Prof Steven Salzberg and the Congressional Autism Hearing: Why Can’t He Answer or Correct
One of the few public responses to the Congressional hearing into autism by a vaccine programme advocate was from Steven Salzberg, professor of medicine and biostatistics at Johns Hopkins University Medical School on Forbes.com. While Prof Salzberg’s blog was open to comment he has unfortunately not only ignored serious criticism but most disturbingly - for a senior scientist and academic - correction of basic facts. Here are a few points, some taken or adapted from my comments.
(1) Salzberg criticises Congressman Burton:
“Bang bang, two false claims in 10 seconds. First he claims that mercury from vaccines “accumulates in the brain”, a statement with no scientific support at all … Unfortunately, some quack doctors have experimented with chelation therapy on autistic children, despite that fact that it can cause deadly liver and kidney damage, and one of them caused the death of a 5-year-old boy in 2005.”
However, Burton had presumably read the Burbacher paper (NIH funded). Here is and extract:
““There was a much higher proportion of inorganic Hg in the brain of thimerosal monkeys than in the brains of MeHg monkeys (up to 71% vs. 10%). Absolute inorganic Hg concentrations in the brains of the thimerosal-exposed monkeys were approximately twice that of the MeHg monkeys. Interestingly, the inorganic fraction in the kidneys of the same cohort of monkeys was also significantly higher after im thimerosal than after oral MeHg exposure (0.71 ± 0.04 vs. 0.40 ± 0.03). This suggests that the dealkylation of ethylmercury is much more extensive than that of MeHg.”
We really have to ask whether Salzberg can truthfully state that there is “no scientific support at all”. Here, by the way, is a two part list of 90 peer review studies condemning the safety of thimerosal.
Salzberg is also deeply misleading or worse regarding chelation and autism citing a 2005 case and a contemporary report . Subsequent to that report it transpired that the child had been administered with the wrong chelating agent and this was not in any way representative of chelation therapy for autism (and in seven years there are no more cases he can cite). A senior academic ought to know better than to cite an out-of-date and provisional journalistic report, when a later one would have given a different story. He has taken no steps to correct his article in either respect.
Salzberg then goes on to refer to Andrew Wakefield’s Lancet 1998 paper as “fraudulent” failing to acknowledge that earlier this year an English High Court judge exonerated Wakefield’s senior co-author, Prof John Walker-Smith. Re-examining the GMC finding he could not find evidence of misreporting, no evidence that the investigations were inappropriate (i.e. the children were genuinely sick) or unauthorised, or that the paper had been commissioned by the UK’s Legal Aid Board, and this was uncontested by the GMC. It remains anomalous that charges against Walker-Smith’s colleagues Wakefield and Simon Murch have not been reversed on these matters but then we are dealing with corrupt and politicised institutions.
Both the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Health and Human Services have acknowledged a causal connection between vaccines and autism. At the time of the Hannah Poling case CDC director (now head of Merck’s vaccine division) Julie Gerberding told CNN:
“….. if you’re predisposed with the mitochondrial disorder, it can certainly set off some damage. Some of the symptoms can be symptoms that have characteristics of autism.“
The HHS told Sharyl Attkisson on CBS news and David Kirby in Huffington Post:
“We have compensated cases in which children exhibited an encephalopathy, or general brain disease. Encephalopathy may be accompanied by a medical progression of an array of symptoms including autistic behavior, autism, or seizures.”
Tragic to report that the media have become amnesiac about these statements, and Stephen Salzberg’s memory seems to need further jogging too.
The premise of Salzberg’s article is farcical: that whatever products government and industry choose to foist on us, we must always be good little children and do what we are told, and without any questions. In the case of vaccine culture we are faced with the even greater threat to the population that products in the US are more or less compulsory (and getting more so) while the manufacturers have no liability. The truth is that Coleen Boyle has been a ‘public servant’ in this business for 30 years or so, and if she can’t stand up to awkward questioning there is “something wrong”, yet she is painted as a victim by Salzberg. You expect someone in such a position to have a confident, competent manner, but the problem is not just her demeanour it is the content.
Of course, it is the problem with Salzberg too. How can you answer credibly such a range of scientific and political issues with a “four legs good, two legs bad” approach? Once you have surrendered that much intellectual and ethical freedom (as so many have) you have created a culture in which things are simply bound to go wrong, and individuals are going to be hurt by the machine.
