“The hell with balance!” - Paul Offit Throws Out Jake Crosby, Argues with NYU Research Scholar Mary Holland at Yale
Millionaire vaccine industrialist Paul Offit lied about me again. Unlike at NIH, where Tara Palmore had me removed after I asked Paul Offit a question during Q&A, at Yale, Dr. Offit himself demanded I leave after he repeated his lie that I am a “stalker.” Fortunately, Vaccine Epidemic co-editor Mary Holland was also in the audience – and defended me after I left.
On January 13, 2012, Offit gave the Beaumont Lecture at Yale’s Sterling Hall of Medicine, sponsored by the Beaumont Medical Club. The title of his talk was “Hard Knocks: Communicating Science to the Public.” It contained many of the same talking points as his recent NIH “Clinical Grand Rounds – Great Teacher Lecture” titled “Communicating Vaccine Safety Science to the Public.” The Yale audience numbered around fifty to seventy-five people, comprised mostly of older physicians.
It was during Dr. Offit’s lecture when he first spotted me seated in the audience. At the end of his talk, he scowled at me. I was not intimidated. Three questions into the Q&A discussion, the microphone was handed to me and I proceeded to ask my question:
"Hi Dr. Offit, I'm a student at GW School of Public Health. You said Dr. Wakefield "can't stop suing people"…
As I was about to ask my question, Offit began shouting me down:
"Stop right there! Stop right there!"
"Were you aware..."
"Stop right there! Jake, I am sick and tired of you following me to my events! Get out! Leave!"
"This is only the second event of yours I've been to."
He responded by saying I cannot criticize him in person, only online.
"You can write about me on your vindictive blog!"
I found this very ironic. For someone who complains about the internet being a source of misinformation as much as Offit does, he sure doesn’t like being challenged in person.
"I have a right to ask a question just like everyone else."
But Dr. Offit doesn’t like my questions, perhaps because he doesn’t have answers.
"No, it's your ‘yeah, but...’ questions! ‘Yeah, but’ this! ‘Yeah, but’ that! You don't want to ask me a question, you want to tell me I'm wrong!" (Well, if he isn’t wrong, he should have nothing to worry about.)
He must have been referring to my response to him at NIH when I pointed out that not every cause of autism had to be prenatal just because he cited several causes that are.
I stood up to leave, and he continued his tirade even as I was walking out the door:
"Go lie about this on your blog! Go stalk someone else!"
He never stated how I had “lied,” and repeated the false accusation that I “stalk” him.
Then several audience members clapped for the congressionally reprimanded millionaire vaccine industrialist. I continued exiting the room.
Fortunately my departure did not shield him from further challenge because Mary Holland of EBCALA was also in the audience and later relayed to me what happened following my expulsion.
Luckily, she was next up at the microphone:
“Dr. Offit, as you are well aware, 25% of parents are delaying or foregoing the vaccines on the CDC schedule. I don’t believe you will sway those people if you are unwilling to engage with people like Jake Crosby. Would you…..”
“Jake is a stalker!”
“No, he is not a stalker! He’s a graduate student.”
“What’s your name?”
“My name is Mary Holland.”
“So you wrote that anti-vaccine book!”
“I am not anti-vaccine. My uncle was the medical director of the FDA. Both my parents are physicians. I am not anti-vaccine.”
“How many chapters are by Andrew Wakefield in your book?”
“Two but my question….”
“I think that’s unconscionable!” he scoffed.
“The Wakefield story is not over, Dr. Offit. Would you be willing to engage in a public debate about the vaccine issue?”
“There is no need to debate the science; the science is in.”
Holland continued her dialogue with Offit after the Q&A discussion:
“I really think you have to engage your critics if you want to persuade people. Would you be willing to have an open debate on this important topic?”
“There’s no need to do that.”
“But vaccine injury is real.”
“Yes, like thrombocytopenia [fewer than average blood platelets per volume of blood], but there is no proof that encephalopathy is a vaccine injury.” And yet, encephalopathy [any disease of the brain] is on the Human Resources and Services Administration’s table of vaccine injuries!
“What about the MMR study by Dr. Geoffrey Evans?” Holland asked. Evans is the director of the federal vaccine injury compensation program. Dr. Offit dismissed the evidence as a creation of trial lawyers.
He also complained to her about my columns on Age of Autism and in particular that I call him a ‘millionaire vaccine industrialist.’ Well, he is. If he disclosed his financial ties to the vaccine industry when he spoke about their products, I would have no need to inform people of his conflicts of interest.
With regards to the late, great Dr. Bernadine Healy, Mary Holland told Dr. Offit:
“In your book [Deadly Choices], you basically call Dr. Bernadine Healy a traitor because she disagrees with your interpretation of the science.”
“I didn’t call her a traitor.”
“You said she betrayed the public health community.”
Well yes, Paul Offit said that was true, and he stood by that view. He shook Holland’s hand but continued to argue there was no need for debate because the science needs no debate.
All I was going to ask him before he ordered me to leave was if he was aware of the report by Dr. David Lewis of the National Whistleblowers Center concluding that the British Medical Journal is guilty of institutional research misconduct. A simple yes-or-no question. He certainly made himself look intolerant by not even letting me proceed with my question.
A journalist covering the lecture told Holland afterward, “You don’t normally see fireworks at these events.”
Another audience member came up to her and thanked her for her questions although other audience members were clearly annoyed that the event had gone off script.
As Mary Holland commented to me about Offit: “He tells a very persuasive one-sided story.”
Until of course, somebody challenges him, after which his persuasiveness breaks down. From Dr. Offit’s position, you can almost understand his stance on how the media should cover this controversy:
“The hell with balance!”
Jake Crosby has Asperger Syndrome and is a contributing editor to Age of Autism. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a BA in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy. He currently attends The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services where he is studying for an MPH in epidemiology.
Keep up the good work! Many thanks for being the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves!
Posted by: elaine hickey | January 25, 2012 at 09:52 AM
Perhaps Mike Stanton ought to consider whether he might not be "stalking" Jake.
