An Elaborate Fraud, Part 8: In Which The British Medical Journal Tries to Debunk a Clear-Cut Case of Regressive Autism
Denying Healthcare Information on Flu Prevention Alternatives

Desperate British Medical Journal Editor Godlee Turns on Wakefield’s Co-authors

Dr-Fiona-GodleeBy John Stone

Today, British Medical Journal launches a new offensive against Andrew Wakefield and the Lancet paper which did not link MMR with autism and gut disease, with a press release entitled: ‘MMR fraud needs parliamentary inquiry, says BMJ, as new information puts spotlight on Wakefield's co-authors’. Remarkably, there was not a hint of this only two months ago (September 6) when editor Fiona Godlee addressed the US National Institutes of Health and stated :

18.55 "What these articles also say 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"

46.06 "we need co-authors to do their job...I think in this case the co-authors did not fulfil their responsibilities... there is no allegation of misconduct against them apart from the other two who were arraigned with Andrew Wakefield, but they didn't fulfil their responsibilities."

But suddenly Godlee’s world appears to be falling apart. The case that Wakefield was somehow supposed to have altered the data under the noses of the 12 senior medical scientists without a single one noticing or commenting for 13 years, and several of them conspicuously standing by the data is beginning to take its toll of BMJ’s credibility.  Notably, BMJ has come under attack from a leading whistleblowing scientist Dr David Lewis, as reported in a report from Nature News. According to Nature’s reporter, Eugenie Samuel Reich, even the scientist Godlee hired to review the Lewis’s assessment, though scarcely well-disposed towards Wakefield, doubts that there is evidence for fraud:

‘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.’

So, why the vendetta?  The latest thing is that she seems to have started a war with University College London over their failure to hold an inquiry into the affair, but it is becoming increasingly evident to even Wakefield’s enemies that there is nothing whatsoever to investigate.

Perhaps, Godlee’s colleagues ought to start asking questions. This farrago has been going on far too long. And even now she hasn’t published Dr Lewis’s letter.

John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.

Comments

John Stone

Ethics Whistleblower

Yes, there does not seem to be any point where Dr Godlee hasn't shown unconcern for human rights and ordinary decency,and of course she is not subject to the GMC. I cannot help recalling her own phrase in the Science Betrayed programme about not wishing to be "holier than thou": well, she hasn't succeeded and the trouble with "holier than thou" people is that they trample over everyone pursuing their own rectitude.

It was always repulsive Deer having access to confidential material and it isn't less repulsive now that confidentiality has been hopelessly compromised, and no she shouldn't have handed the documents over to him.

Ethics Whistleblower

John

Let's set aside any MMR /vaccine argument.

This was clearly about bowel disease its clinical diagnosis and treatment by a professional team of doctors.

Those patients are not just ordinary citizens they fall into the category of disability. Some of them may well be adults.

http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/

http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/legal-and-policy/

http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/about-us/the-commissioners/

There are clear human rights , ethics , moral obligations that must be enacted. Some of this is legal law whether it applies here is for the legal advise of others.

http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/advice-and-guidance/

I can think of no logical, moral , ethical or intellectual argument that gives them permission to give patients confidential medical information (which was then 'used') to the one person they would not have given clear consent. A person outside the framework of science or medicine, a private citizen.

There were obviously other clear ethical ways the BMJ could have addressed this issue for instance they could have given the information ONLY to objective medical officers or (even though questionable) another independent science journalist with a clear academic background and practice in science reporting.

They could have appointed an omsbudsman (or Caldicott Guardian ) to oversee that the information was used fairly and objectively and that they had the right of reply.

They could have printed an agreed statement from the parents / carers / children (some now adults).

They could have appointed an advocate from one of the many disability groups that service the autistic / disability community.

Another important point is that they assumed that each and every individual parent / carer would not given permission but how could they know this without contact as evidenced by Fiona Godlee's own reply.

They should have weighed each case individually according to this principles in the GMC Guidelines.I see no evidence of this rather it seems as though they were a collective noun.


British Institute of Human Rights

http://www.bihr.org.uk/

European Court of Human Rights

http://www.echr.coe.int/echr/

I am dismayed by the whole 'tenor' of this debate. I am deeply concerned that the rights of parents to be taken seriously, listened to about their personal experiences and their children's experiences has once again been railroaded by what seems to me at times to be little more than personal ambition.

John Stone

Ethics Whistleblower

Unfortunately, Dr Godlee has de-registered as a practcing doctor, and does not come under the GMC's jurisdiction.

PS I can imagine just how hard they would strive to bring her to justice if she did!

Ethics Whistleblower

There seems to be a matter that needs urgent clarification in regards to Ethics approval of Confidential Information / Medical Records.

It centers not around whether the BMJ made all efforts to fulfill it's duties under appropriate ethical guidelines. (Public Interest)

But whether it had the ethical permission to pass those documents on to a person outside of the direct employment and supervision of those ethical standards.

This would seem to include Brian Deer - Freelance Journalist.

I can see no option for this in the General Medical Council Confidentiality (2009)which sets out the principles of confidentiality and respect for patients' privacy that doctors are expected to understand and follow.

Nor does it seem that Mr Deer would in way fit the description of a medical researcher in considering the lack of any medical qualifications or submission of medical research.

Perhaps one should pop in to the General Medical Council and ask their opinion. In the public interest of course.

ChildHealthSafety

Thanks John Stone for this post.

And here is the big "Gotcha", Doc Godlee. Readers your attention is drawn to "those three things" Dr Godlee refers to.

It seems, Dr Godlee, it was not Dr Wakefield who made changes.

To paper over the cracks Godlee incorrectly claimed to the NIH at Bethesda:

"18.55 "What these articles also say 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""

What BMJ and Mr Deer did was the following:-

- they changed what the 1998 Lancet paper actually reported into something else [details below];

- they then claimed what the paper reported [their version, not what it did report] did not match and they cherry-picked evidence from incomplete family doctor records to support this;

- they then claim fraud, without the evidence to back it up - because there has been no fraud [leastwise not by anyone at the Royal Free Hospital].

