Mark Blaxill Didn’t Disclose Pharma Conflict at 2001 IOM Meeting

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By Jake Crosby

In 2001, self-styled autism advocate Mark Blaxill failed to disclose his conflict of interest with pharmaceutical companies at the Institute of Medicine’s 2001 meeting on thimerosal and neurodevelopmental disorders. This non-disclosure would contradict what he would claim in a podcast interview 12 years later as Canary Party Chairman:

“The only time I had a conflict was when I was helping David Kirby and contributing to the Evidence of Harm book. And it’s even in the book, Curt; I have never hid the conflict. I’ve actually been public with people and open with people about the concerns I’ve had. So it’s not as though there is any great secrets I was keeping. And whatever concern I had, it is not operative any longer.”

But at his 2001 IOM presentation – discussed in “Evidence of Harm” –  Blaxill said, after being introduced by IOM Committee  Chair Marie McCormick:

“Thank you very much, Dr. McCormick. I am very pleased at the opportunity to present to the panel.

I had an easy time on the conflict of interest question. I am a parent, and I can guarantee you that the research that you will see has received no funding from anybody whatsoever. I also have an MBA, so I recognize that places me at something of a presumptive intellectual disadvantage. So be it.”

Other than identify himself as a parent, Blaxill revealed no conflict of interest whatsoever. He only stated that his research was not supported by any funding source as IOM requested that he disclose. What he did not reveal was that he was still in the employ of Boston Consulting Group, which still had vaccine manufacturers as clients. He would admit this in email to SafeMinds’ board of directors the following year and to omnibus attorney Mike Williams the year after that. Blaxill even consulted for Merck.

There is no evidence that his email to SafeMinds‘ board of directors in 2002 was made public prior to the 2005 publication of David Kirby’s book “Evidence of Harm”, in which the email’s contents were discussed. Blaxill’s email to Williams was not public until it was revealed last year on Autism Investigated. So prior to publication of “Evidence of Harm,” the only known public record of discussion concerning Blaxill’s potential conflicts was his non-disclosure of any such conflicts when he first presented to IOM in 2001.

Not disclosing his conflict of interest enabled him to win the trust of other parents present in the audience at that meeting. The following year, he would join SafeMinds‘ board of directors, enabling him to influence that organization’s agenda. When the rider to shield Eli Lilly and other thimerosal manufacturers was slipped into the Homeland Security Bill, Blaxill sent an email threatening to resign should SafeMinds slam the company for poisoning children. That was when he cited his own employer’s ties to pharmaceutical companies as his reason for threatening to resign from SafeMinds’ board . Remarkably, SafeMinds capitulated to Blaxill and he remained on SafeMinds’ board for another decade. His position further enabled him to do irreparable harm to the omnibus autism cases – denying justice to 4,900 vaccine injured children – and hijack the agenda of the 2012 congressional autism hearing as well as a tentatively scheduled 2014 congressional hearing.

Following public revelations of his 2012 hijacking, he left SafeMinds in 2013 but remains chairman of his own organization Canary Party that he founded in 2011. He continuously works to shield the scientific misconduct of CDC and its collaborators from exposure in a congressional hearing. Meanwhile, the evidence mounts that he was planted at the 2001 IOM meeting, as does the evidence for his “advocacy” being nothing more than carefully orchestrated infiltration by a man so unqualified to speak at the IOM, he even acknowledged that fact in his presentation.

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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Canary Flies Over to Chili’s Boycott, Leaves a Dropping on Autism Investigated

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By Jake Crosby

Autism Investigated’s criticism of the National Autism Association (NAA) for giving “respect” to Chili’s decision to pull its fundraising was ironically attacked on a Facebook page titled “Boycott Chili’s.” The person behind the attack would reveal herself to be none other than Canary Party’s former Vice President, Ginger Taylor, who along with her organization have been an ongoing subject of criticism by Autism Investigated for hijacking the congressional hearings on autism.

Taylor posted the above-mentioned Autism Investigated piece on the group’s Facebook page, and added:

“Sad to see attacks on NAA from inside our own community. Wendy from NAA sets him straight but railing against common sense is just more fun for young Mr. Crosby, who has created nothing, helped no one, done nothing but tear others down. Sad.”

The next day, I commented:

“I find it ironic that a group that calls for a boycott of Chili’s for yanking NAA’s fundraising also endorses NAA’s statement of ‘respect’ for that decision. Tearing yourself down with such contradictory messages doesn’t make you a good judge of what constitutes as helping people.”

The entire post along with both comments beneath it disappeared very soon thereafter.