Posted by: Glax Britannicus | January 24, 2012 at 02:12 PM
"While we may have conflicting opinions I hope we can agree on matters of fact."
Certainly there's agreement on this fact: Attending a public lecture and writing critically about the lecturer does not constitute stalking.
And yet, you defend the credibility of a man who makes such an accusation - repeatedly - in front of roomfuls of people.
Major disconnect here.
Posted by: Back to the drawing board, Mike | January 24, 2012 at 02:02 PM
There were about 1500 children in the litigation which is about £270 a head.
Have you any idea what the cost of autism is? In 2007 it was projected in an LSE study at £28b a year in the UK, and although the projection of 433k adults was way out it looks as if they were calculating on the basis of ~£50k per head per year, so £270 is about two days worth out of a lifetime.
Posted by: For Eindeker | January 24, 2012 at 06:56 AM
OK an hour a day, one day a week & 150/hr for 7 years is still a lot of state funded money going to one individual, not the hospital or his fellow investigators, and what was the result of all this money: a study of 12 children, that's 33000 per child, and it could be argued that examination of the children fell within his remit of an NHS doctor anyway. I'm just comparing and contrasting his behaviour with Jake's description of Offit as an "millionaire vaccine industrialist"
Posted by: Eindeker | January 24, 2012 at 03:22 AM
Paul Offit was reprimanded by the Committee on Government Reform as shown in the House Majority Report, "Conflicts of Interest in Vaccine Policy Making":
1. ACIP Members Do Not Fully Disclose Conflicts of Interest
c. Dr. Paul Offit
Dr. Offit lists that he is a consultant to Merck on an attachment to his OGE 450, but does not disclose whether or not he received any remuneration for his services. (Exhibit 39)
3. ACIP Members are Allowed to Vote on Vaccine Recommendations, Even When They Have Financial Ties to Drug Companies Developing Related or Similar Vaccines
b. Dr. Paul Offit (Exhibits 38-41)
Dr. Offit shares the patent on the Rotavirus vaccine in development by Merck and lists a $350,000 grant from Merck for Rotavirus vaccine development. Also, he lists that he is a consultant to Merck.
Dr. Offit began his tenure on ACIP in October of 1998. Out of four votes pertaining to the ACIP’s rotavirus statement he voted “yes” three times, including, voting for the inclusion of the rotavirus vaccine in the VFC program.
Dr. Offit abstained from voting on the ACIP’s rescission of the recommendation of the rotavirus vaccine for routine use. He stated at the meeting, “I’m not conflicted with Wyeth, but because I consult with Merck on the development of rotavirus vaccine, I would still prefer to abstain because it creates a perception of conflict.”[lxvii]
Offit opened up the market to both RotaShield and his own vaccine by voting in favor of ACIP's recommendation to vaccinate against rotavirus.
That Paul Offit was not listed on the patent but rather his institutions may be technically true but misleading in the way you bring it up because it seeks to play down the millions of dollars he made off the vaccine's profits. The $6 million only accounts for Offit's CHOP holdings, it does not account for the other portion in Wistar's name, so the $10 million estimate is more accurate.
A one-off payment does not give Offit complete independence. It's still money that finances his position as you said so yourself, and money talks whether Merck controls how it is spent or not - same with the money Offit earned when he consulted for Merck even if it was in the past.
But even setting money aside, Paul Offit does not really mean what he says. He continues to lie that his colleagues are not involved in the cover-up they've been exposed as taking part in, lie about the safety of vaccines, smears his critics and shouts down people for asking him challenging questions. It is obvious from his own presentations that he cares about his own profits and years of hard work, not the implications that hard work could have on public health, particularly of children. I represent him fairly and accurately in writing this, and I have never distorted facts or referred to Offit as anything other than what he is. I don't have to besmirch his reputation, he has already besmirched himself with his actions and words. I simply report them.
And if your inability to defend him is any indicator, then I can really see why he wouldn't want to engage with me on any level.
Posted by: Jake Crosby | January 23, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Sorry, we seem to be in agreement that this is an hour a day - I thought it might be more but it looks like just an hour. I suspect he actually gave much more generously of his time.
You seem to be saying I have said something misleading.
Posted by: For Eindeker | January 23, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Do the maths, 400000 at 150/hr over 7 years equates to Wakefield working > 7 hours every week for 52 weeks a year for 7 years acting as a consultant on legal funding for the aborted MMR litigation, virtually 1 day every week for 7 years, nice little earner as they say in the UK
Jake what's the moral distinction you're making between Offit's rotavirus patent and Wakedfield's transfer patent, (one of the claims in the original patent was for an improved measles vacccine technology) as they were both designed to earn the authors money.
Posted by: Eindeker | January 23, 2012 at 06:35 PM
It should be obvious that any developer of any drug has financial ties to that drug even after the royalties end. If a link between the drug and injury or death were proven at a later date, that person's reputation and ability to earn an income would be harmed. It could also cost that person financially if it were proven in a court of law that the drug developer had knowledge of the risks but did not disclose them. It might even cost the drug developer some jail time.
Why is Offit so nervous about questions, anyway? If he's confident about the safety of Rotateq and other vaccines, he should welcome questions. His behavior does not send out a message of self-confidence and integrity.
Posted by: the NDs are playing dumb again | January 23, 2012 at 06:19 PM
did the Committee on Government Reform decide to reprimand Dr Offit and record its decision in the report, or did a member of the committee use the hearing to publicly criticize Dr Offit and then his criticism was entered in the report? This is an important distinction. On March 16th, 2004 Dr Evan Harris MP used an adjournment debate to seriously criticize Andrew Wakefield. His criticisms are duly recorded in Hansard, the official parliamentary record. Does this mean that Parliament reprimanded Dr Wakefield? I don't think so. By the same token it is stretching the facts to claim that Dr Offit was reprimanded by Congress.
And how can voting to allow your main commercial rival into the market place before your product is ready give you any kind of financial advantage? He was not opening up the market for future vaccines. He was handing over the market to RotaShield.
