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HALLELUJAH: CDC Has Lost Control of the Autism Argument by David Kirby

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Old April 4th 08, 07:16 PM posted to misc.health.alternative,talk.politics.medicine,sci.environment,misc.kids.health,sci.med.nursing
Ilena Rose
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Posts: 1,139
Default HALLELUJAH: CDC Has Lost Control of the Autism Argument by David Kirby

Note from Health Lover, Ilena Rosenthal: Bravo to all brave and
strong enough to withstand the constant vaccination industry pressure
and keep this important debate in the forefront.

I saw Snake-oil Vigilante Terry Polevoy's rants and raves and
holier-than-thou attacks about Jenny McCathy he posted on the Health
Fraud List. These, from a man, who in the middle of litigation for a
case he eventually lost in the Supreme Court of California, he dressed
up as a woman named "Vera" on Usenet, to attack online, the same
defendants he was SLAPP suiing in court.

"CNN is dedicated to making money, too. Why doesn't McCarthy get on
another bandwagon and help clean up the media, and her own filthy
mouth as well." Terry Polevoy Thu, 03 Apr 2008 13:28:48 -0400


I applaud Jenny McCarthy and her courage to withstand the attacks of
these bullies.

Posted April 4, 2008 | 12:55 PM (EST)
David Kirby

On Wednesday, CNN's Larry King hosted Jenny McCarthy, myself, and
several others to discuss the growing evidence of a link between
childhood vaccines and autism. The CDC refused to send someone to
appear on the show. Instead, on Thursday, the agency issued a
statement meant to reassure the American public that all vaccines are
safe for all kids.

But the CDC statement only served to show how out of touch the
Administration of George (Really? Gas costs 4 dollars?) Bush really

A recent government decision to award nine-year-old Hannah Poling
taxpayer dollars for her multiple vaccine-inudced autism, has left
parents anxious and alarmed, especially when their own kid has a
pending appointment to receive 5 or more vaccines in one sitting
(Hannah had 9 at once).

So the CDC now issues a written statement meant to soothe jittery
parents, by saying that "the recommended vaccine schedule is
flexible." Such decisions, the friendly announcement said, "are best
made in consultation with the child's doctor, and parents shouldn't be
reluctant to have such discussions."

Of course parents shouldn't be reluctant to have this discussion, but
they are. I get nasty emails from some pediatricians, and the
number-one complaint I get from them is that, because of peole like
me, they must now "waste" (their word, not mine) precious billing
hours talking to layperson parents about vaccine science.

These doctors' hostility is palpable, (and they hopefully represent a
minority of pediatricians). And while I cannot imagine ever consulting
anyone of such temperment for medical care in the first place, many
parents are simply cowed into silence. For them, the CDC suggestion to
ask vaccine safety questions at a well-baby visit is laughable, if not

Interestingly, after years of being told that autism is purely
genetic, and not some environmentally triggered epidemic, parents now
learn that the CDC has begun a massive investigation, called the SEED
study, to look at "genetic, environmental and hormonal factors, as
well as selected mercury exposures," that cause autism

This is encouraging news, though one can assume that thimerosal is not
among those mercury exposures that have been "selected" for study.

But the real problem here is the track record and credibility of the
CDC to continute conducting any vaccine safety studies at all. This is
not helped when the CDC continues to issue statements such as:
"Top scientists -- with the open-mindedness that characterizes good
science -- planned and conducted the highest-quality, large-scale
(vaccine safety) studies. No links to autism have been found."

Now, I have no doubt that CDC officials believe these truly were the
"highest quality" studies available. But but many scientists,
including some who authored the studies, disagree. They say many of
the studies were flawed and/or inconclusive.


The flagship study was a four-year analysis by the CDC of a large US
database called the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD). This study,
published in the journal Pediatrics, was authored by Dr. Thomas
Verstraeten, a visiting researcher from Belgium.

The final, published version of the study found no evidence of a link
between thimerosal in vaccines and autism, though earlier analyses -
discovered through the Freedom of Information Act - showed remarkable

At the time, the CDC called it one of the highest quality studies of
its kind ever conducted.

But in 2006, Congress asked the National Institutes of Health to
convene a special panel to investigate the quality and usefulness of
the VSD database - and by extension, the Verstraeten study itself - as
a means of investigating such a link.

The panel determined that there were "several serious problems" with
the database and the study, including many "weaknesses" and
"limitations" that could render certain analyses "uninformative and
potentially misleading. "

The NIH Panel was "concerned" about how autism diagnoses were made and
recorded by HMOs who take part in the database, and questioned if the
HMOs had adequate services for autism families, who might seek care
elsewhere. Panelists said these and other problems likely led to an
"under-ascertainment" of autism cases in the HMOs.

The panel also cited many problems with the Verstraeten study design.
It warned that a "large proportion, around 25%, of births were
excluded from the analysis." Panelists wrote that these same children
"may represent a susceptible population whose removal from the
analysis might unintentionally reduce the ability to detect an effect
of thimerosal."

