Tag Archives: Cover-up

BioMedCentral Admitted to Scientific Fraud, Cover-Up of Vaccine-Autism Link By Pulling Brian Hooker’s Reanalysis

Maria Kowalczuk, “Research Integrity Manager” for Springer Nature – overseer of BMC

In the below 2016 email to Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)’s Iraxte Puebla, Dr. Maria Kowalczuk revealed that her publisher BioMedCentral committed scientific misconduct. In particular, she stated they deleted Dr. Brian Hooker’s MMR-autism reanalysis because his results implicated vaccines in causing autism. She also fabricated non-existent conflict of interest policies that he “broke.” And finally, she lied that his paper was subjected to post-publication “peer review” when it was summarily retracted after they demanded he conduct multiple studies!

Despite all that, Committee on Publication Ethics would later state that BioMedCentral “acted appropriately.” COPE’s chair is an adviser of the “research integrity” committee that Kowalczuk oversees.

Dear Iratxe,

Thank you for bringing this second complaint to our attention. We have reviewed our handling of this case and related correspondence again and we are of the view that BioMed Central has adhered to COPE Code of Conduct and COPE guidelines. As this complaint has not been brought by the author himself we are limited in what information can be divulged to a third party.

With regard to the specific questions from COPE, we provide a summary of our handling of the case below:

  • The article was received on April 17th 2014 and  published on August 27th 2014 in the journal Translational Neurodegeneration.

The article reanalysed CDC data and claimed to show a positive association between MMR vaccination and the risk of autism in Afro-American boys.

  • A reader flagged that there were undeclared competing interests related to the article: the author, Dr Hooker, was on the Board of Directors for Focus Autism which supports the belief that MMR vaccine causes autism.  We were concerned enough about the allegations and the content to remove it from the public domain immediately because of the potential harm to public health, and posted this message in its place as a temporary measure:

This article has been removed from the public domain because of serious concerns about the validity of its conclusions. The journal and publisher believe that its continued availability may not be in the public interest. Definitive editorial action will be pending further investigation.

The author was informed of this plan before we removed the article.

  • Our investigation concluded that the author did have an undeclared competing interest. We also found that the peer reviewers were also likely to have undeclared competing interests.
  • On August 29th, we removed the above notice,  reinstated the article and published this expression of concern:

The Publisher of this article [1] has serious concerns about the validity of its conclusions because of possible undeclared competing interests of the author and peer reviewers. The matter is undergoing investigation. In the meantime, readers are advised to treat the reported conclusions of this study with caution.

Further action will be taken, if appropriate, once our investigation is complete.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4150057/

The author was informed before we posted this Expression of Concern.

  • We obtained a further, independent expert peer review of the article because we were concerned about the original peer reviewers’ potential competing interests. That further peer reviewer reported concerns about the statistical methods used. We decided to retract the ­­­­­article with this notice on 3rd October 2014:

The Editor and Publisher regretfully retract the article [1] as there were undeclared competing interests on the part of the author which compromised the peer review process. Furthermore, post-publication peer review raised concerns about the validity of the methods and statistical analysis, therefore the Editors no longer have confidence in the soundness of the findings. We apologise to all affected parties for the inconvenience caused.

http://translationalneurodegeneration.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/2047-9158-3-22

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4128611/

The author was given an opportunity to respond to all the concerns raised and was informed before we retracted the article.

Our actions were in accordance with the COPE guidelines.

 

We provide a point by point response to Mr Crosby’s specific points below:

“Publishers should work with journal editors to:

  • Set journal policies appropriately and aim to meet those policies, particularly with respect to:
    – Editorial independence

All the actions were taken in consultation with and with the explicit agreement of the Editor-in-Chief of Translational Neurodegeneration. Editorial independence was not undermined at any stage.

– Research ethics, including confidentiality, consent, and the special requirements for human and animal research

None of the above were raised as issues in the course of the investigation.
– Authorship

No authorship issues were raised in the course of the investigation.
– Transparency and integrity (for example, conflicts of interest, research funding, reporting standards

We took action to ensure integrity of the published record in light of the concerns regarding conflicts of interest and the methods and statistical analysis that came to light after publication of the article. We acted in a transparent way throughout the process.


