David Kirby

The List Keeps Growing: David Kirby on the Autism Vaccine Connection

NaughtyManaging Editor's Note: Who thinks this list is naughty and who thinks it's nice?

By David Kirby

It’s getting harder to keep up with the list of scientists, doctors, public health officials and government leaders who now believe that a vaccine-autism connection is at the least possible, and should be researched further.

Earlier this week, Dr. Peter Fletcher, former Chief Scientific Officer at the UK Department of Health was added. Now, eight more prominent researchers have joined the group. (See list below – they are the last eight names added).

Continue reading "The List Keeps Growing: David Kirby on the Autism Vaccine Connection" »


Minnesota and the CDC Confer on Somali Autism Situation: CDC’s Office of the Director: Autism May Result from “Chemical Exposures”

EpidemiologyManaging Editor's Note: Welcome Huffington Post readers.  David referenced the post below on HuffPo HERE.

By David Kirby

On Saturday, November 15, I attended a daylong forum in Minneapolis on autism in the Somali immigrant community there, where the rate of autism among Somali children in the public schools had been reported at 1 in 28 kids.

At the forum, Dr. Judy Punyko, an epidemiologist for the State Department of Health, was expected to present at least preliminary findings on the prevalence of autism among Somali schoolchildren in Minnesota. The 80 or so Somali parents who attended were disappointed, by all accounts, that Dr. Punyko had no way to tell them if autism among their children was, as they strongly suspect, more common than among non-Somalis the same age.

Dr. Punyko said she had conferred with officials at the CDC on how to best measure the rate of autism in this particular population, but that she was still waiting for data requested from Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), even though she had put together a panel of experts to examine the issue back in August. She said that MPS would get her the data sometime in December, and that a report on the prevalence issue should be ready in March, 2009.

A few days after the forum, I discovered two things.

Continue reading "Minnesota and the CDC Confer on Somali Autism Situation: CDC’s Office of the Director: Autism May Result from “Chemical Exposures” " »


David Kirby to Dr. David Tayloe, President American Academy of Pediatrics

Full_disclosure1:00PM EST - UPDATE: Dr. Tayloe, who is visiting the Middle East on AAP business, has written to David to thank him for the note and to let him know that the Academy will issue a formal reply soon. Stay tuned here for further developments.

Managing Editor's Note: David Kirby sent this letter to Dr. David Tayloe, new president of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

November 22, 2008

David T. Tayloe, Jr., MD, FAAP
President, American Academy of Pediatrics

Dear Dr Tayloe,

It has been seven months since I had the pleasure of meeting you in Los Angeles at the “Larry King Live" studio. Allow me to congratulate you on your inauguration as President of the Academy.

I am writing because I have just received a copy of a letter from Elie Ward (HERE) Co-Chair of the NYS Immunization Coalition, a project of the AAP. The letter was sent to Rep. Carolyn Maloney in regards to the Congressional briefing on vaccines and autism that she sponsored on Capitol Hill in September.

In the letter, Ms. Ward accuses me of presenting “misinformation” as well as “unscientific, irrational proposals” to staff members of more than 90 House and Senate offices, as well as two US Representatives who were in the room.

Continue reading "David Kirby to Dr. David Tayloe, President American Academy of Pediatrics" »


David Kirby on HuffPo: Tom Daschle Friend to Many Autism Families

DavidkirbyDavid Kirby has written a piece over at HuffPo about Tom Daschle's selection as head of the Department of Human Services.  Click HERE to read the full post. Leave a comment at HuffPo won't you. I'm sure the designated ND commenter is already on duty over there.

By nominating Tom Daschle to head up the agency, President Elect Obama has selected a man who has demonstrated an unflinching willingness to question vaccine safety, and to fight for the rights of those people who believe they have been, or may be, seriously injured by certain vaccinations.

Senator Daschle is not anti-vaccine, but his record shows his willingness to question - and even oppose - vaccine makers and big pharmaceutical interests - when it comes to protecting the rights of American medical consumers.


Somali Gloves Come Off: Autism in Minnesota

Parent_panel_4SOMALI GLOVES COME OFF – A mother’s letters to the Minnesota Department of Health

By David Kirby

When I first wrote about the Somali situation in Minneapolis, back in August, I was contacted by a young mother named Idil, who told me she had been trying for more than a year to get Minnesota officials to pay attention to all the sick kids in the local Somali community.

Idil, like a few other Somali parents in Minnesota, is “taking off the gloves,” as they have put it.