Salzberg’s defence of the vaccine programme and the machinery behind it is neither intellectually adult or responsible. If you are not frightened of the questions why not let people ask them? Instead his reaction is along the lines shut everyone up, stop them asking questions, ignore all inconvenient facts, insult anyone who disagrees…
Salzberg’s blog could not be a better indication of what is wrong with vaccine culture. I am not against vaccines per se. It is not an ignoble project in itself to wish to prevent infectious diseases. I am against a culture where all the counter evidence, much of it published in scientific journals, much of it just the experience of ordinary citizens, is blithely swept aside in an act of scientific and social suppression. The unwelcome news is that the “cruise missiles and drone helicopters” of the war on disease often hit the wrong the target, and the more cruise missiles and drone helicopters you unleash the greater the risk.
Also, my bigger concern about indemnity (or effective indemnity) for manufacturers, is not that people have no opportunity to be compensated but that there is little sanction on manufacturers to get it right and every incentive to foist defective products on a captive market – you can argue till you are blue in the face what is “avoidably” and what “unavoidaby” unsafe (to which the answer is entirely subjective), but “unsafe” is the operative reality.
John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.
I agree it was rather peculiar the way Nurse Ratched dismissed your job and credentials.
"She" spews vitriol and accuses others of the exact same thing she is doing. Project much? She accused Anne of being a bot, so out of curiosity I counted and 44/224 comments-20% -were hers.
At first I thought she was just a lonely person- (in need of a cruise somewhere lovely so she could meet some real friends)- looking for approval by throwing rocks and running back to base camp for the pat on the back.....but I agree with Jenny Allen..most likely one of many sock puppets.....the righteously indignant professional with decades of experience caring for and comforting patients stricken with every disease non-vaccinators are responsible for. But if you look closely (I know it’s hard) at his/her posts, they always include several of the talking points from Pharma’s Guide to Shutting Down Discussion Regarding Vaccine Concerns:
Throw out the term “anti-vaccine” at every opportunity.
Use the word “conspiracy” at least once a post.
Throw in as many links to pharma-backed organizations such as ASF.
Disparage parent support organizations.
Oh and sock puppet must have some deep matriarchal issues given the way s/he sneers “Grandma”.
BTW, “banging on about” is a British expression. OMG!!! That vitriol seemed very familiar!! Must be a drag to be in between jobs.
Posted by: samaxtics | December 13, 2012 at 11:10 AM
Jen-Lilady is a pro pharma troll, pure and simple, and you mustn't let her confuse or upset you. That is exactly 'her' objective. I have no idea who she is, but I am quite certain about WHAT she is, and I suspect there is more than one person using this anonymous 'personna'. I also suspect there are actually very few trolls presently active in this particular 'stable', operating out of multiple untraceable e-mail addresses and pseudonyms.
Yes!! I too have 'caught out' Lilady making contradictory statements about her personal circumstances. Personally, I don't believe a word she says about anything!
Twyla, thanks for defending me and Dr Wakefield on the above thread, from Lilady's personal attacks. I have developed a thick skin. Lilady only makes herself look stupid and vindictive.
Posted by: Jenny Allan | December 13, 2012 at 04:19 AM
The odd thing about Lilady to me is how she has attacked what I do (working as an educational assistant) in a number of instances -referring to me as 'only' an ed assistant/aide. It just seems odd to me that as a nurse and someone who supposedly had a child with severe disabilities that she would do that. To me it seems to directly hint at some kind of insult to the kids and it is very inappropriate. Lilady goes on and on about how parents who try and help their children through diet etc. are abusive and must dislike their children, so I find it strange that she would diss a front line profession who works with exactly these types of kids some of the time. Today I worked at a school for severely disabled kids and fed kids, changed them, helped with therapy, baked cookies with them. I just don't know if she even is who she says she is. It doesn't make sense. She is a nasty person at the least. Personally, I think there are many instances where the person who is front- line sees what is going on in a way that others higher up can't - I guess that's the premise behind shows like "Undercover Bosses" or whatever they're called.
Posted by: Jen | December 12, 2012 at 08:54 PM
But john, she knows about screen shot. SCREEN SHOT! We don't stand a chance ; )
Posted by: Jen | December 11, 2012 at 07:03 PM
I wonder if there was any news management here whether the idea was that the vaccine court news (which was pre-ordained for a long time) would eclipse any reporting of Thorsen
For one that has investigated the entire UK spy ring operating with impunity it would seem hardly a wonder for the joint Rueters-GSK venture to scramble and have something out in seconds.