– Peer review and the role of the editorial team beyond that of the journal editor

External post publication peer review, that involved the editor, was conducted when concerns were raised about the article.
– Appeals and complaints

  • Communicate journal policies (for example, to authors, readers, peer reviewers)
    • Review journal policies periodically, particularly with respect to new recommendations from the COPE
    • Code of Conduct for Editors and the COPE Best Practice Guidelines
    • Maintain the integrity of the academic record”

BioMed Central policies comply with COPE recommendations and are accessible on our website. We regularly review issues that might affect our polices (sometimes in collaboration with COPE) and update our policies as necessary. Our Editors are required to follow our Code of Conduct for Editors and COPE Best Practice Guidelines. BioMed Central has a team dedicated to dealing with research integrity issues and maintaining the integrity of the scientific record.

Please do let us know if you need any further information or clarification.

With best wishes,

Maria

 

Maria Kowalczuk, PhD 
Biology Editor,

Research Integrity Group 

BioMed Central

Floor 6, 236 Gray’s Inn Road
London, WC1X 8HB

+44 20 3192 2000 (tel)               

+44 20 3192 2010 (fax)

E-mail: Maria.Kowalczuk@biomedcentral.com

INFOWARS: HOW BIG PHARMA HIDES VACCINE DEATH

Adverse reactions can and do include death thanks to additives put in vaccines

Vaccine scientists and the public health community cautiously and occasionally will admit that vaccines can cause adverse reactions just like “any other medication or biological product.”


Although experts are less willing to openly disclose the fact that adverse reactions can and do include death, one has only to look at reports to the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) to see that mortality is a possible outcome. From 1990 through 2010, for example, VAERS received 1,881 reports of infant deaths following vaccination, representing  4.8% of the adverse events reported for infants over the 20-year period. Moreover, analysts acknowledge that VAERS, as a passive surveillance system, is subject to substantial underreporting. A federal government report from 2010 affirms that VAERS captures only about 1% of vaccine adverse reports.On the international frontier, the public health community—with the World Health Organization (WHO) in the vanguard—previously used a six-category framework to investigate and categorize serious adverse events following immunization (AEFI), including death. Guided by this tool, public health teams examined temporal criteria and possible alternative explanations to determine whether the relationship of an AEFI to vaccine administration was “very likely/certain,” “probable,” “possible,” “unlikely,” “unrelated,” or “unclassifiable.”

In 2013, the WHO’s Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety discarded the prior tool, ostensibly because users “sometimes [found it] difficult to differentiate between ‘probable,’ ‘possible,’ and ‘unlikely’ categories.” The WHO enlisted vaccine experts to develop a “simpler” algorithm that would be more readily “applicable” to vaccines. The resulting four-category system now invites public health teams to classify an AEFI as either “consistent,” “inconsistent,” or “indeterminate” with a vaccine-related causal association or as “unclassifiable.” Despite the patina of logic suggested by the use of an algorithm, “the final outcome of the case investigation depends on the personal judgment of the assessor” [emphasis added], especially (according to the tool’s proponents) when the process “yields answers that are both consistent and inconsistent with a causal association to immunization.”

In a 2017 letter in the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, Drs. Jacob Puliyel (an India-based pediatrician and member of India’s National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization) and Anant Phadke (an executive member of the All India Drug Action Network) raise important questions about the revised tool. They describe an Orwellian Catch-22 situation wherein it is nearly impossible to categorize post-vaccine deaths as vaccine-related. This is because the revised algorithm does not allow users to classify an AEFI as “consistent with causal association with vaccine” unless there is evidence showing that the vaccine caused a statistically significant increase in deaths during Phase III clinical trials. By definition, however, any vaccine not found to “retain safety” in Phase III trials cannot proceed to Phase IV (licensure and post-marketing surveillance). The result of the algorithm’s convoluted requirements is that any deaths that occur post-licensure become “coincidental” or “unclassifiable.”

