The Scandal That Will Not Go Away: MMR link to Autism rises again.

About a year ago I posted an item titled The Scandal That Will Not Go Away. It was about the alleged link betwenn the MMR vaccine and Autism and the way that after ten years this controversy has not been resolved.

As anticipated I has a lot of hysterical and emotionally overwought responses from scientists accusing me of not understanding the issue because I was not a scientist.

Wrong on many counts. I was not coming down on either side of the argument, merely asking why the issue keeps resurfacing. I was accused of supporting Dr. Wakefield’s research although I never mentioned him and one boy scientist even tried to tell me that “correlation does not prove causation” is the basis of scientific thinking. All he proved by that was he does not understand the difference between correlation and coincidence.

Well now the Labour government is launching another campaign aimed at bullying doubting parents into having their very young children injected with three potent toxins in a single dose and here is an article from Peter Wilby who claims he is a former editor of some crypto-fascist rag read by Ivory Tower dwelling Hampstead liberals showing us once more that the “scientific argument” supporting MMR consists of nothing more than mud slinging against sceptical voices.

Particularly intersting are the comments though, science fundies on one side and freethinkers on the other. Well I have said many times there are a breed of scientists who are seeking to turn their obsession into a religion. They should beware of coming here and complaining that I treat their irrational certainties with the same scant respect I give to the irrational certainties of Creationists preachers:

And Let them know that I am Machiavell,
and weigh not me and therefore not men’s words…
I count religion but a childish toy, whatever label people put on it,
and hold there is no sin but ignorance.

More on the great MMR scandal from Little Nicky Machiavelli

UPDATE 11 Feb. 2009:
Mary Creagh complains that attempts to bully reluctants parents into having their children vaccinated with the MMR triple shot are met with stubborn resistance and suggestions that the vaccine should be compulsary are greeted with outrigh hostility and accusations of fascism (quite right too).In her article MMR: Why we should follow US policy she makes the usual Big Pharma approved defence of the MMR vaccine complete with lies, misrepresentation, dubious statistics and use of emotive language in an attempt at emotional blackmail. Her case rests on the fact that in the US parents must prove their children are vaccinated against certain diseases before they can enrol them in state run schools.

Fine, but what she omits to mention is in America’s private healthcare system it is much easier to get single vaccines spaced over a longer perion. Crreagh also takes a few swipes at “ignorant working class parents” although figures show it is more likely to be middle class people who are sceptical about the vaccine as (a) they are better informed (b) autism does seem more likely to affect children of middle class parents.
If that is the ony way its supporters can defend MMR then perhaps we should just do away with it.

RELATED POSTS:
Should Kids Who Don’t Have MMR Jab Be Banned From School

11 thoughts on “The Scandal That Will Not Go Away: MMR link to Autism rises again.

  1. You may remember that I posted a comment on your blog at that time.

    I maintain that my child’s autism is not linked to the vaccine. I don’t give a fig how many quacks, doctors, politicos or persons related to medical science opine otherwise.

    With respect 😉

    Like

    1. And you are probably absolutely right. There is no connection with the vaccine in the majority of cases.

      You identify there the problem the supporters of MMR have and will not admit to. There are probably many causes of autism. Unlike diseases such as Cholera in which a specific bacterium is the cause and measles the cause of which is a specific virus, autism like other so called “diseases of modern life” (M.S. A.D.H.D. etc. and the one that laid me low, Conn’s Syndrome,) there is no scientifically identifiable cause. In my case we can be pretty sure stress had a lot to do with it but that would not be the cause for all the 600 people in the UK who have it, there may be 600 different causes. The condition is just unscientific and the science fundies hate that because they are control freaks at heart.

      The science worshippers say this lack of identifiable cause proves MMR vaccine is not the cause but that is nonsense. Nobody can say anything is not the cause.

      That being the case, the parents of childen who have developed autism symptoms very quickly a few days after having the vaccine deserve to be listened to. Instead they, and the media organisations prepared to listen to them are shouted down by the government and the academic establishment (both of which get generous and “totall unrelated” financial suopport from the drug companies.

      I have never said there is a link, nor has anybody else. What’s been said is “there are doubts.” And the way and serious attempt to address those doubts are blocked is what makes a lot of people suspect there is a giant cover up going on.

      On top of that, the first test case against the vaccine in the USA has been won although I don’t know if damages have been set yet.

      How’s life with you BTW?

      Like

      1. Whilst it is undoubtedly disturbing that there may be a suspected cover up, I feel that too many will “jump on any bandwagon going” in these media fuelled days. Not that I wish to make light of the grave situation that any parent finds themselves in, living with a child with autism.

