CDC Cover-up’s Ivan Oransky Conceals BMC Violation

ivan-oransky

By Jake Crosby

 

Some journalists are just ignorant; Ivan Oransky is not. He is Vice President of the “Association of Health Care Journalists” (AHCJ) – an organization of “journalists” funded by vaccine industry-tied groups dedicated to helping the CDC carry out its cover-up into the media. He also co-edits the blog “Retraction Watch,” which gleefully reported on the withdrawal of Dr. Brian Hooker’s paper that reported the very relationship between MMR and autism that CDC omitted from its original study. Oransky knows full well BioMed Central (BMC) breached policy when it pulled Dr. Hooker’s paper, but did Oransky report that, even though his blog reported on the removal of Dr. Hooker’s paper? Of course not, but he inadvertently revealed his knowledge of it in the email exchange I had with him after he vehemently defended the article’s deletion. Oransky also defended drastically altering my comment on his blog, grossly distorting what I said. (See full email exchange below)

After Oransky’s blog wrote about the pulling of Dr. Hooker’s paper without reporting about the BMC violation, CNN wrote an article from the same perspective as Oransky’s blog the very next day. CNN also added that Dr. Hooker’s paper was removed in a note above every relevant CNN iReport – without noting the BMC violation – disabled editing on the iReport CNN linked to from its article. What more can you expect when, as written elsewhere, Oransky’s wife is a writer/producer for none other than CNN?

Earlier this year, millionaire vaccine industrialist Paul Offit – who advised CDC’s immunization program while the fraud the whistleblower described was taking place – announced at AHCJ’s annual meeting that there should be “journalism jail” for journalists who write stories about debate on vaccines i.e. who try to report on the cover-up honestly. AHCJ gave pharma PR agent Trine Tsouderos an award for her hit pieces against notable scientists opposed to adverse vaccine side-effects like Dr. Boyd Haley. Over the years AHCJ has invited other co-conspirators such as Brian Deer, Walter Orenstein, Alison Singer, Diana SchendelArthur Allen and Seth Mnookin to its annual conference. Mnookin and Oransky were old college friends; they also have dishonesty in common. Additionally, AHCJ has even teamed up with CDC to train reporters to disseminate its propaganda – no doubt in line with former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ statement about telling media outlets not to report on vaccine dangers.

As Congress investigates the CDC for fraud like that revealed by the whistleblower William Thompson, Congress should also investigate CDC’s collusion with “journalists” like Ivan Oransky, AHCJ and related people and groups who don’t abide by journalistic standards and therefore do not deserve any press freedom protections. Such people should be fully investigated as co-conspirators and any investigation that leaves them out or fails to recognize them as such will be wholly inadequate.

The below email exchange demonstrates that all the more:

 

On Monday, September 1, 2014, <info@autisminvestigated.com> wrote:

 

Hi,

 

The text of my comment was altered to make it look like I said something I didn’t:

 

“How come no one is reporting that I believe BioMed Central’s take-down of Dr. Hooker’s article is a violation of the publisher’s own policies on article removal?”

 

This is what I really said:

 

“How come no one is reporting that BioMed Central’s take-down of Dr. Hooker’s article is clearly a violation of the publisher’s own policies on article removal, which states such action is only done under the explicit avoidance of threatened legal claims”

 

I don’t want anyone to report what “I believe,” I want journalists to report what actually happened. It is clear from BioMed Central’s policies that the take-down of Dr. Hooker’s article was a violation of them. Reporting on the take-down without reporting on the violation lends undue legitimacy to the censorship of a scientific paper.

 

Sincerely,

Jake Crosby, MPH
Editor, Autism Investigated
www.autisminvestigated.com

 

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: Mangled comment misquotes me.
From: Ivan Oransky ivan-oransky@erols.com
Date: Mon, September 01, 2014 7:29 pm
To: “info@autisminvestigated.com” info@autisminvestigated.com
Cc: “adam.marcus1@gmail.com” <adam.marcus1@gmail.com>

 

What you said left out most of BMC’s actual policy, and that leaves it as your belief that they violated said policy. Your choice is to have it as is, which conforms to our comment policy, particularly the part about unverified allegations, or have it deleted altogether. You’re welcome to post whatever version you want elsewhere.

 

On Monday, September 1, 2014, <info@autisminvestigated.com> wrote:

 

It’s not my “belief,” you can view the entire policy on BMC’s website and see for yourself that it contradicts the excuse for pulling the paper: http://www.biomedcentral.com/about/permanency

 

I also said I wanted others to report on this – not on my opinion of it. So the wording still misrepresents what I said, even without taking verification into account.

 

 

 

Subject: Re: Mangled comment misquotes me.
From: Ivan Oransky ivan-oransky@erols.com
Date: Mon, September 01, 2014 8:18 pm
To: “info@autisminvestigated.com” info@autisminvestigated.com
Cc: “adam.marcus1@gmail.com” adam.marcus1@gmail.com
We included the entire policy, which you neglected to do and which contradicts what you wrote, along with both statements about why the paper was removed, which you also neglected to do. Your choice is still to have it as is, or simply deleted. Just let us know which you would like.