It is not "misleading to say he was a "co-inventor" but didn't patent the vaccine." It is a fact. The patent (patent number 5,626,851) for RotaTeq names Dr Offit as one of three co-inventors but assigns the patent to the Wistar Institute and to CHOP. When they sold all rights to Merck Dr Offit and his co-inventors shared 10 per cent of the $182 million - so $6 million, not $5 million as I suggested, and not the $10 million you suggest.
I do not understand how a one off payment of millions of dollars that gives Dr Offit complete independence and financial security somehow ties him to Merck. And the endowed chair is not $1.5 million in Dr Offit's pocket. It is administered jointly by CHOP and Penn University to finance his position as Maurice R. Hilleman Endowed Chair in Vaccinology. Merck have no control on how the money is spent. Merck once employed Dr Offit as a vaccine consultant but not any more. He does not need their money. He says what he believes to be true and not what he is paid to say. You may disagree with him and dispute the facts he uses to argue the case for vaccines. But while you resort to name calling and distort the facts to besmirch his reputation I see no reason for Dr Offit to engage with you at any level.
Posted by: Mike Stanton | January 23, 2012 at 04:31 PM
You seem to be in a tangle with your facts. Wakefield was charging the standard lower expert consultancy fee of £150 an hour over a period of about 7 years (perhaps an hour to an hour and a half a day over the period). Stephen Bustin charged the same rate and told the US vaccine hearing that his fees in the UK for pursuing Wakefield amounted £225,000: that was before we got to his earnings for the US appearance. The £50,000 that you refer to was money for the LAB study, which wasn't done, and was ultimately used up in administration fees, but as you say didn't go into Wakefield's pocket, as naturally Deer's Sunday Times report insinuated.
Posted by: For Eindeker | January 23, 2012 at 05:51 AM
So Jake what about Wakefield's 2 patent applications for the transfer technology for treating "MMR virus mediated disease", these were subsequently abandoned and not granted; where did the best part of half a million pounds go in legal fees,(Yes a sizable chunk went to Wakefield for consultancy, about 400,000, only 50000 went to the hospital) in trying to pursue the measles/MMR claim, pity the solicitor didn't stick to the justifiable urabe mumps virus rather than get subverted by the obsession with measles vaccine virus and intestinal disease, having already failed to demonstrate a link between measles and Chrons disease.
So Jake there seems to be a strange parallel between Offit who you demonize and Wakefield who you eulogize, kind of neat?
Posted by: Eindeker | January 23, 2012 at 03:59 AM
Evidently we can't agree on matters of fact as long as you continue to spin them:
A report by the Committee on Government Reform - a congressional committee - reprimanded Paul Offit for voting on policies for which he holds conflicts of interest. Ergo, he received a congressional reprimand.
It's misleading to say he was a "co-inventor" but didn't patent the vaccine because a certain percentage of those profits went directly into the pocket of Paul Offit, which is actually closer to twice your estimate and could be even higher than that. It's also misleading to say he no longer has a financial interest in the vaccine. Whether he's still making money from it or whether he already has all the money he was going to make off it (Offit likened it to winning the lottery), that money still talks. It's the same with the $1.5 million Merck spent on his endowed chair.
And by voting for RotaShield, he helped open up the market to future rotavirus vaccines including his own. What he should have done was abstain from voting on policies concerning the vaccine in the first place, not just abstain from voting on the withdrawal of the vaccine after it was shown to be dangerous.
Paul Offit is a congressionally reprimanded millionaire vaccine industrialist who relies on online commenters such as yourself to defend him so that he would not be held accountable for what people like you say in his defense. Little wonder he refuses to debate with me, indeed.
Posted by: Jake Crosby | January 23, 2012 at 01:33 AM
If I am not mistaken the Rotavirus shot was affiliated with Offit, either in the making or with the patent and yet that very vaccine is found to be less effective against the horrors of Breast- milk? CDC asking mothers to DELAY Breastfeeding to help the vaccine Work Better?
Is this going beyond any reasonable logic? Can this be the straw that breaks the camel milk's back? Science without conscience.
Posted by: Shell Tzorfas | January 22, 2012 at 09:12 PM
While we may have conflicting opinions I hope we can agree on matters of fact.
Paul Offit was not reprimanded by Congress. That suggests a decision to issue a reprimand that was voted on by Congress. What happened was that a criticism of Paul Offit was entered into the congressional record. So was Paul Offit's response. No decision was taken to endorse the criticism.
Paul Offit has never held the patent on Rotateq. That was his employer. He had certain rights as co-inventor of the vaccine. When his employer chose to sell the rights Paul Offit was paid his due, around $5 million. He has no continuing financial interest in the vaccine.
Regarding ACIP, Paul Offit voted for Rotashield while still working on the rival Rotateq. That is not the action of a man selfishly pursuing his own financial interest. He recused himself from the vote to withdraw it precisely because he did stand to gain by that decision. It was the honourable thing to do.
You use these facts to "prove" that Paul Offit is an industrialist with financial ties to the drug industry that compromise his credibility as a scientist and a doctor. Little wonder he refuses to debate with you.
The chair he holds is an endowed chair. The money was handed over by Merck to set up a trust fund. They have no control over it. The fund income goes towards the chair holder's salary so his institution saves money.
Posted by: Mike Stanton | January 22, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Keep Cool Rock On , your the master..
Posted by: Angus Files | January 22, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Good for you Jake! You have Paul Proffit on the defensive! When they start with the name calling.... that is when you know that the opposition is afraid of you. I hope you are keeping a diary... it will be fascinating reading when you publish a book in the future about how you challenged the current medical paradigm and WON!!! My prayers are with you, I admire you very much and you are an inspiration to all of us who follow your articles on AofA.
Posted by: Paulene McNair | January 21, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Thank you so much for this post. I am only sorry I could not join you there. You are incredibly brave. Wow, Offit is such a coward- afraid of you! Obviously, unlike us, he has completely insulated himself from differing opinions and the autism community at large.
My son suffered severe brain damage as a result of the vaccine schedule but you will never find me getting hysterical when challenged on the facts.
