-specific' colitis."
And who made these fraudulent changes? "It had to be Wakefield," Godlee wrote. He was the one who "altered the data to make those three things happen."
But hold on. Godlee is now taking that back without saying so. In fact, she says she never said it. The reason she's slithering away from those clear assertions is that this month, an independent microbiologist named David Lewis presented the BMJ with the actual gut pathology "grading sheets" created by another member of the research team, Dr. Amar Dhillon. Godlee rustled up experts to claim that the pathology did not appear to be as problematic as the paper claimed, but also quoted an outside expert saying there was no evidence of fraud!
Lest you think I'm doctoring this, let's just quote from Scientific American:
"Before publishing Lewis's letter, the BMJ asked Ingvar Bjarnason, a gastroenterologist at King's College Hospital, London, to review the materials. Bjarnason says he doesn't believe they are sufficient to support claims in the Lancet paper of a new disease process. He also questions whether "non-specific" on the grading sheets refers to colitis, saying it could refer to any kind of gut changes. But he says that the forms don't clearly support charges that Wakefield deliberately misinterpreted the records. "The data are subjective. It's different to say it's deliberate falsification," he says."
Yes, doctor, it's different to say it's "an elaborate fraud" and "it had to be Wakefield" who committed it. Now Dhillon himself has weighed in, defending the process by which the pathology slides were evaluated. Deer and the BMJ didn't understand what they were talking about, Dhillon said. The last sentence of his letter to the BMJ is the dynamite: "The designated diagnosis of colitis seemed to me to be plausible."
Godlee is now calling for a parliamentary inquiry, and tarring anyone who got near the paper, including Dhillon, as complicit in shoddy work. Deer says that he “never accused Wakefield of fraud over his interpretation of pathology records," Scientific American reports. "But he says that records read to him from the Royal Free pathology service clearly stated that the children's gut biopsies were within normal limits, even though they were reported in the Lancet paper as having enterocolitis."
Deer's backing and filling is no more convincing than Godlee's. In the BMJ article, Deer wrote: "My investigation of the MMR issue exposed the frauds behind Wakefield's research."
What remains now that Godlee is stipulating one-third of the three-part fraud is just a matter of interpretation? She says it was always about "multiple discrepancies" -- that Wakefield changed crucial facts to suit his purposes.
But as we've already shown in this series, the BMJ report is marred from the get-go by false statements that undercut this claim against Wakefield.
We already reported on the story that began the BMJ series, Deer's encounter with the father of Child 11, the only parent in the case series who is actually hostile to Wakefield and sympathetic to Deer's attack. If anyone were going to make an open-and-shut case for Wakefield's fraud, this would be it.
Nonetheless, when I tracked down the father and he saw the BMJ piece for the first time, he immediately said it was wrong on the decisive point. Deer claimed that Child 11's symptoms began before the administration of the MMR -- a deathblow to any association between the shot and autism. He said the father was deeply upset by that "fraud."
"That's incorrect," the father told me bluntly of Deer's assertion. The shot came first, and it was well documented that it did. The father continues to believe the MMR caused his son's problems, which soon followed, and he wrote that the article made him "appear irrational" for saying otherwise. I presented this evidence to Godlee and the BMJ months ago, but they have declined to acknowledge it or correct the record.
Any journalistic code -- Deer was named Specialist Journalist of the Year by the British Press Association for his BMJ reports -- requires prompt correction of such a material fact. Yet Deer and the BMJ remained mum. Worse, Godlee has repeatedly said the article was fact-checked and peer-reviewed, that no errors have been brought to her attention, and that she stands by Deer’s reporting unreservedly.
I also reported that Deer's questioning of Child 11's autism diagnosis -- second of the three pillars of "fraud" -- was bogus. The father, contrary to Deer, included independent documentation of regressive autism when he first approached Wakefield at the Royal Free in January 1997. The father showed me the letter. There is no basis to question it and try to manufacture doubt about the diagnosis.