 

On Tue, Sep 2, 2014 at 12:46 AM, <info@autisminvestigated.com> wrote:

 

No, it backs up what I wrote, and I explain that fully. You neglect to explain how it’s contradicted at all. I included the entire policy in a screenshot on the webpage I linked to along with the statement that was more specific, contrary to your claim that I didn’t. You chopped the second half of my first sentence, making it less immediately clear how the policy was violated. It’s also misleading to portray me as asking why nobody is reporting that I believe a certain way about this issue, as opposed to simply asking why nobody is reporting on the issue itself.

 

By mangling my comment this way, are you trying to make me want you to delete my comment?

 

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: Mangled comment misquotes me.
From: Ivan Oransky ivan-oransky@erols.com
Date: Tue, September 02, 2014 3:56 am
To: “info@autisminvestigated.com” <info@autisminvestigated.com>, Adam
Marcus <>

The second half of that sentence, “which states such action is only done under the explicit avoidance of “threatened legal claims,” is incorrect and misrepresents BMC’s policy. The part of the policy in question: “…in the exceptional event that material is considered to infringe certain rights or is defamatory we may have no option but to remove that material from our site and those sites on which we have deposited the material in question.

BioMed Central therefore reserves the right to cease to make available articles that it has been advised are potentially defamatory or that infringe any intellectual property right, or are otherwise unlawful.”

The two relevant notices also make it clear that your original comment’s claim that “However, Dr. Hooker’s paper was only taken down on the excuse of ‘possible undeclared competing interests'” is also incorrect.

You continue to have two choices: Leaving the comment as is, or have it deleted.

 

Ivan Oransky, MD
Vice President and Global Editorial Director, MedPage Today http://medpagetoday.com
Co-Founder, Retraction Watch http://retractionwatch.com
Founder, Embargo Watch http://embargowatch.wordpress.com
Adjunct Associate Professor, New York University’s Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program
Vice President, Association of Health Care Journalists
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine
http://twitter.com/ivanoransky
917-359-2113

 

On Tue, Sep 2, 2014 at 9:52 PM, <info@autisminvestigated.com> wrote:

 

Actually, it is correct and is an accurate representation. The reason of “threatened legal claims” is the reason BioMed Central gives for striking articles, that was not the reason it gave for striking Dr. Hooker’s article. That’s clear in this “open access” publisher’s policy you partially quoted.

 

The more specific notice made it clear that “undeclared possible competing interests” was the reason for the paper’s removal and that “validity” and “public interest” were concerns supposedly stemming from that. Regardless, none of these are “threatened legal claims” – the actual reason BioMed Central gives for striking articles according to policy. Since this was not the reason given for striking Dr. Hooker’s article, his article was therefore deleted in violation of that policy.

 

One of my readers – ironically the one who told me to contact you – said your misrepresentation of my comment as asking why no one is reporting “that I believe” a certain way about an issue makes me look “unhinged.”

 

Is that your intent? Either censoring me or making me look unhinged, but giving me a choice between the two so you can then claim you did one or the other with my approval? Sure looks like it.

 

 

Jake Crosby, MPH
Editor, Autism Investigated
www.autisminvestigated.com

 

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: Mangled comment misquotes me.
From: Ivan Oransky ivan-oransky@erols.com
Date: Tue, September 02, 2014 7:22 pm
To: “info@autisminvestigated.com” info@autisminvestigated.com
Cc: Adam Marcus <adam.marcus1@gmail.com>

You wrote that removal “is only done under the explicit avoidance of ‘threatened legal claims.'” The policy actually gives two other reasons for removal: “that material is considered to infringe certain rights or is defamatory.” That makes “only” incorrect, and a misrepresentation of the policy.

Our only intent is to verify claims in our comments, and the claim your comment made is incorrect. You continue to have two choices: Leave the comment as it is now, or delete it.

 

 

Ivan Oransky, MD
Vice President and Global Editorial Director, MedPage Today http://medpagetoday.com
Co-Founder, Retraction Watch http://retractionwatch.com
Founder, Embargo Watch http://embargowatch.wordpress.com
Adjunct Associate Professor, New York University’s Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program
Vice President, Association of Health Care Journalists
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine
http://twitter.com/ivanoransky
917-359-2113

 

On Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 1:41 PM, <info@autisminvestigated.com> wrote:

 

Well given that “threatened legal claims” are what the publisher says it hopes to avoid when taking down articles for either of those reasons, “threatened legal claims” are essentially the publisher’s only reason for taking down articles. Since none of what you quote was given in the publisher’s excuse for pulling Dr. Hooker’s article, will you at least finally acknowledge its deletion was in violation of the publisher’s policy for article removal?

 

Well you’re not acting like that’s your intent by treating verified facts as unverified claims. Nor are you acting like that’s your intent by giving me this ultimatum of either allowing you to keep my butchered comment up as is or having it deleted altogether without replacing it with a corrected version. As you can see from my comment submission (attached), your representation me as asking why others aren’t reporting “that I believe” a certain way is not only “unverified,” but plainly false.

commenttoretractionwatch 

 

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: Mangled comment misquotes me.
From: Ivan Oransky ivan-oransky@erols.com
Date: Thu, September 04, 2014 10:51 am
To: “info@autisminvestigated.com” info@autisminvestigated.com
Cc: Adam Marcus <adam.marcus1@gmail.com>

Your two choices for this comment remain: Leave the comment as it is now, or delete it. If you want to submit future comments, you’re more than welcome to do so, but they too will be subject to our comments policy.