I mean please, Offit you have got to get a grip on yourself. At our local NAA scientific lectures we invite people w/ all points of view. Frequently people disagree w/ each other. We discuss issues in a calm and reasoned manner- there is no need to throw people out of the room! What a baby!
Posted by: Katie Wright | January 21, 2012 at 12:27 PM
I love it when Offit starts sputtering! Thanks, Jake and Mary. We need more of this!
Posted by: Opening Act for the Autism Comic | January 21, 2012 at 10:38 AM
When I was a graduate student back in the 1970s, I was known as a "groupie" of some of my favorite professors, Drs. Seymour Kety, Norman Geschwind, and Derek Denny-Brown. Protesters often showed up at their lectures, animal rights activists etc. I will always remember the Mental Patients Liberation Front stampede of one of Dr. Kety's lectures. Gentle man that he was, he calmly spoke to this group sitting at his feet, and somehow got them to settle down and actually listen to his lecture on dopamine and serotonin.
Jake, autism is the result of impairment of systems in the brain involved with language development. Epidemiology will only matter when the focus is exactly how the brain is affected by toxic substances (or any interference with aerobic metabolism). Current epidemiology makes only passing, simplistic mention of "the brain" as though it were an unorganized mass of neurons within the skull.
I looked in PubMed and find no research by Offit on the brain. How vaccines affect the brain must be the focus, and I see plenty of references about this in PubMed!
Posted by: Eileen Nicole Simon | January 21, 2012 at 08:18 AM
It's totally not your fault that Offit is a paranoid wussy.
On the other hand, I will almost bet that he fully knew that you would be in the audience and delighted to use you as his whipping boy in order to galvanize his audience.
The fact that Offit tyrannically goes on the offensive speaks volumes. Pity those who follow Offit's socialistic subversive fables. If he negates good old fashioned American debate as "casting pearls before swine" doesn't it insult the intelligence the audience?
Maybe, but on the other hand Offit isn't holding a gun to their heads forcing them to listen...yet.
Posted by: Media Scholar | January 21, 2012 at 07:20 AM
Regarding “How the War is Won,” The Albert Einstein Institution has a few good ideas. Ninety-eight of them. These methods of non-violent intervention include marches, parades, singing, humorous skits and pranks, mock funerals and awards, and teach-ins. For the full list, see Gene Sharp’s little handbook, “From Dictatorship to Democracy.”
I think we’re on that path.
Posted by: Dan E. Burns | January 21, 2012 at 05:58 AM
I'm glad you were not so alone this time Jake, and really appreciate the articulate and very cogent questions you, Mary, and others are able to direct to Dr. Offit. I try to imagine doing the same and only come up with, "Dr. Offit, would you be willing to allow an audience to observe the safe administration of 100,000 vaccines at once or over a couple of years to yourself, to help reassure parents that there is nothing whatsoever to be concerned about in the current vaccine schedule?"--probably construable as a death threat.
Posted by: Jeannette Bishop | January 21, 2012 at 03:28 AM
And who cares about Offit? Any parent, who wants to have healthy living children, should stay away from vaccines. This is what the science and experience tells us. What Offit says for money is irrelevant.
Posted by: galia | January 21, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Actually, I'd like to get Chuck Norris to cambaigning for us and see them try to escort him out of the meeting hall. ;o)
Posted by: PaFatherASD | January 21, 2012 at 12:07 AM
Dr. Offit must be a real chicken if he is unwilling to discuss vaccine/autism issues with Jake Crosby.
If the science is so solid, he should be able to articulate something about it, rather than just expecting us to accept with blind faith his statement that the science is in.
Posted by: Twyla | January 20, 2012 at 11:58 PM
Mike Stanson, you really think that Dr. Paul Offit "has no financial connection with the pharmaceutical industry"?
According to CBS News, Offit holds a $1.5 million dollar research chair at Children's Hospital that is funded by Merck, in addition to having the patent on the Rotateq vaccine, which he developed with Merck.
Posted by: Twyla | January 20, 2012 at 11:54 PM
Paul Offit is not going to win this debate by shutting it down or by calling people names.
Posted by: wewillwin | January 20, 2012 at 10:35 PM
You ask if Ken Riebel will be admitted to Autism One. That is a good question. You see, Ken was seen taping private converstations between two individuals without their consent...and stalking them in order to continue to do so. In the state of Illinois, which is where A1 holds its annual meeting...taping private conversations without the consent of the party being taped is a felony. So, if Ken decides to show up, especially if he tries to use a false name, or when asked his name just say, "I'm Ken," he might want to leave his camera and tape recorder at home...the good folks at A1 may not be so nice next time and he may be making only one phone call.
Posted by: offithasonlycannedspeaches | January 20, 2012 at 10:11 PM
The emotionally volatile millionaire vaccine industrialist Paul Offit does choose some of his words with care -- lobbing slurs like globs of wet toilet paper, hoping they'll stick.
His psychological messaging comes not from a physician's ethic of care but from a pharma ad psychologist's playbook. And his closed-minded bullying tactics are reminiscent of the bigoted Westboro Baptist Church's Phelps family.
Ultimately Offit's audiences will begin to wise up to his misinformation and panicky evasive maneuvers, especially when crucial questions are raised by those as knowledgeable as Mr. Crosby and Ms. Holland, Esq.
It is essential that those who know the truth call out vaccine injury denialists in these public forums, alerting consumers to how badly our nation's vaccine program is being corrupted and mismanaged -- and how that is causing so many humans to suffer.
Posted by: nhokkanen | January 20, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Given that commenters here have pretty much eviscerated your other claims, the following claim of yours is the only one I will take the time to respond to:
"Dr. Offit has never been reprimanded by Congress."
This issue has been addressed on Age of Autism four years ago. Offit was congressionally reprimanded in a House Majority report by Congress from 2000 titled "Conflicts of Interest in Vaccine Policy Making":
I would give that post a read - you might learn something.
Posted by: Jake Crosby | January 20, 2012 at 08:48 PM
A big difference between Andrew Wakefield and Paul Offit is that Wakefield would not be reluctant to answer a skeptical, politely asked question from someone following the rules.