Then I discovered that right after NAA President Wendy Fournier showed up on the Facebook page and created a post thanking everyone for their support, the administrator of “Boycott Chili’s” outed herself by signing her name, “Ginger T.” in her reply to Fournier (click to enlarge):

Ginger Taylor runs Chili's Boycott

Taylor’s comment that I have “created nothing, helped no one, done nothing but tear others down” is contradicted by many comments she has made online, including some below:

“Jake Crosby has been dissecting autism research, writing about vaccine injury and exposing corruption and conflicts of interests in vaccine apologists for what, four years now?”

“Jake, your new nick name is ‘Digger.’ Cause man you can dig.”

“He has an AMAZING record of taking apart these bad faith players…”

And finally:

“Jake, if you are not getting any flack, you are not over the target.”

Apparently, I have been over the target for some time now.

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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NAA Has “Respect” for Pharma Blasting its Fundraising Efforts with Chili’s

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Above: Business Insider’s Paul Szoldra - the actual “journalist” who led the smear campaign for the vaccine industry against the NAA fundraising event.

By Jake Crosby

After the vaccine industry bullied Chili’s into canceling its fundraising event for the National Autism Association’s (NAA’s) Big Red Safety Box Program to prevent children with autism from wandering off and drowning, NAA put out a statement expressing “respect” for the decision:

“Because of guest feedback about these views, Chili’s has opted to cancel today’s event. We respect their decision and ask everyone to please speak words of love and kindness.”

NAA also reiterated Chili’s statement, which concluded:

“As you know, Chili’s wants to make every Guest feel special and that includes listening to feedback from their Guests about this event.”

NAA even invoked a quote from Martin Luther King:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Somehow I don’t think the type of response from NAA was what Dr. King had in mind. So I responded on the thread underneath NAA’s Facebook post to point out the obvious:

“Chili’s obviously capitulated to a typical, orchestrated campaign by the vaccine industry, not ‘Guests’ as you say. But go ahead, pretend that’s all it was – ‘Guests’. Pharma is happy to know you respect its killing of your fundraising events, and I’m sure is feeling very encouraged to do the same again and again.”

Reportedly, NAA President Wendy Fournier told CNNMoney:

“It was obvious that the comments [Chili's was] getting were a fight about vaccines. Everybody was all heated up and wanting to boycott. It was bullying. It was orchestrated by a small number of people who wanted to deny assistance to families that we serve through our program.”

In other words, NAA knowingly respects a decision that was based on “bullying” and deems this “small number of people who wanted to deny assistance to families that we serve through our program” Chili’s “Guests.”

Fournier knows bullying, having been called “full of shit” by the vaccine industry’s original media go-to guy Arthur Allen at the 2008 “Green Our Vaccines” rally in Washington, DC. That, however, did not stop Dan Olmsted of the NAA-sponsored Age of Autism blog from defending him:

“In the past I haven’t agreed with rally moms at the Green Our Vaccines march in D.C. booting writer Arthur Allen from covering the event…”

Yet NAA still has no problem keeping its hyperlink logo underneath Age of Autism’s “SPONSORS” list. Interestingly, the president of NAA told the Associated Press:

“It hasn’t been answered whether or not vaccines can cause autism.”

Really? 15 years ago an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer with the CDC said he would conclude the vaccine preservative thimerosal has done “harm,” meaning a broad array of disorders that included autism. And the US Government has compensated many children like Hannah Poling who have developed autism after their vaccinations since the early 1990′s.

Yet Wendy Fournier is still not sure. So what was she even doing at the 2008 “Green Our Vaccines” rally? For that matter, what was she doing on CNN in 2011 giving a totally unprepared defense of Dr. Andrew Wakefield?

Whatever the reasons, NAA is now in full retreat as pharma advances.

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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Was Mark Blaxill Planted at IOM in 2001?

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By Jake Crosby

On July 16th, 2001, Mark Blaxill gave a presentation to the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine (IOM) titled “The Rising Incidence of Autism: Associations with Thimerosal” despite his lack of scientific credentials, publication record or official title within any major autism organization – unlike any of the other speakers. His presentation elevated public perception of him to that of a chief proponent of thimerosal’s role in causing autism, especially concerning its epidemiological correlation. Ironically, he would later publicly backtrack on his position on thimerosal, purportedly based on statistics from the same database he presented on in his 2001 presentation – an apparent act to throw the omnibus autism cases and deny justice to 4,900 vaccine-injured children. Yet it all began with his invited IOM presentation in 2001 where he lacked the qualifications of the other invited presenters. What he did not lack, however, was employment with a consulting firm with a large number of pharmaceutical clients.