 

Ivan Oransky, MD
Vice President and Global Editorial Director, MedPage Today http://medpagetoday.com
Co-Founder, Retraction Watch http://retractionwatch.com
Founder, Embargo Watch http://embargowatch.wordpress.com
Adjunct Associate Professor, New York University’s Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program
Vice President, Association of Health Care Journalists
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine
http://twitter.com/ivanoransky
917-359-2113

 

On Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 8:38 PM, <info@autisminvestigated.com> wrote:

 

Why the silence on BMC’s violation of its own policy?

 

You clearly did not follow your own comments policy in the way you edited my comment, which I do not approve of. That said, I won’t approve of you deleting it without putting up a corrected version either.

 

Looks like you and BMC both have trouble following your own rules.

 

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: Mangled comment misquotes me.
From: Ivan Oransky ivan-oransky@erols.com
Date: Thu, September 04, 2014 5:55 pm
To: “info@autisminvestigated.com” info@autisminvestigated.com
Cc: Adam Marcus <adam.marcus1@gmail.com>

To repeat: You misrepresented BMC’s policy, and you misrepresented the reasons they stated for the removal. You then based the “violation” allegation on your misrepresentations, which made the allegations inaccurate. We then edited your comment so that it no longer included those misrepresentations and inaccuracies.

You are free to post a new comment, as has also been mentioned in this thread, that will also be subject to our comments policy. If that is what you mean by “corrected version,” you’re welcome to submit one. Your choices for the already-posted comment, however, remain the same as they’ve been throughout this exchange.

 

 

Ivan Oransky, MD
Vice President and Global Editorial Director, MedPage Today http://medpagetoday.com
Co-Founder, Retraction Watch http://retractionwatch.com
Founder, Embargo Watch http://embargowatch.wordpress.com
Adjunct Associate Professor, New York University’s Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program
Vice President, Association of Health Care Journalists
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine
http://twitter.com/ivanoransky
917-359-2113

 

Finally, I responded:

 

Here’s what you said:

 

“You wrote that removal ‘is only done under the explicit avoidance of ‘threatened legal claims.'” The policy actually gives two other reasons for removal: ‘that material is considered to infringe certain rights or is defamatory.'”

 

In your priggish and failed attempt to correct me on BMC’s policy for removing articles, you inadvertently showed that the take-down of Dr. Hooker’s article did violate BMC’s policy. BMC provided no such reasons for deleting Dr. Hooker’s article in either statement, even if you count whatever possible concerns that were raised from the reason of “possible undeclared competing interests” as reasons as well.

 

Don’t expect any more comment submissions from me.

 

I’ve never heard anything back since.

 

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a Ph.D. in Epidemiology

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BioMed Central Breached Its Policies By Deleting Brian Hooker’s Study

808620v1v1

By Jake Crosby

Below is the excuse the publisher BioMed Central gave for deleting Dr. Brian Hooker’s study from the medical journal Translational Neurodegeneration:

takedown
But whatever “possible undeclared competing interests” may have been outstanding, they clearly did not warrant taking down the article according to BioMed Central’s own policy for removing articles below. In particular, note the section boxed in red and how it clearly does not apply to Dr. Hooker’s paper at all:
 biomedcentralremoval

There is nothing “unlawful” about “possible undeclared competing interests,” and the excuse for removing Dr. Hooker’s study makes no mention of “threatened legal claims.” BioMed Central breached its own “Permanency of articles” policy by deleting his study, amounting to scientific censorship and casting serious doubt on the objectivity of the publisher’s ongoing investigation of the paper. Moreover, the statement from the CDC whistleblower who coauthored the original study Dr. Hooker reanalyzed the data from lends credence to the validity of his conclusions.

Expanding on these concerns, I wrote the following in email to BioMed Central with the subject title, “Pulling Dr. Hooker’s paper violates your policies”:

Dear BioMed Central,

I am an epidemiologist, graduate student and editor of an autism news website. I am writing because I understand you have removed an article from one of your journals titled “Measles-mumps-rubella vaccination timing and autism among young african american boys: a reanalysis of CDC data,” by Dr. Brian Hooker out of concern for the validity of its conclusions because of “possible undeclared competing interests of the author and peer reviewers.” I should say I know Dr. Hooker personally and consider him a colleague and friend, though I am making this inquiry entirely on my own behalf and not on his or anybody else’s.

I have three questions for you concerning your take-down of his paper:

1.) What possible competing interests are there among the author and peer reviewers that have not already been declared and are so serious that they would warrant the deletion of Dr. Hooker’s paper?

2.) Shouldn’t the below admission from a coauthor of the original CDC study from which Dr. Hooker reanalyzed the data be an encouraging indication of his paper’s validity?