Along with the now non-fraudulent pathology reports, such "multiple discrepancies" in the BMJ paper raise questions that journalists who trumpeted the fraud allegation have an affirmative duty to ask. How did this happen? Why wasn't it corrected? What other mistakes are there? "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence," as Carl Sagan said, a maxim that mainstream doctors and scientists are fond of wielding. What's extraordinary here is the absence of evidence in the presence of such a devastating claim.
Media outlets that swallowed whole the “elaborate fraud” ought to be developing intestinal problems of their own right about now. It’s essential work, because not just Wakefield's reputation is at stake. At issue is the way in which the medical industry handles unorthodox and threatening information, how the media reports it, and whether Wakefield's questions remain to be answered-- whether a link between regressive autism and unusual bowel disease is real; whether children can be helped; whether parents really do believe, as Wakefield said they did, that an environmental trigger like the MMR has played a meaningful role in some cases of autistic regression.
When people have attempted to challenge the BMJ's fraud claim, they've been met with withering personal attacks that are well out of the mainstream of journalistic conduct. That also should arouse the skepticism of journalists who understand the profession's norms. Deer has called Wakefield a “charlatan” and “slippery as condom lube.”
Or take David Lewis's recent "rapid response" letter to the BMJ. He presented the grading sheets and wrote a letter to the BMJ on what he believed their significance to be.
Deer went ballistic. He wrote:
"Using this guy Lewis, who was essentially bought by the anti-vaccine lobby in much the same way that the drug industry buys up doctors and scientists (foreign travel and luxury accommodation), Wakefield advances the same kind of deception.
"Through Lewis, he places the lie that our reports alleged that the fraud lay in pathology (when, since we didn’t have the reports now disclosed we could hardly have divined the intent involving their use), then he says (following his discovery that we have had the forms assessed) that these are ambiguous, and that therefore there was no fraud."
Elsewhere, in seeming contradiction to that, Deer writes: “I’m grateful for the forms, which further illuminate how the appearance of a link between MMR and autism was manufactured in an elaborate fraud.”
As Lewis says: "How can anyone take Deer seriously when he just goes around spitting out false allegations left and right without bothering to check any of the facts?"
Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism and co-author, with Mark Blaxill, of The Age of Autism -- Mercury, Medicine, and a Man-made Epidemic.
It seems that Prof Jones's obsession with feeding us UK dummies the BBC's versions of 'well-established scientific fact and opinion' has backfired spectacularly, regarding the excellent David Attenborough wildlife documentary series 'Frozen Planet':-
"US Viewers Not Allowed to See Final Episode in "Frozen Planet". Too Scary ! May Cause Panic !"
"The final episode 'On Thin Ice', has been shelved by several foreign TV channels, including the Discovery channel in the US.
This last program looks at the man-made threat to the environment. It examines the melting of the Earth's ice-caps and the consequences of this for us all. But apparently this sort of thing is too scary for US viewers and it's been withdrawn.
The documentary covers the disappearance of two massive wilderness areas-the Arctic and the Antarctic."
Apparently, broadcasters in the US and elsewhere found this far from proven 'global warming propaganda' too much to stomach and have refused to buy the programme!! The BBC relies heavily on revenues generated by sales of prestigious high budget programmes like the David Attenborough documentaries and has effectively 'shot itself in the financial foot' here.
Unfortunately, us unlucky BBC licence payers, who foot the bill for the BBC, will all have to pay for this blunder and YES, in the UK ALL 7 episodes will be broadcast!
Posted by: Jenny Allan | November 24, 2011 at 05:46 AM
Of course I should have mentioned that Fiona Fox is far from impartial herself, and her views on the Wakefield MMR and other very important public issues are quite dangerously polarised!!
As she states "That most wholly inaccurate and dangerous belief (about MMR vaccine safety concerns), was down to the media's obsession with 'balancing' every interview with a medical scientist defending the safety of the vaccine with someone against." Wakefield et al and the Lancet are described as 'actors' not scientists by Ms Fox.
It is vitually impossible to find any commercial press or media outlet prepared to stand up to Professor Jones and his very dangerous science censoring BBC suggestions, which amount to the suppression of public information, on the grounds that we are all far too stupid to make up our own minds and should be 'fed' propaganda. The BBC is SUPPOSED to be independent of political and corporate bias and is funded by a licence fee.