David Kirby‘s book “Evidence of Harm” misrepresents Blaxill as having presented to IOM on SafeMinds‘ behalf, but in fact Blaxill would not join SafeMinds for another year. A search for his name on PubMed does not return any hits prior to 2002. His only advanced degree was an MBA. Although his board membership with SafeMinds would not begin for another year at the time of his IOM presentation, his then-employment with the extensively pharma-tied firm Boston Consulting Group had already lasted two decades. He also used his work email address in his autism advocacy and consulted for Merck, having visited the company’s headquarters in New Jersey.

Mark Blaxill’s autism-related activities before his IOM presentation appeared limited to writing the occasional emailed newsletter for a group called Families for Early Autism Treatment (FEAT). He did not yet hold any official position within SafeMinds.

At the time of his 2001 IOM presentation of autism prevalence (how common autism is) in California’s developmental services system which he conflated with incidence (how frequently new cases occur) in his title slide, IOM’s sponsor, CDC, was already looking at that same data to see how it may be used to absolve thimerosal. Two years later, CDC then published a graph from Blaxill’s presentation in a paper aiming to clear thimerosal that also included data from international fugitive Poul Thorsen’s fraudulent research while it was still in press at the journal Pediatrics.

As the graph was merely correlative, it was hardly a threat to CDC, which had no problem publishing it in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM). Living up to public expectation of Blaxill being not only a chief proponent but also a chief defender of thimerosal’s role in causing autism, he then wrote a scathing letter to AJPM accusing the authors of misrepresenting his work. He would later call Thorsen’s paper “uninformative and potentially misleading” following its publication.

But only a few years later, he would publicly backtrack on his position on thimerosal’s role in causing the autism epidemic. His pretense was the continued increases in California developmental services department’s autism caseload among younger children, despite the admitted prematurity of such data based according to the state’s own health department. This was the very database from which Blaxill used statistics in his 2001 IOM presentation to elevate his position as a thimerosal-autism-link proponent in the first place.

In 2007, Mark Blaxill unwittingly revealed his earlier change in position to be more likely an act than anything else, when he cited Thorsen’s own fraudulent research in an email to an omnibus petitioner to defend thimerosal – the very research Blaxill dubbed “uninformative and potentially misleading” years prior. This led to the throwing of 4,900 omnibus cases, for which he acted as a consultant to the lead attorneys. Later that same year and long after IOM was found to have secretly decided it would never say autism is a true side-effect of vaccination, Mark Blaxill participated in an “Autism and the Environment” IOM meeting heavily sponsored by pharmaceutical interests and which never mentioned vaccines. Although by 2007 he left his job with the pharma-tied Boston Consulting Group (BCG), he maintains connections to the firm through his ongoing board membership of a non-profit both directed and funded by BCG.

With his changing the topic of the 2012 congressional hearing from CDC autism research fraud to the federal response, his deliberately avoiding mention of “vaccines” in his congressional speech and his continued undermining of any congressional investigation into the fraud committed by Thorsen and other researchers used by CDC and IOM to justify thimerosal’s use, Mark Blaxill’s activities over the years are consistent with those of an infiltrator. Similarly, his sudden rise to prominence as a perceived advocate against thimerosal with his 2001 presentation at IOM is consistent with the actions of a person who had been planted there.

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. Gary Kompothecras Helps Canary Party Hijack Hearings

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Addendum: Click above image to enlarge.

By Jake Crosby

Above is a photo of Canary Party Chairman Mark Blaxill and President Jennifer Larson with chiropractor Dr. Gary Kompothecras of 1-800-Ask-Gary fame on a yacht in Sarasota, Florida on April 30th, 2013 where they were meeting with congressmen, including Committee on Oversight & Government Reform (COGR) Chairman Darrell Issa. Jennifer Larson, in no ambiguous terms, made it clear whom she and Blaxill had to thank for meetings with congressmen in the above Facebook photo of her, Blaxill and Dr. Kompothecras:

“Thank you Dr. Gary Kompothecras. Dr. Gary made these meetings possible.”

Yes, thank you  Dr. Gary for making it possible for Mark Blaxill to hijack the congressional hearings. Dr. Kompothecras has considerable political influence and in recent years has given vast amounts of money to Congressman Issa’s campaign for Congress and those of other congressmen. Dr. Kompothecras’ political pull was key to having Issa commit to holding hearings on autism causation and the vaccine program in 2012.

Unfortunately, Dr. Kompothecras was also key in destroying what he helped launch. At the 2012 AutismOne conference, Kompothecras spilled the news of the upcoming congressional hearing to Mark Blaxill, who then undermined that hearing with the help of lobbyist Beth Clay, interfered with scientist Dr. Brian Hooker testifying on CDC’s research fraud and caused autism epidemic deniers Ari Ne’eman and Michael John Carley to show up instead, much to Kompothecras’ dismay. He was so angry about Ne’eman’s presence at the hearing that when Ne’eman offered to shake his hand, Kompothecras replied:

“I’m not gonna shake your hand you fucking clown!”