“I regret my co-authors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data was collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed.”

http://www.morganverkamp.com/august-27-2014-press-release-statement-of-william-w-thompson-ph-d-regarding-the-2004-article-examining-the-possibility-of-a-relationship-between-mmr-vaccine-and-autism/

3.) According to BioMed Central’s “Permanency of articles” policy, even articles that are retracted remain in the public domain: “…the original article remains in the public domain and the subsequent correction or retraction will be widely indexed.”

This paper is not even retracted, despite an erroneous report from TIME Magazine. Yet Dr. Hooker’s paper has already been removed against your publisher’s policy which states:

“The preservation of scientific research is a cornerstone of science and as such we will use our best efforts to ensure that material published by BioMed Central is preserved and remains available for access.”

This is further backed up by the following statement, which very specifically lays out what reasons would justify the deletion of material from the public domain:

“However in the exceptional event that material is considered to infringe certain rights or is defamatory we may have no option but to remove that material from our site and those sites on which we have deposited the material in question.

BioMed Central therefore reserves the right to cease to make available articles that it has been advised are potentially defamatory or that infringe any intellectual property right, or are otherwise unlawful.”

Clearly, the questions about paper’s validity and any subsequent “public interest” did not warrant its deletion. There was nothing potentially defamatory, copyright-infringing or otherwise unlawful about Dr. Hooker’s paper. Regardless of whether non-declaration of possible competing interests by the author or peer reviewers is true, there is nothing that would be “unlawful” about it.

BioMed Central clearly lays out how it handles the removal of such material:

“Where this occurs the article will remain indexed. However in place of the article or header the following will appear:

“BioMed Central regrets that this article is no longer available to avoid threatened legal claims”.”

http://www.biomedcentral.com/about/permanency

This does not apply to Dr. Hooker’s paper at all, and no such statement was made in place of his paper. It is therefore clear that you pulled his paper in breach of your own stated policies.

How can readers trust the objectivity of any subsequent editorial investigation since your reason for pulling the paper is contradicted by your own permanency policy in the first place? That reason hypocritically calls into question the objectivity of the author and peer reviewers, yet your investigation is not being conducted in an objective manner.

Sincerely,

Jake Crosby, MPH
Editor, Autism Investigated
www.autisminvestigated.com

BioMed Central sent me this reply:

Dear Jake,

Thank you for your message. We are not providing further comment until the investigation is concluded.
I will keep your email and let you know when that is.

Best wishes,

Anna

Anna Perman
Media Officer

I then responded:

Dear Anna,

Will you at least explain why his paper should stay down when deleting it in the first place clearly goes against your permanency policy?

Jake

Receiving an automatic reply, I sent a similar email to another BioMed Central employee only to receive an automatic reply from that person as well. As the study remains deleted, the publisher’s subsequent “investigation” of it is clearly anything but objective.

BioMed Central should abide by its own policies, and restore Dr. Hooker’s study to the public domain of Translational Neurodegeneration immediately.

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a Ph.D. in Epidemiology.

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Whistleblower Confirms Wakefield Outed Him Without Permission

Whistleblower Betrayal

Editor’s Note: The moratorium on the whistleblower’s identity here has now been lifted.

By Jake Crosby

Despite denying it in the comments here, Andrew Wakefield has released the identity of a whistleblower from CDC without his permission according to a statement from the whistleblower himself. In that statement released today and reproduced below, CDC whistleblower Dr. William Thompson confirms he had no choice over publicizing his name or recordings of his voice and was not even aware he was being recorded (fifth paragraph boldface mine):

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—AUGUST 27, 2014

STATEMENT OF WILLIAM W. THOMPSON, Ph. D., REGARDING THE 2004 ARTICLE EXAMINING THE POSSIBILITY OF A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MMR VACCINE AND AUTISM


My name is William Thompson. I am a Senior Scientist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where I have worked since 1998.

I regret my co-authors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data was collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed.

I want to be absolutely clear that I believe vaccines have saved and continue to save countless lives. I would never suggest that any parent avoid vaccinating children of any race. Vaccines prevent serious diseases, and the risks associated with their administration are vastly outweighed by their individual and societal benefits.

My concern has been the decision to omit relevant findings in a particular study for a particular sub-group for a particular vaccine. There have always been recognized risks for vaccination and I believe it is the responsibility of the CDC to properly convey the risks associated with the receipt of those vaccines.

I have had many discussions with Dr. Brian Hooker over the last 10 months regarding studies the CDC has carried out regarding vaccines and neurodevelopmental outcomes including autism spectrum disorders. I share his belief that CDC decision-making analyses should be transparent. I was not, however, aware that he was recording any of our conversations, nor was I given any choice regarding whether my name would be made public or my voice would be put on the Internet.

I am grateful for the many supportive emails that I have received over the last several days. I will not be answering questions at this time. I am providing information to Congressman William Posey, and of course will continue to cooperate with Congress. I have also offered to assist with reanalysis of the study data of development of further studies. For the time being, however, I am focused on my job and my family.

Reasonable scientists can and do differ in their interpretation of information. I will do everything I can to assist any unbiased and objective scientists outside of the CDC to analyze data collected by the CDC or other public organizations for the purpose of understanding whether vaccines are associated with an increased risk of autism. There are still more questions than answers, and I appreciate that so many families are looking for answers from the scientific community.