The problem is for all of them...they hit the gas and not the brakes.
The three test cases were just human shields...for a disease-mongering terrorists. We haven't forgotten what a terrorist is have we?
Posted by: kerbob1 | December 11, 2012 at 06:13 PM
How interesting to watch the cockroaches scuttling about after the disastrous hearing for their agenda, which obviously shook them up big time. Once again, the All-Vax, All-the-Time brigade doesn't have anyone but B-team players, jokes like this guy.
Tim Bolen, I've been following you for years. It's great reading your comments here on AoA. And thank you for doing your part in throwing the light on these scumbags.
Disheartening to learn about TED's corruption and obvious sweetheart relationship with industry/Monsanto. When they featured chef Jamie Oliver, I thought there could be some hope. But then following with scum matchstick men like fellow bench warmer Michael Specter who essentially gave a fellatio monologue on the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation showed where their heart truly lies.
Posted by: Josh Day | December 11, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Hi Media Scholar
I wonder if there was any news management here whether the idea was that the vaccine court news (which was pre-ordained for a long time) would eclipse any reporting of Thorsen - of course there has been no mainstream reporting of Thorsen anyway.
But there seems to be increasing agreement that Salzberg is small fry. Perhaps more interesting is that the big guys are lying low. I don't think that Lilady is going to save them all.
Posted by: John Stone | December 11, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Salzberg looks like just the kind of guy that knows something about why it was when Thorsen's FRAUD story broke the vaccine court DID NOT hit the brakes.
The national story broke at philly.com on March 12th.
Later that day, the vaccine court decided to throw out three test cases.
They hit the gas instead.
Posted by: media scholar | December 11, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Dilbert-speak for "glorified epidemiologist"?
Posted by: nhokkanen | December 11, 2012 at 04:48 PM
The medical establishment expects some will be damamged by vaccines to protect the whole, yet has no sense of obligation to investigate which sub-populations may be damaged and why, so these people can also be protected. That's inexcusable in this day in age when so much is understood about genetics, not to mention medical neglect and a gross violation of the Hippocratic Oath.
I would refer this doctor to the following study that suggests kids with Regressive Autism are more likely to get vaccine injured: http://jpepsy.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2011/07/23/jpepsy.jsr048.full
Even if he believes available scientific evidence doesn't prove vaccines cause Regressive Autism, there is mounting evidence that people with Regressive Autism are more vulnerable to vaccine injury. Does he think such kids should line up for boosters of shots that have damaged them? There's a word for that kind of doctor. It's the same word he used to describe doctors who chelate Autistic kids.
I would also remind him that, after reviewing the data, The Institute of Medicine agreed that Thimerosal is likely implicated in speech delay and Tourette's, which is why T has been largely removed from childhood vaccines. I wonder by what mechanism he thinks Thimerosal led to those outcomes if not by accumulating, to some extent, in the brain? I wonder if he's even thought about it?
It's doctors who need to be held accountable above all. They continually vaccinate kids who are sick and on antibiotics, which is contraindindicated on the package inserts. It's not the vaccine company's fault if doctors misuse the product. That's the doctor's fault.
Posted by: Protect The Vulnerable, ALL of Them | December 11, 2012 at 03:48 PM
At Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Dr. Salzberg’s title is:
Professor, Departments of Medicine and Biostatistics
Director, Center for Computational Biology
McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Dr. Salzberg authored and mostly co-authored 114 publications from 1995 to date with no mention of Autism, vaccines, MMR or Thimerosal in any title.
Posted by: Ed Yazbak | December 11, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Of course, Johns Hopkins is in Maryland (which is not I think one of your favourite medical boards). He is listed as a "Professor" at McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine:
and he is owner of a university email address. He clearly has a position but perhaps the rubric 'Professor of Medicine and Biostatistics' is not a genuine title.
Posted by: John Stone | December 11, 2012 at 12:53 PM
The fact that a "anthrax" guy is attacking political officials for investigating vaccines means somebody needs to check this guy out cuz he really needs to be checked out.
The Anthrax crap was a hoax designed to scare people into making Anthrax vaccine a number one seller on the American market.
These scamdemics, some easily treated with South Korean sour kraut, have their origins not in a dust bin in some third world desert, but a germ lab somewhere else or in a major pharmaceutical company's black ops department.
Memories, light the corner of my mind....
The oxes are slow, but the earth is patient.