I cringed when Dr. Kompothecras bragged about this to me after the hearing. Yet his anger at Ari Ne’eman’s testifying did not stop him from giving Mark Blaxill a friendly pat on the shoulder at the hearing, despite Blaxill’s role in enabling Ne’eman to testify by having the hearing topic changed to the catch-all “federal response” on autism.

The disturbing details of how Blaxill hijacked the hearing did not deter Dr. Kompothecras from developing closer ties to Blaxill and Canary Party Dr. Hooker was pressured into “working with” Mark Blaxill by Dr. Kompothecras who made Hooker fear being cut off from COGR if he didn’t cooperate with Canary Party. That was when Canary Party put out an action alert that – unlike what Canary Party’s president promised to Dr. Brian Hooker – did not specifically ask Congress to investigate the CDC’s scientific misconduct.

Despite the false promise made to Dr. Hooker by Canary Party President Jennifer Larson that the Canary Party action alert would ask for an investigation specifically into CDC research fraud, Dr. Brian Hooker told me who the real architect of the action alert was:

“It was Mark’s doing. I called him on it after the action alert came out”

And in contrast to Mark Blaxill later claiming that it was Issa who wanted the next hearing to be about the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP):

“He [Mark Blaxill] said that he was merely representing the consensus of the community and that the community wanted the NVICP hearing first,” said Hooker.

Also contradictory to Blaxill’s claim that the action alert represented the “consensus of the community” was the fact that the alert emphasized NVICP and led the community to ask Congressional COGR to investigate it. When asked to make a correction to the alert, Blaxill replied:

“What’s done is done.”

After Blaxill, Larson and Kompothecras’ April 30th, 2013 meeting with congressmen including COGR Chairman Issa, Jennifer Larson gave $40,000 to the Darrell Issa Victory Fund in May. This in turn was followed by Issa’s sitting on a panel at the AutismOne 2013 conference held later that same month. Mark Blaxill introduced that panel.

After emails turned up in September of that year revealing Mark Blaxill’s role in sabotaging the omnibus autism proceeding – that both Drs. Hooker and Kompothecras are petitioners in – Kompothecras dismissed Blaxill’s actions as being from years prior. Yet the following month, Mark Blaxill said in a podcast interview that he was unapologetic about anything he has done. Small wonder that Dr. Hooker said that October, “I feel very betrayed by Dr. Gary” and has not heard much from him in the past year.

Then the congressional committee cancelled the December-scheduled NVICP hearing, noting the topic picked by Canary Party was overly divisive. Yet even after that, as well as revelations about Blaxill’s role in throwing the omnibus and his concealed pharmaceutical connections, Dr. Kompothecras still supports him and Canary Party.

According to a reliable source, the NVICP hearing is tentatively scheduled for July 15th, 2014; with Dr. Kompothecras’ help, the Canary Party is still undermining the congressional hearings that were meant to be about CDC research misconduct. In the mean time, Kompothocras has been having some legal troubles that range from him being investigated by the Florida Bar, to being sued by State Farm Insurance, and he  is suing Allstate Insurance and Bloomberg News.

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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American Citizens for Health Choice: Canary Party’s Fundraising Arm?

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By Jake Crosby

There is supposedly a new group on the horizon that calls itself the American Citizens for Health Choice (ACHC). However, it appears to be a new incarnation of a political organization founded in 2011 that effectively caused the collapse of the congressional autism hearings: Canary Party.

All four board members listed on the ACHC website are either former or current heads of Canary Party, although only two mention their affiliations. Jennifer Larson lists her position as president and co-founder of Canary Party and Patti Carroll says she is executive director of Canary Party. Despite also being co-founder as well as chairman of Canary Party, however, Mark Blaxill lists no affiliation with Canary Party in his bio on the ACHC website, simply saying he is editor-at-large for the (Canary Party-sponsored) blog Age of Autism as well as a director of SafeMinds, although he publicly stepped down from the latter organization’s board of directors last year. Meanwhile, the fourth board member of ACHC, Ginger Taylor, lists no past affiliation with Canary Party despite having been its previous executive director and then its vice president before announcing her departure from the latter position and autism advocacy in general on New Year’s Day.

ACHC may try to make itself look like a unique organization but appears to be nothing more than Canary Party’s fundraising arm. An anonymous source informed me that several Canary Party parents got together to start this new fundraising organization founded on the same premises as the Canary Party’s –  fighting chronic disease and promoting individual choice. The mission statements on the homepage of each group’s website are also similar.

