The CDC and Denmark: The Love Fest That Fizzled
By F. Edward Yazbak MD
I first described the warm and fuzzy relationship between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Danish Research in 2005. At the time, I never thought that this “liaison” with Denmark would last so long or that it would end up costing the CDC (and the US taxpayers) so dearly.
When I asked why certain people in high places at the CDC thought that Danish Research was so wonderful, I was told that it was because Denmark had a unique “REGISTRY” of longitudinal statistics and medical information. Apparently, the United States desperately needed such valuable information from a country with a population of around 5 million.
It became quickly evident that the most visible CDC envoy to collect and report “Danish Research” was Dianna E Schendel PhD, a distinguished scientist and epidemiologist.
The most visible “liaison facilitator” representing the Danish side of that unique scientific undertaking until recently was Poul Thorsen MD, PhD, a psychiatrist turned epidemiologist.
In 2002, Drs. Schendel and Thorsen co-authored a study with K M Madsen and other Danish researchers titled “A population-based study of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination and autism”.
The study was “supported by grants from the Danish National Research Foundation; the National Vaccine Program Office and National Immunization Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and the National Alliance for Autism Research.”
I have no idea why the “Danish National Research Foundation” would want to invest a single Danish Kroner on a study from Denmark about MMR vaccination not causing “Regressive Autism”. On the other hand, when it is the CDC’s National Immunization Program and not the CDC’s Developmental Disabilities Branch that funds a study that claims to prove that the MMR vaccine was not responsible for the increasing rates of autism in Denmark, then one must seriously wonder what the good people in Atlanta really expected as return on their investment.
Thanks to a memorable publicity campaign, the Madsen study quickly became the absolute proof against any MMR-Autism connection. To this day in fact, the “November 2002 study by CDC and the Danish Medical Research Council that followed more than 500,000 children over 7 years and found no association between MMR vaccination and autism” is still listed chronologically first under “MMR Vaccine Safety Research.”
What was truly incredible was the fact that the scientific world believed that the Danish study findings were rock-solid because the study was “population-based” and had examined a cohort of 537,303 children representing 2,129,864 person-years. In fact a quick look at Table 2 of the publication easily revealed that the “Big Danish Study” only included 316 children with autism and 422 children with autism spectrum disorders born from January 1991 through December 1998, a minute number of cases, when compared to the numbers we were reporting in the United States at the time.
The “Big Study” obviously needed a response. Read the full article at Vaccination News.
Clicking on a link provided inside the SafeMinds report on Thorsen, I found an analysis of Thomas Verstraeten's original results (obtained via FOIA):
"Between February 2000 and November 2003 Thomas Verstraeten and his supervisors at the National Immunization Program produced four separate generations of an analysis designed to assess the impact of vaccine mercury exposures on neuro-developmental disorders in children. With each generation, elevated and statistically significant risks were reduced and/or eliminated.
But before these four generations of report were produced, Verstraeten conducted an earlier analysis of these issues in November and December of 1999. He never prepared a formal report on this work, but statistical tables obtained by Safe Minds in a FOIA request (and not previously analyzed) demonstrate large and statistically significant mercury exposure effects that in many cases exceeded the findings of the later reports.
These 'Generation Zero' analyses followed a straightforward methodology that was relatively unaffected by biases applied later and was considerably more sensitive with respect to detecting mercury exposure effects than the later reports.
....Verstraeten revised his analysis in unknown ways between his first run in November and his second in December. He focused his analysis on five specific disease categories. The general patterns remained the same with a few notable changes.
Autism risks were the highest of all the diagnostic codes, with a relative risk at one month of 11.35 between the high and zero exposure groups.
Sleep disorders remained significant at one month and ADD risks at three months, while both risks remained elevated in both periods at the highest exposure levels.
Speech language disorders were modestly elevated in both periods.
Two control diagnoses, epilepsy and febrile seizures, were not elevated in either period...."
Posted by: Carol | September 24, 2013 at 11:32 AM
You are welcome. I am so sorry to hear about your children
Had I known about your excellent report, I would have certainly mentioned it. It is unfortunate that SafeMinds did not more widely circulate it to the public
Dr. Schendel's departure certainly explains why her 2013 publications do not include her affiliation with the CDC. I had researched that when I was writing my paper and as of early September, the CDC and INSAR had not yet mentioned her departure
Posted by: Ed Yazbak | September 24, 2013 at 06:58 AM
Diana Schendel fled the country then. Good choice
Posted by: Benedetta | September 23, 2013 at 09:37 PM
Two pieces of information of possible interest. SafeMinds provided a full report to Congress in November 12 on Poul Thorsen. It is available at: http://www.safeminds.org/government-affairs/documents/Thorsen%20Background%20Report%20-%20Nov%202012.pdf
Diana Schendel left the CDC this past year and now works in Denmark. Poul Thorsen remains on the HHS OIG's Most Wanted list - his extradition seems to be going no where.
Posted by: Beth Clay | September 23, 2013 at 07:40 PM
Thank you for your report, Dr. Yazbak. I become quite livid when I read about Dr. Thorsen & the CDC. I would also like to thank AoA for revisiting this scum-baggery cum laude, cluster-f***king 'study." Please excuse my profanity but I've had just about enough of these tweaked reports. I wish I had done more research on line (back in the day of dial up and AOL, yikes I'm so late 90's). This study, in particular, which was broadcast on the nightly news, cable news & in weekly periodicals helped to calm my fears regarding the scant reporting on the MMR etc.
If only I had known on day one of my children's birth ('99 and '01) that they were to be subjected to medical intervention for the "greater good" I might have been a better Thinking Mom. I'm truly heartened that there appears to be thousands of children that have not been harmed by our one-size-fits -all vaccine schedule. But what of the rest of them? Any parent who observes their child/children suffering under the yoke of autism daily must question these studies.
I remember religiously reading "What To Expect When you're Expecting." I wish I had read "What You Should Not Expect When You're Expecting." I found it too late on this site and others but I'm glad that I did. It's a sad state of affairs when any parent-to-be must factor in the autism question. No parent or child to-be should be facing autism as the new reality. It truly is a medical abomination.
Posted by: Christine Thompson | September 23, 2013 at 02:59 PM
Meanwhile thimerosal has been approved, by WHO, for use in all third world countries..the maiming continues. Is someone going to ask for JAMA to remove the first study, and find the facts fraudulent in a court of law? This isn't going to make back page news, too much at stake for Offit and the profiteers.
Posted by: barbara j | September 23, 2013 at 01:32 PM
Another to add to vaccine genocidal maniacs list stalking the world..causing death and destruction..through vaccines all for shut up money in the bank..Has this crook been tried yet in court or they hoping something happens to him ..
Posted by: Angus | September 23, 2013 at 06:23 AM
I remain very interested and curious about Thorsen's location and activities. He is going to require large amounts of money to remain hidden away and quiet. He's not the usual fugitive, and is unlikely to have the skill set to keep himself hidden the way a long-term fugitive would have. He also has friends in high places. No doubt he is a "kept" man, living the high life on considerably more than just a $million or two.
His face is well known, but he seems to enjoy the high life, so he's not going to be living in a cave. What languages does he speak? What countries do not have extradition agreements with Denmark? He's going to have to have help with hiding away; this is almost certainly going to require cooperative police and diplomatic interests. Thorsen's apparent getaway goes straight to the top of the international power brokers.
Posted by: beth johnson | September 23, 2013 at 06:17 AM