        Autism is defined on a very wide spectrum indeed and I feel that too many cases diagnosed as such are not! Or, rather, are not as grave, when presented on TV as some super-human, parenting 5 so-called autistic boys as a single mother.

        A bold statement by me perhaps but then sadly I know what living with profound autism is all about.

        In other news, I have just come back from a wonderful week in Ireland. Rained like a bastard there but then it is not called the Emerald Isle for nowt 😉

        And you?

        Like

      2. That’s Ireland for you but it’s a geat country despite the climate.

        Defining autism is indeed a problem, my wife had a nephew, Michael, who died at 49. Now he would be diagnosed as having Asperger’s syndrome; he lacked social skills, could not form relationships and tended to be obssessive about things that attracted his interest and indifferent to the point of being rude about things other people tried to introduce into the conversation.

        Michael had a good job although compared to his intelligence he has to be considered an under achiever. Work colleagues described him as a loner and “a bit weird.”

        For all that he desperately wanted to have friends and though the official cause of death was a heart attack brought on by self neglect I think he died of lonliness.

        I worked long hours and spent a lot of time away but after Michael’s mum died he saw my wife as a kind of substitute. I know she spent a lot of time with him, trying to teach him that relationships are a two way thing but he was very fixed. His Dad could have been more supportive but is a very self centred person.

        Now of course Michael would be diagnosed and all sorts of support would be available.

        So I understand exactly what you are saying. My complaint about the healthcare sciences is they seem to be moving further away from treating patients as individuals. I am sure the answer to this lies in the fact that we are all different and react in diferent ways and that is why science will never find an answer.

        Like

  2. It seems to me that the situation is quite simple as far as how things should proceed in future regarding the triple vaccine.

    Against the MMR there is the concern that the triple could be implicated in Autism in some children. In some cases this being extremely severe and in all cases being a strain of some degree however small on the child and its family to live with however mild.

    In my opinion the diseases protected from by the MMR are not severe enough to warrant this risk to a child.

    Measles, Mumps and Rubella have been common childhood illnesses and for the majority of healthy children are a temporary illness leaving few side effects if any.
    Often blindness and deafness are cited as the horros ,scare stories – but the percentage of children suffering these side effects are rarely mentioned and are certainly not in the context of whether those children were already weakened in some way by other factors.

    In any case if I had to chose between a low risk of being blind or deaf or a low risk of becoming autistic – personally I would chose the physical problems as they would to me be more about inconvenience rather than a ‘change’ in who I was as a person.

    I have an insight into these problems as I am the mother and wife of people with mild Aspergery problems both of whom also have sight problems and one of which has deafness. There is no question in my mind which challenge causes the most heartache and difficulty to my loved ones.

    The argument FOR MMR is all about money. It is cheaper to administer all at once than separately and it is more lucrative for the pharmaceutical companies to administer this to ALL children rather than simply the ones most at risk, as the flu jab is administered to old and immuno compromised people currently.

    I do not care about the ‘scientific argument’ as to whether or not there is evidence that the MMR jab causes autism or not. For many years there was no evidence that the world was round – but it still was all the same.

    I would never be prepared to risk a severe damage to my child or anyone else’s purely on the grounds of saving the government a few quid and placing a few more into the pockets of pharmaceutical companies.

    We are constantly being fed scare stories as to how bird flu will rip through society leaving death and disaster in its wake, and there are plenty of people at risk from meningitis and BSE etc etc So why are Mumps, measles and rubella so terrifying?

    I and my sublings had Measles as children as did most of my contemporaries, my parents generation had the other illnesses also – compared with BSE (which is being very down played) meningitis and bird flu and the old health terror flesh eating bacteria and the various killer illnesses rife in hospitals due to bad management – they were a walk in the park as long as they were nursed correctly.

    Just my opinion from my personal experience.

    Like

  3. Banana,
    Thanks for that. You, with the benefit of personal experience, have advanced most of the arguments I used in my original series of posts last year. It drove the “scientists” who responded absolutely wild. “Anecdotal evidence” is not scientific, they screamed demonstratong that they did not know what anecdotal really means.

    An excellent point about the mesles scare stories too. The medical science lobby are quick to scream “scare story” when questions are asked about MMR, autism and the many other complications associated with MMR but are noy adverse to promoting the idea that measles is a wholesale killer. In fact according to the Government’s figures 2 children in the past “few” years have died of measles (the true figure in one in fourteen years, the other death was a child already suffering measles and other long term health problems when brought to this country.

    According to independent research not related to MMR but to child mortality in general, on average four children a year have died from complications following the MMR vaccine. This is greater than the average annual number of deaths from measles.

