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Re: The Price Paid for Anti-Vaccination

28 Aug 2010, 04:32

Links between autism and thimerosal

Autism affects 500,000 to 1.5 million Americans and has grown at an annual rate of 10 to 17 percent since the late 1980s. California found a 273 percent increase in autism between 1987 and 1998. Maryland reported a 513 percent increase in autism between 1993 and 1998 and several dozen other states reported similar findings. Some scientists say the estimated number of cases of autism has increased 15-fold –1,500 percent – since 1991, when the number of childhood vaccinations doubled. Whereas one in every 2,500 children was diagnosed with autism before 1991, one in 166 children now have the disease.

This increase in reported autism cases eerily parallels the increase in the number and frequency of thimerosal-containing vaccinations administered to infants. As of today, children are given as many as 21 immunizations in the first 15 months of life. After a number of scientists and concerned activists noticed the correlation, an investigation was launched to get to the heart of the matter.

Statistical evidence links thimerosal with nervous system disorders

In June 2000, federal officials and industry representatives were assembled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to discuss the disturbing evidence. According to Tom Verstraeten, an epidemiologist who had analyzed the data on the CDC's database, thimerosal appeared to be responsible for a dramatic increase in autism and other neurological disorders. Verstraeten told those at the meeting that a number of earlier studies indicate a link between thimerosal and speech delays, attention-deficit disorder, hyperactivity and autism.

Verstraeten offered no possible cause for this correlation, but held that the statistical evidence linking vaccines and neurological disorders was strong. Dr. Bill Weil, a consultant for the American Academy of Pediatrics, and Dr. Richard Johnston, an immunologist and pediatrician from the University of Colorado, presented similar concerns to the group. However, given no causal relationship, the CDC and industry representatives were quick to discredit the evidence.

Consequently, the CDC paid the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to conduct another study on thimerosal. According to Robert F. Kennedy Jr., this study was fixed in order to "whitewash" previous findings. In its 2001 report, the IOM's Immunization Safety Review Committee did conclude that the link between thimerosal and neurodevelopmental disorders was biologically plausible, though the evidence neither proved nor negated it. The Committee stated that phasing out thimerosal from vaccines was “a prudent measure in support of the public health goal to reduce mercury exposure of infants and children as much as possible.” However, these findings offered no imperative. The data presented at the 2000 meeting was withheld from publication and the link between thimerosal and autism remained "inconclusive."

But what does "inconclusive" mean? Well, that depends on who you talk to. According to the FDA, these "inconclusive" findings negate the risk of a causal relationship between thimerosal and autism. Even Tom Verstraeten, one of the presenters of epidemiological evidence at the CDC meeting, seemingly changed his tune a bit. In 2000, Verstraeten vigorously campaigned against thimerosal based upon his "inconclusive" correlation, but after he was hired by GlaxoSmithKline, the doctor changed his position. The same evidence from 2000, in Verstraeten's eyes, became "neutral" in 2003. After criticism for this apparent flip-flop, Verstaeten wrote a letter to the editor of Pediatrics in 2004 backing the CDC's actions and his own research methods.

Merck continues selling vaccines with thimerosal

Without an imperative to eradicate thimerosal immediately, vaccine manufacturers like Merck & Co. seemingly took their time in reducing thimerosal levels in vaccines. After a large public outcry in 1999, Merck & Co. began decreasing or eliminating the amount of thimerosal in its vaccines. In September 1999, Merck announced that its new line of vaccines were preservative-free, but still continued to distribute the remainder of thimerosal-preserved vaccines until 2001. Only after a congressional inquiry in 2002 did they stop distributing their stockpile. Rep. Dave Weldon, R-Fla., called Merck's actions "misleading."

While officials at the Center for Disease Control claim evidence is lacking to support the possible risks of thimerosal, Dr. Mark Geier, a Maryland geneticist and vaccinologist, along with his son and research partner David Geier, says the CDC has chosen to ignore the science. According to Dr. Geier, more than 5,000 articles have been published that question the safety of thimerosal in vaccines.

The Geiers analyzed the data and determined that the more thimerosal a child receives, the greater his or her chances are of being autistic. The CDC says the Geiers misused information from a CDC database that was not intended to help prove theories. Given no real causal mechanism linking thimerosal and autism, the game seems to have become one of slanting the data to suit the needs of government and industrial interests. Even Verstraeten has admitted that these "inconclusive" findings certainly don't rule out the possibility of finding a link in the future.