(NOTE TO THE TIM PAWLENTY ADMINISTRATION: These Somali parents are smart, tough, media savvy, and very primed for a fight – I for one would not like to have them as adversaries).

What follows is a series of letters between Idil and the Minnesota Department of Health. I asked Idil if they could be published online at AoA, and this is what she wrote back to me:
“David - Yes, from now on you can forward anything I write to you to anyone.  I am done waiting for them to take us seriously.  Please go ahead and post it on the site.  I would be honored. 

Idil”
________________________________________

Here is Idil’s letter to MPH Commissioner Magnan, as well as Judy Punyko and Patricia Adams, also of the health department, sent on Sunday:

Continue reading "Somali Gloves Come Off: Autism in Minnesota" »


Somali Parents Give the Autism Forum a "C+"

Somalia_watch_2 By David Kirby

The daylong Somali autism forum on Saturday in Minneapolis was a wonderful experience, mostly because I got to meet so many smart, dedicated, passionate parents who are fighting for their kids in a place that could not be more different than their homeland.

Like most of the people I spoke with, I think the meeting was a mixed bag – the organizers are to be commended for pulling off a complicated day – in two languages no less – that clearly required great planning and coordination.

They also provided detailed information on a number of autism-related services available to families in the Twin Cities area.

On the other hand, many parents felt like the forum was more show than substance – and several expressed disappointment and frustration that public officials did not take their concerns – especially about vaccines – more seriously.

Hodan_david_anne_patti_2 

(l to r) Parent and organizer Hodan Hassan, David Kirby, Age of Autism's Anne Dachel and Patti Carroll.

What follows is a summary of my own notes, plus reactions from a few of the parents who took part in the forum.

Dr. Sanne Mangan, Minnesota’s Health Commissioner, kicked off the proceeding with a brief statement that reassured the 80 or so Somali parents at the meeting that, “Today is the start of a dialogue, of listening to your concerns and frustrations, and looking for solutions together.”

That sounded nice, of course, but most parents in the room wanted to know what was making their kids so sick, and they wanted to know why so many children had seemingly regressed into severe autism, directly after being vaccinated.

Continue reading "Somali Parents Give the Autism Forum a "C+"" »


David Kirby on HuffPo: Minneapolis and the Somali Autism Riddle

SomaliClick HERE to read David Kirby's "Minneapolis and the Somali Autism Riddle" on Huffington Post. The Somali autism rate is much higher than the general population. Concerned parents alerted health officials and got nowhere, so they turned to the media. David included.

"Do I know it was the vaccines?" Khalif asks. "All I know is he stopped talking right around the time of those shots."

Neither Khalif nor his wife (who was given a thimerosal-containing flu shot while pregnant, even though the label instructed the doctor to administer the shot during pregnancy, "only when medically necessary"), had ever heard of autism until the day their son was diagnosed.

Khalif says, it is "not possible" that autism could be this common in Somalia. "I've been living with it on a daily basis, with my own child. And I lived in Somalia and Kenya for a long time. If it was this common, we would have had a name for it, and we don't. That tells me it does not exist."

"And these symptoms? I had never seen anything like it before. We have names for mental retardation or Down syndrome. But the mannerisms, the loss of speech, the tantrums and violence and running out of the house that comes with autism - I think we would have noticed those things. But we've never seen them before in Somalia or Kenya."


David Kirby on HuffPo: Autism Speaks, Don't Rule out Vaccines

DavidkirbyOur dedicated contributor David Kirby has a post over at HuffPo HERE
titled, "Autism Speaks: Don't Rule out Vaccines." Please pop over there to leave a comment on his post, won't you?  As always, David, thank you.
Is the vaccine-autism debate over? Not according to the co-founder of the largest, most mainstream, most influential autism organization in the world.

Click HERE to read a HuffPo I wrote about when Suzanne Wright promised me in front of hundreds of people that AS would look at the autism vaccine connection. On camera. 


Bob Wright on Autism and Vaccines

Big_benBy David Kirby

I just read an article online in the Daily Telegraph of the UK in which Bob Wright, co-founder of Autsim Speaks, is quoted rather extensively on the vaccine-autism debate. ("Should We Want To Cure Autism?)

Mr. Wright is essentially saying the same thing as I have been saying for quite some time: This debate is not over, and it is incumbent on our government to study the long-tern effects of our national vaccine schedule on (genetically) susceptible individuals.