DETAILS:

Go to the online version of Mr Deer/BMJ's article. There you will find a link to the "Web Extra" document setting out the specific details of what Deer/BMJ allege.

Download it [it's a .pdf].

It has the odd file name "deeb200710.ww1_default.pdf" so you cannot miss it.

Then go to Table 2 and look at the headings. They are:

"(a) Regress autism"

"(b) N/S colitis"

"(c) Within days of MMR"

Those are NOT the categories of FINDINGS and PRESENTATIONS reported in the 1998 Lancet paper.

The novel FINDINGS described in the 1998 Lancet paper were:

"intestinal disease (colitis and/or ileal lymphoid nodular hyperplasia)"

in 12 children whose PRESENTATIONS were that they had “a history of normal development followed by loss of acquired skills, including language, together with diarrhoea and abdominal pain”.

Mr Deer and the BMJ editors changed this to be a FINDING of

A) "non-specific colitis"

in 12 children whose PRESENTATIONS were that they:

B) had autism who regressed:

C) whose symptoms of autism were first indicated within 14 days of the MMR vaccine.

Deer & Godlee then claimed none of the children had all three of those conditions and claimed the 1998 Lancet paper was a fraud.

Ho hum Dr Godlee - what do you say to that? Not a lot we suspect.

And there is another problem coming your way, Doc.

There is no doubt whatsoever that 12 very sick children were seen at the Royal Free. Their story has been repeated tens of thousands of times around the world.

It is now perfectly well recognised in the medical literature that autistic children commonly suffer from bowel problems.

So Doc Godlee, if you or others want to "scientifically peer review" the 1998 Lancet "Early Report" [which itself called for further investigations into the Royal Free findings [a task long suppressed by editors of medical journals and others], you had better come up pretty sharpish with an alternative plausible explanation backed by sound clinical evidence [no more "Tobacco Science" thanks Doc or "genetic gibberish"].

And it is time we had parents queueing up to give and document their account of what happened to their child, the child they saw regress before their eyes shortly after a vaccine.

You see Doc Godlee, the reason why you cannot make this problem go away is because the children aren't. They just keep on coming and they did not before the vaccines were marched out en masse from the mid-1980s.

Open Opinion

Skeptiks Cry Fraud

You’ll hear a lot from the ‘skeptiks’ about the original pathology examinations undertaken by Dr Susan Davies and how it was ‘normal’.

What you won’t hear is that research and clinical science is undertaken by a cohesive team of professionals with many, many years of experience and up to date with a variety of current and past findings in their particular field of expertise and those closely allied.

In other words these are professionals highly skilled, highly knowledgeable and with positions of trust and authority in one of the leading teaching hospitals in the United Kingdom.

Sworn testimony by Professor Simon Murch gives us a brief insight into why there were differences between the pathology described by Davies and the Lancet paper (Day 113 GMC transcripts) … skeptiks ‘believe’ that Andy Wakefield surreptitiously and fraudulently changed key bowel pathology data to suit his own conclusions.

Guess what it isn’t so.

Here’s the simple reason why …taken from the official transcripts and sworn testimony of Professor Simon Murch.

GMC – Day 113 Friday 16 January 2008 Pages 43/44

“Q Was there any meeting about the histology section?

A Yes, I recall a meeting. I suspect that I may not be alone with that, but I do have a very good recollection of the meeting. I think the reason was initially that Dr Davies had seen the draft of the paper and just wondered whether the description of the histology perhaps oversold it. In other words, was the description in the paper something that was rather more florid than the lesion she remembered and thus my recollection is that she arranged a lunchtime meeting – I believe it was Friday, that is possibly irrelevant – in the manner of our normal histology meeting in the same place, in the histology seminar room, where the various pathologists who had seen the tissues attended at the same time and so this would be from the paper Dr Anthony —

Q I want to run through a list of names and then if I miss out anyone then of course add them in. Let us start off with Dr Davies; was she present at that meeting?
A She was indeed.

Q Professor Walker-Smith?
A Yes.

Q Dr Thomson?
A Yes.

Q Obviously yourself.
A Yes.

Q Dr Andrew Anthony?
A Yes.

Q Dr Dhillon?
A Yes.

Q Dr Heuschkel?
A I believe that Dr Heuschkel was present, yes. I am less certain about that, but that is my recollection from that meeting.

Q Dr Casson?
A I believe so, yes.

Q Dr Malik?
A I also believe so, yes.

Q Dr Wakefield?
A Yes.

Q Are there any others you remember being present at that meeting?
A I think Dr Alan Phillips may have been there as well but I cannot recall with certainty.

Q Were the original histology slides that had gone to Dr Davies’ lab looked at at that meeting?
A They were.

Q What was the outcome of that meeting about the description of the histology?
A That all the pathologists present when the slides were reviewed case by case agreed that the wording in the paper – we had a table of the histological findings, which I believe will be as seen in the paper here – they all agreed that the wording was reasonable. So I think that Dr Davies was then satisfied that the paper could go forward for publication without change in the histological description.”

———————————————————————————–

Up to 11 highly respected and eminent professionals made that decision not one man and it certainly wasn’t changed. It was agreed and published.

Professor Walker-Smith

Dr Thomson

Professor Simon Murch

Dr Andrew Anthony

Dr Dhillon

Dr Heuschkel
.
Dr Casson

Dr Malik
.
Dr Wakefield

Dr Alan Phillips (?)

Dr Davies

As well as the ORIGINAL histology slides.

——————————————————————————–

The situation of the British Medical Journal is simply untenable. They have shown bias and tried to “Poison the Well” a popular ‘skeptik’ tactic.