Drs. Puliyel and Phadke describe what happened in India when the country’s National AEFI committee assessed 132 serious AEFI cases reported between 2012 and 2016, including 54 infant deaths that followed administration of a pentavalent all-in-one vaccine intended to protect recipients against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenzae type b infections. For babies who survived hospitalization, the committee classified three-fifths (47/78) of the AEFI as causally related to vaccines (with 47% of the incidents viewed as “product-related” and 13% as “error-related”), but they rated nearly all (52/54) of the deaths as either coincidental (54%) or unclassifiable (43%) despite mounting evidence that pentavalent and hexavalent vaccines are increasing the risk of sudden unexpected death in infants.

…doctors who “naïvely” accept biased reports on vaccine safety “are losing the trust of the public and in the process…endangering public health.

The absurdity and negligence inherent in the ultimately subjective WHO checklist have not escaped the attention of others in India and beyond. In a series of comments published in the journal Vaccine in response to the 2013 publication of the revised tool, commenters issued the following scathing remarks:

  • “Even if a healthy child dies within minutes following vaccination and there is no alternate explanation for the AEFI, even then the powers that be could easily declare that death as coincidental and not due to the vaccine, thanks to the new AEFI. This is dangerous ‘science’.”
  • “Amongst the 20 items of their checklist, no less than 15 (75%) are devoted to refute a vaccine-induced causality [emphasis in original]…. After all and as the authors confess with an astonishing ingenuousness, the main point is to ‘maintain public confidence in immunization programs.’”
  • “People understand that there are no true coincidences—only events that have been made to appear to be coincidental by either a genuine lack of understand[ing] of the overall facts leading to the ‘coincidence’ reported or by the deliberate suppression of the facts, including when…AEFIs that result in death are made to ‘disappear.’”
  • “It seems that huge business in [the] vaccine industry is affecting [the] science of vaccines and we are developing various ways to promote the business at the cost of human lives. …Going for a less sensitive tool for safety concerns is not only illogical but risky for the children of the world.”

Unfortunately, many vaccine proponents appear to be more concerned with forestalling “misconceptions” and “erroneous conclusions about cause and effect” than they are about preventing and identifying adverse events following vaccination. The result, as Dr. Puliyel argues, is that doctors who “naïvely” accept biased reports on vaccine safety “are losing the trust of the public and in the process…endangering public health.”

Crooked Hillary – Trump’s Vaccine Safety “Dangerous”

trumpthatbitch

My opponent in this race has consistently discounted scientific findings, from his comments about vaccines to his claim that climate change is a hoax. These dangerous positions not only put Americans at risk, but can have long term impacts on our country’s growth and productivity. – Crooked Hillary Clinton, Scientific AmericanSeptember, 13, 2016

Crooked Hillary Clinton has evoked the same language used by “journalists”, “scientists” and the government to excuse the ongoing cover-up of vaccine dangers and poisoning of babies and even said she would explicitly work with those implicated in the scandal to help it continue. However, it is hardly surprising coming from a candidate who would lie about anything and who would do it to anyone – from lying that she did not put the country’s security at risk, to lying to relatives of Americans murdered by terrorists, to covering up her husband’s abuse of women, to crookedly managing her family’s fake charity, to making the disgraced ex-DNC chair her “honorary campaign manager” and finally to lying about her own health. Although it was hilarious to watch her fall nearly flat on her face and then get dragged into a van, it goes to show just how far she will go to hide something as fundamental as her own sickness from the American people.

Meanwhile, she touts her sham “autism plan” that cites junked statistics to waste money on a study attempting to disprove the autism epidemic. Her foundation also takes millions in Saudi money despite the fact that that country imprisons autism parents for speaking out against the state’s neglect of children with autism. Worst of all, however, is the fact that she is intent on ensuring that the criminal activity of the federal vaccine program remains hidden from the public. In the same post at the Scientific American where she called Trump’s vaccine position “dangerous” (virtually every major “science” publication is now just a corporate front), she promised she would assist the Department of Health and Human Services in their ongoing lies and even congratulated them for doing such a good job of lying:

“As president, I will work closely with the talented physicians, nurses, and scientists in our US Public Health Service to speak out and educate parents about vaccines, focusing on their extraordinary track record in saving lives and pointing out the dangers of not vaccinating our children. ”