He is what he said:

“There is no question but that autism is partly genetic and partly environmental, but we don't know whether environmental factors account for 30, 50 or 60 per cent of cases … we ought to be able to zero in on some of the environmental factors in early childhood.
Vaccines are one of the variables.

The last vaccine (my grandson) Christian had before he regressed was MMR - that's why my daughter concentrates on that. I don't know whether his autism is linked: it was certainly coincidental, what we don't know is if it was causal. Nor do we know whether the thimerosal (the mercury-based preservative used in vaccines) is a factor, although mercury is clearly poisonous.

Continue reading " Bob Wright on Autism and Vaccines" »


David Kirby on HuffPo: Rain, Autism and Mercury

Acid_rain2Managing Editor's Note:  Editor at Large Mark Blaxill wrote an Age of Autism post called Mercury is in the Air last spring.

Click HERE to read David Kirby's latest piece at Huffington Post on the Cornell study linking rain and autism. Click here (MERCURY MAPS) to see graphics on mercury in the air. In th HuffPo piece David says:

A new study out of Cornell University says that children growing up in the rainiest or snowiest areas of the country seem to have a higher risk for autism than children living in drier climates.

The authors estimated that removing precipitation as a factor in autism would slice the prevalence of the disorder by 33% to 43%.

Among the possible explanations given were: A lack of vitamin D from a sun-deprived life under the clouds, an increased amount of time spent indoors amid toxic household chemicals, or the presence of dangerous neurotoxins in the precipitation itself, which in turn might trigger a genetic predisposition to ASD.

One of the most omnipresent, growing (and obvious) air-borne neurotoxins in the world to consider, of course, is mercury...


David Kirby: What I Said at the Vaccine Forum

DavidkirbyBy David Kirby

Several people have asked me about an article that appeared in the Newark Star Ledger which quoted me as saying that thimerosal was no longer the “smoking gun" in autism.

The article, about the recent vaccine forum sponsored by Deirdre Imus in New Jersey, went on to say that, “Several national studies have found no connection, and a California study found that, even after thimerosal was removed from vaccines, diagnoses of autism continued to rise.”

The term “smoking gun” comes from Sherlock Holmes and it refers, of course, to the person found holding a still-warm firearm at the scene of a murder. To this writer’s mind (though interpretations may vary, I am sure) the term means the “one and only cause,” since only one person can pull a trigger.

Continue reading "David Kirby: What I Said at the Vaccine Forum" »


Capitol Hill Update: "Weaknesses and Limitations" of the CDC's Vaccine Safety Database

DavidkirbyBy David Kirby

There has been much discussion – and some confusion – about a letter sent earlier this year from CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding to Congress, in response to a report by a panel of the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) that detected many weaknesses and limitations with the CDC-run Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD).

In her letter, Dr. Gerberding wrote that “CDC concurs” that the weaknesses and limitations inherent in the database would call into question the usefulness of using the VSD for conducting ecological and other types of studies on the potential association between thimerosal exposure and autism risks.

It has been my contention that the same weaknesses and limitations that reduce the usefulness of VSD-based ecological studies going into the future, would likewise have negatively impacted the study already conducted by Thomas Verstraeten, which was a retrospective cohort study, and not an ecological one.

Continue reading "Capitol Hill Update: "Weaknesses and Limitations" of the CDC's Vaccine Safety Database" »


Capitol Hill Briefing on Autism Transcript

David_speaksManaging Editor's Note: The following provides a transcription of David Kirby's presentation to members of the Senate and Congress at Representative Carolyn Maloney's meeting on Wednesday, September 24, 2008. The audio was spotty in places, the transcription is as close as was possible under the circumstances.

Capitol Hill Briefing on Autism -- Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Slide Presentation by David Kirby - Rush transcription by Nancy Hokkanen
(Power Point Slides are viewable at www.evidenceofharm.com and HERE.

SLIDE 1: INTRODUCTION

Thank you very much, and I thank you all for coming here today. I know there’s a lot going on in Washington this week, but I think the turnout speaks to the fact that this is a very, very serious issue.

We have people from the left and the right and center representing offices in this room. Autism, of course, is a nonpartisan issues, quite a bit like the financial crisis that we’re all trying to deal with right now. And the parallels go beyond nonpartisanship: The financial crisis is a real threat to our country, and so is the autism crisis. And I hope you will go back to your various offices and talk about ways that Congress can respond even better than it has so far to this crisis.

This is a national emergency.

Continue reading "Capitol Hill Briefing on Autism Transcript" »


Is Your Sen. or Rep. Attending Rep. Maloney's Vaccine-Autism Meeting?