The British Medical Journal promised that they had diligently reviewed both editorially and by peer review the substance and evidence of any allegation put forward.

This was to be the impetus for a Parliamentary enquiry, that would have cost the British taxpayer millions , probably started a new vaccine scare and wasted valuable resources and the time and energy of valuable medical professionals that are focussed on the care and treatment of vulnerable , sick and disabled children

I would not be surprised if disability groups take a very dim view of the behaviour exhibited in this affair and make recommendations against any support of the British Medical Journal position.

The work of those researchers particularly, the invaluable insights into autistic bowel pathology that has led to new understandings between gut and behaviour in autistic children should now be recognised as one of the break through moments in autism. As was envisaged back in a 1998 Press Conference and a Lancet published paper.

* The spelling of ‘skeptiks’ is not an error it is used to differentiate true objective scepticism and the new militant, prejudiced one that appears most regularly on the net.

Emf Guy

Dear John Stone,

This is absolutely Great News.

Let's campaign for a Royal Commission.

This is what we have been waiting for as it is the perfect
vehicle to sift through the unprecedented load of crap foisted upon a trusting public by the GMC.

In fact, it is the only answer to counter the media massacre we have all been forced to sit through. And I'm frankly shocked no one has yet taken up the mantle.

This is our big chance, let's make the most of it.

Benedetta

Who would have guest years ago that it would come from the medical profession; Mafia type threats?

There is really nothing that cannot be courrupted by mankind!

GMC Transcripts

GMC Transcripts

"Professor Walker-Smith told you that it was then that he was informed that Mr Deer was threatening to report Dr Murch and him to the General Medical Council (Day 84/35B)."

"We remind you of the following evidence given by Professor Walker-Smith during cross examination by Mr Hopkins:


(Deer raising allegations at the offices of Richard Horton - Lancet)

“Q Would it be right to say – I am dealing with the impact of that meeting – that you (John Walker-Smith), Professor  Murch and indeed Dr Thomson and others, were in a bit of a state of shock at what was being suggested?

A The shock was when the Dean told me that Mr Deer was threatening to report both Professor Murch and myself to the General Medical Council.


What came first the threat or the allegation ?


Media Scholar

Been examining the Sandusky scandal. It appears the CEO of Merck, a monetary partner of the British Medical Journal, has been hired to run the Penn State "investigation".

John Stone or Jake Crosby might want to take a closer look at the Vioxx trials, particularly the tribulation of Dr. David Graham, the senior FDA drug investigator who ran the research, found obfuscation then suffered inappropriate pressure as he published in order to blow the whistle on the corrupt environment in which large drug and vaccine manufacturers operate as it will certainly shed more light on a systematic pattern of abuse very similar, actually identical to what Andrew Wakefield.

This small paragraph or two containing Dr. Graham's own experience is quite significant as well as quite revealing.

http://www.naturalnews.com/011401.html

MANETTE: Has anyone tried to silence you and stop you from becoming a whistleblower?

DR. GRAHAM: Prior to my Senate testimony in mid-November of 2004, there was an orchestrated campaign by senior level FDA managers to intimidate me so that I would not testify before Congress. This intimidation took several forms. One attack came from our acting Center Director who contacted the editor of the Lancet, the prestigious medical journal in the United Kingdom, and intimated to the editor that I had committed scientific misconduct and that they shouldn't publish a paper that I had written showing that Vioxx increases the risks of heart attack. This high-level FDA official never talked to me about this allegation. He just went directly to the Lancet.

The second attack was from other high level FDA officials who contacted Senator Grassley's office and attempted to prevent Senator Grassley and his staff from supporting me and calling me as a witness. They knew that if they could disarm Senator Grassley that would neutralize me.

The third attack came from senior FDA officials who contacted Tom Devine, my attorney at the Government Accountability Project, and attempted to convince him that he should not represent me because I was guilty of scientific misconduct; I was a bully; a demigod; and a terrible person that couldn't be trusted. These people were posing as whistleblowers themselves ratting on another whistleblower. Some of these senior level FDA officials were in my supervisory chain and are people I work for. They were involved in a coordinated attempt to discredit me and to smear my name and to prevent me from giving testimony.

There's one other thing that happened the week before I testified. The Acting Commissioner of the FDA invited me to his office and offered me a job in the Commissioner's Office to oversee the revitalization of drug safety for the FDA if I would just leave the Office of Drug Safety and come to the Commissioner's Office. Obviously he had been tipped off by people in the Senate Finance Committee who are sympathetic to the FDA's status quo that I was going to be called as a witness. To preempt that, he offers me this job, which basically would have been exile to a fancy title with no real ability to have an impact. This was a conspiracy and it was coordinated and there was collaboration among senior level FDA officials. What a mess!

MANETTE: All of these attacks backfired on them. Tell us a little bit about that.

DR. GRAHAM: Well, Senator Grassley and his staff quickly realized that what they were saying about me was fabricated. The editor of The Lancet also realized that what the high level FDA officials were saying to him was a pack of lies. He sent emails to them saying it looked to him as if they were trying to interfere with his editorial process. He was very savvy to what these people were doing. Tom Devine, as he said publicly, was very interested in doing the right thing. He said, “We don't want to protect somebody who's a lawbreaker and who really isn't representing the truth so produce your evidence.” They had no evidence because there is no evidence. But I produced my evidence. I showed him all the documentation, all the emails, and the reports that I've written. They flunked every test and I passed every test.

In all of the criticism I have received relating to Vioxx and drug safety, they've never attacked the work or the science that I've done or the results that I've come to. What they've done is call me names. The ad hominem attack is the last refuge of the indefensible. They don't have an argument that's substantial. They know that they're vulnerable. They know that they've disserved the American people. The FDA is responsible for 140,000 heart attacks and 60,000 dead Americans. That's as many people as were killed in the Vietnam War. Yet the FDA points the finger at me and says, “Well, this guy's a rat, you can't trust him,” but nobody is calling them to account. Congress isn't calling them to account. For the American people, it's dropped off the radar screen. They should be screaming because this can happen again.