Re: The Price Paid for Anti-Vaccination

28 Aug 2010, 04:41

ProfWag wrote:
Scepcop wrote:
You said you don't agree with a lot of what Randi says. Can you name a few examples?

Of course I know what an Electoral College is. Any American who votes knows what it is. Sheesh. The average educated American knows what it is. Why wouldn't I?

I don't like it either. At least we agree on that.

Can you name some lies by the government? In your link above, the examples you gave were vague. Can you cite specific lies by the government?

I don't always agree with Randi's treatment of non-skeptics. I may agree with him in his beliefs, but not his actions. For example, I DISPISE his use of the word "woo." I think he has misled the public when it comes to Uri. If my memory serves me, he lost a defamation suit against him, yet when he states he hasn't paid him "one red cent," he's implying he won that suit. Again, I really don't know a lot about him. I really don't.
As for the government lies. Well, here are 7. There are more.
1. Without going into specifics, the government either lied or misrepresented to the United Nations about Iraq before going to war.
2. Pearl Harbor was not a surprise attack as the government has led the American people to believe.
3. "I did not have sex with that woman...Miss Lewinski..."
4. The use of Waterboarding
5. Iran-Contra
6. I will not divulge any secrets, but I had a small, bit part on our attack on LIbya in 1986. We did not tell the public everything.
7. My State Senator flat out lied to my face when discussion Health Reform. She told me one thing and less than 2 weeks later, she voted differently on the Senate floor. Senator Lincoln (D-Ark) will not be getting my vote.
Hope this helps you.

By the way, could I interest you in the book "Lies the Government Told You" by Judge Napolitano?

Ok that's a good start. Many skeptics do not like Randi's approach, though they agree with his beliefs. On TV he tries to behave civilized, but in Randi's articles, the real him comes out, with all the name calling and petty attacks.

I've spoken to Geller on the phone a few times. He is a very well meaning guy with good intentions, no doubt.

Are there any beliefs of Randi or Shermer that you don't agree with?

What about the pharmaceutical company? Have they ever lied? Can you cite any examples? Or how about the CDC?

Also, if you know that an organization or government is capable of lying, then how can you trust anything they say? Doesn't even lying once hurt your credibility?

Re: The Price Paid for Anti-Vaccination

28 Aug 2010, 04:44

CDC Chief Admits that Vaccines Trigger Autism


Julie Gerberding, the head of the CDC, went on CNN's House Call with Dr. Sanjay Gupta to discuss the Hannah Poling case and admitted that vaccines trigger autism in a subset of the population with mitochondrial disorders.

It is time for Dr. Gerberding to answer some hard questions before congress.

Call for congressional hearings into the Vaccine Injury Compensation Fund autism cases, so we can find out what the government knows about the relationship between vaccines and autism.

Re: The Price Paid for Anti-Vaccination

28 Aug 2010, 06:50

Scepcop wrote:YouTube videos are important. They let people learn about something quickly without having to go through a lot of books. That's a big benefit to the average person, so they can learn something quickly without spending too much time. Time is scarce and limited. That's the beauty of YouTube. You get info quickly in an easy to understand format for the average person rather than just scholars.

I agree with you. They can be useful. Unfortunately they can be misleading. A good example is the video that you displayed a few posts up. I've offered to dissect it with you, point by point. But first asked you what your impressions of it are. Do you think it portrays a balanced view of vaccines?

I do not just have YouTube videos. I have evidence. There are many books on this subject and doctors too.

Well, the leading research that vaccines cause autism was from Andrew Wakefield. As I'm sure you are now aware, his study has now been thoroughly discredited. Wakefield has been stripped of his licence. If you are aware of any other studies linking vaccines to autism I would like to see them. What I can present to you are many studies showing absolutely no link between vaccines and autism.

The fact is, thousands of moms have reported their children getting autism immediately after their child received a lot of vaccines. So they have a RIGHT to question the vaccines as a possible cause. Jenny McCarthy's son got autism too. But after she stopped the vaccinations and used some holistic technique, his autism went away and he recovered. She is living proof of what she believes in.

Of course they have a right to question vaccines as a possible cause. And they should. They should read the research which shows there is no link. Jenny McCarthy's son I believe has been found not to actually have autism. But even if he did, McCarthy, AFAIK, was relying on Wakefield. Plus she has no medical or scientific training and one should be very wary of anything she says.