I think this all rather proves the point that Media Scholar makes in his comment "Today, the so called mainstream media is dead. Today, journalism is dead. Today reporting is dead. All replaced by Polly Parrot, who WHO uses to further WHO's who's who and a who bunch more who's who among world who's who agenda".
Posted by: Jenny Allan | November 24, 2011 at 05:09 AM
Media Scholar says:-
"There is a BBC 5 lecture, a five--part You Tub series entitled The Media: Pandemics and Power. The speaker is a former "mainstream" journalist. Jane Burgermeister has worked for scientific publications Reuters, and tah dah the British Medical Journal.She is a living, breathing witness to the fact that mainstream media is a myth".
For those AoA readers who would like to view these BBC 5 lectures. Here is a link to three of them:-
It is also the case that the BBC Trust recently commissioned a BBC science review into BBC science broadcasting:-
"The BBC Trust has published a review of science coverage across the whole of the BBC, carried out by Steve Jones, Emeritus Professor of Genetics at University College London, with content analysis provided by a team from Imperial College London.
The report also says we should make sure that we achieve the right balance between well-established scientific fact and opinion. Otherwise, Professor Jones argues, there is a danger of the BBC giving undue prominence to critics on the fringes of what is actually a settled scientific debate."
The examples of past 'fringes given undue prominence' quoted on BBC News programmes included, the Wakefield MMR debate, GM food 'refuseniks' and scientists sceptical of man made climate changes including global warming. Apparently Prof Jones thinks we should all have been kept in ignorance of any opposing views to those of the 'well established scientific', (i.e. corporate and corporate sponsored political/scientific views).
Fiona Fox sums this up beautifully in her blogspot:-
"I know people are bored with the MMR example and admittedly much has changed for the better in the past 10 years, but there are good reasons not to forget it just yet. Whether your preferred villain of the piece is Andrew Wakefield, the Lancet or the Blairs (for refusing to confirm that baby Leo had the jab), the truth is that none of those actors can be blamed for misleading the public into believing that medical science was split down the middle on the safety of MMR. That most wholly inaccurate and dangerous belief was down to the media's obsession with 'balancing' every interview with a medical scientist defending the safety of the vaccine with someone against.
And while the most intelligent discussions I’ve had on this issue are with specialist science reporters at the Beeb, I am not entirely convinced that everyone has been able to kick the habit. When the government announced a new attempt at a national dialogue on GM crops earlier this year I had a horrible sense of déjà vu. Producer after producer on news programmes called asking for pro- and anti-GM guests. Now considering the story was a call for dialogue, it is not surprising that different voices were sought, but the result was an unnecessarily polarised debate.
While the 'perfect storm' of climate change, food shortages and population rise should have changed just about everything about the context of this debate it seems some in the BBC just want to re-run the old debate."
Posted by: Jenny Allan | November 24, 2011 at 04:19 AM
when is the mainstream media going to realize they've been had, and what are they going to do about it?
Today, the so called mainstream media is dead. Today, journalism is dead. Today reporting is dead. All replaced by Polly Parrot, who WHO uses to further WHO's who's who and a who bunch more who's who among world who's who agenda.
There is a BBC 5 lecture, a five--part You Tub series entitled The Media: Pandemics and Power. The speaker is a former "mainstream" journalist. Jane Burgermeister has worked for scientific publications Reuters, and tah dah the British Medical Journal.
She is a living, breathing witness to the fact that mainstream media is a myth.
In the series "The Media: Pandemics and Power" she talks openly about 'how the media is working together with pharmaceutical companies to conceal from people what's really going on'.
Burgermeister states, "Now I've worked for a lot of the publications, (Reuters, British Medical Journal) also the Guardian, so I know, first-hand, just how censored the media is and that's what started me searching for alternative sources of information...I could see how my reports were being censored when they touched on certain topics that related to the financial interests of this group like the price of oil, the Boreal Forest, or whatever. Immediately the censorship came down, even when reports were commissioned, and I couldn't get them through in any newspaper. Not in Germany. Not in France. Not in any country. This was very different from my experience with any other trivial reports which I could get through without any sort of problem. So I could see there was a centralized system of censorship in our media. The media unfortunately has become an instrument by which this group [New World Order] can conceal and hide the nature of their activities and the existence of that monolithic and ruthless conspiracy in broad daylight."