In testimony before the US Senate Dr. Graham made an eye-opening comparison.

http://www.consumersunion.org/pub/core_health_care/001651.html

Vioxx and heart attacks. Let me begin by describing what we found in our study, what others have found, and what this means for the American people. Prior to approval of Vioxx, a study was performed by Merck named 090. This study found nearly a 7-fold increase in heart attack risk with low dose Vioxx. The labeling at approval said nothing about heart attack risks. In November 2000, another Merck clinical trial named VIGOR found a 5-fold increase in heart attack risk with high-dose Vioxx. The company said the drug was safe and that the comparison drug naproxen, was protective. In 2002, a large epidemiologic study reported a 2-fold increase in heart attack risk with high-dose Vioxx and another study reported that naproxen did not affect heart attack risk. About 18 months after the VIGOR results were published, FDA made a labeling change about heart attack risk with high-dose Vioxx, but did not place this in the “Warnings” section. Also, it did not ban the high-dose formulation and its use. I believe such a ban should have been implemented. Of note, FDA’s label change had absolutely no effect on how often high-dose Vioxx was prescribed, so what good did it achieve?

In March of 2004, another epidemiologic study reported that both high-dose and low-dose Vioxx increased the risk of heart attacks compared to Vioxx’s leading competitor, Celebrex. Our study, first reported in late August of this year found that Vioxx increased the risk of heart attack and sudden death by 3.7 fold for high-dose and 1.5 fold for low-dose, compared to Celebrex. A study report describing this work was put on the FDA website on election day. Among many things, this report estimated that nearly 28,000 excess cases of heart attack or sudden cardiac death were caused by Vioxx. I emphasize to the Committee that this is an extremely conservative estimate. FDA always claims that randomized clinical trials provide the best data. If you apply the risk-levels seen in the 2 Merck trials, VIGOR and APPROVe, you obtain a more realistic and likely range of estimates for the number of excess cases in the US. This estimate ranges from 88,000 to 139,000 Americans. Of these, 30-40% probably died. For the survivors, their lives were changed forever. It’s important to note that this range does not depend at all on the data from our Kaiser-FDA study. Indeed, Dr. Eric Topol at the Cleveland Clinic recently estimated up to 160,000 cases of heart attacks and strokes due to Vioxx, in an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine. This article lays out clearly the public health significance of what we’re talking about today.

So, how many people is 100,000? The attached Tables 1 and 2 show the estimated percentage of the population in your home State and in selected cities from your State that would have been affected had all 100,000 excess cases of heart attack and sudden cardiac death due to Vioxx occurred only in your State or city. This is to help you understand how many lives we’re talking about. We’re not just talking numbers. For example, if we were talking about Florida or Pennsylvania, 1% of the entire State population would have been affected. For Iowa, it would be 5%, for Maine, 10% and for Wyoming, 27%. If we look at selected cities, I’m sorry to say, Senator Grassley, but 67% of the citizens of Des Moines would be affected, and what’s worse, the entire population of every other city in the State of Iowa.

But there is another way to put this range of excess cases into perspective. Imagine that instead of a serious side-effect of a widely used prescription drug, we were talking about jetliners. Please ignore the obvious difference in fatality rates between a heart attack and a plane crash, and focus on the larger analogy I’m trying to draw. If there were an average of 150 to 200 people on an aircraft, this range of 88,000 to 138,000 would be the rough equivalent of 500 to 900 aircraft dropping from the sky. This translates to 2-4 aircraft every week, week in and week out, for the past 5 years. If you were confronted by this situation, what would be your reaction, what would you want to know and what would you do about it?

Dr. Graham has stated publicly that there are those in FDA Biologics that know what we know, but are scared to come forward.

John Stone

Minority View

I take it to be part of the dirty game. Deer seeks to invite disgust because Dr Lewis is concerned about toxic sludge, so he becomes mixed up and contaminated with the very issue he has taken a stand over.

MinorityView

I was just looking at the BMJ responses to Dr. Lewis' letter. http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.c5347?tab=responses

I noticed that Brian Deer headlined his letter "MMR and human waste disposal" and that it mostly consists of attacks on the people involved in bringing Dr. Lewis together with Dr. Wakefield.

What a bizarre choice of headline? Does anyone think that Brian Dearest might actually think of chronically ill children as waste to be disposed of? It sort of comes across that way.

Fence Sitter

I at times sit on that proverbial fence ... there's a very good view.

Therefore sometimes I can see with a certain clarity what others may not.

Take Fiona Godlee for example runs a vociferous campaign in an international magazine at the heart of which she emphasises the 'real' threat of diminished vaccine administration could result in the deaths and suffering of a large proportion of the UK's child population.

So her strategy well thought out ... is to .... reinvigorate the 'hysteria' real or not ... stir the newspapers into a frenzy ...and launch a long winded parliamentary enquiry... which will... well the outcome is obvious vaccination rates will drop ...

Thus establishing a real scare she so abhors in the first place.

(of course I wonder if she has ever considered she might be wrong)

-------------------------------------------------------

Here's an alternative strategy ... go and listen to the parents and carer's that have been effected by this issue. Look at them and their children in both a personal and professional manner.

Offer to investigate their stories (not with 'epidemiological' paper stats but real medicine) and offer the care and support they need.

Of course that's not going to happen ... which kind of makes you wonder where the real doctors all went ?

Jenny Allan

http://www.politicolnews.com/british-medical-journals-credibility-questioned/
The above is an account of the extent of the BMJ Pharma funding. Below is an account of a recent BMJ article apparently criticising the extent of pharma influences over the newspapers. As Deer says :-'You couldn't make this up!!'

http://therefusers.com/refusers-newsroom/is-journalism-the-drug-industry’s-new-dance-partner-bmj/?mid=52
Is journalism the drug industry’s new dance partner?

