The Guardian has been attacking charitable donations made to Age of Autism through the Amazon. Julia Carrie Wong, the journalist, seems to think she knows something about it.
"Age of Autism, for example, styles itself as the “daily web newspaper of the autism epidemic”. The site publishes a steady stream of content emphasizing the dangers of vaccination and promoting the discredited idea that autism is caused by “excessive vaccinations”. "
Well, Julia, perhaps you ought to take note that it was not Andrew Wakefield that said vaccines cause autism, it was the US government. Following the Hannah Poling award in 2008 Julie Gerberding, at the time Director for the centers for Disease Control, told Sanjay Gupta on CNN:
"Now, we all know that vaccines can occasionally cause fevers in kids. So if a child was immunized, got a fever, had other complications from the vaccines. And 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 government has never compensated, nor has it ever been ordered to compensate, any case based on a determination that autism was actually caused by vaccines. 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."
But while autism spins out of control and is now approaching unsustainable 3% of children in the UK, and the cost of autism to the community is beginning to outstrip that of old age it becomes ever more difficult to get any serious or sensible answers out of our health officials. I recently had an exchange with the outgoing government Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davis, asking her what the evidence base for MMR safety was and she could not cite anything more convincing than the new paper from the Danish State Serum Institute: a review of six weak and flawed papers the first of which was published 14 years after the MMR was added the schedule in the UK. She was unable to mention any pre-marketing studies, or studies against placebo - it was a very poor answer. The full correspondence has now been published under freedom of information.The new paper like three of the six papers in the review, shows a protective effect against autism,indicative of bias. It sets the autism rate at 1% when in the UK is near three times higher. It is hopelessly conflicted with vaccine industry and CDC attachments, just as the Guardian is.
So, Julia, what do you think your opinion is really worth?
John Stone is UK editor of Age of Autism.