"In order to keep on getting people to tune in to TV or whatever they developed very sophisticated propaganda techniques which include giving a bit of the truthful information giving a bit of accurate criticism so that people think they are getting an accurate source of information."
"The modern mainstream media can saturate society with images, with expert opinions, with sound bites and so shape our perceptions and attitudes towards events. The mainstream media can create the impression there is a consensus about how to tackle a problem when there is no consensus and this allows the politican decision making process to be shifted from government authority to the mediasphere."
Posted by: Media Scholar | November 24, 2011 at 12:28 AM
John Stone says, (in relation to Brian Deer's attendance at the GMC hearing):-
"Deer did not sign the register when visiting the hearing (overheard conversation) I don't know whether anyone marked him as present but the fact that he was able to do this suggests privileged status."
John it's DEFINITELY the law for persons to sign in and sign out of premises used by and for the public. This is part of the fire and safety regulations, which require such premises to always keep an attendance register and be able to account for everyone in the event of a fire drill or real fire.
However, it might be that the GMC receptionist noted Deer's attendance. It seems that Deer was attempting to be at the GMC incognito. He was certainly very annoyed about Simon Murch revealing all the Deer/GMC collaborations under 'friendly' questioning by his own Counsel.
Posted by: Jenny Allan | November 23, 2011 at 08:06 AM
Yes, it says a lot about the GMC that this did not lead to the expulsion of Deer but a minder for Simon Murch. I also recall the reception staff at the GMC commenting that Deer did not sign the register when visiting the hearing (overheard conversation) I don't know whether anyone marked him as present but the fact that he was able to do this suggests privileged status.
Posted by: John Stone | November 23, 2011 at 07:11 AM
The whole issue of this research is complex and the 12 year battle single handed by a reporter without visible means of financial support should be investigated by the police. How can he do so much harm to Dr Wakefield as an unpaid and illiterate person in the medical field!.
His misrepresentation of parent 11 alone shows lies are his forte. The father stating clearly the MMR came BEFORE the descent to ill health and autism, while the reporter reported the exact OPPOSITE and has done for many years repeating his known LIE and getting others to repeat it without corroboration.
It is extremely common to get such lies in the press and the hallmark of journalism but to use lies to hound and denounce a good medical researcher implies either a mental illness in that reporter or more sinister motives.
It is unacceptable that people with no RIGHT to private data have free access while amateur researchers are left with half a story most of which has no factual basis.
We are left with a clear indication of the downfall of a genuione and respectable medical researcher by not an unpaid reported but by DARK FORCES invisibly supporting that person.
When asked about the cause of the death to a child, my single idea of living near a chemical warfare establishment that released dangerous nerve destroying chemicals (ORGANOPHOSPHATES) into the local area as the cause was reported as "Mr Fryer believes the cause is GENETIC SUSCEPTIBILITY".
The leaving out of the idea that ALL humans have a GENETIC SUSCEPTIBILITY to LETHAL NERVE AGENTS was part of the LIE of a RAG paper.
Posted by: John Fryer | November 23, 2011 at 04:22 AM
On the Cryshame website, Martin Walker's extensive coverage of the GMC trial of Dr Wakefield and his colleagues, Professor Walker-Smith and Murch, records an incident where Brian Deer, apparently attempted to threaten and intimidate Simon Murch, whose evidence under cross examination, revealed the extent of Deer's involvement with the GMC's prosecution case. This incident apparently happened during a short break, when Prof Murch visted a coffee machine. Martin Walker did not witness the incident, but obtained 3 eye witness accounts.
On his website Deer accuses Martin Walker of writing an untruthful account of these proceedings, but what is NOT in any doubt at all, is the fact that the GMC, after this incident, provided Professor Murch with a 'minder' for his coffee machine visits.