And yet, that will just be one of many scandals to her name. When many of the people close to her who have damaging information about her and her husband somehow wind up dead, it is pretty unsurprising that she will prolong the vaccine cover-up. Just after President Obama said that aren’t reasons to not get vaccinated, she sent out a tweet belittling any skepticism of vaccinations. She ultimately has him to thank for why she was not indicted for her criminal handling of classified material, and she has the pharmaceutical industry to thank for such generous campaign contributions. Crooked Hillary has also taken plenty of money from cell phone company-turned-pharmaceutical client Verizon, which now owns Huffington Post where articles both about vaccine dangers and her failing health have been deleted.

Crooked Hillary Clinton is a criminal, liar and deserves no respect regardless of how the upcoming election goes. Yet the Age of Autism blog which claims to support vaccine safety supports Crooked Hillary and posted a puff piece about the Democratic National Convention: “As a life-long Democrat, I was proud to watch the Democratic National Convention.  Hillary Clinton and its other impressive speakers were eloquent, optimistic and inspiring.” Age of Autism’s editor just recently said: “Just a friendly reminder, dear readers, that all voices are welcome here, including lifelong Democrats and those who think that given the options a vote for Hillary Clinton is a reasonable decision. Yours in choice, Dan.” Age of Autism – sponsored and edited by a man who is a mole for the vaccine lobby – should be shut down after these remarks. So too should groups run by the same people such as Canary Party (Cuckservative Party) and Health Choice.

Until the government does an honest job of regulating vaccines for safety and nothing else, the problem won’t just be mercury in vaccines, or the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine or even multiple vaccines at once – the problem will just be vaccines. Complete opposition to and rejection of vaccines should only continue until such time, which may not be for the foreseeable future. But only a vote for Donald Trump is a reasonable choice for ending this nightmare. Anyone who suggests otherwise is just operating for the iatrogenic vaccine lobby. So to Nico LaHood, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Rob Schneider and any other liberal-leaning person who cares about this issue as it relates to the outcome of this election – get on the Trump Train!

Update: Robert De Niro is also more than welcome to board.

Salon Founder: “Deadly Immunity” Retraction “Smacks of Editorial Cowardice”

america-needs-its-own-

Photo credit: Salon.com

By Jake Crosby

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has an article up on his personal website that gives fascinating insight into the retraction of his piece “Deadly Immunity” by Salon.com, including a letter from the site’s founder. In his letter to Kennedy last month, Salon.com founder and former editor-in-chief David Talbot condemned Salon’s retraction of Kennedy’s 2005 article on the government cover-up of harm – such as autism and other developmental disorders – caused by thimerosal. The piece was retracted in 2011 by Salon’s then-editor Kerry Lauerman, who said at the time, “We’ve grown to believe the best reader service is to delete the piece entirely.” Talbot slammed Lauerman’s decision, saying – among other criticisms – that it “smacks of editorial cowardice”:

I was dismayed when I first heard that Salon had removed your article about the hazards of thimerosal from its web archives. As you know, I was no longer the editor of Salon when your article was published. And I am not an expert on the subject. But without taking a position on mercury preservatives in vaccines, I know enough about the debate — and about the pharmaceutical industry’s general track record on putting profits before people, as well as the compromised nature of regulatory oversight in this country when it comes to powerful industries — to know that “disappearing” your article was not the proper decision.

I founded Salon to be a fearless and independent publication — one that was open to a wide range of views, particularly those that were controversial or contested within the mainstream media. Removing your article from the Salon archives was a violation of that spirit and smacks of editorial cowardice. If I had been editor at the time, I would not have done so — and I would have offered you the opportunity to debate your critics in Salon’s pages.

In my day, Salon did not cave to pressure — and we risked corporate media scorn, advertising boycotts, threats of FBI investigations by powerful members of Congress, and even bomb scares because of our rigorous independence. Throwing a writer to the wolves when the heat got too hot was never the Salon way. It pains me, now that I’m on the sidelines, to ever see Salon wilt in the face of such pressure.”