Posted by: Carol | January 20, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Imagine a situation where Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill are talking, like I remember them at the U of MN a year ago. Picture a big auditorium full of interested people. In walks Paul Offit. I can see the looks that Dan and Mark would exchange. I can also imagine that they'd be eager to hear what Offit would have to say. They would want him to come up to the microphone and confront them on anything in their book or that appears on AoA. They would be able to respond to any charge he might make. They've looked at the issue. They've done the background on both sides in the vaccine debate.
If Paul Offit has all the science on his side, why isn't he eager to share the stage with Jake Crosby and Mary Holland? He should relish an open and honest discussion of the issues.
Mary pointed this out to Offit when she said, “I really think you have to engage your critics if you want to persuade people. Would you be willing to have an open debate on this important topic?”
An open debate would give him the perfect opportunity to convince us he's right.
Instead, Offit can only respond, “There’s no need to do that.” This failure to talk to us raises serious questions. His vaccine promotion speeches have a very hollow rang to them when he's not willing to take on the other side directly.
Anne Dachel, Media
Posted by: Anne McElroy Dachel | January 20, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Jake - beautiful!! Mary - exquisite!!
Everyone else who feels this way - your turn. Attend the meetings and ask questions. There is no compassion for the rise in chronic health conditions, and the vaccine industry science is no longer trustworthy of holding our children's health in their care.
Keep up the good work, Jake! Thank you for your courage, compassion, and intelligence that makes a difference. I respect that.
Posted by: MotherofPossibility | January 20, 2012 at 08:28 PM
I really admire your efforts towards trying to assist in the current vaccine situation, Jake, and want to share some thoughts. All the points, proof, etc. in the world will not make a person learn. People see what they want to see. Some people just want to see what makes them money, and some people want to see the truth. I find that spending my time talking to those who want to know truisms is much more successful. I, too, have wasted my time in many moments of my life trying to do the right thing, innocently not wanting to believe that people can be as selfish as they are. Therefore, I think that going to the masses which is what is done all the time on this Internet, and going to Congressmen, Attorney Generals, Governmental agencies, governors, etc. will certainly bring much more success. Only changes in laws will cause changes in those who have fixed views to support their profits. They will obey the law so they can keep living in luxury.
For example, let's say there was no IRS, and your neighbor who is wealthy is not paying taxes. Your questioning him will not make him pay his taxes, but getting Congress to make the IRS force people to pay taxes will work.
Another thing that I have learned is that as much as each organization has greedy people, there are also genuine, God-fearing people as well who will listen and assist in causing policy change. Seek out the ethical change-makers who have the authority to cause those who are unethical to practice ethics.
Posted by: Heidi N | January 20, 2012 at 08:24 PM
I believe Dr. Offit meant to say "The tobacco science is in."
How this man can even have a medical license after RotaShield is beyond me.
These people have no science, no answers to anything. To tell "both sides" they tell "their" side, and then the "same people" tell why the other side is wrong..
You might want to ask your questions late enough in the program so you can at least enjoy a few donuts.
Great job again Jake.
Posted by: cmo | January 20, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Paul Offit and his ilk can only function in the equivalent of a Baghdad protected "green zone" to make sure no truths get in. These mobile green zones travel with him to do interviews on NPR, Science Fridays with Ira Flatow, essentially everywhere he speaks. The main stream media also have green zones too, ensuring no truth gets in or out.
Posted by: michael | January 20, 2012 at 08:04 PM
"Your vindictive blog!"
"Go lie about this on your blog!"
If we were lying here, he'd be giving examples. He'd be able to dedicate an entire talk to all the false claims on AoA.
He doesn't do that.
He doesn't want to bring up anything specific that we write about because our information is alarming and it's true.
Offit has to keep trying to convince the public that vaccines are safe. The true is, more and more kids are sick and disabled and he hasn't even noticed. Mainstream medicine is so out-of-touch with the state of children's health that they're not relevant anymore.
Anne Dachel, Media
Posted by: Anne McElroy Dachel | January 20, 2012 at 08:04 PM
For our sake, don't let up on these people. You're getting quite a collection of "expulsion from meeting" badges of honor!! It's almost like collecting badges for the Eagle Scout honor. Keep it up, and someday, you'll expose these people for who they really are (you've already done so in my mind).
Posted by: Cody Jordan | January 20, 2012 at 05:25 PM
@ Mike Stanton:
Offit's wealth occurred in temporal proximity to his patent on Rotateq, by your reasoning that is not evidence that his wealth is derived from his association with pharmaceutical work.
Further, the wealth amassed by Offit is correlated with his work on Rorateq, however, as you are aware, correlation does not prove causation.
Your semantic word games are a vicious sneer at families who followed "the rules," took their kids in for the battery of "well baby" shots, watched their kids deteriorate after the shots, and have been dealing with it ever since.
Your assiduous attacks on these parents' eyewitness accounts, confirmed by contemporaneous medical records, raises the suspicion that your opinions are formed and now amount of evidence will sway you. You are not a scientist. Scientists question the status quo and seek truth.
Posted by: Ottoschnaut | January 20, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Do you really need the differences between the National Institutes of Health and Autism One spelled out for you? For starters, NIH is federally funded. Autism One is not.
Jake being kicked out of Seth Mnookin's lecture at PRIMR violated PRIMR's own stated mission: Diversity – We value and promote the diversity of people, ideas, and opinions.
Respect – We show consideration and courtesy towards all people and their perspectives.
There is no such wording on Autism One's website.
Riebel's actions at Autism One's conference were in direct opposition to Autism One's stated purpose:
"AUTISM IS A PREVENTABLE/TREATABLE BIOMEDICAL CONDITION. Autism is the result of environmental triggers. Autism is not caused by "bad" genes and the epidemic is not the result of "better" diagnosis. Children with autism suffer from gut bugs, allergies, heavy metal toxicity, mitochondrial disorders, antioxidant deficiencies, nutritional deficiencies and autoimmune diseases - all of which are treatable. THE KEY IS EDUCATION The Autism One Conference, Autism One Radio, Autism One Outreach and Autism in Action initiatives educate more than 100,000 families every year about prevention, recovery, safety, and change."