Posted by: media scholar | December 11, 2012 at 11:40 AM
I haven't done an in depth investigation of Salzberg. I just summarily identified him, and my article comes up number one on Google for him, and moved on.
Usually these people, loosely connected through the skeptics, use CV padding to accomplish their goals. It is very likely that he has a "professor title," not an actual appointment. There are different levels of "Professor" available, most of which are just crap titles with no real affiliation with a University.
My guess is that he is a weakling, puffing himself in a world where he sees REAL scientists working, and this is his defense mechanism. I mean, after all, here is a guy with a degree in English (High School Teacher?), a Masters in Philosophy (cab driver?), and a PhD in Computer Sciences (EVERYBODY offers those degrees). He wants attention - so he blogs for Forbes. No big deal.
He's just not interesting. Kind of pathetic.
And yes, impersonating a physician. What State is he located in? Every State Medical Board frowns on that activity. Maybe he needs to be reported.
Posted by: Tim Bolen | December 11, 2012 at 11:29 AM
email him and ask him to clarify perhaps ?
Is it against the law to misrepresent himself like this ?
Steven L. Salzberg, Ph.D.
Professor of Medicine and Biostatistics
McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Broadway Research Building, 459
733 N Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21205
Phone: 410-614-6112 Email: [email protected]
Blog: http://genome.fieldofscience.com and http://blogs.forbes.com/stevensalzberg
Dr. Steven Salzberg is a Professor of Medicine in the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine at Johns Hopkins University, where he holds joint appointments in the Departments of Biostatistics and Computer Science. From 2005-2011, he was the Director of the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (CBCB) and the Horvitz Professor of Computer Science at the University of Maryland, College Park. From 1997-2005 he was Senior Director of Bioinformatics at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) in Rockville, Maryland, one of the world's leading DNA sequencing centers at the time.
Dr. Salzberg received his B.A. degree in English and M.S. and M.Phil. degrees in Computer Science from Yale University, and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Harvard University. He joined the Computer Science Department at Johns Hopkins as an Assistant Professor in 1989. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1996, and become a Research Professor in 1999, after joining TIGR.
Before switching to bioinformatics and genomics, Dr. Salzberg's research focused on machine learning and its applications to fields ranging from astronomy to molecular biology. His interest in the human genome project motivated him to develop one of the first computational gene-finding systems for the human genome in the early 1990s. His initial collaborations with TIGR at that time led to the development of a gene-finding program (Glimmer) that has subsequently been used in the analysis of hundreds of bacterial, archaea, and viruses, including the genomes of Borrelia burgdorferi (the Lyme disease bacterium), Treponema pallidum (the syphilis bacterium), Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Vibrio cholerae, Bacillus anthracis (anthrax), and many others. He and his research team developed a eukaryotic gene finder for Plasmodium falciparum, the malaria parasite, and later adapted it for the human genome, the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, Oryza sativa (rice), Cryptococcus neoformans, Brugia malayi, and other species.
His group has a major focus on large-scale genome assembly and has developed a number of assembly packages, including the open-source AMOS assembler. Recently they have developed several pioneering applications for efficient alignment of next-generation sequencing reads, including the Bowtie, Tophat, and Cufflinks alignment systems. All of the group's software is free and open source, and their systems have been downloaded by thousands of scientific laboratories around the globe. In addition to his software systems, Salzberg has contributed analyses to many genome sequencing projects, including the human genome, using computational methods to analyze genome duplications, rearrangements, and other evolutionary phenomena in a wide range of organisms. He was a co-founder of the Influenza Genome Sequencing Project, the first large-scale genomics study of human and avian influenza viruses.
Dr. Salzberg has authored or co-authored over 200 publications in leading scientific journals, and his h-index is 89. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and a former member of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Center for Biotechnology Information at NIH. He currently serves on the Editorial Boards of the journals Genome Research, Genome Biology, BMC Biology, Journal of Computational Biology, PLoS ONE, BMC Genomics, BMC Bioinformatics, and Biology Direct, and he is a member of the Faculty of 1000. He co-chaired the Third (1999) through the Eighth (2005) Conferences on Computational Genomics, the 2007 and 2009 International Conferences on Microbial Genomics, and the 2009 Workshop on Algorithms in Bioinformatics.
Personal information: Steven Salzberg is married to Claudia Salzberg (nee Pasche) with two daughters. His hobbies include tennis and golf.
