Tag Archives: Dr. Brian Hooker

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

FAKE NEWS: FOUR VACCINE LIES FROM SCIENCE MAGAZINE

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Science Magazine is fake science news and lies routinely about vaccine safety like the rest of the damn mainstream media and major science journals. Here’s four examples from their dishonest post “Four vaccine myths and where they come from” by one of their hired liars Lindzi Wessel. Autism Investigated will not refute all the lies because there are too many, just the major ones below.

“False: Vaccinations can cause autism”

Citing further concerns about ethics and misrepresentation, The Lancet retracted the paper in 2010. Shortly after, the United Kingdom’s General Medical Council permanently pulled Wakefield’s medical license.

The truth is, all those findings against Wakefield and his paper were completely overturned in a court decision that said the GMC used “faulty reasoning” and came to “wrong conclusion”(s). Even The Lancet acknowledges this.

[Brian] Hooker reanalyzed the data in 2014 and claimed CDC had hidden evidence that the vaccine could increase autism risk in black boys. In fact, CDC noted in the paper that rates of vaccination in the oldest age group were slightly higher in kids with autism.

Wait, what about for black kids? The CDC didn’t cover up effects for race because they reported effects for age? That’s a logical conclusion to draw, according to Science Magazine?

“False: Mercury in vaccines acts as a neurotoxin”

Science Magazine completely dismisses Kennedy’s damning Deadly Immunity article of mercury in childhood vaccinations. The excuse was the ghostwritten retraction by the pedophile-defending Salon.com site. Science never went into the details of the retraction because it would show it to be worthless.

Science Magazine continued:

In 2001, well before Kennedy’s article or his related book, thimerosal was removed from all childhood vaccines in the United States except multidose vials of flu vaccine.

What it left out was that in 2004 those flu vaccines were recommended for pregnant women in the first trimester of pregnancy, which has since been linked to autism. It then went on to characterize autism declining post-thimerosal removal in Denmark as a “misinterpretation of epidemiogical data.” Actually, it’s seen in a graph of epidemiological data:

“False: Mercury in vaccines acts as a neurotoxin”

Remarkably, this entire section didn’t focus on work of any other doctor or scientist. It was merely an attack on the physician-son team Dr. Mark and David Geier, taking as gospel smears from the Institute of Medicine and the Maryland Board of Physicians. The Institute of Medicine was revealed in Kennedy’s own article as coming to a foregone conclusion about thimerosal being safe, and being paid to do so. The Maryland Board of Physicians was successfully sued by the Geiers for intentionally violating their confidentiality. Dr. Geier has also responded to the allegations publicly.

Will Science condemn hormones and genital mutilation for “transgender” autists and acknowledge that there are only two genders? Doubtful.

“False: Spreading out vaccines can be safer for kids”

This section is entirely based on the talking points of millionaire vaccine industrialist Paul Offit. He is not only conflicted, but is also an unhinged maniac who said children can safely receive 10,000 vaccines at once. There is no comparison between a vaccine which contains loads of toxic ingredients injected directly into the body and antigens blocked by the human body’s natural defenses.

There is no room for the benefit of the doubt with Lindzi Wessel and Science Magazine. They are simply lying, along with the rest of the mainstream fake news.

Please form that vaccine safety commission soon, President Trump. We need it now more than ever.

UPDATE: Autism Investigated Video!

JAMA Must Correct Study As Linking Flu Vax to Autism

jamapediatrics_Hooker_2017_le_170006.pdfjamapediatrics_Donzelli_2017_le_170007.pdf

Click each letter to enlarge.

Since the journal JAMA Pediatrics published a study which showed an association between flu vaccine and autism despite concluding there was none, scientists have published letters in the journal to complain. One of those was by Dr. Brian Hooker, biochemist and autism father who was the first person contacted by the CDC’s vaccine safety whistleblower William Thompson.

The study found an elevated risk for autism from flu vaccination in pregnant women during the first month of pregnancy. Yet the authors attempted to explain this away with incorrect statistical methods and then issued the flawed recommendation that no changes in vaccination policy should be made. In 2004, the CDC expanded its flu vaccine recommendations in pregnant women to include the first trimester of pregnancy. Many cite this an an explanation for why the reported CDC prevalence of autism – generally speaking – did not decline as the mercury-based preservative thimerosal had been removed from other vaccines. Thimerosal remains in multi-dose vials of flu vaccine given to pregnant women.

In Denmark, the reported autism prevalence went down by as much as a third as thimerosal was removed from childhood vaccines there during the 1990s. The elevated risk for autism associated with influenza vaccination during the first trimester of pregnancy was 20-25%. The potential implications of such a finding is profound.

The study was conducted by Kaiser Permanente, a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) that is in partnership with the CDC and other HMOs in a heavily guarded federal research project known as the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD). JAMA journals’ publisher the American Medical Association sent a press release applauding a 2004 report from the Institute of Medicine that the CDC paid to have whitewash associations between vaccines and autism. The involvement of such institutions in the conduct and publication of such a study should only diminish public confidence in its integrity, along with its flawed conclusion and recommendation.