Posted by: The NDs are playing dumb again | January 20, 2012 at 04:01 PM
But, Mike...according to your pal, Orac, only those who have something to hide (or cranks, charlatans and quacks) would throw someone out of a convention because they disagree or are asking questions.
And, if I recall, Reibel was kicked out of Aut-1 last year because he and his companion broke the rules (they had no prior written authorization to take pictures). Not only that, but according to Dr. Poling and a few eyewitnesses, he was kicked out of Aut-1 a few years ago because he was rudely shoving a recording device in Dr. Poling's face and was asking some questions that could not be answered due to legal reasons...and then kept asking them when he was told "no." But, that's not to say that the little twit didn't deserve it.
As far as I can tell, Jake wasn't breaking any rules. He was asking legitimate questions (well, the first time he was...he wasn't even allowed to speak the second time).
Posted by: Orac is a Quack | January 20, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Aye!! Jake give him a break(wink) don’t bother him so much.. he and his family have to try and pretend to enjoy what he is doing and enjoy the millions made on the ill health of the worlds population, SHAME ON HIM.
With the likes of you and AOA he can’t.
Posted by: Angus Files | January 20, 2012 at 02:34 PM
In the interests of balance may I take issue with two of Jake Crosby's statements about Dr. Offit. He is not an industrialist and has no financial connection with the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Offit has never been reprimanded by Congress.
Again in the interests of balance, will Ken Reibel be refused entry to Autism One again or will he be allowed to attend presentations and ask questions?
Posted by: Mike Stanton | January 20, 2012 at 02:23 PM
This is how the war is won.
"If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. If sovereign and subject are in accord, put division between them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected."
Keep going. As long as you stay within the limits of the law, he can't do anything about it. .......except flip out, lol, further discrediting himself.
Although, I don't think Paul Offit is the one to talk to. He's a stooge. A useless minion. If you want to ask questions, and call folks "on the carpet", I'd try to get in front of the CEO's of the pharmaceutical companies.
If you haven't invested before, work with your mom to get a nominal number of shares in as many pharmaceutical companies as you can so you will have the right to attend their stockholder meetings. The CEO's almost always speak at those meetings. Just a thought :-)
Posted by: AL | January 20, 2012 at 01:24 PM
If the science is in, generally speaking, then Shaw, Jefferson, Kirsch - and all you "stalkers" like Jake - apparently you guys didn't get the memo.
Guess what happens when the "in" science is "outed"?
Jake - what happens when you show up at the next PR gig - with another simple and reasonable question - do you then graduate to "terrorist"?
Posted by: Shiny Happy Person | January 20, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Aw, let's give poor Paul a break...you'd be getting cranky and defensive too if the public no longer trusted or wanted the medical practices and products you'd spent your life promoting, and which were now, in record numbers, being flat-out refused.
Jake, your Offit encounters always remind me of playing Candyland many years ago with my now 19-yr-old son -- if I didn't let him win, he'd pitch a massive fit, flipping the game over with pieces flying everywhere, and storm off to his bedroom completely enraged. Too bad the vaccine program isn't just some Milton Bradley board game instead of this reckless, horrific experiment destroying thousands of children's and families' lives.
I did think it was mighty generous of him to plug your book like that, Mary. Perhaps a thank-you note is in order? ;)
Posted by: Donna L. | January 20, 2012 at 12:57 PM
The Honda, Shimizu, Rutter study "No effect of MMR withdrawal on the incidence of autism: a total population study" has been considered the best evidence that MMR doesn't cause autism: http://14studies.org/pdf/MMR_5.pdf
In fact, it's the opposite. The data and graphs in the paper plainly show that autism sharply declined when MMR was withdrawn and increased again when M, M and R were reintroduced as separate shots administered closely in time. But instead of acknowledging what the data show, the authors state:
"The key findings are that the seven-year cumulative incidence of ASD rose progressively from 47.6 per 10,000 children born in 1988 to 117.2 for those born in 1996, that this rise continued in cohorts of children born after MMR was withdrawn, and that no decline in ASD incidence occurred in the five-year period from 1988 to 1992 during which MMR vaccine usage fell from 69.8% to zero population coverage."
You could hardly get a better example of a bald-faced lie than the above: the decline in ASD after MMR withdrawal is obvious. And, unmentioned by the authors in their discussion, subsequent introduction of same-day M and R, with mumps four weeks later, is followed by a sharp increase in ASD.
When a murdered woman's husband tells you he was out of town and you find out he was actually in her bedroom, you know he has something to hide and so do the authors of Honda et al.
Posted by: Carol | January 20, 2012 at 12:45 PM
I have posted a lot of comments on my daughter's vaccine injury and subsequent autism. I can't believe that the "scientists" just babble "correlation doesn't mean causation," and say that her injury was just coincidence, unproven, or genetically programmed and she would have gotten it anyway. She got the hep-B vaccine the day she was born, although I had said I didn't want her to get it. The nurse who told me reacted sarcastically to my horror by saying, Don't worry, she won't be protected from hep-B until she gets all the shots in the series. Neither she nor anyone else gave or told me the signs of a vaccine reaction. She was born Friday, May 5, 2000. On Tuesday evening, May 9, she started to scream. I rocked her, sang to her, tried to nurse her, but the screaming did not stop, would not stop until dawn, when she fell into an exhausted sleep for only two hours, then woke to scream another eight hours, before sleeping another two hours, to scream again all night. Four days, four nights.
I told her pediatrician and he tried to say it was colic, but colic follows the rule of three, at least three hours a day, starting about three weeks old, lasting until not more than three months old. It doesn't interfere with feeding, and it doesn't last eighteen hours a day. My baby couldn't feed because of the pain, and lost one pound two ounces between Tuesday and Thursday. I didn't know at that time that I was witnessing a classic encephalitic reaction, and she was later diagnosed with autism. Why did it not even cross the doctor's radar? Was it just too mind-boggling for him to contemplate, so he put his head in the sand and hoped it wasn't what he feared it might be?