From above:-
"Ray Moynihan, University of Newcastle, Australia
The BMJ reported last week that the Murdoch empire’s flagship newspaper in Australia has accepted an undisclosed amount of sponsorship money from the drug industry for a series of articles on health policy—and that the idea arose from a meeting between advertising agents.
Defending the deal, the Australian’s editor said that independence and integrity were maintained; but as others pointed out, this new form of financial closeness between journalists and the companies they scrutinise raises real concerns."
http://www.bmj.com/content/343/bmj.d6978?tab=responses (to above)

Oh Deer

"You did read the letter from the chair to Ms Godlee? All he said was that the committee was not the correct body to do any investigation."

@jrkrideau

Is that all he said? No it seems he said the committee "must be careful not to appear to be vulnerable to public lobbying." Interesting choice of words, "lobbying."

Jenny Allan

jrkrideau asked me (rather sarcastically):-
You did read the letter from the chair to Ms Godlee?

Of course I read the letter! -AND posted the link for everyone else to read AND included the following extract which clearly explains the reasoning behind the S&T Committee's decision:-
“While the committee welcomes being alerted to issues that may require investigation, it must be careful not to appear to be vulnerable to public lobbying."

Mr Millar MP made it very clear to Dr Godlee that her demands for the UK Parliament to instigate an inquiry into the scientific research conducted by University College London were beyond the remit of the UK Parliamentary Science & Technology select committee.

Mr Millar also made it clear to Dr Godlee that her 'public lobbying' on behalf of a heavily pharma funded medical journal was inappropriate, (given that MMR manufacturers Merck and GSK are heavily involved with BMJ sponsorship and other funding.) There is also the involvement of discredited James Murdoch, as a director of both News Corporation, which published Brian Deer's Sunday Times anti Wakefield articles, and GSK.

Our own UK Prime Minister is still 'reeling' from the recent Murdoch News Corp Phone hacking scandals, after close Murdoch links with the UK coalition government polititians and supporting paid personnel were exposed.

It is not at all surprising that Mr Millar and his S&T Committee are unwilling to get involved with this!

jrkrideau

@Jenny Allan |

You did read the letter from the chair to Ms Godlee? All he said was that the committee was not the correct body to do any investigation. He did not say that there was nothing to investigate. I beleive he left that question open.

Jenny Allan

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCWxbfFIflE
I think Alfonso must be some kind of 'talent spotter' for opera producers. I have no idea whether or not Godlee can sing but if she can she could successfully audition for a certain part in this 'cosy' opera. She might even get some 'fans'.

All those persons 'Tut-Tutti'-ng about Godlee lusting after Neanderthal Gordon Brown in an Ottowa lift, should remember the 'polarising' effects of power and money, both of which are strong aphrodisiacs, particularly for ambitious persons; it's elemental. I assume the building 'travelled' in was high rise, or else the lift got stuck.

There are certainly plenty of possibilities if Godlee is looking for a new career.


Beth

Since I put the comment below out there last week, I wonder if anyone else noticed the irony that the Penn State board of trustees named one of their own to be in charge of the internal investigation on campus. The man put in charge is trustee Kenneth Frazier, President & CEO of Merck.

Strange that he has time to devote to the Penn State debacle. Perhaps he should focus on cleaning up his own messes at Merck.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/11/11/2498491/penn-st-trustee-kenneth-frazier.html
---------

The moral responsibility that we all share to protect children is a hot topic in the US media today. More people are now aware of the leaders at Penn State and how they failed to do the right thing and protect children....

....It's a matter of time before Ms. Godlee, Mr. Deer, and their long list of comrades gets their comeuppance.

Alfonso

I am intrigued to learn that Godlee experienced 'animal magnetism' with Gordon Brown in a lift in Ottawa. The long discredited theory was postulated by the Viennese doctor Franz Anton Mesmer 1734-1815, and lampooned by Mozart in his opera Cosi fan tutte:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCWxbfFIflE

However, I can't help feeling her real nemesis was her lift journey with Jake in Bethesda the other month (a far finer figure).

Benedetta

Mark;
How did you find that link!
Her favorite book

"To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee, because it brilliantly portrays, through the eyes of a child, a good man (Atticus Finch) standing out against evil and ignorance."

Like Dr. Wakefield?

Mark Struthers

@Reply to Jenny

Godlee has been editor-in-chief since March 2005 ...

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(05)71125-9/fulltext?version=printerFriendly

... so her tenure has not been short ... and sadly it's not yet over ... unless you know something that I don't.

PS. What do you think happened in that lift in Ottawa? And you have to laugh out loud at her book choice.

PPS. I suspect Godlee was appointed specifically to defend the MMR for big-establishment string pullers. It's a shame she didn't go into making cabinets and biodegradable nappy (diaper) invention.

Mark Struthers

I don't understand: please translate the 'Reply to Jenny'.

Reply to Jenny

Jenny

I imagine that the reply reads in plain english.

We are not interested in following up extremely prejudicial and vacuous allegations that simply do nothing to address real (rather than imaginary) problems in research fraud such as those recently uncovered in the general business of pharmaceutical companies.

Nor are we going to make any effort to entertain the views and allegations of the Murdoch press at this time for rather obvious reasons.

Fiona Godlee has had a very short but infamous medico-political career.

Although this matter now concluded does nothing to further care and health provision for those vulnerable children that are carrying the burden of a vaccine policy. I wish you and all families the best in the future.

regards

Fiz has earned my snark

"Does anybody else notice an amazing similarity between Fiona Godlee and Delores Umbridge"

I'll take "people with faces like slapped arses" for $100 please Alex.