Most people, thank God, are not as gullible as you skeptics are in assuming that authority = unquestioned truth.

But how are you defining gullible? I mean, Prof Wagg and I listened a number of scientific studies showing that your claim - that there were no studies comparing vaccinated and nonvaccinated kids - was false. I'm sure someone told you that info, perhaps even a youtube video. It's wrong. Dead wrong. There have been many studies. I haven't just taken someone's official position on that, I've looked it up. You can too, in the same way that I did. I would have been gullible had I taken your word that no studies existed.

You skeptics don't know anything other than what YOU'VE BEEN TOLD! Get that straight. None of you did any scientific research or interviews. You are only going by what you are TOLD and what you HEARD from official sources that have LIED many times in the past and present, yet you trust to be objective and reliable by FAITH.

But that's not the case. I'm not a scientist, but I do try to keep abreast of topics that interest me. There are numerous blogs and podcasts out there with people writing and speaking about these things. So I consult a variety of sources. Plus, I can look things up myself, read the studies myself.

Wake up guys! What you are TOLD is often not true. You are given a public excuse for an agenda, yet behind every reason the public is told, is a secret true reason. You guys only see the surface. You never look deeper. That's your problem.

Allright, so show me wrong. Show me your evidence that vaccines are on the balance harmful. I've shown you studies, and could show you more. Show me something credible. Otherwise I could accuse you of being gullible and just accepting any opinion that goes against what you believe is the official line.

There are risks to vaccines, certainly. But the evidence points to a massive overall benefit. If you have evidence otherwise, I would very much like to see it.

The companies that make the vaccines are doing tobacco science.

If there were studies comparing non-vaccinated to vaccinated children, then why are people pushing for one in Congress, claiming that there is no such study?

I don't know those people or why they would say that. Perhaps they are ignorant as well. Or perhaps they are being disingenuous. I mean, I found them so easily that I can't comprehend an actual lobby group not being able to. But dude, I've shown you the studies! Prof Wagg has too. Did you even look at them? And those are only a few examples. There are more! Do a search in pubmed for vaccines. You'll see just how many studies there have been. Search google.

And why were vaccines raised from 10 in 1989 to 36 the next year? No logical reason. Only greed could account for that.

I don't know about that, can you provide a link?

You pseudoskeps didn't even know that many people who work for the CDC also worked for the pharmaceutical companies, did you? God you are soooooooooooooooooooooooo gullible and incapable of any critical thinking. Sheesh!

Well, I'm trying to do critical thinking, if you see flaws in my methodology then please tell me. I consider myself somewhat of a decent critical thinker, but there's always room for improvement. You will notice, that I do try, as much as possible, to back up what I say, and provide evidence of my claims. But like I said: I'm sure there's more I can be doing!

Re: The Price Paid for Anti-Vaccination

28 Aug 2010, 20:38

Scepcop wrote:
Ok that's a good start. Many skeptics do not like Randi's approach, though they agree with his beliefs. On TV he tries to behave civilized, but in Randi's articles, the real him comes out, with all the name calling and petty attacks.

I've spoken to Geller on the phone a few times. He is a very well meaning guy with good intentions, no doubt.

Are there any beliefs of Randi or Shermer that you don't agree with?

What about the pharmaceutical company? Have they ever lied? Can you cite any examples? Or how about the CDC?

Also, if you know that an organization or government is capable of lying, then how can you trust anything they say? Doesn't even lying once hurt your credibility?

I don't know what all of Randi or Shermer's beliefs are. I'm not obsessed with what they say. I can tell you, however, that skepticism is NOT a set of beliefs as you seem to allude too. Skepticism is a method of reaching an opinion. I perceive that you think we "skeptics" would not like it if psi or UFOs were proven true. That's not the case at all. If the method of discovering their actual existance is shown to be sound, then I (we skeptics) would welcome them with open arms.
I also don't know if the pharmaceutical companies have lied. I've never really followed them either. If you have evidence they did, that's fine. Present it and I'll look at it. I can tell you for certain that Big Pharma is Big Business and the business world is cutthroat and the people that run big business are usually profit minded. They may not care about your's and my health, but they also know that putting out harmfull products will decrease profits and ruin their business. As such, they may have lied or misrepresented facts, but if they want to stay in business, their products will be made in such a way they can gain even more profit. Take this paragraph as coming from a professor of management so I know what I'm talking about when it comes to business.
As for the CDC, somewhere in this thread I recommended a book called "The Hot Zone," by Richard Preston. It's a true story on the ebola virus and points to a cover up by both the CDC and the US Government. So yes, that would be my example.
Finally, and this cracks me up a bit. You praise Uri in your post, then just a couple lines down you ask if someone is capable of lying then how can you trust anything they say. Uri, my friend, has lied about his abilities. So how can you trust him or see him as credible?