"Their" side does nothing but deny and dismiss. How can they say this reaction did not cause her subsequent autism? Isn't the scientific method based on observing a correlation and then testing to see if there's a causal link? The Merck Manual admits vaccines can cause encephalitis, and different encephalopathies from the brain damage. Does Dr. Offit admit this possiblity theoretically, but contend that it never really happens in any child in the real world? How long can they keep seeing a healthy child regress into autism (a condition which has only been around for eighty years, after the pertussis vaccine)after the MMR and say it was coincidence, it would have happened anyway, it was some other environmental factor? How long are most people going to just go along with the program and line up for their vaccines, because the truth would be so mind and society-shattering as to be inconceivable? Until theirs is the child that is shattered, and then they turn to face the doctors responsible, through their own willed blindness, greed, and fear.
Posted by: cia parker | January 20, 2012 at 12:26 PM
I'm confused. I thought Q&A meant that the audience asked the questions and the speaker gave answers.
Posted by: Patrick | January 20, 2012 at 12:09 PM
This is very interesting. According to a certain "doctor," if a person or organization shuns or throws an individual out of an event because that individual disagrees with you or is just asking questions, then that person or organization is most assuredly a crank or a quack.
Congratulations, Dr. PrOffit...you've just been labled a crank by Gorski.
Posted by: Orac is a Quack | January 20, 2012 at 12:03 PM
My thoughts on the matter:
Offit Teaches Physicians How to Talk To The Public About Vaccines: Contemptuously Lecture, Stonewall, Bully and Throw Them Out
Posted by: Ginger Taylor | January 20, 2012 at 11:33 AM
Showing up at a public presentation is "stalking"? Offit has a fertile imagination. Conversion disorder?
Posted by: Gatogorra | January 20, 2012 at 11:18 AM
I love the Jake and Mary team. Wouldn't that be funny if at the next event:
1. Jake goes first- gets kicked out...
2. Mary takes over- gets kicked out....
3. Kim Stagliano goes next- gets kicked out...
4. Dan Kirby steps behind Kim- gets kicked out...
5. And we know Becky Estepp is great at running circles around doctors... she gets kicked out....
6. Dan Olmstead...
7. Mark Blaxhill....
The list could go on forver...There are plenty of us... :)
We should so do it!
Anyway, thanks so much Jake!!! And Mary too!!!
Posted by: Casey O | January 20, 2012 at 10:52 AM
Why did Offit throw out Jake and go into a stance that he is a stalker and yet answered Mary Holland's questions and even shook her hand???????
Posted by: Benedetta | January 20, 2012 at 10:20 AM
There's a book coming out from a major publisher - written by "big name" docs - on autism - They went right into "It's better diagnosis" before the first chapter was finished. I opted NOT to review the book and alerted the publicist who said, "You know, those doctors seemed very old fashioned."
Posted by: Managing Editor | January 20, 2012 at 10:13 AM
A recent study on fMFRI shows just how incompetent autism researcher are and how much NIH money is wasted on questionable research practices. You can follow the article and my comments here:
Posted by: RAJensen | January 20, 2012 at 09:57 AM
Once again I applaud your efforts and I am confident that you and Mary have shown the audience that the all-powerful and all-knowing Dr Offit is obviously threatened by your questions. I mean gosh, he sounds like a toddler jumping up and down screaming, "The science is in! The science is in!" For Dr Offit, the science is in. For parents around this country, it is becoming more and more clear that in fact, the science is NOT in! For Dr Bernadette Healy, the former Director of the NIH, the science is NOT in! It never ceases to amaze me that the medical community, instead of rallying around this issue and the parents-they denigrate the people who question the science in hopes they will give up and walk away. Not gonna happen. Also, I am thoroughly entertained that you have these 'top' docs in such a tizzy. Dr Gorski writes a hit piece on you at least a few times a month on both his blogs. Isn't he supposedly a top breast oncologist? Why would he care what little ole' college student Jake Crosby has to say?
Posted by: Lisa | January 20, 2012 at 09:52 AM
What Offit, a millionaire vaccine industrialist to the tune of about $40,000,000, I think (?), does not understand, or refuses to understand, is that every single day in our country more children's lives are being irreparably harmed by the vaccines he promotes. This harm is directly observed by the parents of the the harmed children. Direct observation is part of the "scientific process," or at least it used to be. Not a single word Offit can utter that is "backed" by multiple Pharma funded studies (in fact, the best "studies" Pharma can ghostwrite with pre-determined conclusions or manipulate), can obliterate, or even make a dent in, the truth that is repeatedly observed by parents of their children after their "well baby visits." How I wish Offit would care about the science which is directly observed by parents-- the science that is not funded by an industry at odds with the rights of individuals, and the right to informed consent. Encephalopathy is a real, direct, and vicious consequence of vaccines. It is the reason we have Holly's Law in the State of NJ. A five year old, beautiful girl DIED two weeks after her 2nd MMR shot due to the measles induced encephalopathy that resulted from her shot. It is as if Offit is spitting on her grave when he dares to state her condition does not exist. If vaccine induced encephalopathy doesn't exist, Dr. Offit, then where is Holly right now? Is she still alive somewhere? Perhaps she is sunbathing on a desert island in the Pacific right now? How I wish she were. How I wish that beautiful girl hadn't died from her MMR shot. Denying that vaccine induced encephalopathy exists is what is unconscionable, at least to me.
Posted by: Not an MD | January 20, 2012 at 09:50 AM
How peculiar that millionaire vaccine industrialist Dr. Offit would react to your presence, like a snakeoil salesman that spies as he scans the crowd the angry faces from the last place he visited, IF the science truly favoured his position.
Evidently he doesn't give a toss how history will view him.
Posted by: samaxtics | January 20, 2012 at 09:44 AM
Dr. prOffit needs a public spanking. How is it that countless injured kids and their parents can't seem to drown out this industry shill? I'm glad he's reading this blog. Oh, doctor... god won't help you when this community of vaccine-injured families get our message properly funded. If I get my hands on even 3/4 of a million dollars, I'm going to tear down your house of lies.