Nonetheless, the conclusion and recommendation should still be corrected. JAMA Pediatrics can be contacted here.

(H/t Age of Autism)

Demand Withdrawal of William Thompson’s Bogus Autism-Caused-Vaccination “Reanalysis”!

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The effect has to occur after the cause (and if there is an expected delay between the cause and expected effect, then the effect must occur after that delay). – Sir Austin Bradford Hill, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, 1965

It might be the most bizarre twist ever to have happened in this weird saga where the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has already told some of the most brazen lies in trying to dupe people into believing vaccines don’t cause autism. It was weird enough for them to claim there was no evidence mercury in vaccines causes harm when they had proof. And now to refute the fact that children have developed autism after vaccination, the CDC is now claiming that it is the autism that is causing the vaccination. Yes, you read that right. And that person apparently pushing that view for CDC will be none other than the federal agency’s so-called vaccine whistleblower: Dr. William Thompson, who has now been “handled.” Needless to say, calling for the withdrawal of such an execrable, egg-laid-the-chicken report is in order. Relevant contact information concerning Thompson, the journal likely to publish his paper and the Committee on Publication Ethics are all provided at the bottom of this post.

While the CDC has not yet made any formal announcements, their excuse has already been scooped by one prominent former CDC adviser. In an article published by Hollywood Reporter, millionaire vaccine industrialist Paul Offit made the below attempt at criticizing “Vaxxed” – the documentary film about Thompson’s 2004 CDC study where the authors buried evidence of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccination causing autism in African-American boys:

The real explanation for Vaxxed’s “revelation” isn’t conspiracy or hidden data; it’s something else. When compared with their Caucasian counterparts, African-American boys in Atlanta in 1994 were under-vaccinated. In order to qualify for autism-support programs, this subset of under-vaccinated children with autism had to get vaccinated. In other words, it wasn’t that MMR had caused autism; it was that the diagnosis of autism had caused them to get MMR. Not surprisingly, this is never explained in the film.

Never mind that African-American children are diagnosed much later and that the diagnoses would have likely been given after age three anyway. Never mind that the significant risks found were in children who received the vaccine in the 12-18 month age group, when no one would have had an autism diagnosis. For the phenomenon that Offit described to occur, one would expect to see a diminished odds of vaccination for those ages among black autistic children compared to vaccination after age three, not an increased risk. In fact, that was probably why the race effect was yanked from the paper and thrown in the garbage in the first place. A comment under Offit’s article seeking to point that out was removed from the thread, even though it was part of an ongoing conversation with a CDC-tied attorney.

But worst of all, this claim will not be confined to Offit’s review. It will also be made in a published “reanalysis” of the CDC’s study due to be published next month, authored by none other than the very coauthor of the original study who raised the alarm in the first place: “whistleblower” William Thompson. According to his initial contact Dr. Brian Hooker, Thompson has been “handled.” He is expected to publish his “reanalysis” with a researcher named Michael Blank – who had advised the MMR vaccine maker GlaxoSmithKline. Among the promises Thompson has been allegedly bribed with are a huge bonus and his own autism research foundation. Not surprisingly, having a scientist claim that vaccination was caused by autism diagnoses likely made after vaccination instead of admitting that vaccines cause autism comes with a steep price. It’s just too bad that that price will also be the unnecessary harm to countless more children. To add insult to injury, Offit will apparently write a commentary accompanying this awful work.

Please write and call Dr. Thompson at the following numbers and email address and tell him to withdraw his “reanalysis” and that he will face ethical complaints against him due to the ridiculous nature of his claims.

wct2@cdc.gov

(404) 498-3845 (office)

(404) 226-8428 (cell)

Also contact the journal publishing his paper as well and tell them withdraw his paper and that they too will face ethics complaints for publishing it. Here is the email for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, where the “reanalysis” will likely be published. You should let the journal know that it too will face an ethical complaint for publishing Thompson’s analysis and should withdraw it from press: pnas@nas.edu, Phone: 202-334-2679.

Also make a complaint to the Committee on Publication Ethics. Let them know you complained to both the author of the piece and to PNAS: http://publicationethics.org/contact-us

Canary Party-Led Group Behind Failed SB277 Opposition

CCHCSolo

“Autism rates have continued to rise even though we are not using thimerosal in vaccines for children.” – Richard Pan, co-sponsor of CA SB277

“But there’s a hard bit of evidence here regarding the thimerosal argument. The rates in California never went down and as far as I can tell are still going straight up with no deceleration at all. And you’ve seen the Denmark numbers.” – Mark Blaxill, now founder and chairman of Canary Party

By Jake Crosby

One might say it was a repeat of what happened with the US congressional hearing failure of 2012-2013 – the undermining of a cause with the imposition of an ineffective strategy. That is what many Californians are saying happened at the State Assembly Health Committee hearing and in the general movement against Senate Bill 277, now a newly signed law that eliminates the choice to opt out of vaccination. As with the congressional hearing, a key witness Dr. Brian Hooker was prevented from speaking on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) malfeasance in covering up vaccine injury. The debacle over SB277 also bears the claw prints of the same leadership elements, chiefly those of a Minnesota-based PAC: the Canary Party.