Here is the  Canary Party homepage description:

“The Canary Party is a movement created to stand up for the victims of medical injury, environmental toxins and industrial foods by restoring balance to our free and civil society and empowering consumers to make health and nutrition decisions that promote wellness.”

And here is the ACHC homepage description:

“Our group was formed in response to a study published in Academic Pediatrics that represented 43% of children (32 million) in the US suffers from a chronic health condition. It is our belief that these rates will continue to increase if parents are not aware of the unhealthy choices in their lifestyle such as industrial processed foods, side effects of vaccine choices, and other environmental and lifestyle factors.”

Although the premise as well as the leaders of the two organizations are the same, it is obvious from their websites that they are trying to look like independent organizations when they are anything but. Since Canary Party is not a non-profit and ACHC is, it would appear that the purpose of the latter organization is to act as a fundraising arm of the former organization. With only $687.12 in the bank by the end of 2013, Canary Party is in need of some new cash. Apparently, ACHC’s purpose is to fulfill that need. ACHC first started filing 990 forms in 2012, but it has yet to publicly announce its existence.

Addendum: As of the date of this post, the link to americancitizensforhealthchoice.org now re-directs to a website with the URL that simply reads healthchoice.org along with the following notification: “This site is down for maintenance. Please check back again soon.” However, the americancitizensforhealthchoice.org homepage can still be found archived.

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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Canary Party’s False Promises Led To Congressional Hearing Collapse

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By Jake Crosby

Above is a screenshot dated March 23rd of a Facebook post from Dr. Brian Hooker asking for people to call congressional staff and ask that the Congressional Committee on Oversight & Government Reform (COGR) specifically investigate data fraud committed by CDC to cover up the vaccine-autism link. Commenting beneath his Facebook post is none other than Jennifer Larson – President of the Canary Party:

“We are on it! Thanks Brian Hooker!”

But after weeks of planning a Canary Party Action Alert that was intended to support Brian Hooker’s investigation, suddenly Canary Party sent out an alert that did not represent what was promised to him:

“Chairman Issa stated there is nothing that is off-limits for what the OGR committee will continue to explore. Ask him to promptly schedule the next hearing to investigate government malfeasance in covering up the vaccine/autism connection including, as examples, the following areas:

• Evidence in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program showing clearly that vaccines can and do cause autism

• CDC’s cover-up of the thimerosal/autism connection

• CDC’s suppression of evidence of the autism epidemic”

This Action Alert reveals Canary Party’s strategy to shift the topic away from CDC’s cover-up of the thimerosal/autism connection. In the first bullet point, the Canary Party introduces NVICP as evidence that vaccines cause autism. Somehow, NVICP as evidence of vaccines’ link to autism later morphed into NVICP reform – the new topic for the next congressional hearing. But what happened to the topic promised to Dr. Hooker?

Not only was the CDC cover-up of thimerosal’s role in causing the autism epidemic buried in the middle of the Action Alert, but the wording was clearly favorable to the entirely different topic of NVICP. In fact, that was exactly what Canary Party’s Executive Director Patti Carroll asked for in a long letter she posted on the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform’s Facebook page. And now, Canary Party claims NVICP was Issa’s idea all along, even though we can trace its origin to the above Action Alert.

Brian Hooker was not pleased with this turn of events and wrote on Facebook, “COGR is not ready for that investigation and I’ve been told by their staff many times that they do not yet have energy for the NVICP. We are so close to a CDC investigation. That is why I approached Jennifer about the Action Alert. The message is now confused. I’m very discouraged…”

Regarding the action alert specifically, Dr. Hooker commented:

“not effective… not what I talked to Jennifer about… very discouraged…”

He then expressed regret about the action alert entirely:

“If I would have know [sic] this, I would have withdrawn my request for an action alert.”

Sure enough, the December-scheduled NVICP hearing Canary Party requested (in violation of its promise to Dr. Brian Hooker) was cancelled. Without providing any direct quotes from those who cancelled the hearing , Canary Party immediately shifted blame on everything from interference by the vaccine industry to simply “poor timing”. The below quote from a legal source in direct contact with COGR Chairman Issa’s counsel, previously disclosed on Autism Investigated, tells an entirely different story:

“I was just informed by the Counsel for Chairman Issa that due to ‘great deal of reluctance about participating or being drawn into what they, in their private candid discussions with us, say they see as an overly divisive issue’ they are canceling the hearing.”