Rolling Stone Magazine also published Kennedy’s piece, but never retracted it even after the magazine’s editors reviewed Salon’s explanation for the “Deadly Immunity” retraction and the book that prompted it: “Panic Virus,” by Seth Mnookin. It was Mnookin’s book that gave rise to the rumor that Rolling Stone secretly retracted Kennedy’s piece, which Rolling Stone has since dispelled.

Now that Mnookin’s self-described personal friend Kerry Lauerman has taken his editorial cowardice over to The Washington Post, Salon’s current editor-in-chief David Daley should do the editorially courageous thing and restore “Deadly Immunity” to Salon’s archives. Not doing so would make him just as much of an editorial coward as Lauerman.

See on The Epoch Times.

SafeMinds’ President Supports CDC “Sock-Puppet”

Sallie

By Jake Crosby

Sallie Bernard is the president of an organization which claims to oppose the presence of mercury in vaccines and to raise concerns about autism’s association with vaccination – the Coalition for SafeMinds (Sensible action for ending mercury-induced disorders). Yet Bernard – who has not responded when questioned for this article – is still a board member of and fundraiser for Autism Speaks even after it has been dubbed a “Sock-Puppet For The CDC” by the SafeMinds-sponsored Age of Autism blog. The criticism was in response to a position statement by Autism Speaks proclaiming that vaccines don’t cause autism and urging that all children be fully vaccinated. Yet the week after the statement, Sallie Bernard was quoted in a press release about her plan to raise money for Autism Speaks’ Light It Up Blue Aspen campaign:

“Light It Up Blue Aspen raised a great deal of funds for Autism thanks to dedicated supporters like Sentient Jet. We look forward to another successful event that will have a positive impact on the families in our community and all the people living within the Autism spectrum disorder.”

Though Bernard did not respond to questions concerning her continual support of Autism Speaks, the event details shed further light on Bernard’s role in the fundraiser that was held on February 15th, 2015:

“Bid on luxury items from Aspen Magazine’s ‘shades of blue’ silent auction table or on one-of-a-kind live auction experiences while raising funds and awareness for Autism.  Hosted by Tom and Sallie Bernard along with honored and celebrity guests Olympic Gold Medalist Jonny Moseley, Dr. Laura Berman of Emmy winning CBS show, The Doctors and more!”

The ongoing support of Autism Speaks by SafeMinds’ president is less surprising when put into context. Despite public perception of SafeMinds as crusading against mercury in vaccinations, the group has done more to undermine such efforts. The organization gained notoriety for hijacking the 2012 congressional autism hearing after its lobbyist misrepresented a key organizer of the event to congressional staff that prevented him from testifying about the CDC cover-up of vaccine injury. The misrepresentation also caused the hearing topic itself to be changed away from the cover-up and to the vaguer “federal response” to autism’s rising prevalence instead. The same organizer SafeMinds effectively kept out of the congressional hearing also criticized the group for not supporting a worldwide ban of thimerosal – the mercury-based preservative in vaccines. SafeMinds was also implicated in the throwing of the autism omnibus that denied justice to 4,900 petitioners for vaccine injury claims and also tried to set up a security trap for two expert witnesses at its 2012 congressional briefing on the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

Back in 2004, SafeMinds was aware the Institute of Medicine (IOM) was operating in breach of its congressional charter at the behest of CDC only to later thank IOM for holding the very meeting SafeMinds initially protested against. That meeting would become the final precursor to the infamous 2004 IOM report that was produced to whitewash any association between autism and vaccines. When Autism Speaks put out a message concurring with the Institute of Medicine’s 2011 report denying vaccine dangers, Bernard remained on the board without making a sound.

In 2012 shortly before the congressional autism hearing, a former donor to SafeMinds asked her to step down from Autism Speaks’ board due to the organization’s views on vaccines. She reportedly demanded $1 million in return for her resignation; the donor refused. Bernard did not reply to questioning for this article when asked to confirm the amount of money she allegedly demanded. She did not make any attempt to justify her ongoing support of Autism Speaks either.

Yet Sallie Bernard was raising money for Autism Speaks right after the organization was called a “Sock-Puppet For The CDC” by a blog that SafeMinds sponsors. If SafeMinds’ president would remain on the board of a CDC sock-puppet group and continue to raise money for it, then perhaps she is a sock-puppet for the CDC herself.