My colleagues and supervisors at the CDC have been entirely professional since this matter became public. In fact, I received a performance-based award after this story came out. I have experienced no pressure or retaliation and certainly was not escorted out of the building as some have stated.

Dr. Thompson is represented by Frederick M. Morgan, Jr., Morgan Verkamp, LLC, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Andrew Wakefield did not just betray the CDC whistleblower. I too was betrayed by Wakefield since he lied to me directly here that he had obtained permission from Dr. Thompson when he had not.

Shame on you, Andy.

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a Ph.D. in Epidemiology.

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Andrew Wakefield Betrays CDC Whistleblower

download

By Jake Crosby

When I wrote the article SafeMinds Steals The Show, Literally… early last year, I never thought I would write a piece I would enjoy writing even less than I enjoyed writing that one.

I was wrong.

Andrew Wakefield has betrayed the CDC whistleblower by releasing his name without his consent. On the Autism Media Channel website, a video hosted by Wakefield is up announcing the whistleblower’s name and playing recordings of his voice. In the video is scientist and parent Dr. Brian Hooker, who had been in discussions with the whistleblower and made the catastrophic mistake of sharing his identity with Wakefield. Complicit in the betrayal is Age of Autism, which is promoting Wakefield’s video while repeating the whistleblower’s name.

In commentary to a small group of people later relayed to Autism Investigated, attorney Robert Krakow commented:

“I am very familiar with the information [whistleblower] offered. Disclosure of [whistleblower]’s existence and identity at this point in time is a colossal blunder and an inexplicable error in judgment that damages irreparably the opportunity to use [whistleblower]’s very valuable information and testimony effectively.  I know that Brian Hooker did not make the disclosure.”

It remains truly ironic that Andrew Wakefield – a man betrayed by the Lancet editor a decade ago – would turn around and betray the trust of someone who has come forward with valuable information about the fraud committed in a federal agency. Also ironic is that Wakefield similarly betrayed the trust of Dr. Brian Hooker, whose congressional activities have been repeatedly undermined by groups associated with Age of Autism.

More will be reported as this story develops.

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a Ph.D. in Epidemiology.

 

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CDC WHISTLEBLOWER REVEALS YET MORE RESEARCH FRAUD

Whistleblower

A STUDY BY FOCUS AUTISM FOUNDATION FINDS: CDC WHISTLEBLOWER REVEALS WIDESPREAD MANIPULATION OF SCIENTIFIC DATA AND TOP-DOWN PRESSURE ON CDC SCIENTISTS TO SUPPORT THE FRAUDULENT APPLICATION OF GOVERNMENT POLICIES ON VACCINE SAFETY

Whistleblower Says CDC Knew in 2003 of Higher Autism Rate Among African-American Boys Receiving MMR Shot Earlier Than 36 Months

WATCHUNG, NJ–(Marketwired – August 18, 2014) – A top research scientist working for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) played a key role in helping Dr. Brian Hooker of the Focus Autism Foundation uncover data manipulation by the CDC that obscured a higher incidence of autism in African-American boys. The whistleblower came to the attention of Hooker, a PhD in biochemical engineering, after he had made a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for original data on the DeStefano et al MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and autism study.

Dr. Hooker’s study, published August 8 in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Translational Neurodegenerationshows that African-American boys receiving their first MMR vaccine before 36 months of age are 3.4 times more likely to develop autism vs. after 36 months.

According to Dr. Hooker, the CDC whistleblower informant — who wishes to remain anonymous — guided him to evidence that a statistically significant relationship between the age the MMR vaccine was first given and autism incidence in African-American boys was hidden by CDC researchers. After data were gathered on 2,583 children living in Atlanta, Georgia who were born between 1986 and 1993, CDC researchers excluded children that did not have a valid State of Georgia birth certificate — reducing the sample size being studied by 41%. Hooker explains that by introducing this arbitrary criteria into the analysis, the cohort size was sharply reduced, eliminating the statistical power of the findings and negating the strong MMR-autism link in African American boys.

Dr. Hooker has worked closely with the CDC whistleblower, and he viewed highly sensitive documents related to the study via Congressional request from U.S. Representative Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The CDC documents from Congress and discussions that Hooker had with the whistleblower reveal widespread manipulation of scientific data and top-down pressure on CDC scientists to support fraudulent application of government policies on vaccine safety. Based on raw data used in the 2004 DeStefano et al study obtained under FOIA, Dr. Hooker found that the link between MMR vaccination and autism in African-American boys was obscured by the introduction of irrelevant and unnecessary birth certificate criteria — ostensibly to reduce the size of the study.

The results of the original study first appeared in the journal Pediatrics which receives financial support from vaccine makers via advertising and direct donations, according to a CBS News report. The DeStefano et al study is widely used by the CDC and other public health organizations to dismiss any link between vaccines and autism — a neurological disorder on the rise.

Dr. Hooker stated “The CDC knew about the relationship between the age of first MMR vaccine and autism incidence in African-American boys as early as 2003, but chose to cover it up.” The whistleblower confirmed this.