Posted by: Erik Nanstiel | January 20, 2012 at 09:41 AM
I'm confused. If, as Dr. Offit claims, "the science is in..." and presumably all settled, then why is the government, and Pharma spending money on further vaccine safety rsearch? From the various industry newsletters I subscribe to, safety research appears to be on-going. Maybe Dr. Offit has been misled, or maybe he's not as up-to-date as he'd have us believe.
If "the science is in", what could all the continuing research possibly show us? Just curious.
Posted by: Just Curious | January 20, 2012 at 09:16 AM
Jake and Mary - you make a good team! Offit, and many others like him, are so far removed from "real life" that I don't think they can begin to understand how they are being perceived by sincere people/parents searching for the truth on vaccines. Parental rights are being challenged on many fronts and as adults we see more and more situations where we can't trust the "authorities" that we were taught to trust. Although this situation will never make the mainstream media, it is on record here and those people that are earnestly looking for answers will see it and wonder why Offit would behave like that if everything was legitimate.
Mary and Jake - thank you for your efforts!
Posted by: Shelly | January 20, 2012 at 09:01 AM
Once, when I was working in the newspaper business, I asked a criminal defense attorney why he objected to questions that would pull out the truth in court, especially when he knew his client was guilty.
His answer was two-fold: first, that a trial had nothing to do with the topic at-hand, but everything to do with how well you could argue your stand. The second part of his answer was: Never ask questions of your client that you don't want answered (ie, questions that could incriminate the client or get him to admit guilt); never allow questions from the other side that you don't want answered (meaning, object to them before the opposition even gets to finish the questions); and most importantly, ALWAYS KNOW THE ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS YOU DON'T WANT ANSWERED BEFORE YOU GET INTO COURT, so you can readily identify them, and be ready to object, so you can win your case by making sure those questions don't get asked.
I think this explains quite nicely why our dear Dr. Offit doesn't want the audience to hear Jake's questions.
Posted by: Cindy | January 20, 2012 at 08:52 AM
Thank you Jake. Please keep up the good work.
Posted by: ASDmom | January 20, 2012 at 08:34 AM
Wow, just Wow Jake. You are amazing.
Great exchange here. My only regret is that a handful of us were not in the audience, so that we could have walked out with you. Touche'.
Posted by: Mary | January 20, 2012 at 08:26 AM
Sue him! Your freedom of speech was violated. Those 'older' Drs. should have awakened to a 'scared of being exposed' Offit the minute his outburst came! They should have felt violated that he didn't give you the respect by letting you speak. A more calm, rational speaker would have boosted their confidence that their investment in that belief would have been verified. Thank goodness for Mary Holland, all the right points were able to be expressed and if he doesn't give a debate, followers of Offit should start to lose faith. They really should be scratching their heads after leaving but some brainwashing just can't be reversed. Maybe their senses have been dulled after getting the latest Flu vaccine that recently killed a young, healthy girl! ~Mother of two with Autism, injured after MMR vaccine at 15 mths. Struggling to have their "the best life". Would he be willing to take 9 vaccines in one day?
Posted by: Susan | January 20, 2012 at 08:21 AM
Mary Holland:- “The Wakefield story is not over, Dr. Offit. Would you be willing to engage in a public debate about the vaccine issue?”
Paul Offit:- “There is no need to debate the science; the science is in.”
Dr Offit's refusal to 'debate the science' because the 'science is in' is actually a betrayal of science, since REAL science is actually an ongoing journey of discovery and REAL scientists are always prepared to adjust their thinking in line with up to date research findings.
Dr Offit's 'closed mindset' stance is both entrenched and old fashioned and will ultimately fail. The 'old physicians' may have cheered Offit's stance at the time, but they will have privately wondered why he was not prepared to engage in honest debate. Most right thinking persons would not approve of Dr Offit's treatment of Jake, since it is essential for scientists to engage with and enthuse our younger generation.
Well done Jake and Mary and thank you.
Posted by: Jenny Allan | January 20, 2012 at 07:18 AM
Jake .. you really should be encouraged by the unwarranted anger you seem to provoke in Dr Offit ..
Apparently .. Offit so fears being drawn into an "open debate" regarding his carefully scripted remarks .. he initiates action to silence you before you have any chance of doing so.
This is not a fear that a self-confident man .. who portrays himself as having all the "scientific facts" on his side .. should harbor.
Indeed, this is the stark difference between Offitt and Dr.
Wakefield .. when both are challenged to defend their respective positions ..
Offit reacts with animosity and hostility .. while Dr. Wakefield appears to welcome any opportunity to defend himself .. regardless of his opponent.
In any event .. it must be very stressful to make your living touring the country .. spouting "science" that you have no self-confidence you can defend .. should you be challenged by a member of the audience.
Posted by: Bob Moffitt | January 20, 2012 at 07:08 AM
Was Offitt as hysterical as he sounds in your write up here? So glad Mary was there to follow up right after you. The audtience clapped as you were leaving? These are older physicians? Scary. Just a group of old timers who got rich vaccinating people. None of them want to hear anything but how fabulous vaccines are. You are not the villian here. You are not wrong for wanting to ask questions. I thank you for engaging in this quest for answers from these so-called vaccine experts. I thought science was always evolving? How can the use of vaccines and their effects be a settled matter when the vaccine schedule is constantly changing? Offit's stance seems absurd and completely unscientific. Offit really needs to reconsider a debate on the subject. He sounds completely unreasonable. If he is firmly confident in the safety of all vaccines then he should be willing to debate anyone, anytime. That will convince more people to follow the schedule. But, when the industry's spokesman isn't willing to even field a question from a graduate student at a speaking event and throws him out for trying to ask one, well that's not going to sway anyone to sacrifice up their innocent healthy little baby or children. All it's going to do is raise further concerns and doubt in the safety and need for all these vaccines.
Posted by: Andrea | January 20, 2012 at 07:07 AM