Jenny Allan

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2011/11/12/phone-hacking-e-mails-_n_1089827.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Cuk-ws-bb%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk3%7C84944
Incriminating News Corp e-mails found in India. James Murdoch is a director of both News Corp and MMR vaccine manufacturers GSK, recently fined $3BILLION for corruptly promoting medicines including unsafe Avandia.

A lot of money, sure, but a drop in the ocean compared to $30Billion profits, much of the cash coming from vaccines.

Barry

Nothing to hode wrote "...We could see and hear the responses from real parents and children and hear at first hand their personal experiences.

Hmmm... hope there's nothing to hide...."

*********

You're exactly right. If even one of those weekly television news magazines ( Dateline, 20/20, etc) was to cover this story in their typical fashion, which is to assemble all the parents and children from Dr Wakefield's study and simply ask for THEIR side of this story... then Brian Deer and Fiona Godlee would be looking a lot more haggered than they currently do.


When you consider that not one of them has done this in the 7 or so years since Brian Deer's smear campaign started, you quickly realize how much power big pharma truly wields.

It's pretty scary actually.

Jenny Allan

Andrew Millar MP, Chair of the UK Parliamentary Science & Technology select committee, has replied to Dr Godlee BMJ Editor, turning down her request for a parliamentary inquiry into BMJ alleged misconduct of Dr Wakefield's research colleagues and other senior UCL personnel.

UCL and the work of Dr Andrew Wakefield
http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/science-and-technology-committee/news/111110-ucl--wakefield/

Mr Millar told Godlee:-
“While the committee welcomes being alerted to issues that may require investigation, it must be careful not to appear to be vulnerable to public lobbying."

Quite right too!! Journal editors, newspaper and media magnates like the Murdochs, and worst of all, nasty little paid hacks like Brian Deer, should not be allowed to dictate parliamentary agendas

Taximom5

Does anybody else notice an amazing similarity between Fiona Godlee and Delores Umbridge (of the Harry Potter" books)??

Or, for that matter, between Big Pharm worshippers and Death Eaters?

GH

'But eight months after announcing its inquiry, the university is still looking for a suitable external chairman.'

Hmmmm.

Beth

After hearing the mother of victim 1 on Good Morning America today I feel so strongly about our shared moral responsibility to protect children from harm that I have to reiterate my sentiment from yesterday:

The moral responsibility that we all share to protect children is a hot topic in the US media today. More people are now aware of the leaders at Penn State and how they failed to do the right thing and protect children from obscene and horrific harm a decade ago. And they are mad and disturbed to their core and the general sentiment is "if we can't protect children, what kind of society are we?"

Those who failed children in this sad and tragic scenario are facing harsh consequences - loss of prestigious jobs, tarnished legacies, jail time and a life's course of legal activities and insatiable media reporters.

It's a matter of time before Ms. Godlee, Mr. Deer, and their long list of comrades gets their comeuppance.

John Stone

Mark

Deer and Godlee are looking more beleaguered by the hour. Deer's latest post is on Scientific American.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=discredited-vaccine-autism&posted=1#comments

This is not dignified.

John

Mark Struthers

With his latest response, Deer has made a muppet of the puppet editor and made the BMJ a laughing stock on a global scale.

http://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/11/10/re-how-case-against-mmr-vaccine-was-fixed

It really is high time that Godlee went.

Coincidence

Coincidence

"Coincidence is the word we use when we can't see the levers and pulleys."
Emma Bull

Wednesday, November 9, 2011
A $3 Billion Fine for GSK Isn't the Whole Story

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/healthcare/133530683.html#ixzz1dOqAxnwY

Story by - Daniel R. Hoffman is the president of Pharmaceutical Business Research Associates (PBRA) in Glenmoore, Pennsylvania, a healthcare research and consulting company specializing in key account positioning and messaging.

Prior to establishing PBRA, Dr. Hoffman worked for other consultancies and as a marketing research manager at a Delaware Valley pharmaceutical manufacturer. He also worked briefly as a visiting professor of marketing at St. Joseph’s University.

Dr. Hoffman holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in political sociology from the University of California.


______________________________________________________


http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/healthcare/133530683.html

"In a November 3, 2011, article which appeared in the on-line version of The New York Times, Duff Wilson notes that Glaxo was penalized for illegally marketing Avandia (among other drugs), the diabetes drug "which had been severely restricted after it was linked to heart risks."

Federal prosecutors maintained that GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) had paid doctors and manipulated medical research in order to promote Avandia. In addition, there were also investigations of Glaxo’s Medicaid pricing practices and its marketing and sales of nine other GSK's drugs.

Wilson quotes Boston University law professor, Frances H. Miller, implying this settlement was merely a painful shot in the arm to the mega-pharmaceutical company that resulted from the merger of British GlaxoWellcome and SmithKline Beecham. "Although $3 billion is a very big number in terms of drug industry settlements, it’s not a very big number in relation to almost $50 billion in annual revenue for the world’s fourth-largest pharmaceutical company." $3.4 billion, an amount set aside to pay for one settlement, was GSK’s approximate 4th Quarter profit last year. So, although sales practices may be judged "illegal" and "critics called for stiffer penalties", it seems no one is going directly to jail. And a $3.4 billion fine is little more than an inconvenience for GSK."

-------------------------------------------------

Here's a reminder of what they said earlier ... and published by the BMJ.

"GlaxoSmithKline has denied claims that it has settled “thousands” of the lawsuits brought against the company by people who had heart attacks and strokes while taking the anti-diabetic drug rosiglitazone (Avandia).

A company spokeswoman told the BMJ that many settlements, as reported by Reuters (www.reuters.com/article/idUSLDE65029L20100601), which later issued an update, and by other media outlets, did not happen.

The spokeswoman said that there had been “erroneous media reports on the pending litigation,” and the truth was that the company had settled only one case set for trial in Philadelphia on 1 June. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed."

http://www.bmj.com/content/340/bmj.c3010

------------------------------------------------------

Here's a BMJ sponsor fined by Federal Prosecutors of "Research Manipulation" on an industrial scale and the BMJ ... does what ? A small item in the news section.