Certainly it was divisive of Canary Party to promise one thing and then suddenly deliver something else that aims to avoid the CDC’s suppression of evidence thimerosal causes autism. Similarly, it was divisive of Canary Party to misrepresent a vaccine-injured child’s case at its congressional briefing and then when her mother complained in the comments of the Canary Party-sponsored/edited Age of Autism blog, approve a barrage of anonymous attacks from commenters including one from an organizer of the briefing. Put them both together and the result is an overly divisive issue Congress is reluctant to touch.

At least three questions remain unanswered: Why did Canary Party introduce a new hearing topic when Brian Hooker was so close to exposing CDC malfeasance that legislators were grilling a top CDC official about vaccine safety? Why did Canary Party instead push for a topic that COGR has stated many times it is not ready to pursue? Lastly, why are members of the autism community still following the Canary Party?

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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Vaccine Industry Watchdog Responds to Forbes Defense of Mercury-Laced Vaccinations

BRIAN HOOKER, PHD, PE

Dr. Brian Hooker, PhD, says Forbes misrepresented congressional records and CDC studies

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Last week, PhD biochemist Brian Hooker created a stir when he announced he had obtained sensitive documents from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. According to Hooker, these documents implicated the vaccine preservative Thimerosal (50% mercury by weight) in causing autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, revealing what he says CDC officials had long known, but never disclosed publicly: a 7.6-fold increase in autism during infancy after exposure. Emily Willingham, who frequently editorializes in support of the vaccine program, responded in Forbes by criticizing a news story that went viral on the subject of Dr. Hooker’s FOIA revelations.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140228/MN73622)

Dr. Hooker methodically itemized “misrepresentations and outright errors” that he says appeared in Forbes.com. “Willingham either confused two CDC studies or intentionally deceived Forbes’ readers,” said Hooker. “There was one concealed study that found a very high association between Thimerosal and autism. That was the study that was kept from the public which I obtained. And there was a later study by the same researcher – CDC-paid epidemiologist Thomas Verstraeten – who had watered down the results of the earlier study to appear as if there were no association between Thimerosal and autism. That second study was made public even though it was fraudulent.  Willingham pointed to the conclusions of the later study and implied that they came from the earlier study.”

Although Willingham denies that the CDC researcher, Dr. Verstraeten, was under pressure to alter the results of the earlier study, Dr. Hooker points out that Verstraeten’s own email written at the time (an internal CDC document obtained through FOIA) reveals otherwise. Verstraeten’s subject line, “It just won’t go away,” refers to his difficulty in making the statistical association between Thimerosal and autism disappear.

Making an example of how he says Dr. Verstraeten hid that association in his reanalysis of the data on 400,000 infants, Dr. Hooker says Verstraeten did not include clinics within HMOs where there was a strong correlation between Thimerosal exposure and autism incidence. According to Hooker, “Willingham brazenly disregarded Verstraeten’s own chilling words: ‘All the harm is done in the first month [of life]…’ He wrote those words about the study I obtained.”  The abstracts of Verstraeten’s two studies and further comment on the controversy can be viewed here.

Dr. Hooker says Willingham misrepresented the congressional record when she selected quotes from a 2007 U.S. Senate report which falsely asserted that allegations of a cover-up are unsubstantiated. He considers the U.S. House of Representatives’ 2003 report titled Mercury in Medicine (the result of a 3-year investigation) a “scathing, 80-page indictment of the CDC regarding the Thimerosal coverup.”  The report concludes, “Our public health agencies’ failure to act is indicative of institutional malfeasance for self-protection and misplaced protectionism of the pharmaceutical industry.”

Willingham treated Verstraeten’s final, watered-down results as solid epidemiological evidence, when, according to Hooker, the final version of the Verstraeten study is fraught with statistical flaws, primarily “overmatching.” He provided an example:  the cases and controls received the same vaccination schedule and the same Thimerosal dosage; thus, no true comparison could be made.  Hooker says this invalidates all of the analyses (done separately for HMOs A, B and C).

Willingham quoted Verstraeten’s  2004 letter in the journal Pediatrics regarding his later, diluted study, omitting the fact that the CDC has used the study to exonerate Thimerosal despite Verstraeten calling the study “neutral.”  In addition, the 2004 Institute of Medicine (IOM) Immunization Safety Review (ISR) committee report used this as the only U.S. epidemiological study (among the 5 studies) as the basis to reject the Thimerosal-autism hypothesis, shutting the door on any further research.

“In light of Ms. Willingham’s enthusiastic defense of mercury in vaccines despite conclusive evidence of its harm to children, it is ironic that the tagline for her column is ‘I write about the science they are selling you.’” remarked Dr. Hooker. Thimerosal is still administered to pregnant women and infants via the flu shot.