RsvpTune into Autism One Radio TODAY at 1:50pm Eastern for a Curt Linderman's interview with David Kirby before the meeting. And then listen to the meeting live. www.autismone.org/radio. - details to follow at their site.

The following provides a running tally of the Senators and Representatives who have RSVP'd in some fashion for Representative Carolyn Maloney's (D-NY) vaccine-autism meeting on Wednesday, September 24th at 2:00pm. Click HERE for details. Are your government officials on the list yet?  We've learned that you need to ask for the email address of the "Scheduler" for your Congressperson.  Send that person an email.

THERE ARE NOW 137 CONGRESSIONAL OFFICES THAT WILL BE REPRESENTED AT THE BRIEFING ON CAPITOL HILL – WHAT ABOUT YOURS?

Continue reading "Is Your Sen. or Rep. Attending Rep. Maloney's Vaccine-Autism Meeting?" »


Dr. Rahul K. Parikh, I Am Becoming Embarrassed For You

Misinformed_sourcesBy David Kirby

Some Pediatricians are thoughtful. Others are just plain, (well, let's be polite) "belatedly informed."

To wit: The recent book review by Rahul K. Parikh, M.D, in Salon: (HERE)

In his overly simplistic way, this pediatrician from Northern California, who has repeatedly ignored third-party invitations to debate me in an open forum, praises Dr. Paul Offit for his attacks on groups like DAN! and Generation Rescue, while holding up Autism Speaks as a bastion of rational scientific thinking, one that does not succumb to what this doctor calls the "slanted science" of thimerosal research:

Continue reading "Dr. Rahul K. Parikh, I Am Becoming Embarrassed For You" »


NY Rep. Carolyn Maloney Questions Vaccine Reactions in Military

Military_vaccinesBy David Kirby

I know that Congress has abysmally low favorable ratings right now, with that well worn-adjective “do nothing” firmly appended to its image and reputation – once again. But some Representatives of the People are paying attention, taking action, asking questions.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) is one such member (and yes, they sit on both sides of the aisle, to be sure). Not too long ago, I posted an article on the Huffington Post (HERE) about the US Military apparently indicating that up to 1-2% of US service-members were suffering from severe reactions to the rather long list of vaccinations they must receive in order to be sent overseas.

This afternoon, Rep. Maloney sent the following letter (HERE) to the Department of Defense, asking for clarification on the matter.

“The Department of Defense's Vaccine Healthcare Center (VHC) 2007 presentation on vaccine safety raises serious questions concerning the potential for vaccine-related health risks and disabilities among servicemembers and their beneficiaries,” Maloney wrote.

It is hard to argue with that.

Continue reading "NY Rep. Carolyn Maloney Questions Vaccine Reactions in Military" »


Rep. Maloney To Host Autism Vaccine Briefing

Action_alertPLEASE CONTACT YOUR US SENATORS (HERE) AND MEMBERS OF CONGRESS (HERE) AND URGE THEM TO ATTEND OR SEND A STAFF MEMBER TO THIS IMPORTANT AUTISM-VACCINE BRIEFING ON CAPITOL HILL

Wednesday, September 24 at 2:00 PM
210 Cannon House Office Building
Independence Avenue, Washington, DC.

FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) is hosting a special briefing for Members of Congress and their Staff to update them on recent developments in the vaccine-autism debate.

David Kirby, investigative journalist and author of The New York Times bestseller Evidence of Harm, Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic – A Medical Controversy, will inform Members and their staff about developments in this debate from science, public policy, politics and law.  Mr. Kirby will be joined Mark Blaxill, Director of the Coalition for SAFE MINDS.

Among the issues to be discussed are:

Continue reading "Rep. Maloney To Host Autism Vaccine Briefing" »


GOP Autism Dad: Biomedical Treatments Are Helping My Son

DavidkirbyBy David Kirby

Autism was the disorder heard 'round the world last Thursday at the Republican Convention, as John McCain singled out a young father from Pennsylvania for special recognition from 39 million viewers.

"I fight for Jake and Toni Wimmer of Franklin County, Pennsylvania," McCain said. "They have two sons. The youngest, Luke, has been diagnosed with autism. Their lives should matter to the people they elect to office. And they matter to me."

It was a powerful moment, and it could help place autism squarely in the forefront of the national political discussion, where it belongs.

This weekend, Jake Wimmer's trip to St. Paul was retold by a local news outlet (HERE). I was intrigued enough to pick up the phone and call him for his opinions on the campaign,  and on the state of autism in America today.