How about instead of chasing eminent researchers trying to evaluate the real risk of injury from a paediatric medicine they go after some real 'fraud'.

-----------------------------------------------------

Is that the end of the story ?

Well ...no.

"At the same time, a background review of the Justice Department's investigation remains highly astonishing because the settlement covers the way GSK handled a wide range of business on all its best-selling drugs for more than a decade.

Some of the illegal acts uncovered by the federal probe include off-label marketing, fraudulent pricing to cheat Medicaid programs, entertaining physicians and paying them "advisory fees" to encourage prescribing, and suppressing critical data about a big-selling diabetes drug. In other words, the misbehavior at GSK wasn't limited to some over-eager or unsupervised marketing and sales people. Part of GSK's entire business operation functioned as a virtual, organized crime entity.

Even if the Justice Department agrees to the proposed settlement, there may still be further repercussions. The New York attorney general, other state AGs, and private parties are still preparing their own legal actions against GSK."

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/healthcare/133530683.html#ixzz1dOnqz6I4

----------------------------------------------------

Is that the end of the story ?

Well ... No.

"The possibility that pharma has merely moved its violations upscale emerges from the fact that the Justice Department maintains an ongoing investigation of GSK under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). That DOJ probe concerns sales practices in at least nine countries involving high-level bribery."

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/healthcare/133530683.html#ixzz1dOoSgV1T

-----------------------------------------------------

Interesting times ... for one Board Director I can think of.


Puzzling

Perhaps Fiona Godlee and the BMJ should check her bundle of peer reviewed evidence from the GMC.

Didn't she promise as a diligent editor she had checked...then why did she forget those documents were already available ...

Has she sort to mislead the general public again ...

Presentation of BMJ articles re : MMR
National Institute of Health USA

http://videocast.nih.gov/Summary.asp?File=16828

“And the third which I didn’t say at the time because I was afraid it would make me … look stupid is I didn’t know that MMR was made by GSK or Merck; I just didn’t happen to know that.”

“…it was ignorance…. but it does show you how we can all be caught out … and umm that’s fair enough.”

******************************************

That's a rather big hole for a rather big elephant in the room ...

Puzzling

Puzzling

Here's what Brian Deer had to say about those "Pathology Reports" back in Published 15 April 2010 in an article published in the British Medical Journal no less...

http://www.bmj.com/content/340/bmj.c1127

"The biopsy slides are no longer available, according to one of the paper’s authors, Professor Amar Dhillon, but the GMC obtained all but one of the hospital pathology reports, and for the missing case I obtained the discharge summary."

ummm....did they forget they all had a copy.

Did they forget they promised us they had peer reviewed all the General Medical Council transcripts and documentation ?

Nothing to Hide

Fiona Godlee

"Published in February 1998, the paper claimed that 8 of 12 children with brain problems seen at the Royal Free hospital developed autism within days of MMR, and that 11 of the 12 had colitis."

What medical professional uses the term "brain problems" when describing a neurodevelopmental disorder.

"This is not a call to debate whether MMR causes autism," says Godlee. "Science has asked that question and answered it. We need to know what happened in this inglorious chapter in medicine. Who did what, and why?"

We certainly do need to know who did what , and why ?

Some interesting questions for the UK government , GlaxoSmithKline and Health department officials could start the ball rolling on such subject areas as vaccine safety, approvals and clinical trial information.

I'd be more than happy to see the full documentation surrounding this particular saga - including all emails between parties.

We could then move on to Brian Deer and his relationship with the News International and why a senior editor 'gave' him that story ?

We could see and hear the responses from real parents and children and hear at first hand their personal experiences.

Hmmm... hope there's nothing to hide.


veritas

Vaccines are killing the geniuses?

The study shows a dramatic loss of young geniuses. Nowadays most important discoveries are made by older scientists, who are naturally less productive, while in the past young scientists generally made such discoveries. I dare to claim that this loss of young geniuses is primarily due to toxic vaccinations. Both US and international studies have also documented a marked IQ decline of younger generations, which is confirmed by the teachers and professors. We are witnessing thus a horrific crime against humanity committed by mad, greedy vaccine pushers from pharma-CDC-WHO cartels. Not only they kill and cripple millions of children, they also destroy humanity’s intelligence, reversing evolution and ruining mankind's future. Nuremberg-bis trial for these criminals is urgently needed.
http://the-scientist.com/2011/11/08/qa-aging-geniuses/

wondering why

Yes, Fi can't even debate Jake properly.

AussieMum

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again"

What other tactics are there for Godlee and Big Pharma to use? This is sheer desperation!

Elizabeth

oneVoice

Early clamping of the cord (Hypoxia in the bowels)+
Increased toxic load from vaccines+
Immature immune and nervous system+
Corrupted dctors+
Agressive blanket protected big Pharma+
FDA,CDC sleeping at the wheel+
Politicians with executive orders and mandates+
increased vaccine numbers+
Increased toxic synergy+
Damaged immune systems+
Loss of individual rights+
Corrupted,pharma payed Medical Journals and fake studies+
= AUTISM DISASTER,A TOTAL SYSTEM FAILURE.

Beth

The moral responsibility that we all share to protect children is a hot topic in the US media today. More people are now aware of the leaders at Penn State and how they failed to do the right thing and protect children from obscene and horrific harm a decade ago. And they are mad and disturbed to their core and the general sentiment is "if we can't protect children, what kind of society are we?"

Those who failed children in this sad and tragic scenario are facing harsh consequences - loss of prestigious jobs, tarnished legacies, jail time and a life's course of legal activities and insatiable media reporters.