Brian Hooker, PhD, PE is an associate professor of biology at Simpson University. His over 50 science and engineering papers have been published in internationally recognized, peer-reviewed journals. He has a son, aged 16, who developed normally but then regressed into autism after receiving Thimerosal-containing vaccines. Dr. Brian Hooker’s investigative research is sponsored by the Focus Autism Foundation, which is dedicated to informing the public about the cause(s) of the autism epidemic and the rise of chronic illnesses. To learn more, visit focusautisminc.org and ashotoftruth.org,  an educational website sponsored by Focus Autism.

AutismOne is co-sponsoring this message and is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides education and supports advocacy efforts for children and families touched by an autism diagnosis. To learn more, visit autismone.org.

Media Contact: Angela Medlin, A Shot of Truth, 1 866-498-2768, angela@ashotoftruth.org

News distributed by PR Newswire iReach: https://ireach.prnewswire.com

 

SOURCE Brian Hooker, PhD, PE

RELATED LINKS
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Forbes’ Emily Willingham Pretends CDC Study Results Don’t Exist

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Editor’s Note: Click the above image to enlarge.

By Jake Crosby

Forbes’ writers seem to have trouble reading scientific abstracts. In December, its senior editor Matthew Herper cited a press release that contradicted the research he discussed to endorse the vaccine efficacy of Gardasil. That, however, pales in comparison to the type of misrepresentation contributor Emily Willingham made when she conflated an earlier, suppressed CDC analysis (left abstract in image) showing thimerosal is associated with autism with a later, watered-down analysis CDC distributed at a public meeting that showed no association (right abstract in image). All the more remarkable is that she is an autism parent herself and has a PhD in biology.

Following the press release by Focus Autism, AutismOne and A Shot of Truth about the earlier abstract uncovered by A Shot of Truth scientific advisor Dr. Brian Hooker, Willingham responded with a long and verbose article titled, “Is The CDC Hiding Data About Mercury, Vaccines, and Autism?” She then answered her own title with: “You know the rule. The answer is, ‘No.’”

One paragraph in, she was already getting basic facts of the abstract disastrously wrong: “In 1999, four authors affiliated with the CDC presented an abstract at a conference … a CDC conference for fellows of its Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS).” The conference takes place annually in April, but the research project of thimerosal did not even begin until August of that year as pointed out by chemist and Coalition for Mercury-Free Drugs‘ secretary Dr. Paul King in a comment to me. That error of Willingham’s, however, could hardly have predicted what was to come.

Although she never linked to the abstract from her article, she did read it and quoted directly from it – noting that it compared a “highest exposure group” to an “unexposed group”. Though she acknowledged the study authors “reported an increased risk for nondegenerative neurological disorders,” she never acknowledged they included autism.

Then five paragraphs into her article she suddenly switched from talking about the long-suppressed abstract to talking about a later analysis  where no comparison of autism across highest-and-unexposed groups was included. The manuscript describing that analysis, dated June 1st, 2000, was presented at the closed Simpsonwood meeting of federal officials and pharmaceutical industry representatives the following week and then distributed by CDC at a public meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices later that same month. That document Willingham cited was not concealed from the public for over a decade and did not show that thimerosal is associated with autism, unlike the abstract of the earlier analysis. Yet she spent the rest of her article discussing the later study as if it was the same CDC study cited in the press release circulated by Focus Autism, AutismOne and A Shot of Truth and later picked up by Health Impact News Daily whose headline she drew attention to.

She even quoted the lead investigator Dr. Thomas Verstraeten presenting the lack of association with autism in the later manuscript:

“This is the result for autism, in which we don’t see much of a trend except for a slight, but not significant, increase for the highest exposure. The overall test for trend is statistically not significant.”

Dr. Verstraeten was under considerable pressure to reanalyze the data to  make the association between thimerosal and neurological disorders disappear, as evidenced in an email he titled “It just won’t go away.”  He wrote “…some of the RRs [relative risks] increase over the categories and I haven’t yet found an alternative explanation… Please let me know if you can think of one.” He and his colleagues issued successive studies  watering down the original results and ultimately, as  Willingham conceded, he was hired by vaccine maker GlaxoSmithKline.

What Willingham never quoted, however, was the reported result for autism in the abstract of the earlier analysis that the press release was actually about:

“The relative risk (RR) of developing a neurologic development disorders was 1.8 (95% confidence intervals [CI] = 1.1-2.8) when comparing the highest exposure group at 1 month of age (cumulative dose  > 25 ug) to the unexposed group. Within this group we also found an elevated risk for the following disorders: autism (RR 7.6, 95% CI = 1.8-31.5), nonorganic sleep disorders (RR 5.0, 95% CI = 1.6-15.9), and speech disorders (RR 2.1, 95% CI=1.1-4.0).”