When asked if there could be any scientific basis for excluding children born outside of Georgia, Hooker responded, “I know of none, and none has been provided by the authors of the DeStefano study.” He added, “The exclusion is reminiscent of tactics historically used to deprive African-Americans of the vote by requiring valid birth certificates.”

Dr. Hooker concluded further study is needed to determine why this specific effect (3.4-fold increase when MMR is administered prior to 36 months) is seen exclusively in African-American males, and determine whether delaying the first MMR vaccination should be advised for this population. A link between the MMR vaccine and autism has been conceded in cases compensated by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

The CDC whistleblower informant, who has worked for the government agency for over a decade, remarked to Dr. Hooker in phone calls: “We’ve missed ten years of research because the CDC is so paralyzed right now by anything related to autism. They’re not doing what they should be doing because they’re afraid to look for things that might be associated.” The whistleblower alleges criminal wrongdoing of his supervisors, and he expressed deep regret about his role in helping the CDC hide data.

According to David Lewis, PhD, former senior-level microbiologist with the U.S. EPA’s Office of Research & Development, skewing scientific data to support government policies is a major problem at federal agencies, including EPA, CDC, and USDA. Lewis, who was terminated by EPA for publishing papers in Nature that questioned the science the agency uses to support certain regulations, believes top-down pressure on federal scientists and researchers working on government-funded projects in academia is jeopardizing public health.

“Working for the government is no different than working for corporations. You either toe the line or find yourself looking for another way to make a living,” Lewis says. “No one would be surprised if Merck published unreliable data supporting the safety of its products. Why would anyone be surprised that the CDC is publishing skewed data to conclude that the vaccines it recommends are safe? We need a better system, where scientists are free to be honest.”

The Focus Autism Foundation is dedicated to providing information to the public that exposes the cause or causes of the autism epidemic and the rise of chronic illness — focusing on the role of vaccinations. Learn more at www.Focusautism.org

Contact information
Jenny Kefauver
Phone: 703-842-7405
703-850-3533
Email: jenny@jkpublicrelationsdc.com

Originally posted on Marketwired

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Kennedy May Publish Deleted Chapters, But Still Backtracks on Thimerosal

question-book

By Jake Crosby

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. might restore chapters he deleted from his book “Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak,” according to the blog of Focus Autism. Meanwhile, a letter Kennedy had written to Medical News Today earlier this year took a strong, unambiguous stand on the autism-thimerosal link, suggesting it was only very recently that he backtracked from his position that thimerosal causes autism. However, based on Kennedy’s recent comments in the press, he shows no sign of reverting to his original position, even if he does add the chapters back in which would presumably include those on autism.

In an August 7th blog post titled “RFK Jr.’s book is bringing a lot of attention to the problem, both positive and negative,” Focus Autism founder and philanthropist Barry Segal wrote:

“The good news is that supposedly Kennedy (who is now being beaten up by both sides) is going to publish the missing chapters, which will add strength to his argument.”

If true, it would prove a very fortunate development in the Kennedy book saga. Unfortunately, he still has yet to revert to his previous stance that thimerosal causes autism.

In an article he wrote on AlterNet titled “Invitation to Open Debate On Thimerosal” that ran the day before Segal’s blog post, Kennedy made multiple statements backtracking from his original position that autism is caused by thimerosal in vaccines (boldface mine):

“In fact most of the criticisms have focused on how thimerosal has been linked to autism. That is not the subject of the book, nor is that claimed within the book.”

“The argument is not whether it causes autism, which is not clearly proven, although this curiously been [sic] the focus of recent criticism of the book (which no one had read to date).”

“This book, a meta-review essentially, does not pretend to answer the thorny question of whether thimerosal is a culprit in the autism epidemic.”

“…a possible thimerosal-autism connection is far from a settled question.”

“…thimerosal might, in some cases, contribute to autism causation.”

These statements by Kennedy represent a position that is markedly different from one expressed in a letter he had written to Medical News Today several months prior on March 28th, 2014 (boldface mine):

“For two years, I have worked with a team of doctors and respected scientific researchers to assemble every published study on Thimeresol, the mercury based vaccine preservative still present in dangerous concentrations in US flu vaccines and pediatric vaccines worldwide. We have assembled and digested close to five hundred peer reviewed published pharmacological, toxicological, clinical, animal and human epidemiological studies in leading publications. These studies overwhelmingly implicate Thimeresol in a host of neurological injuries including ADD, ADHD, Speech delay, Language Delay, Tics, Misery Disorder and Autism.”

He also did not mince words when discussing the CDC or its study led by Epidemic Intelligence Services’ Dr. Thomas Verstraeten (boldface mine):

Instead of cleaning house, coming clean and embracing transparency, the CDC has gone to extremes to conceal its vaccine safety data from the public and from outside scientists and researchers. The agency claims to have lost or misplaced the raw data underlying it’s only study of  Thimeresol’s impacts on US cohorts. That in house study – the so called Verstratten [sic] study – initially showed strong dose related causative links between Thimeresol exposure and autism.”

