Tag Archives: Bmc

Brian Hooker Rewards Wakefield For Betraying Whistleblower

shinygoldstar

By Jake Crosby

Andrew Wakefield betrayed the trust of autism parent Dr. Brian Hooker and CDC whistleblower Dr. William Thompson by revealing his identity without his permission, eliminating any chance of widespread media coverage while giving his name away to CDC. Yet in spite of this, Dr. Hooker has apparently allowed Wakefield to be named with him in a formal complaint filed to CDC’s Office of Research Integrity. The complaint is based on the information Dr. Thompson disclosed.

Autism Investigated was first made aware of this debacle on Facebook, where a woman named Candyce Estave asked:

“I learned on Twitter that more news coming on Wednesday, this coming week, about ‪#‎CDCwhistleblower‬??? Anyone care to confirm? Brian Hooker?”

Sure enough, Brian Hooker confirmed in the comments:

“A complaint will be filed against the CDC in the Office of Research Integrity. The complaint is based on the whistleblower information”

Contributor and PR Coordinator for “Team TMR” Michelle Taff Schneider then elaborated:

“A formal complaint has been submitted to the Office of Research Integrity on behalf of Dr. Andrew Wakefield and Dr. Brian Hooker, detailing many of the events and evidence related to the fraudulent DeStefano paper. There is truly a mountain of disturbing, damning proof. The complaint will be made public on Age of Autism this week.”

Then confirming where she heard the news, Michelle Taff Schneider wrote: “Andy spoke of it publicly today at his Autism Education Summit lecture.”

Trying to get confirmation from Dr. Hooker, I wrote:

Brian, is it true you’re rewarding Wakefield for betraying the whistleblower? Please confirm.”

I called Brian Hooker and left a voice message, then got the following text from him about Wakefield:

“He has been cooperating recently regarding the media around the wb”

This is in spite of the fact that Wakefield has been continuously releasing videos with snippets of the whistleblower’s voice from when Brian Hooker recorded him without permission, including one most recently from a few days ago.

The attachment of Wakefield’s name to Dr. Thompson’s whistle-blowing will continue to be a major boost for those looking to discredit the story. A CDC-tied writer for ABC News has already lumped together Wakefield and Hooker by portraying them as dishonest researchers with retracted papers after the publisher BioMed Central and its journal Translational Neurodegeneration wrongly retracted Hooker’s reanalysis of CDC’s MMR study. TIME’s science editor and self-styled “Science Cop” Jeffrey Kluger – who has cozy vaccine ties to Salk’s son among others – posted a 2-minute video that “debunked” the whistleblower and ended with a photo-shopped mugshot of Wakefield.

Rather than enabling Wakefield to further mar the whistleblower story, Dr. Hooker should have condemned Wakefield for releasing the whistleblower’s identity months ago. A condemnation is all the more necessary now with Wakefield raising money for his own documentary to further hijack the whistleblower saga, but Dr. Hooker is now doing the polar opposite.

Should the whistleblower’s case against CDC fail, Brian Hooker’s latest fateful decision to include Wakefield’s name on his complaint may well be the cause.

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.

Brian Hooker’s Findings Are Confirmed By CDC’s Results

ORtable

By Jake Crosby

Above is a table of omitted results from the original CDC study of age at MMR vaccination according to a video put out by the Autism Media Channel, and below is a table of results from Brian Hooker’s reanalysis of that study – since retracted by the publisher in breach of policies it claims to follow. In particular, note the boxed results of each showing risk from MMR vaccination before age 36 months in African-American children – both are significant, and the strength and precision of each are almost identical to one another.

hookerresults

This would eviscerate critics’ claims that Brian Hooker’s findings are invalid because his reanalysis did not employ the same statistical methods as the original CDC study. Within Dr. Hooker’s paper itself, it is also stated that his “results were also confirmed using a conditional logistic regression design similar to the DeStefano et al. [14] (CDC) study.” Another common criticism of Brian Hooker’s paper that it did not account for low birth weight children is easily refuted by another table of results showing a greater than two-fold risk for African-American boys even when low birth weight children are excluded.

Yet Dr. Hooker’s paper remains retracted in breach of the guidelines the publisher claims to follow when considering retractions. Even before the retraction, the publisher BioMed Central (BMC) had deleted the paper online in breach of its own policies on article removal. BMC has never offered any explanation concerning these issues in response to emails from Autism Investigated. Also yet to comment in response to Autism Investigated’s inquiries about the retraction is the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), whose guidelines BMC claims to follow when considering retractions and breached when it retracted Dr. Hooker’s study.

Meanwhile, CDC is pretending that its own study results were different from Dr. Hooker’s when they were clearly not. In a statement to ABC News insisting “There was no cover-up,” CDC said of Dr. Hooker’s findings, “it is hard to speculate why his results differed from CDC’s.”

Except they didn’t.

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.

BioMed Central Breaks Policy by Retracting Brian Hooker’s Study

retraction guidelines

By Jake Crosby

Above is a summary of the reasons that justify a possible paper retraction, according to Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)’s retraction guidelines that are also used by BioMed Central (BMC). However, none of the above reasons were even mentioned in BMC journal Translational Neurodegeneration’s below justification for retracting Dr. Brian Hooker’s study, “Measles-mumps-rubella vaccination timing and autism among young african american boys: a reanalysis of CDC data”:hookerretraction

 

Clear evidence of unreliability, duplication, plagiarism and unethical research are all valid considerations for retracting a paper, but “concerns” are not according to the very retraction guidelines BMC says it follows. Such considerations do not include “undeclared competing interests” either. Although alerting readers to such non-disclosures may serve as a purpose of a retraction according to COPE, they are not justification for a retraction.

BMC’s retraction of Dr. Hooker’s paper is only the latest of policy breaches by the publisher after it deleted his article from its website in breach of policy on the permanency of articles. Citing a then-pending investigation, BMC refused to comment on that violation when contacted by Autism Investigated. Now with the paper retracted in breach of yet more policies supposedly followed by BMC, the publisher has even more explaining 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.

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