Posted by: Farmer Geddon | December 11, 2012 at 11:21 AM
Thank you for the clarification. That explains the disconnect, the attitude, and possibly his naiveté. But it doesn't explain how both Forbes and Johns Hopkins can sign off on Salzberg impersonating a physician. "Professor of medicine" has only one meaning that clearly doesn't apply to him.
Posted by: Linda | December 11, 2012 at 09:14 AM
Thank you. You do a great job of busting these incorrect statements. So much of the criticism, by these industry scientists, of proponents of vaccine injury as the cause of autism falls in line with the kinship the industry scientists have with vaccine manufacturers.
As you know J.B. Handley wrote about how CDC jumped on the bus with the industry scumbag scientist Poul Thorsen and a vaccine manufacturer in this Age of Autism report.
“The ‘something’ Dr. Simpson did was find a Danish vaccine company, Statens Serum Institute, willing to work with CDC. A company who sold thimerosal-containing vaccines and a company who would soon see an enormous rise in the number of vaccines sold to the United States. Along with her colleague, Dr. Paul Stehr-Green, Dr. Simpson was heading to Denmark. Two years later, Dr. Simpson and Dr. Stehr-Green would be published authors, along with employees of SSI, letting the world know that the Danish data proved that thimerosal does not cause autism. These Danish studies would then form the basis for a NEW IOM, initiated by CDC, that in 2004 would declare that the thimerosal-autism hypothesis was without merit, and has since been referenced as ‘proof’ that thimerosal is safe.
It all started with Dr. Diane Simpson's trip to Denmark. We even found a copy of her travel voucher.” See http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/03/frantic-cdcs-dr-diane-simpson-travels-the-world-to-find-dr-poul-thorsen.html
Also John, your comment about this “axis” between the CDC and industry scientists on J.B. Handley’s article on Age of Autism was:
“This is fascinating but also note that the CDC Thorsen axis was already established more than a year earlier when Thorsen proposed the MMR study to the CDC as recorded in a letter from Dr Mashalyn Yeargan-Allson, an epidemiologist at the CDC to Another NIP Deputy Director Jose Cordero:
‘Jose, As we discussed on Friday, we have become aware through Poul Thorsen of an exciting opportunity to study the role of MMR vaccine and autism using several registries/existing studies and the repository of biologic specimens and laboratory capabilities in Denmark. Attached below is a proposal for such a study. Poul will be leaving on Thursday to travel to Denmark where he will be meeting with the PIs for the proposed study on June 6th. We would like to be able to have Poul say whether it is likely that CDC (NIP) can fund the study, if NIP is interested. The proposed budget is included; there may be additional sources of funding (in addition to NIP) but we are not certain at this time. Unfortunately, the DD Branch does not have much (if any) $$ to fund the study, but we do have the expertise that we have developed due to the autism surveillance in Atlanta and the MMR/autism casecontrol study. I will be out of the office tomorrow, but you may contact Diana or Poul if you have questions. Thank you so much for considering this proposal. Marshalyn.’
From F Edward Yazbak, 'The CDC finances, writes and helps publish Danish research', p 4.”
Posted by: Jim Thompson | December 11, 2012 at 07:29 AM
That's very interesting. Note in the Forbes blog Salzberg states:
"I'm a Professor of Medicine and Biostatistics in the Institute of Genetic Medicine at Johns Hopkins University's School of Medicine."
So, of course it should concerning for everybody (notably Forbes and Johns Hopkins) that he should be putting it about that he is a professor of medicine, even if there is an ambiguity. This is the rest of the biog:
"Until mid-2011 I was Professor and Director of the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at the University of Maryland, College Park. Before joining UMD, I was at The Institute for Genomic Research, where I sequenced the genomes of many bacteria, including those used in the 2001 anthrax attacks. At TIGR I was part of the Human Genome Project and the co-founder of the influenza virus sequencing project (which is when I first learned of the anti-vaccine movement). My research group develops software for DNA sequence analysis, and our (free) software is used by scientific laboratories around the globe. I did my B.A. and M.S. at Yale University, and my Ph.D. at Harvard University, and I have published over 200 scientific papers. Follow me on Facebook or Google plus, or just subscribe to my alternate blog site."
Posted by: John Stone | December 11, 2012 at 07:20 AM
I checked out this Steven Salzberg some time ago. He is NOT what he wants people to believe he is.
First,he has NO DEGREES in the hard sciences - only in English, Philosophy, and Computer Sciences. Below is his CV:
More, he claims to be a Software Engineer in "Bioinformatics," (pseudo-science) which means that he, and his associates, enter data into computers (data entry). With "Bioinformatics" data-in equals garbage-out. I wrote about him a while back:
Basically he teaches students how to enter scientific data into a computer software program.