In Martin Walker's words:-
"A Sudden Silence Descends on the GMC as Miss Smith Stops Hammering"
Wednesday 21st, Friday 23rd and Sunday 25th January 2009
"The impression of the incident I have put together is as follows. Professor Murch on being released, went out of the hearing and approached the coffee machine in the foyer. I myself witnessed Brian Deer purposefully leave the hearing immediately in his wake. Arriving in the coffee machine queue directly behind Professor Murch, Deer proceeded to knock into the witness and then standing level with him, turned to place his face directly in from of the witness almost nose to nose glaring angrily at him.
There can be little doubt that if this account is correct, Deer's act was tantamount to the intimidation of a witness. What does this mean? In relation to legal situations generally, the intimidation of witnesses in any form has especially since the 1950s - through the criminal gang trials of the sixties and then into the anti-terrorist trials of the 1970s and 1980s - been considered one of the most serious charges that could be brought against someone acting inside or outside the court.
The idea that witnesses or jury members should under no circumstances be approached, bribed or threatened has been the corner stone not only of changes in statutes affecting trials, but also in the architecture of the modern courts. At the Old Bailey and other important courts in the 1970s and 1980s, even a hard stare at a witness from a person in the public gallery could result in the starer being questioned by the police.
In relation to the GMC and it's hearing procedures, we might look briefly at what appears to have happened and then put it in context. Following the incident, a complaint was made to the GMC and it might be that everyone watched the CCTV footage of the incident. No reference was made to the incident publicly. We might assume that Mr Deer was spoken to by GMC staff and on the Wednesday when he next attended. Professor Murch was assigned a 'minder' as he left the hearing for a break."
Professor Murch was cleared by the GMC of all charges, although the 3 year trial must have been a terrible ordeal for him. The GMC transcripts of Professor Murch's cross examination, which have re-surfaced after the Lewis BMJ letter furore, are proving to be extremely damning to both the GMC and BMJ.
Posted by: Jenny Allan | November 22, 2011 at 08:20 PM
I like this image of Godlee from Gaia Health. She looks like she is trapped behind a mesh and is trying to get out!
Posted by: Jenny Allan | November 22, 2011 at 07:11 PM
Handsome is as handsome does ,from Snaffles ..my own version is Snuffles ugly is as ugly does and I have portrait of her here cross breed with Deer (as in Brian) …http://uk.images.search.yahoo.com/images/view;_ylt=A0PDoddjK8xOdE8ApuZNBQx.;_ylu=X3oDMTBlMTQ4cGxyBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1n?back=http%3A%2F%2Fuk.images.search.yahoo.com%2Fsearch%2Fimages%3Fp%3Dfiona%2Bgodlee%26y%3DImages%2BSearch%26rd%3Dr1%26b%3D1%26tab%3Dorganic&w=400&h=453&imgurl=www.rescuepost.com%2F.a%2F6a00d8357f3f2969e2015434352d19970c-400wi&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wellsphere.com%2Fwellpage%2Fmedical-journal-articles-on-autism&size=18.8+KB&name=Medical+Journal+Articles+On+Autism+-+a+comprehensive+view+-+Wellsphere&p=fiona+godlee&oid=e965851519621660832f5edb2c4ca746&fr2=&fr=&tt=Medical+Journal+Articles+On+Autism+-+a+comprehensive+view+-+Wellsphere&b=0&ni=21&no=17&tab=organic&ts=&sigr=125ekjekc&sigb=134co9nr9&sigi=11un1aje3&.crumb=WQcxoUsMfcy
Posted by: Angus Files | November 22, 2011 at 06:11 PM
The BMJ has been made a laughing-stock. What editor can survive becoming such a grotesque figure of fun?
Posted by: Mark Struthers | November 22, 2011 at 05:02 PM
"God "point John Stone when is it OK to call a crook a crook?
Posted by: Angus Files | November 22, 2011 at 04:06 PM
Wondering why not
When you posed the same question in October 'Reality' wrote:
"Wondering Why There's no doubt contacts have been made with police, and there will be more, but getting them to act is something else. We also live in a world where Poul Thorsen has been charged on several counts of financial fraud but the science is still supposed to be beyond reproach. Get the Feds to do anything about that!"