    Measles causes many deaths in third world countries where there is no inherited resistance and where malnutrition and poor hygiene complicate the illness. So as usual poverty and ignorance are the real killers.

    I think what really winds up the government and their scientific poodles is the sceptics have the logic, reason and good science on our side while the kind of science used against our arguments is the variety that strts with an answer and works back until it finds a question that fits.

    Like

  4. Dear Ian,

    Surprise! Some people in Western countries are poor as well!

    Some are even vulnerable; like the old, the sick (with other diseases), babies etc.

    Immunisation against diseases is a good idea. Immunisation against diseases that are not usually lethal is a good idea. And the herd immunity happens to protect the vulnerable much more than innate immunity.

    Why exactly do we want measles to run rampant when we can vaccinate for it very safely?

    Dan

    PS. The media scares about MMR safety arise repeatedly despite the evidence, not because of it. It sells more newspapers! Wakefield’s work has been dissected to death and found to be wanting. The graph on his original paper was misleading, he was paid by lawyers to collect cases, he joked about unethical collection of samples from children at a party. Why do people still believe his tosh? Wakefield tried to add scientific authenticity to the MMR hoax. Now he has gone, what reason is there to even talk about this?
    Ben Goldacre (sp?) has lovingly collected all the evidence together at www . badscience . net – with the references linked.

    PPS. “…while the kind of science used against our arguments is the variety that strts with an answer and works back until it finds a question that fits.” – is a brilliant description of the MMR hoax!

    Like

    1. Dan,
      You are quite right, we can vaccinate against measles very safely, with the single vaccine. And Mumps is a very minor infection in young children and only has serious consequences in post-pubescent males. And Rubella is only a danger to unborn babies so therefore only post pubescent girls need vaccination. So in fact there is only a justification for giving a measles jab at a very early age.

      In earlier posts on this blog (and in many other blogs) Ben Goldacre’s “lovingly gathered” pack of lies, misrepresentations, distortions, hysteria, bigotry and pejudices has been totally demolished and shown up for the unscientific claptrap one would expect in the out pourings of a man who has received money and “hospitality” from the manufacturers of MMR.

      And why is it, whenever the fact that the possible link between autism and MMR is mentioned anywhere some pseudo-scientist starts screaming about how Wakefield’s work is discredited. I have never expressed support for Wakefield’s work only for the man in his efforts to defend his reputation in the face of a witch hunt raised against him by the British Medical Establishment. And as it appears the ethics hearings have failed to prove unethical behaviour on his part it seems I was right in that. Wakefield got it wrong, he’s not the first scientist to do that but his crime was to chsallenge the establishment and threaten to derail the gravy train of bungs, jollies, conferences in 6-star hotels with hookers on room service and all the rest of the payola by which Big Pharma keeps the medical professions sweet.

      In spite of my knowing nothing about Wakefield’s work and only arguing for proper investigations of the possible Autism / MMR link in line with those in the US where it is now accepted that in a small but significant number of cases there appears to be a link and therefore parents must be given that information and allowed to choose.

      The kind of science used to question the MMR vaccine is the kind that says “just because we don’t know what is happening does not mean it is not happening. Foor example, here is an unknown force that makes possible the existance of matter. The science of problem solvers rather than gravy train riders in other words.

      After the boys at CERN have run their Large Hadron Collider and analysed the results the chances are we will still not know. This is mainly because nobody actually has a clue what they are looking for. But that will not mean matter does not exist will it. Similarly just because a link has not yet been proved that does not mean that in a small number of cases, for reasons we do not yet and may never understand, the MMR vaccine triggers autism.

      That is scientific reasoning, what Goldacre offers is self-aggrandising bullshit.

      The only case for MMR is economic. It saves the government money on labour and administration threfore the manufacturers can show added value for the combined vaccine and increse their margin. QED.

      Well I’ve always said whitecoats are just bean counters with cone shaped heads.

      Like

  5. Hi Ian,
    What a wonderful blog you do.

    I am into the MMR/autism thing at the moment.

    My son, aged 8, was diagnosed with ADHD/Aspergers two years ago.

    Soon after I was diagnosed with the same. I am 52.

    By dint of luck I had a successful career. But I saw in my son my own childhood.

    I am now on Ritalin, and 50 years of anxiety and depression went overnight.

    I have spent 50 years asking myself the question: “What is wrong with me?”

    I tried every ism in the book to solve it.

    But once I got the diagnosis, it all fell into place.

    Autism is nothing to do with vaccines, or environmental factors. The great defining feature of the human race in terms of survival has been our ability to apply our INTELLIGENCE.

    We have conquered the planet by our ability to adapt our environment very quickly to our needs.