I am unimpressed, and underwhelmed, by him. He is NOT a Professor of Medicine. He is a Professor IN the department of Medicine - big difference.
Posted by: Tim Bolen | December 11, 2012 at 06:33 AM
Man's destiny is freedom, and, despite the perpetual smoke screen, men are not blinded to ignorance without first the removal of freedom. By law or by book, by whatever devices the despot chooses, he shall, himself, learn it inevitably by heart, that man shall never be subject to tyranny. Only by force is slave taken and made subject to obedience just as sure as ignoble man can not nail himself to a cross. One hand is left hanging.
Check this Salzberg guy, too, cuz he needs to be checked.
Posted by: Kerboblog | December 11, 2012 at 02:26 AM
The real genius I ecognized in Salzberg is when he suggested you could only study immunized vs unimmunized by denying immunizations to those who want them.
Posted by: Lester Royce | December 10, 2012 at 10:43 PM
As for this Salzberg guy...Johns Hopkins University Medical School?
Doesn't move the needle.
Posted by: Kerboblog | December 10, 2012 at 10:41 PM
I'm afraid I have to agree with Kerbobblog. If Only.
You don't have to be afraid to agree with me.
Somebody needs to check the guy cuz the guy needs to be checked.
Posted by: Kerboblog | December 10, 2012 at 10:19 PM
RE: "The unwelcome news is that the “cruise missiles and drone helicopters” of the war on disease often hit the wrong the target, and the more cruise missiles and drone helicopters you unleash the greater the risk."
The entire pharmaceutical industry regards the 100,000+ drug induced deaths per year (10% reported = 1 MILLION)and the 40,000+ new cases of autism per year as simply "collateral damages in the line of fire". They continue to sell their toxic drugs and inject their toxic vaccines without any conscience whatsoever. The pharmaceutical/vaccine WAR, is not AGAINST disease, but against HEALTH, and we are fighting EVIL.
Posted by: AutismGrandma | December 10, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Prof Stephen Salzberg is a geneticist, according to his Forbes 'bio', so it can be safely assumed he already has a 'vested interest' in finding a genetic cause for autism. No doubt the Johns Hopkins Uni gets a great deal of pharma financial backing for this so called 'research'. Meantime, the autism epidemic continues unabated.
In his blog, Prof Salzberg argues the steeply rising autism rates are a myth. He insists better diagnoses and a broader definition of the condition is responsible, But then he WOULD say that wouldn't he? After all, as Mark Blaxill pointed out forcefully to Congess. There is NO SUCH THING as a genetic epidemic!!
Perhaps the Johns Hopkins University, which also provided a recent lecture platform for Brian Deer to promulgate his vendetta against Dr Wakefield, should reflect on the long term damage this will inevitably cause to once well respected academic institutions.
Salzberg's blog, headed up with the worthy title, "celebrating good science by fighting pseudoscience and bad medicine", is nothing more than a very unscientific diatribe, which demonstrates all too clearly how the twin worlds of academia and research have become 'dumbed down', and are totally in thrall to their corporate sponsors.
Posted by: Jenny Allan | December 10, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Couldn't have said it better myself.
Posted by: Bayareamom | December 10, 2012 at 07:01 PM
I wish that it were just a matter of ignorance, or somehow not knowing the facts. Sadly, all of the facts point to a very deliberate attempt to hide the truth, which is all too easy for the majority of the population who trust the mainstream media for their information. We will never win this battle in congressional hearings, in court or in any other official arena. They know the truth, they deliberately conceal the truth, and they are happy to distract those who actually see what is going on with kangaroo hearings and studies. There are hidden agendas afoot, and we must continue to shout the truth from the rooftops, to our friends and neighbors, and any other way we can, that some will believe and be spared from needless tragedy.
Posted by: truthseeker | December 10, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Marks of good science:
Actually by the following TED standards, our side wins: \
Good Science . . .
It makes claims that can be tested and verified
It has been published in a peer reviewed journal (but beware… there are some dodgy journals out there that seem credible, but aren’t.)