Other "serious problems" were the facts that there was no
consideration of pre-natal thimerosal exposures from immune globulin,
or "other vaccinations given during pregnancy," (i.e., flu shot), and
no accounting for, "the cumulative exposure to organic mercurials
through diet or other environmental sources. "

The NIH panel determined that these problems, "reduce the usefulness"
of the VSD to prove or disprove a link between thimerosal and autism.

Shortly thereafter, panel chair Dr. Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Professor of
Public Health at U.C. Davis School of Medicine, told Dan Olmsted
(formerly) of UPI that the VSD study "was not the last word... things
need to be looked at again, perhaps with different methodology."

And Verstraeten himself said the study proved nothing. In a letter to
Pediatrics, he wrote that, "We found no evidence against an
association, as a negative study would. On the contrary, additional
study is recommended, which is the conclusion to which a neutral study
must come."


Two studies conducted in Denmark are always referred to by the CDC and
others when trying to defend the injection of organic mercury into the
systems of newborn babies and infants. These are among the best of the
"highest quality" studies, we are told, that show no link between
vaccines and autism.

The main Denmark study reported that the removal of mercury from
vaccines was followed by a sharp increase in reported autism cases.
But the authors admitted that much of this increase was possibly due
to a major change in the way Denmark counted its autism cases during
the study period (switching from inpatient diagnosed cases only, or
about 13% of the total, to cases diagnosed in inpatient AND outpatient
settings, or 100% of the total).

The CDC touts the high quality of the study, even though the authors
cautioned in the study itself that "methodological limitations" - such
as the exponential expansion of patients (due to counting both
inpatient AND outpatient cases) -- "may have spuriously increased the
apparent number of autism cases."

Adding insult to understatement, Dr. Hertz-Piccotto said that, as bad
as the VSD study was, the Denmark papers were even worse. "Some
studies are stronger than others," she said. "The Verstraeten study
was an improvement on other studies, including the two in Denmark,
both of which had serious weaknesses in their designs."


In 2004, a committee of the Institute of Medicine reviewed the US,
Denmark and a few other similar studies (whose methodology have been
questioned in other venues including my book, "Evidence of Harm").

The IOM committee relied almost exclusively on large population
studies (epidemiology), and virtually ignored the growing body of
evidence emerging from clinical, animal and test tube studies from the
fields of toxicology, immunology and other scientific disciplines.

(Interestingly, the US Federal Court system has determined that
epidemiology alone is "insufficient" when trying to disprove a link
between exposures and outcomes in an individual).

The committee concluded that the evidence did not support a vaccine
link to autism. But it added that, "We cannot rule out, based on the
epidemiology, the possibility that vaccines contribute to autism in
some small subset," something that parents have been saying all along.

Finally, in 2005, another panel of the IOM criticized the CDC for a
"lack of transparency" in its vaccine safety programs, particularly
the VSD database. The IOM panel report noted that a CDC official had
testified that some of the original datasets in the Verstraeten study,
"had not been archived in a standard manner," and, "may not allow all
the re-analyses that one might want to do, or in fact may not be
available at all."

This same IOM committee, citing the Federal Information Quality Act,
which makes it a felony to intentionally lose or destroy any publicly
funded records, recommended that vaccine officials at the CDC's
National Immunization Program "seek legal advice."

And despite all of this (and more) the CDC wants us to believe that
these studies represent the "highest quality" analyses available.

The leadership of CDC Director Julie Gerberding has been replete with
crushing morale depletion, embarrassing media coverage, congressional
investigations into Katrina trailers, and a general sense of an agency
in decline.

Sadly, the words "CDC" and "highest quality" can rarely be used in the
same sentence anymore.
Old April 4th 08, 09:41 PM posted to misc.health.alternative,talk.politics.medicine,sci.environment,misc.kids.health,sci.med.nursing
external usenet poster
Posts: 114
Default HALLELUJAH: CDC Has Lost Control of the Autism Argument by David Kirby

"Ilena Rose" wrote in message
Note from Health Lover, Ilena Rosenthal: Bravo to all brave and
strong enough to withstand the constant vaccination industry pressure
and keep this important debate in the forefront.

I saw Snake-oil Vigilante Terry Polevoy's rants and raves and
holier-than-thou attacks about Jenny McCathy he posted on the Health
Fraud List.

Hey, I love Jenny. How can you not love a former playmate of the year?
**** Ilena, women like her are the reason so many other women get vanity
driven implants... they want to be like Jenny.

But Jenny is not some sort of a health care crusader. She's an unfortunate
sole who has a kid with a sad condition called autism and in trying to find
a reason for the inexplicable she came across crazy conspiracy theorists
like yourself. In that, this wealthy blonde bombshell of a goddess finally
found where she could point her finger. She's just a sexy and wealthy
conduit for the unscrupulous to spread their unfounded and downright
dangerous propaganda.


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