While Dr. Mark Hyman reportedly convinced Kennedy to remove chapters from his book in the first place, the mystery remains as to who convinced Kennedy to backtrack from his position on thimerosal’s harms. Certainly Dr. Hyman is a suspect, as is Kennedy’s ghostwriter Adam Hadhazy who once wrote in defense of the toxin. Or, the person behind Kennedy’s backtrack could be someone else entirely.

Regardless of who it is, Kennedy’s book will remain a disappointingly inadequate call for an unequivocal ban on thimerosal – with or without the additional chapters – unless revisions are made in the book’s preface, introduction and conclusion. In the meantime, Kennedy has yet to even add the chapters back in as only the butchered version of his book is in print.

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a Ph.D. in Epidemiology.

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Dr. Boyd Haley on Deletions from Kennedy’s Book: “Those were the most important chapters for the American people to see.”

boyd-haley

By Jake Crosby

Mercury toxicity expert and chemistry professor emeritus Dr. Boyd Haley has joined Dr. Andrew Wakefield as yet another prominent scientist who has spoken out against the censorship of book chapters by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Though Age of Autism quoted Dr. Haley as supporting Kennedy in the wake of much media criticism, he was not aware Kennedy chopped chapters including those on autism from his book when speaking to Age of Autism.

“I was just recently made aware of this,” he said. “Needless to say this is very disappointing news.”

“I’m just dramatically disappointed,” Dr. Haley later reiterated again concerning the removal of chapters and sections from Kennedy’s book, Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak. “There was no reason to take chapters out.”

Referring to the excuse cited in The Washington Post that sections of the book were “too combustible,” Dr. Haley responded: “I think that’s a weak excuse. It’s supposed to be a combustible book.”

Dr. Haley went on, “I’m really kind of in shock. It never crossed my mind he’d [Kennedy'd] take those chapters out.” Noting he played a major role in assisting Kennedy with his book, Dr. Haley also stated, “He never consulted with me before he did.”

Regarding the chapters Kennedy took out, Dr. Haley said: “Those were the most important chapters for the American people to see.”

He noted, however, that the issue of thimerosal concerned more than just autism: “Sweden’s Sudden Infant Death Syndrome rate went down after thimerosal was taken out.”

Quantifying the scope of infant death rates in the US, Dr. Haley said, “If we had Sweden’s [death rate], we’d have 16,000 less [infants] die,” per year.

Dr. Haley was also perplexed about Dr. Mark Hyman who convinced Kennedy to strike chapters:

“I don’t know Hyman at all.”

Dr. Haley was also shocked to learn that one of Kennedy’s ghostwriters Adam Hadhazy previously defended thimerosal, asking:

“Why would he hire someone like that to ghostwrite his book?”

Referring to the Washington Post article interviewing Kennedy and Hyman, Dr. Haley said he was most disappointed in how they responded to claims that autism went up as thimerosal was removed:

“That’s a huge mistake to say autism went up as thimerosal was taken out,” he stated. “They don’t have data [on children born] past 2002. The shelf life of some of those vaccines is five years.”

He further noted that thimerosal remains in flu vaccines given to infants and pregnant women, acknowledging that unpublished data from a CDC-commissioned study showed prenatal thimerosal exposure increased risk for regressive ASD 8-fold.

Haley concluded, “If you can’t counter that argument, then you’re not making an argument. You’re shooting from the hip.”

He also said of the CDC’s autism surveillance, “It’s not accurate, and it’s not a well-designed system.” Indeed, it does not track the same regions, nor can its estimates be generalized to the rest of the country.

Pointing out more generally that CDC is not credible and often lies, Dr. Haley noted, “These people play fast and loose with the facts. The real problem we have is that they’re not honest people.”

Then referring to his issues with autism organizations in general and of Autism Investigated’s coverage of some of those groups, he said:

“I get so frustrated working with autism groups. You shed a lot of light on it.”

Just before word broke that Kennedy pulled the chapters, Dr. Haley said Kennedy called him asking if he knew of a study from Iceland that supposedly proved thimerosal did not cause autism. Dr. Haley said he hadn’t seen it and neither had Kennedy, “but he sounded convinced by it,” Dr. Haley told me. Kennedy did not reveal to Dr. Haley who told him about it, though someone close to Kennedy is apparently working hard to make him doubt that thimerosal causes autism.

Yet a study from Denmark published last year showed a decline in autism after thimerosal’s removal. One of the authors on that study was copied on an email exchange a decade earlier noting the prevalence and incidence was declining. This exchange was discussed in one of the autism chapters Kennedy took out of his book, titled  “Autism Rates Decline When Thimerosal Exposure Levels Are Reduced.”

Dr. Haley stated that Kennedy’s book should have been a call to action for the removal of thimerosal, but believed that to be undermined by Kennedy’s new decision to strike the chapters and backtrack from his position that thimerosal causes autism.

Towards the end of the conversation, Dr. Haley promised:

“I’ll support you in what you’re trying to do.”

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a Ph.D. in Epidemiology.