It is based on theories that are discussed and argued for by many experts in the field
It is backed up by experiments that have generated enough data to convince other experts of its legitimacy
Its proponents are secure enough to accept areas of doubt and need for further investigation
It does not fly in the face of the broad existing body of scientific knowledge
The proposed speaker works for a university and/or has a phD or other bona fide high level scientific qualification
Posted by: Carolyn Kylesmom | December 10, 2012 at 06:32 PM
On the related note of posturing posing as science:
Pseudoscience Saps the Power of TEDx Brand (written by a former writer for Fortune magazine): "TED posted a letter to the TEDx community on its blog warning of the pitfalls of bad science. TEDx conferences happen in cities and towns across the world. To date there have been 5,000 events and 21,000 TEDx talks put up online."
"Below is an email sent to the TEDx community regarding our view on bad science/pseudoscience talks at TEDx events."
(posted 07 December, 2012)
"The consequence of bad science and health hoaxes are not trivial. As an example, Andrew Wakefield’s attempt to link autism and vaccines was exposed as a hoax last year. But while his work was being investigated, millions of children went without vaccines, and many contracted deadly illnesses as a result."
"2. Red flag topics
"These are not 'banned' topics by any means — but they are topics that tend to attract pseudo-scientists. If your speaker proposes a topic like this, use extra scrutiny. An expanding, depressing list follows:
"Food science, including:
"•GMO food and anti-GMO foodists
"•Food as medicine, especially to treat a specific condition: Autism and ADHD, especially causes of and cures for autism
"Because of the sad history of hoaxes with deadly consequences in the field of autism research, really look into the background of any autism-related talk. If you hear anything that sounds remotely like, 'Vaccines are related to autism,' — RUN AWAY."
Posted by: nhokkanen | December 10, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Excellent detailed critique as usual, John, pointing out Salzberg's many factual errors. What a sad state of journalistic affairs when a column like his can run without public correction or retraction.
My thanks also for spotlighting the author's tone and priorities as part of what's wrong with vaccine culture. The finger-wagging smugness, the fear-reactive disease paranoia... these self-inflated pundits set themselves above culpability as bloviating dictators of their perceived inferiors' health care options.
People who view public health policymakers as their protectors soon find out that individuals within the great unwashed are instead feared as potential disease vectors to be subjugated or milked for profit.
Posted by: nhokkanen | December 10, 2012 at 03:23 PM
It is one of the great mysteries of our time that people who are otherwise intelligent are promoting the theory that when a dangerous substance is fused into a ‘vaccine’, the poison becomes benign.
(Is there a hidden hypothesis, not being fully explained to the rest of us?)
Or is it that a deeply flawed vaccination programme is being promoted in a way that explains the damage to thousands of perfect children as some kind of justified ‘collateral damage’.
‘Child sacrifice’ has unfortunately been practised over the centuries in countless ill informed primitive tribal societies but how does that explain the Professor Stephen Salzbergs of today’s world? He operates out of an academic institution, he must know that mercury is a very dangerous substance, particularly when injected into the bloodstream of a child, and yet Salzberg protests its innocence!
Perhaps, as John Stone suggests, Professor Salzberg, should inform us re his intellectual grasp of the hazardous and non-hazardous qualities of mercury.
John-Hopkins University’s international reputation may be at stake.
Posted by: Bill Welsh | December 10, 2012 at 03:02 PM
I'm afraid I have to agree with Kerbobblog. If Only.
Posted by: Zed | December 10, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Pharma's damage control PR machine went into high gear last week after the pivotal congressional autism hearing on Nov. 29th. Spinmeisters like Salzberg were busy blogging away at Forbes and Slate. They must be getting worried. Eventually the truth will come out no matter how hard they try to suppress it.
Posted by: Sarah | December 10, 2012 at 02:10 PM
For all his academic and institutional bragging points, Salzberg is nothing more than a "mono con pistola" as my husband puts it, a monkey with a gun. All that matters is winning the turf war and the load of scientific-sounding rationalizations are the only vestiges of higher human functioning some of these pundits manage to display on the subject. Not surprised he won't respond to corrections, though I'm sure he fanatically believes the lies are for our own good on some level and if you caught him drunk at the club, he'd wave his arms around and shout down any challenges with a moral-hostage-taking spiel on deadly disease. Bang, bang, bang.
Posted by: Stricken | December 10, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Anyone want to researching this guy's Pharma connections? Jake?
Posted by: Sarah | December 10, 2012 at 02:03 PM
I would assume Professor Salzberg is a supporter of the "Autism Gene Theory."
Where the mysterious, "elusive Autism Gene" suddenly appeared in 50 states at the same time in 1991*,and placed 40,000 Autistic kindergartners into the school systems by 1996.