Posted by: Reality 2 | November 22, 2011 at 01:10 PM
That doesn't stop all those stupid little magazines in the doctor's office from getting in their little paragraph that the doctor that started all this vaccine cause autism - Dr. Wakefield in a recent trial was proven fraud.
That was what it was all about wasn't it?
So all the magazines around these doctor's offices as the patients are made to wait and read through them see Wakefield and fraud.
At first it was "the doctor that said" yesterday the magazine said "Wakefield and fraud"
I am sorry Dr. Walkefield.
Standing up in the world againest real injustices, evil, wrongdoing, foolish dogma really does extract a great price.
Hang in there. I did not wrtie this magazine this time - I just went around and wrote in all the margins of all the copies. If they make me wait to see a doc - that time will be well spent.
Posted by: Benedetta | November 22, 2011 at 11:07 AM
Has someone taken this to the police.... Doesn't this all fit in with the whole merky Murdoch stuff. Take it to Scotland yard and occupy.
Posted by: wondering why not | November 22, 2011 at 10:50 AM
In the UK, the Murdoch web of corruption is slowly being exposed, following the trails of incriminating e-mails, recorded conversations, and disgruntled betrayed employees turned whistleblowers. It's just a matter of time before Godlee and the BMJ's links to James Murdoch, director of News Corp, BSkyB and of course, MMR manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline, are publicly exposed.
GSK was fined $3billion in the US last year for dishonest promotion and marketing of pharmaceuticals. This was a drop in the ocean compared with their $30billion profits, much of this from vaccines. For Godlee to 'plead ignorance' about Brian Deer's Sunday Times articles, all luridly displayed on his website, is nothing less than disgraceful. This attitude won't save her from inevitable public disgrace.
Subject:Brian Deer's BMJ articles accusing Dr Andrew Wakefield of Fraud
Date: 18/07/2011 18:02:31 GMT Standard Time
Dear Dr Godlee,
These are just a few of very many internet articles which presently highlight the malign influences of the Murdoch empire on the GMC 'show trial' of Dr Andrew Wakefield and his two clinician colleagues, Professors Walker-Smith and Murch. Brian Deer's Sunday Times articles and dubious evidence presented to the GMC, were plainly instigated as a result of a Murdoch sponsored initiative. Some of Brian Deer's investigative methods were both unethical and plainly illegal.
The three BMJ Deer articles on the theme 'Secrets of the MMR Scare' earlier in the year, were a re-hash of Deer's original Sunday Times articles with some additional unproven and gratuitously slanderous allegations, claiming fraudulent medical casenote alterations and inappropriate use of Legal Aid funding. James Murdoch is both a director of News Corp and the MMR vaccine manufacturer GSK, and GSK is a major funding partner of the BMJ.
Inevitably this hubris will infect the BMJ, leading sooner or later to a police or government inquiry; indeed the proposed Judicial Inquiry into UK press ethics will inevitably include the BMJ's publication ethics. I am only one of dozens of persons who will ensure the Judge is made properly aware of these issues. You personally reported, to the Science and Technology Committee on the influences and pressures exerted on the BMJ editors by the pharma industry 'sponsors'.
Please retract those three malevolent Deer articles and those other Wakefield connected editorials and articles. Otherwise, you risk totally compromising your own editorship and ultimately the implosion of the BMJ as a 'respected' medical journal. Do the decent thing NOW.
Jennifer Helen Allan
Posted by: Jenny Allan | November 22, 2011 at 09:37 AM
We are the only free press left--and I don't mean AOA, of course, but any individuals and groups working freely online. Any individuals and groups reporting truth as they find it as opposed to propaganda.
Stay busy! Thank you for all you've done.
Posted by: Terri Lewis | November 22, 2011 at 08:07 AM
Great article Dan. As a footnote I quote Dr Godlee at 16.00 of her Bethesda presentation:
"although subsequently I was quite quickly made aware that quite a lot of this information was in the public domain on Brian Deer's website...I certainly wasn't aware of this and I spoke to other people and they weren't aware"
So, even on 6 September she wasn't admitting that the fraud allegations were in the Sunday Times first.
Posted by: John Stone | November 22, 2011 at 06:14 AM