Continue reading "GOP Autism Dad: Biomedical Treatments Are Helping My Son " »


David Kirby on an American Troop Threat: Vaccines?

Soldier_vaccinesManaging Editor's Note: Click HERE to move David Kirby's latest HuffPo to the front page of DIGG, where it will be seen by a zillion more people.  Join DIGG, Click in, and then click, "DIGG THIS" on the left.

One more thing, check out this link from the blog Charlie in Wonderland, David recommends it.

David Kirby has a piece on Huffington Post titled, "Up to 1 in 50 Troops Seriously Injured...By Vaccines?" 

US Department of Defense: 1-2% of individuals may experience severe vaccine effects that "could result in disability or death."

American Academy of Pediatrics: 2+ % of children have "defects" that cause vaccine "risks"

On August 5th, the President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Renee Jenkins, made a rather puzzling comment on "Good Morning America," during a segment on vaccine safety and the risk of autism.

Dr. Jenkins said that, "97-plus percent of children don't have these kinds of defects, and so when you look at what the (vaccine) risk is to children, and then what the benefits are, the benefits far outweigh the risks that occur."

Many observers, myself among them, were startled by the comments. But due to awkward editing, it was left entirely unclear as to what Dr. Jenkins meant by "defects," and what sort of vaccine-related "risks" threatened the remaining two-plus percent of children.

Read the full piece HERE. Be sure to leave a comment at HuffPo for David.


David Kirby: Stop. Look. Listen.

Stop_look_listenYou can listen to David Kirby on yesterday's Dan Rivers radio program in the two mp3 files below. Also, David's lecture titled, "An Update on the Vaccine-Autism Controversy with New from Science, Policy, Politics and Law" from June, 2008 is now available on DVD for just $7.00 at the National Autism Association's Little Shop of Hope."

Dan Rivers Radio Show Hour 1, August 13, 2008

Dan Rivers Radio Show Hour 2, August 13, 2008

Buy the DVD of David's NYU Law Lecture Here


David Kirby on AAP's Dr. Renee Jenkins: For the Record

MisunderstoodBy David Kirby

On Friday afternoon, I spoke with a representative from the communications office at the AAP about the remarks by AAP President Dr. Renee Jenkins, who was quoted on Good Morning America as saying: “97-plus percent of children don’t have these kinds of defects, and so when you look at what the risk is to children, and then what the benefits are, the benefits far outweigh the risks that occur.”

Obviously, this quote was edited in mid-sentence, making it impossible to know exactly what Dr. Jenkins was referring to.

I was told that Dr. Jenkins misspoke when she referred to children with “defects.” What she was talking about is the subset of children who have adverse vaccine reactions such as localized pain and swelling, and/or fever.

Slightly fewer than 3% of children will have one or more of these reactions, I was told. So Dr. Jenkins was talking about susceptibility to relatively mild side effects, not genetic “defects” that can lead to long term neurological damage.

I realize that some people may not accept this explanation, but I do.

David Kirby is a journalist, the author of Evidence of Harm and contributor to Age of Autism.


Dr. Bernadine Healy: Don’t Make it Personal

Mudslinging_2By David Kirby

Researchers have been arguing with each other since science began, and that is a positive thing. The fights, while often heated, are usually contained to theories, evidence, data quality, confounding factors and the like.

But sometimes, the disputes get personal. Instead of attacking their opponents’ ideas, some researchers resort to attacking their opponents themselves.

Dr. Paul Offit, a prominent and accessible figure in the vaccine-autism debate, this week engaged in some of his own personal criticisms against two people who happen to disagree with his views: Dr. Jon Poling and Dr. Bernadine Healy.

Continue reading "Dr. Bernadine Healy: Don’t Make it Personal" »


David Kirby Free Lecture: "The Autism-Vaccine Debate: Why Won't It Go Away?

David Kirby, the New York based investigative journalist and author of the NY Times Bestseller, “Evidence of Harm,” will speak and take questions from the public during a free event at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library.

LECTURE AND Q&A
Thursday, July 31, 2008
6:30 – 9:00 PM

PLAINVIEW-OLD BETHPAGE PUBLIC LIBRARY
999 Old Country Road, Plainview, New York 11803

FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
RSVP REQUIRED: kirbylecture@gmail.com

Among the subjects Kirby will address and take questions on:

■ A recent case in the US Vaccine Court in which the government conceded that vaccines induced autism in one little girl, and updates on other cases.

■ Autism among Somali children in Minnesota.