(*when they tripled the amount of mercury in vaccines by 6 months of age)
Could Dr. Thorsen be hiding in Professor Salzberg's basement? Anything can happen in the high-powered world of pharma-academia...
Posted by: cmo | December 10, 2012 at 01:54 PM
and if they ever find a cure for ignorance ,send it to Salzberg..shame on him,shame on all pharma ,,,
Posted by: Angus Files | December 10, 2012 at 01:20 PM
and..Boyle said.."it's opportunity"..There it is, if you have status, power, money and the right "degree", your children may not be vaccinated in one day with nine vaccines. You carry yourself in a way that suggests a different schedule, you can be trusted to bring the child in as often and for as long as it takes to fully immunize.Heck with the vaccinated vs unvaccinated, that will never happen, let's look at the medicaid kids vs the doctors kids. If it's all about half lives they can time out before accepting another?
Posted by: barbara j | December 10, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Darrell Issa is no fool
U mad, bro?
Posted by: Kerboblog | December 10, 2012 at 12:30 PM
Here's another Cash for Trash guy. Would someone please make a most wanted vaccine injury denialist list and place him at the top for today. Document everything he says, rebutt it, and document his lame comebacks. Invite him to debate and log how many times he declines. These idiots won't stop their drivel until they are called onto the mat and are seen for their either ill-contrived methods or their stupidity. His children and children's children need to feel the shame so they don't follow in his misguided footsteps. Do it! They need to think before they write, and if they haven't yet read all the studies, they need to be urged to and given a chance to repent.
Posted by: billie joe | December 10, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Darrell Issa is no fool
He now knows where most of the bodies are buried, and he has a very powerful shovel. Hoodwinked he will not be.
Lawyer up, CDC. Interesting days are ahead for you folks. And you know what the Chinese say about living in interesting days.
It's finally coming. Wait and watch.
I love the smell of subpoenas in the morning
Posted by: Samson Wellshire | December 10, 2012 at 11:40 AM
If it was about the truth, vaccines would have been long gone by now. If it was about true scientific investigation, vaccines would have been long gone by now. If it was about political and governmental integrity, vaccines would have been long gone by now. Unfortunately it is not a battle of information, rather a battle of cultural conditioning to accept vaccines no matter what, even if the facts against them are enormous.
Posted by: Cynthia Cournoyer | December 10, 2012 at 10:52 AM
Thank you so much for counteracting his misinformation so articulately and with such good information.
Posted by: Twyla | December 10, 2012 at 10:41 AM
Sorry correction : I should have asked ..........
Are we in the dark ages ?
Offering a "final solution" to resolve the problem :
Every vaccine should be compulsory at every Doctors surgery in the Western world for all the doctors and all the nurses and staff and all their families . The truth would be known very quickly then .
Just realised what I accidentally wrote down then .....Final solution .....dont know what came over me ....sorry again .
Posted by: Farmer Geddon | December 10, 2012 at 10:24 AM
"an act of scientific and social suppression"
John -begs the question - are we in the middle ages ?
It certainly seems so !
great piece of unbiased , free truthful journalism there John .
You are part of a dying breed because majority of the rest of the media are total 100% liars & thieves .
Posted by: Farmer Geddon | December 10, 2012 at 10:19 AM
Professor Salzberg apparently thinks he can say whatever he wants from his ivory tower. Let him keep writing his sophomoric hit pieces. When his bed buddies are handcuffed, he'll go along with them for publishing blatant lies for the purpose of perpetuating and covering up the crime of vaccine poisoning. There is no excuse, none, for a professor of medicine to be so wrong, so condescending to the public, and so vicious toward those who question, including our elected representatives. I don't know who this clown thinks he is. He is a disgrace to both medicine and academia.
Posted by: Linda | December 10, 2012 at 10:19 AM
"and one of them caused the death of a 5-year-old boy in 2005.”
I'm so fed up of hearing this sad story as a counter argument to the safety of chelation (like any of the parents who enter into the chelation world have any choice - there is nothing left of the child after iatrogenic damage).
Vaccines have killed how many Professor ?
Give me your email address Prof. & let me forward you the vaccine devastation pictures you scoundrel .
Posted by: Farmer Geddon | December 10, 2012 at 08:50 AM
And when it all goes wrong they cant undo the destruction from the vaccines..shame on Salzberg..
Posted by: Angus Files | December 10, 2012 at 05:59 AM