Apparently, Willingham is imitating CDC, as all the way back in 2004 one of the coauthors of both CDC analyses Dr. Frank DeStefano said in a presentation to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) that:

“In no analyses were significant increased risks found for ADD or autism”

In that same presentation, DeStefano also claimed the “Initial” analysis was a study dated February, 29th, 2000, where the association with autism originally reported in the suppressed abstract was apparently diluted away by combining the highest exposure category with a lower exposure category. The very existence of the positive research results from the long-suppressed study abstract was denied.

One decade later and Emily Willingham and Forbes Magazine are now following CDC’s lead, as are other vaccine industry talking heads.

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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Vaccine Industry Watchdog Obtains CDC Documents That Show Statistically Significant Risks of Autism Associated with Vaccine Preservative Thimerosal

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Biochemist Brian Hooker, scientific advisor to A Shot of Truth, reveals CDC knew of risks for over decade.

Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) February 19, 2014

For nearly ten years, Brian Hooker has been requesting documents that are kept under tight wraps by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). His more than 100 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests have resulted in copious evidence that the vaccine preservative Thimerosal, which is still used in the flu shot that is administered to pregnant women and infants, can cause autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

Dr. Hooker, a PhD scientist, worked with two members of Congress to craft the letter to the CDC that recently resulted in his obtaining long-awaited data from the CDC, the significance of which is historic. According to Hooker, the data on over 400,000 infants born between 1991 and 1997, which was analyzed by CDC epidemiologist Thomas Verstraeten, MD, “proves unequivocally that in 2000, CDC officials were informed internally of the very high risk of autism, non-organic sleep disorder and speech disorder associated with Thimerosal exposure.”

When the results of the Verstraeten study were first reported outside the CDC in 2005, there was no evidence that anyone but Dr. Verstraeten within the CDC had known of the very high 7.6-fold elevated relative risk of autism from exposure to Thimerosal during infancy. But now, clear evidence exists. A newly-acquired abstract from 1999 titled, “Increased risk of developmental neurologic impairment after high exposure to Thimerosal containing vaccine in first month of life” required the approval of top CDC officials prior to its presentation at the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) conference. Thimerosal, which is 50% mercury by weight, was used in most childhood vaccines and in the RhoGAM® shot for pregnant women prior to the early 2000s.

The CDC maintains there is “no relationship between Thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism rates in children,” even though the data from the CDC’s own Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) database shows a very high risk. There are a number of public records to back this up, including this Congressional Record from May 1, 2003. The CDC’s refusal to acknowledge thimerosal’s risks is exemplified by a leaked statement from Dr. Marie McCormick, chair of the CDC/NIH-sponsored Immunization Safety Review at IOM. Regarding vaccination, she said in 2001, “…we are not ever going to come down that it [autism] is a true side effect….” Also of note, the former director of the CDC, which purchases $4 billion worth of vaccines annually, is now president of Merck’s vaccine division.

Dr. Hooker’s fervent hope for the future: “We must ensure that this and other evidence of CDC malfeasance are presented to Congress and the public as quickly as possible. Time is of the essence. Children’s futures are at stake.” A divide within the autism community has led to some activists demanding that compensation to those with vaccine-injury claims be the top priority before Congress. Dr. Hooker maintains that prevention, “protecting our most precious resource – children’s minds,” must come first. “Our elected officials must be informed about government corruption that keeps doctors and patients in the dark about vaccine risks.”

Referring to an organization that has seen its share of controversy this past year, Dr. Hooker remarked, “It is unfortunate that SafeMinds issued a press release on my information, is accepting credit for my work and has not supported a worldwide ban on Thimerosal.”

Brian Hooker, PhD, PE, has 15 years experience in the field of bioengineering and is an associate professor at Simpson University where he specializes in biology and chemistry. His over 50 science and engineering papers have been published in internationally recognized, peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Hooker has a son, aged 16, who developed normally but then regressed into autism after receiving Thimerosal-containing vaccines.

Dr. Brian Hooker’s investigative research is sponsored by the Focus Autism Foundation.

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 illnesses – focusing specifically on the role of vaccinations. To learn more, visit focusautisminc.org.

A Shot of Truth is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and educational website sponsored by Focus Autism.

AutismOne is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides education and supports advocacy efforts for children and families touched by an autism diagnosis. To learn more, visit autismone.org.

Originally posted on PRWeb.

Correction: As Coalition for Mercury-Free Drugs‘ Dr. Paul King pointed out, the year 1999 on the abstract specifies the year its lead investigator Thomas Verstraeten joined the EIS, but not the year of the abstract itself. The EIS conference the study authors planned to submit their abstract to took place during the year 2000.

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