Continue reading "David Kirby Free Lecture: "The Autism-Vaccine Debate: Why Won't It Go Away?" »


David Kirby: Dr. Douglas Wallace Comments on Vaccination

Slow_pleaseTop Mitochondrial Researcher: “We have always advocated spreading the immunizations out as much as possible.”

By David Kirby

I recently noticed that the minutes from the April 11, 2008 meeting of the Vaccine Safety Working Group of HHS’s National Vaccine Advisory Committee were published online HERE.

I will be commenting more soon on the extraordinary meeting, and on the CDC’s draft vaccine safety research agenda, which was the topic of this meeting, held on the top floor of HHS headquarters in Washington. But I wanted to highlight the remarks of one of the public speakers – Dr. Douglas Wallace, a leading mitochondrial researcher in the country.

Continue reading "David Kirby: Dr. Douglas Wallace Comments on Vaccination" »


David Kirby: Amanda Peet vs. the Medical Establishment

DavidkirbyDavid Kirby has a piece on HuffPo this weekend.

This week, actress Amanda Peet called parents who don't vaccinate their kids "parasites," and then essentially went on to lie when she announced that scientists have concluded there is "no association between autism and vaccines."

Peet saw fit to blast "the media and journalists" and "a few fringe medical groups and parent advocacy groups" for "presenting vaccine safety as a controversy." She thinks the debate, save for a few dangerous holdouts, is over.

I thought that Ms. Peet (and her ill-advised advisors such as Dr. Paul Offit) might want to see from whence these parasitic, fringey parents and doctors have been getting their cues of late.

Here are just a few recent examples:

Read the full HuffPo piece HERE.  Please leave a comment at HuffPo. Sometimes the HuffPo system is recalcitrant, but do try!


DID GARDINER HARRIS GET IT "ENTIRELY WRONG?"

Grade_fManaging Editor's Note: You can send an email to Clark Hoyt, who is the New York Times' Reader's Representative at public@nytimes.com, after reading David's piece here at A of A.

By David Kirby

Gardiner Harris of the New York Times is perhaps the most important journalist covering the debate over autism and vaccines in America today, given the way that paper drives the news cycle in this country. As such, it is surprising that he seems to have decided that the vaccine debate is, for all practical purposes, over.

Even more surprising is his lack of curiosity in exploring why some studies show that mitochondrial dysfunction among ASD kids is far more common than anyone ever suspected - including officials at the CDC.

Continue reading "DID GARDINER HARRIS GET IT "ENTIRELY WRONG?"" »


Q&A AT DAVID KIRBY

Recognize this guy? That's Kevin Barry, of Generation Rescue.

For all of the people who have questioned David over the years on Huffington Post and on blogs and lists, there wasn't one truly challenging question last night. Surely, some of these people live in Metro New York. Why miss out on an opportunity to ask hard questions in a respectful forum?


UPDATE: DAVID KIRBY AT NYU

This slide shows the phrasing from the recent IOM special meeting, with the conclusion that genes alone could not account for the rise in autism. 

You can read David's entire presentation at Evidence of Harm.

David presented for close to two hours. He discussed several autism causation theories including Thimerosal, MMR, other environmental insults to the body, mitochondrial disorder and genetics. As you can see in his presentation, he presents the VSD and Denmark studies along with the most recent information describing the faults in these studies. The presentation now includes several slides about the CDC and about Dr. Bernadine Healy's opinion on why much of the science surrounding autism has been neglected.

David extended an open invitation to the medical community, the public health community, parents on all sides of the autism debate to join him for a robust diaglog. The only part of the evening that was disappointing is that none of the bloggers, commenters, journalists or professionals, who have questioned David since Evidence of Harm came out in 2005, asked questions or presented an alternative point of view. That is, if any were in attendance.

Most of the "questions" asked were actually comments and parent stories. Two were particularly jarring. Two parents said that their pediatrician had vaccinated their child without permission in front of their very eyes. One father explained that when he told the pediatrician he wanted to give one shot at a time, the peditrician said, "Then let's start with Pediarix."  The crowed gasped, fully aware that Pediatrix is a controversial 5 in 1 vaccine. Another parent said that when she turned her back in the examining room, her child was vaccinated on the sly. David reminded the group that we are healthcare consumers, and have the right to informed consent.

If you were in attendance at any of David's presentations and would like to share your thoughts, we'll welcome them in comments.