    That means that unlike other social species, such as bees, who designate individuals to be “workers” or “drones”, we need an evolutionary mechanism to lead us out of our fixed position.

    Hence autism.

    Autism, in my view, is a natural mutation that creates individuals who reject the group think.

    After all, someone must have ventured out of the cave to discover fire, invent the wheel and develop a theory of relativety.

    I have looked at your writings, which are extraordinarily cogent.

    I had similar symptoms. It turned out it was my sinuses!

    Mock ye not.

    I got a script for my sinuses and a whole series of symptoms just went.

    Most of us think that sinusitis is something to do with a blocked or stuffy nose. It isn’t. Earlier this year I was suffering from complete and utter exhaustion.

    I now take a nasal spray and the symptoms went overnight.

    From reading your blog, I would suggest that you investigate a substance called Serine.

    I am not a natural health nut. But I have been invesitgating deficiencies in certain enzymes.

    Apparently Serine a substance that, to put it crudely, lubricates the transmission of neurological and physiological messaging in the body.

    I have yet to try it.

    But given your objective stance, I would be interested in your thoughts.

    Take Care

    Like

  6. Hi Ian,
    What a wonderful blog you do.

    I am into the MMR/autism thing at the moment.

    My son, aged 8, was diagnosed with ADHD/Aspergers two years ago.

    Soon after I was diagnosed with the same. I am 52.

    By dint of luck I had a successful career. But I saw in my son my own childhood.

    I am now on Ritalin, and 50 years of anxiety and depression went overnight.

    I have spent 50 years asking myself the question: “What is wrong with me?”

    I tried every ism in the book to solve it.

    But once I got the diagnosis, it all fell into place.

    Autism is nothing to do with vaccines, or environmental factors. The great defining feature of the human race in terms of survival has been our ability to apply our INTELLIGENCE.

    We have conquered the planet by our ability to adapt our environment very quickly to our needs.

    That means that unlike other social species, such as bees, who designate individuals to be “workers” or “drones”, we need an evolutionary mechanism to lead us out of our fixed position.

    Hence autism.

    Autism, in my view, is a natural mutation that creates individuals who reject the group think.

    After all, someone must have ventured out of the cave to discover fire, invent the wheel and develop a theory of relativety.

    I have looked at your writings, which are extraordinarily cogent.

    I had similar symptoms. It turned out it was my sinuses!

    Mock ye not.

    I got a script for my sinuses and a whole series of symptoms just went.

    Most of us think that sinusitis is something to do with a blocked or stuffy nose. It isn’t. Earlier this year I was suffering from complete and utter exhaustion.

    I now take a nasal spray and the symptoms went overnight.

    From reading your blog, I would suggest that you investigate a substance called Serine.

    I am not a natural health nut. But I have been invesitgating deficiencies in certain enzymes.

    Apparently Serine a substance that, to put it crudely, lubricates the transmission of neurological and physiological messaging in the body.

    I have yet to try it.

    But given your objective stance, I would be interested in your thoughts.

    Take Care

    Like

    1. Thanks for that thoughtful comment Peter. My interest in these medical cover ups was sparked when I, a survivor of a massive brain haemorrhage that should have left me a near vegetable according to doctors, questioned why the standard view that little recovery can be achieved after six months when many patients, like myself are still recovering mental and physical abilities many years later (after ten years I have just managed to walk without a severe limp, but I consider myself lucky; I lost mobility and use of my left arm but my mental and emotional faculties restored themselves in a few weeks once the leaked blood had been broken down.

      When i have cited my experience I have been told “its purely anecdotal and therefore unscientific.” That is a convenient way to dismiss the doubts of many people who defy the norm. Instead of looking at what we may have in common they identify superficial differences and write off the evidence of our recovery as anecdotal.

      In view of my scepticism about the relationship between the medical establishment, the academic community and the manufacturers I was drawn to other very suspect projects one of which was a suggestion that anti-deppressants be put in drinking water so everybody would be medicated whether depressed or not.

      From there I noticed official attempts to bully parents into accepting the MMR vaccine when it seems a lot of questions need to be answered not just in relation to Autism but to other side effects. It’s ironic that according to independent statistics more children per year die of complications following administration of the vaccine than were dying of measles when the old single vaccine was administered.

      Needless to say no proper research has ever been done into this.

      People are individuals and individuals react differently to therapies. One drug I take made me grow tits (and very pert thery were for a man of my age) but the replacement put me in hospital for a week although such extreme side effects are rare. We eventually agreed on a reduced dose of the original pill.

      I’ll take a look at the drug you mention but at the moment I am in the process of migrating from a hosted blog to my own website so it may be a while. I’ll keep your e-mail addy on file and get back to you.

      Like

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