See on The Epoch Times.

Autism Investigated Announces Awards for 2014

Announcing Autism Investigated’s Awards for 2014, and the winners are…

Scientist of the Year: Dr. Boyd Haley

Dr. Boyd Haley is a chemist and international authority on mercury toxicity who has not been afraid to speak out against wrongdoing. Case-in-point: when Robert F. Kennedy Jr. chopped chapters on thimerosal’s role in causing autism out of his book hypocritically named, “Thimerosal: Let The Science Speak,” Dr. Haley pulled no punches. “Those were the most important chapters for the American people to see,” he said in an exclusive interview with Autism Investigated. Not surprisingly, much of Kennedy’s book drew from the work of Dr. Haley. Autism Investigated still values the totality of Dr. Haley’s scientific contributions and those of others like him, even though Kennedy no longer does.

Scoop of the Year: Kennedy’s Ghostwriter Defended Thimerosal

Freelance writer Adam Hadhazy (pictured above) was revealed as one of the ghostwriters of Robert F. Kennedy’s “Thimerosal: Let The Science Speak,” according to the file properties of an unpublished manuscript posted on Autism Investigated last summer. Hadhazy has a history of defending harmful vaccines and their ingredients – including the mercury-based preservative thimerosal – and of being an apologist for the CDC cover-up of those harms. Yet, he was hired to ghostwrite (write material for someone else who is the named author) Kennedy’s book that was intended to catalyze the complete removal of thimerosal from vaccines. The scoop on Hadhazy’s ghostwriting came shortly after The Washington Post reported that Kennedy removed chapters from his book for being “too combustible,” thereby not letting the science “speak” as his book title claims.

Quote of the Year: Whistleblower Confirms Wakefield Outed Him Without Permission

Whistleblower Betrayal

Shortly after he was outed without permission, whistleblower Dr. William Thompson released a statement confirming his allegations that CDC committed research misconduct in omitting associations of autism with early measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination. But even more significantly, his statement confirmed that his identity was released online along with recordings of his voice without his permission by de-licensed British doctor Andrew Wakefield. Thompson’s voice was recorded without his knowledge by Wakefield’s colleague Dr. Brian Hooker. This too was confirmed in the following excerpt from the statement:

“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.”

More information about Wakefield’s betrayal of Dr. Thompson and its repercussions can be found below in the description of Autism Investigated’s “Event of the Year.”

Irony of the Year: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Joins Thimerosal Cover-Up

As previously stated, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has essentially joined the thimerosal cover-up of harms from the substance by chopping out chapters on its toxicity from his own book, despite naming his book “Thimerosal: Let The Science Speak.” He had even enlisted the help of ghostwriter Adam Hadhazy, who had previously defended thimerosal as described in Autism Investigated’s “Scoop of the Year.” It had been reported over the summer that Kennedy may add the chapters back in, though that has yet to happen after many months since then. In taking the chapters out, Kennedy has broken his promise at an autism conference in 2013 that he will publish his book if HHS does not fully remove thimerosal from vaccines. Well, thimerosal is still in vaccines but the chapters on autism are still out of his book.

Event of the Year: Andrew Wakefield Betrays CDC Whistleblower

Autism Investigated’s event of the year is also the catastrophic blunder of the decade. Andrew Wakefield has released the identity of CDC whistleblower William Thompson along with snippets of his voice recordings without his permission. Wakefield then lied to Autism Investigated by claiming he had obtained permission from Thompson, which was then completely dispelled by Thompson’s statement. As a consequence of Wakefield’s actions, any chance of widespread media coverage was killed since the story was prematurely scooped and tainted with his name. This may subsequently jeopardize the success or even the possibility of a congressional investigation or hearing into the matter. To deny Wakefield betrayed Thompson, supporters of Wakefield point to a purported apology Thompson made to him via text messaging. But if real, the apology was made under heavily coerced circumstances since Thompson knew that anything he shared that was subsequently shared with Wakefield could be prematurely revealed by him at will without any outside input.

See on The Epoch Times.

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

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.

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.