KS

 


DAVID KIRBY: BIG CITY, OPEN MIND

New_york_cityManaging Editor's Note: I'll be live blogging from David's presentation at NYU tonight. Go to EVIDENCE OF HARM to see David's lecture schedule.  To RSVP for tonight's lecture send an email to kirbylecture@gmail.com.

By David Kirby

JUNE 26 - When I first began planning a public lecture in my hometown of New York City, I spoke to NYU Law School faculty member Mary Holland, for advice in securing a venue at that august university.

We settled on a state-of-the-art classroom, on the second floor of Vanderbilt Hall, that could seat 130 people -- though I worried that it might look empty if we didn’t attract more than, say, 30 people or so.

On a Thursday night in summertime Manhattan, even 30 people would be a decent turnout.

At last count, more than 200 people had sent an RSVP, with more expected to show up at the door.

Fortunately, the event has been moved from Room 204 to the Tishman Auditorium, which can accommodate 400 or more.

The warm response has been exciting and heartening. And, as a native New Yorker since 1982, I am proud to say that my hometown appears to be giving the vaccine-autism theory the fair and open hearing it deserves.

Continue reading "DAVID KIRBY: BIG CITY, OPEN MIND" »


DAVID KIRBY ON SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO

SiriusHello, I will be interviewed live on Tuesday morning on Sirius Satellite’s “Doctor Radio” program, from 9:30-10:00 AM EDT

You can CALL IN with your questions at 877-NYU-DOCS.

It airs on Channel 114 on Sirius Radio. I am told that you can sign up for a three day free trial, through the program, at www.sirius.com/doctorradio (just a suggestion, not a plug for Sirius!)

A pediatrician from NYU Medical School will be on with me, so it is a good tie in for the NYU Lecture on Thursday evening – www.nyu.edu/publicaffairs.


DAVID KIRBY: CDC SAYS VACCINE STUDY DESIGN UNINFORMATIVE AND POTENTIALLY MISLEADING

House_of_cardsBy David Kirby

CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding has delivered a potentially explosive report to the powerful House Appropriations Committee, in which she admits to a startling string of errors in the design and methods used in the CDC's landmark 2003 study that found no link between mercury in vaccines and autism, ADHD, speech delay or tics.

Read the original post HERE at HuffPo.  Read David's revised post HERE.


DAVID KIRBY: HANNAH POLING REALLY DID CHANGE EVERYTHING

DawnBy David Kirby

On June 29, HHS, CDC, FDA and NIH will hold a major public workshop on mitochondrial disorders, autism and “triggers for neurological deterioration.” And to think, just four months ago, any scientist who had seriously proposed a high-profile, marquis meeting on such an esoteric subject would probably have been laughed out of HHS headquarters, and possibly his or her career.

But that was before Hannah and her parents came along.

When news of the two Poling concessions began to emerge in March, officials from the CDC and other agencies were quick to mount a defensive public relations posture, one that still clouds and confuses the importance of this seminal case, but now seems to be lifting like the haze over Atlanta.

Continue reading "DAVID KIRBY: HANNAH POLING REALLY DID CHANGE EVERYTHING" »


DAVID KIRBY: LECTURE SCHEDULE

Davidkirby_2Due to demand, moved to a new location: NYU School of Law, 40 Washington Square South,Vanderbilt Hall, Tishman Auditorium, Ground Floor RSVP REQUIRED: kirbylecture@gmail.com
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC


Note: David ran this in Huffington Post last night (HERE.) I'm sure the comment trail will be littered with the usual denialist suspects. Will any of them show up? Or do they prefer to hide behind screens and video cameras?

By David Kirby

In the next two weeks, I will give three public lectures and open Q&A sessions that are free and open to the public at Brown University in Providence, NYU Law School in Manhattan and Northeastern University in Boston.

(Other events are to be announced soon for New Jersey, Long Island and Southern California).

I sincerely encourage any and all vaccine-autism skeptics, critics, agnostics and cynics living in the northeastern US to please consider attending one of these talks, armed with all of your most pointed, difficult and critical questions.

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DAVID KIRBY: RIP TIM RUSSERT

Tim_russertBy David Kirby

Tim Russert was the kindest journalist I ever met, and being on his show was the highlight of my career.

I will never forget his humanity, compassion, intelligence and open mind. His passing is a huge loss for America, democracy, and the world.

In his honor, I reprint here my take on appearing on Meet the Press, from the Huffington Post.

My Take on Tim
Posted August 9, 2005


Don’t tell Arianna, but I like Tim Russert.

