What the News Isn't Saying about Vaccine-Autism Studies - Page 2

Author // Sharyl Attkisson

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What the News Isn't Saying about Vaccine-Autism Studies
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A Chinese study in 2012 suggested that febrile seizures (an acknowledged side effect of some vaccines) and family history of neuropsychiatric disorders correlate with autistic regression.

A 2012 study from the Neurochemistry Research Marie Curie Chairs Program in Poland found that newborn exposure to vaccines with thimerosal (such as flu shots) might cause gluten-related brain injuries.

In 2013, neurosurgeons at the Methodist Neurological Institute found that children with mild mitochondrial defect may be highly susceptible to toxins like the vaccine preservative thimerosal found in vaccines such as flu shots. (“Too small” of a study, say the critics.)

Then, there’s a 2004 Columbia University study presented at the Institute of Medicine. It found that mice predisposed for genetic autoimmune disorder developed autistic-like behavior after receiving mercury-containing vaccines. (Critics say that’s not proof, and the work was not replicable.)

There’s Dr. William Thompson, the current CDC senior scientist, who has come forward with an extraordinary statement to say that he and his agency have engaged in long-term efforts to obscure a study’s significant link between vaccines and autism, heightened in African-American boys. (The CDC says the data changes made were for legitimate reasons.)

There’s the current CDC immunization safety director who acknowledged to me that it’s possible vaccines may rarely trigger autism in children who are biologically or genetically susceptible to vaccine injury.

There’s the case of Hannah Poling, in which the government secretly admitted multiple vaccines given in one day triggered her brain injuries, including autism, then paid a multi-million dollar settlement, and had the case sealed from the prying public eyes under a confidentiality order.

There was the former head of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Bernadine Healy, who stoked her peers’ ire by publicly stating that the vaccine-autism link was not a “myth” as so many tried to claim. She disclosed that her colleagues at the Institute of Medicine did not wish to investigate the possible link because they feared the impact it would have on the vaccination program.

There’s former CDC researcher Poul Thorsen, whose studies dispelled a vaccineautism link. He’s now a “most wanted fugitive” after being charged with 13 counts of wire fraud and nine counts of money laundering for allegedly using CDC grants of tax dollars to buy a house and cars for himself.

And there are the former scientists from Merck, maker of the MMR vaccine in question, who have turned into whistleblowers and accuse their company of committing vaccine fraud.

The Spin

If you want to review research and evidence on the other side, a simple Internet search will easily turn up everything you want to know. Those studies always seem to get covered in the news. They somehow turn up first in Google search results, along with the reports and blogs disparaging all opposing science and news reporting.

You might run across a February article in The New York Times. It treated the vaccine autism theory as if it comes down to a disagreement between emotionally fragile parents of autistic children and real research: “faith” and “feeling” versus hard science.

“Some parents feel certain that vaccines can lead to autism,” stated the article, and “the vaccine-autism link has continued to be accepted on faith by some.”

You might run across this network news story that uses Dr. Paul Offit as an expert on vaccine safety. He’s introduced as “director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia” and he “denies a connection with vaccination and autism.”

Somehow, it goes unreported that Offit has made millions (he won’t disclose exactly how much) inventing a vaccine for Merck, which makes the MMR vaccine in question. Offit’s rotavirus vaccine has, itself, been the subject of safety concerns. And his employment at Children’s Hospital has been funded in part by $1.5 million given by Merck. In addition, he got caught giving false and disparaging information regarding a report I did exposing his financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry he so vigorously defends. His false statements were corrected by the publication that originally reported them. Offit and his book publisher settled a libel accusation by a vaccine safety advocate who accused Offit of fabricating a disparaging conversation in his book, Autism’s False Prophets. Offit agreed to apologize, correct the book and make a donation to an autism charity.

But to the news, none of that matters. Offit is simply presented as an unbiased expert.

The supposed best medical experts in the world who deny vaccines have anything to do with autism remain at an utter loss to explain this generation’s epidemic. To declare the science “settled” and the debate “over” is to defy the plain fact that many scientists worldwide are still sorting through it, and millions of people are still debating it.

The body of evidence on both sides is open to interpretation. People have every right to disbelieve the studies on one side. But it is disingenuous to pretend they do not exist.

Pathways Issue 47 CoverThis article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #47.

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