It's a matter of time before Ms. Godlee, Mr. Deer, and their long list of comrades gets their comeuppance.

veritas

The continuous vitriolic attack on Dr. Wakefield and his collaborators by the BMI-pharma mafia proves that Dr. Wakefield has won this war. BMI and pharma are panicking because they are losing money. Now only a few stupid or naïve parents will vaccinate their children. Smart parents know that vaccines kill and cripple children without giving them any protection from the diseases.

Angus Files

Another conversation I heard the other day was that Godlee and the BMJ are no longer the masters since the Murdoch`s rule in the UK (thanks to Maggie) has now been exposed ...

WATCH JIMMY SQUIRM

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/blog/2011/nov/10/phone-hacking-james-murdoch-live#start-of-comments

ha ha ha !!

Mark Struthers

@wondering why

The puppeteers will make the gangster's moppet walk the plank. An interesting theory. Bring it on, I say!

wondering why

A conversation I heard the other day is that some believe it is becoming more and more obvious that Fiona is a puppet who is ignorant to the actual facts. These people believe she is about to get eaten up by her puppeteers and blame it all on her if things don't finally go away as they hope. It is an interesting theory.

Not an MD

I can't wait to see it all backfire gloriously upon Fiona and the BMJ. A spectacular revelation of the trumped up charges and the outright lies against Dr. Wakefield is so long overdue. I would like to understand how Fiona thinks the researchers could have falsified information from documents they never had in their possession? What kind of sick joke is all of this disgraceful baloney? Does she not understand it is she who is perpetuating an outright fraud? It is time to drag her into court and under a microscope so those falsely accused can be vindicated, and those perpetuating the true fraud can be finally brought to justice. Publishing the truth is not a crime, but publishing outright, slanderous lies and destroying careers as a result of those outright, slanderous lies sure is.

kathy blanco

I really don't understand why Brain Deer is not being investigated and scrutinized? How come he can look at closed medical records, don't they have HIPPA there? So funny because Paul Offit had an obscure medline on how his vaccine could cause hyperplasia as well? What the hell is going on? Science today is bought and paid for, period.

Debra

well Jenny i think it is quite obvious why this is all being dragged up again , Professor Walker-Smith is about to start to fight for his reputation which in my view should not be in question ,

Martin Hewitt

Look more closely at Godlee's evidence of fraud in last January's BMJ.

Neither Deer not the BMJ editors define scientific fraud. Without clear criteria, they charge Wakefield with fraud using evidence much of which he and his co-authors would not have seen and cannot be accused of falsifying.

Only 30 of Deer’s 133 references (124 footnotes including 9 subdivisions) refer to data from the Lancet case series. The other 103 come from sources the authors would not have seen or known. The US Office of Research Integrity (which Godlee quoted at her National Institutes of Health talk - see above) defines ‘falsification’ of scientific evidence as “manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.” On this definition, only the original data, collected and processed, could be subject to falsification. Only the above 30 sources, derived from original data, are admissible as evidence in a case of scientific fraud.

The bulk of Deer's references are to GMC data, such as medical records and witness statements of GPs and local consultants, not available to the RFH team when investigating the case series and writing the Lancet paper in the mid-1990s. They are therefore not part of the ‘research record’ and are inadmissible in a case of scientific fraud as defined by ORI.

As for Godlee's latest claim that gut data specifically were changed. No, the general histopathologists' readings were systematically scrutinised by the expert gut histopathologist working with Professor Walker-Smith who found evidence of inflammation in the Lancet children. These findings were further scrutinised by regular reviews to seek agreement where the readings differed (see reference to Ingvar Bjarnason above) Is Godlee suggesting we accept the generalists' findings over the expert's and dispense with the rigour of open scientific review?

Godlee's quest is leading hte BMJ towards closed science where research agendas and investigations are fixed in advance. Note her claim that a public inquiry into the MMR scare should censure scrutiny of the most pressing question for the public - let alone parents of autistic children - whether MMR and vaccinations generally contribute to autism.

Mark Struthers

I think Godlee must be a little bit mad. However, I acknowledge that thought as gross understatement ... woof, woof.

Please Explain

Points of Interest

1. "The unsigned and undated reports are analyses of intestinal biopsies from children enrolled in Wakefield’s now infamous study published in the Lancet in February 1998.2"

a) Unsigned undated ? How does this make them viable evidence ?

b) Why are these reports in the public arena instead of part of the promised independent UCL investigation ?

c) Can the Dean of University College London explain this obvious breach of patient confidentiality ?

d) Can the BMJ explain the publishing and analysis of private and confidential medical records ?

Jenny Allan

The BMJ asked Ingvar Bjarnason, a gastroenterologist at King's College Hospital, London, to review the materials. He stated:-

"The data are subjective. It's different to say it's deliberate falsification."

The biopsy reports on the Lancet children have already been 'rubbished' by Brian Deer in the BMJ in his 2010 article:-

"Wakefield’s “autistic enterocolitis” under the microscope"
Brian Deer, journalist
http://www.bmj.com/content/340/bmj.c1127.full

I don't know what Godlee is hoping to achieve by dragging all this up again in the BMJ, but the best, indeed the ONLY credible evidence of bowel disease in these children is still manifested within the Lancet 12 children themselves. I met a few of them at two London demonstrations outside the GMC premises. One Lancet 12 child, (now an adult) had to have his entire damaged bowel removed. Brian Deer was famously filmed callously dismissing a photo of his leaking ileostomy bag as 'diarrhoea', callous disregard indeed!!

My own 'Wakefield babe' grandson still suffers terribly with his guts eighteen years after the MMR jab. Post Royal Free he was referred for ongoing NHS care and treatment to gastroenterologists based in another UK hospital, as were the other 100+ children diagnosed and treated for their bowel problems at the Royal Free Hospital.

It is interesting to see the Wakefield et al named bowel syndrome "Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia" now being openly used and referred to by other gastro scientists and clinicians.

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