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DAVID KIRBY: CALLING LONDON

Brit_phoneBy David Kirby

I am honored and more than a little excited to be heading over to London next week, where I will speak at the hallowed House of Lords, deliver a free public lecture at Regent Hall, and attend a reading, book signing and Q&A in Kensington.

The trip seems to have gathered some notice in blogger circles and, while I don’t always read what is being said about me online, I did want to see what our friends across the waters were thinking in anticipation of my visit.

Some Brits, in that colorful way that we Yanks find charming, have taken to calling me “infamous” and “nefarious” -- though, to be fair, one blogger made the effort to remonstrate that I was not to be considered “wicked.” (I’m quite grateful to them for clearing THAT up).

It’s amazing what one can learn about oneself, just by doing a little googling.

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AGE OF AUTISM WELCOMES DAVID KIRBY

Davidkirby_2We are pleased to announce that David Kirby is now a contributor to Age of Autism. Welcome, David. Below is a list of David's NYT work as well as a detailed biography.  He has his own category on the sidebar. Click in to see many of his Huffington Post and Age of Autism pieces.

DAVID KIRBY AT THE NEW YORK TIMES

David Kirby was a contributor to The New York Times from 1997 until 2003, (the year he began writing books). During that time, he wrote more than 200 articles on a wide variety of subjects for the newspaper.

From 1998-2001, Kirby was a contracted writer and weekly contributor to The City Section, the paper’s popular section on conflicts and customs in New York City’s diverse neighborhoods. There, he wrote about politics, real estate, public health, zoning laws, medical research, housing, clinical care, business, architecture, local history, the arts, and the United Nations.

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DAVID KIRBY: FEVER, VACCINES AND "MITOCHONDRIAL AUTISM"

FeverBy David Kirby

When the US Government conceded that vaccines had contributed to the development of autism in nine-year-old Hannah Poling, there was much speculation about what could trigger autistic regression in children with low cellular energy from mitochondrial dysfunction.

Many experts who oppose the idea that vaccines could be linked to autism – including those at the CDC - first suggested that a single-point mutation in Hannah’s mitochondrial DNA, inherited from her mother, was the actual underlying cause of her neurological problems.

The vaccines, they said, only made a bad situation worse. Many went so far as to insist that Hannah’s precarious genetic situation would have deteriorated into “features of autism” anyway - with or without the vaccines.

But that explanation fell apart: Hannah’s mother has the exact same mitochondrial mutation, and yet she never developed any neuro-psychological disorders. Moreover, Hannah does not have “classic” mitochondrial disease – a rare, inherited, and usually very serious disorder.

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DAVID KIRBY: IF AUTISM HAS ALWAYS BEEN WITH US...

HidingBy David Kirby

If autism has always been with us in the same high numbers that we see today -- as some scientists and academics contend -- then we should be able to identify the 1 in 150 adults currently living with autism in places like the US and UK.

With all of the media attention on autism these days, one would think that adults with the disorder would come forward in search of social services, adult education, job training programs, support groups, and other ways that would make their numbers be counted.

Of course, not all adults on the autism spectrum are aware that they have an ASD, and others may not be interested in social services, special education or job training. And of course, many of these services are woefully lacking or unavailable to adults with autism.

But still, by any currently available measure, there appear to be far more people under the age of 18 with autism than there are adults with the disorder.

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DAVID KIRBY ON HUFFPO: NOT ISOLATED, NOT UNUSUAL

You_got_it_wrongDavid Kirby has a new post over at HuffPo.  You can read it HERE.

.....Dr. Julie Gerberding, Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rushed to the airwaves, exhorting parents to adhere to the nation's intensive and virtually mandatory immunization schedule, and brushing off their legitimate anxieties by saying: "We've got to set aside this very isolated, unusual situation."

Well, the days of setting aside are over: Hannah Poling is neither isolated nor unusual.

In fact, the boy who was selected to replace Hannah Poling as the first-ever thimerosal "test case" in so-called Vaccine Court, has just been found with many of the same unusual metabolic markers as... you guessed it, Hannah Poling.


DAVID KIRBY IN SPECTRUM MAGAZINE

KirbybannerDavid Kirby has an article in the online issue of Spectrum Magazine.

In February, I leaked news of the Federal government’s admission that vaccines had triggered autism in a little girl named Hannah Poling. The stunning revelation, though still reverberating around the world, was roundly downplayed by US officials, who insisted that Hannah had an extremely rare, genetic case of “aggravated” mitochondrial disorder, with zero bearing on other autism cases.

Read David's full article HERE.