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Dr. Andrew Wakefield Says Kennedy’s Censorship Appears Hypocritical

wakefield

By Jake Crosby

The removal of chapters and sections from Robert F. Kennedy Jr.‘s book “Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak” is “very disappointing” according to Dr. Andrew Wakefield, who said: “Why name a book ‘Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak’ and then censor the science? It appears both misleading and hypocritical. The other side breaks all the rules, and too many people on our own side go out of their way to appease them. Why? You’re not going to appease your critics; they’ll attack you regardless.”

What Dr. Wakefield said of appeasement is confirmed by the hostile media response to Kennedy’s book from the vaccine industry, which is indifferent to his censorship.

Meanwhile, Age of Autism continues its unrelenting support of Kennedy, proclaiming on the day of his book debut that, “There is not a bigger name in American environmental causes doing anything like this.”

Or a bigger hypocrite.

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a Ph.D. in Epidemiology.

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Kennedy’s Ghostwriter Defended Thimerosal

adam hadhazy

ghostwriter: A person whose job it is to write material for someone else who is the named author. - Oxford Dictionaries

By Jake Crosby

As surprising as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. chopping out the chapters on autism from his book “Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak” while saying there is no proof thimerosal causes autism, is the identity of one of the professional writers he hired to write his book for him. The creator listed in the file properties of Kennedy’s unpublished manuscript had actually defended the neurotoxic vaccine preservative thimerosal, which appears to shed light on Kennedy’s decision to strike the chapters.

Adam Hadhazy is a “freelance science writer” with his own professional website and linkedin account. He also authored a piece for Popular Mechanics in 2010 defending thimerosal, titled “The Truth About 9 Anti-Vaccine Studies.” In it, he quoted millionaire vaccine industrialist Paul Offit as summarizing Dr. Mark Geier’s research on thimerosal and autism “junk.” Hadhazy also called Dr. Andrew Wakefield “discredited” and wrote that his 1998 Lancet paper on children with autism and bowel disease “largely launched the dangerous anti-vaccination movement.”

Adam Hadhazy further cited the letter former CDC researcher  Thomas Verstraeten wrote to Pediatrics falsely stating that CDC did not conceal any evidence  thimerosal causes autism. Citing Paul Offit, Hadhazy suggested that infants can “conservatively handle thousands of vaccines simultaneously”. The take-away point from all this is that Hadhazy is an all-purpose defender of the vaccine program, and he’s written Kennedy’s book for him. Hadhazy’s “substantive, behind the scenes role” in Kennedy striking the chapters connecting thimerosal to autism is more than evident.

In the Washington Post, Dr. Mark Hyman – celebrity doctor who wrote the book’s preface – takes credit for convincing Kennedy to remove the chapters. Yet Dr. Hyman is an awfully strange person to have done so, given that he has no history of writing about thimerosal. Dr. Hyman further echos a familiar pharma talking point: “Yes, there’s been an increase in autism, even as we take out thimerosal” (Ironically, the CDC data Dr. Hyman relied on to defend thimerosal is not even considered reliable by thimerosal defenders). Hadhazy’s piece for Popular Mechanics on thimerosal and vaccines is heavily laden with pharma talking points.

In Kennedy’s officially released book, the entire part on autism is removed including a chapter titled “Autism Rates Decline When Thimerosal Exposure Levels Are Reduced” and another on the government’s concession that vaccines caused autism in Hannah Poling. The entire part critiquing media coverage was removed as well. Even chapters in remaining parts were pulled. Those include chapters on CDC and AAP’s conflicts of interest, the Breusewitz v. Wyeth Supreme Court decision siding with drug companies, the Homeland Security Rider seeking to protect thimerosal maker Eli Lilly and CDC’s intimidation tactics against scientists such as Dr. Mark and David Geier and Prof. Richard Deth. Those chapters were apparently “too combustible” to keep as well, as was the word “Causative” that was taken out of the chapter title that formerly read “The Verstraeten Study – Causative Links between Thimerosal and Neurological Damage.”

Meanwhile, Age of Autism continues to ardently defend Kennedy, saying on its Facebook page: “If you’d like to piss in the cornflakes, find another bowl.”

It looks like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has already done that to his own bowl.

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a Ph.D. in Epidemiology.

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Robert Kennedy’s Monty Python “Suicide Squad”

monty python's life of brian

By Jake Crosby

Perhaps the movie scene most analogous to Robert F. Kennedy Jr. striking the chapters on autism from his book on the mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal comes from Monty Python’s Life of Brian – a parody of early Christianity. During the title character’s crucifixion by the Romans, the “Judean People’s Front” show up and appear to come to his rescue.

Unfortunately, the Judean People’s Front’s “Suicide Squad” has other plans.

Fighting the Romans by committing suicide is akin to what Kennedy did by removing the chapters on autism from a book intended to fight thimerosal’s use in vaccines. All the more ironic is that Kennedy held off on publishing his book for a year in the hopes of persuading HHS to completely remove thimerosal from vaccines during that time. Instead, thimerosal remains in vaccines, and the autism chapters have been taken out of his own book. He has now broken the promise he made last year at AutismOne to publish his book by leading his own “Suicide Squad” – a parody of his former advocacy against thimerosal.

To quote Brian – “You silly sods!”

At least the unedited manuscript of Kennedy’s book can still be found at the end of this post.

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a Ph.D. in Epidemiology.

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