Re: The Price Paid for Anti-Vaccination

28 Aug 2010, 23:16

Excuse me? Uri didn't lie and Randi was sued for suggesting such... Uri won the law suit that St. James refuses to pay on. Uri has given up and even encourages his supporters to leave Randi alone, "he's dying and will have to account for things soon enough".

Big Business lying? Unheard of! That would be like saying all our trusted elected officials were underhanded and deceptive... and we all know that's not true. :roll:

BUT... even with the whole conspiracy element in place, chances are slim that "they' could pull off such a massive project as creating a population with autism (a.k.a. drones). Not only are the cards stacked against such a plausibility the science and general world reality negates such things... if you simply look at the numbers. Look at the U.N.s numbers around inoculation in "3rd world" nations who were devastated by curable and preventable diseases less than two generations ago and now they are virtually disease free... and the rate of autism in those countries hasn't increased, which is the important point in this case.

Youtube, Wiki and other such sources have one huge flaw in them -- ANYONE CAN POST! Nothing gets filtered through an editorial team and it would seem that most anything goes. So you really need to apply a bit of simple logic when it comes to the things you find via these sources, checking and rechecking what is shared therein with details and stats that come from sources that have a higher "trust" level when it comes to over-all rating. Weigh the two truths and consider what feels more "right" to you as an intelligent human creature... let your education work with your intuition and chances are, you will find the actual truth to it all. In this case (as with most things) you may see that a very, very minute level of children have a genetic factor that could be catalyzed by one or more of the vaccine types used. It is not a common event nor is there any solid proof supporting the theory itself, it is only a loose plausible scenario that may some day warrant a more honest level of research. However, the main thing we KNOW is that no definitive correlation has been proven to exist; not through independent labs or corporate own labs, Universities, etc. So if this is a global cover-up, it is one choreographed by the world governments at such a level as to manipulate tens of thousands of scientists, pharmaceutical engineers, etc. into keeping their big mouths shut and just go along with it all... and as history proves, chances of keeping more than a half-dozen people silent on an issue is more than difficult enough; leaks can and will happen and the more people involved with a "secret' the greater the odds are, someone is going to let something leak out... that hasn't happened

Re: The Price Paid for Anti-Vaccination

29 Aug 2010, 01:02

Scepcop wrote:CDC Chief Admits that Vaccines Trigger Autism

With all due respect, did you actually watch the video? Or just read the headline? Or the little messages the poster put in every three words Gerberding said.

Gerberding in no way suggested that vaccines caused autism. What she said was that vaccines can sometimes cause fever, which is a stress on the body. She said that one possibility they were investigating was that in some people with this rare condition, a stress on the body (such as fever) can produce autism-like symptoms. There are a number of different conditions that could produce the symptoms in the Polling case. Here is an article from an actual Medical Journal discussing the case talked about in the youtube video.

Third, although experts testifying on behalf of the Polings could reasonably argue that development of fever and a varicella-vaccine rash after the administration of nine vaccines was enough to stress a child with mitochondrial enzyme deficiency, Hannah had other immunologic challenges that were not related to vaccines. She had frequent episodes of fever and otitis media, eventually necessitating placement of bilateral polyethylene tubes. Nor is such a medical history unusual. Children typically have four to six febrile illnesses each year during their first few years of life4; vaccines are a minuscule contributor to this antigenic challenge.

That's why we have to be very careful about these youtube videos. The information is very misleading, and in this case the poster has deliberately mischaracterized what Gerberding said.

Re: The Price Paid for Anti-Vaccination

30 Aug 2010, 21:24

Arouet wrote:
That's why we have to be very careful about these youtube videos. The information is very misleading, and in this case the poster has deliberately mischaracterized what Gerberding said.

Nooooo, c'mon! You don't say. Really? The poster deliberately mischaracterized something because it fit his belief system? I'm shocked. Just shocked...
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