Because media coverage of the bill was controlled by the CDC, testimony to the state legislature was all the more necessary to kill the bill. But kill effective testimony in favor of a “‘middle of the road’ strategy,” and the bill’s passing into law is practically imminent.

Such a strategy was taken by the organization through which Canary Party coordinates its activities relevant to SB277 in California: the “California Coalition for Health Choice” (CCHC). While trying to do damage control for Canary Party on Facebook threads, Canary Party’s State Director Sylvia Pimentel only revealed more negative information about her organization. Pimentel said she, Rebecca Estepp, Jude Tovatt, Dawn Winkler and Laura Hayes comprised the Canary Party leadership within CCHC that had input on the fight against the bill, despite previously admitting: “Laura and Dawn left the coalition a few weeks ago because they didn’t like the ‘middle of the road’ strategy that CCHC was morphing into.”

Pimentel further admitted that CCHC members were afraid of their own cause, “Some members were gun-shy about being publicly quoted because of possible push-back in their careers or private life for being ‘anti-vaccine’.” Moreover, one of Canary Party’s California leaders promoted vaccination. Rebecca Estepp – director of communications for CCHC – drew criticism for advocating “moderation” and promoting vaccination last year. Such an approach inherently conflicts with raising awareness of vaccine dangers.

Canary Party’s Dr. Toni Bark revealed to Autism Investigated that the other remaining Canary Party leader in CCHC – Jude Tovatt – was trying to discourage the coalition from tackling safety, corruption or fraud issues inherent to the vaccine program. Tovatt wanted to avoid the very facts that are most damning against SB277, making Canary Party responsible for the “middle of the road” strategy Pimentel admitted CCHC resorted to. Dr. Bark even said she suspected Tovatt is a shill.

The fallout from this strategy reached its climax at the Assembly Health Committee’s hearing on SB277. According to one eyewitness account reported in the AWAKE California Facebook group on how people were shut out of the hearing:

“I was with dr hooker when the guard asked for our names and then there were no seats left. But there were seats left, CCHC kept coming out and pulling people in. But we were closed out. Until I had two people from my regional group give up their seats timed with when the main guard was pulled away for a minute.”

The Facebook group member also said in that same post that CCHC falsely led people to believe that Dr. Hooker would testify, but he never did.

In response, Canary Party denied having any say in choosing speakers, asserting:

“The way the process works (or fails to work) in California is that groups who are opposing a bill put names forward on who they want to testify on their behalf, and the Committee Chair’s office decides who will be seated at the table.”

But a staffer from the Committee Chair’s office wrote in email that bill opponents chose who spoke for them at the hearing:

“The Committee does not organize testimony on either side of the debate. The author’s office organizes testimony in support and opponents typically organize amongst themselves and decide who will testify.”

Rather than explain why Dr. Hooker did not testify, Pimentel instead explained to a critic why he did not join CCHC:

“Dr. Brian Hooker was invited to join, but never responded. You are accusing me of sabotaging the fight – and that is absolutely obscene.”

That he would not join CCHC is hardly surprising given its ties to Canary Party and Canary Party’s history of undermining his congressional efforts. The troubled history following Canary Party’s Chairman Mark Blaxill also goes back long before he founded Canary Party.

Blaxill consulted for pharmaceutical companies while at Boston Consulting Group and now sits on the board of directors of the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, funded by his former employer. He was an invited speaker at the 2001 Institute of Medicine meeting despite his lack of credentials, organizational leadership or publication record where he failed to disclose his concurrent BCG employment. He has also interfered in the omnibus autism cases, turning attorneys against expert witnesses and even throwing the case against thimerosal. He told Brian Hooker in 2007:

“But there’s a hard bit of evidence here regarding the thimerosal argument. The rates in California never went down and as far as I can tell are still going straight up with no deceleration at all. And you’ve seen the Denmark numbers.”

Yet research at the time showed there was a deceleration, and autism went down in Denmark after thimerosal was removed. Not surprisingly, SB277’s co-sponsor Senator Richard Pan channeled Blaxill’s talking point, “Autism rates have continued to rise even though we are not using thimerosal in vaccines for children,” Sacramento Bee quoted Pan as saying. It is hardly surprising that the coalition through which Canary Party conducted its activities in California took a “‘middle of the road’ strategy” to fighting a law that will now keep children from attending school for not being fully vaccinated according to CDC’s own aggressive immunization schedule.

While answering for Canary Party’s troublesome involvement in failing the opposition to SB277 on Facebook, Sylvia Pimentel grew increasingly agitated and defensive. At one point, she dramatically stated, “I have been accused of horrible things, so I have had no choice but respond. But now I will make my exit. Peace.” She returned a short while later to make a legal threat against a commenter. One cannot help but wonder if the outcome of fighting SB277 could have been different had CCHC’s leadership fought the law with the same level of zeal as Pimentel’s attack on some advocates she claims to share common cause with.

Meanwhile, SB277’s architect Richard Pan wants other states to follow California’s example:

“As the largest state in the country, we are sending a strong signal to the rest of the country that this can be done, that science and facts will prevail to make sound laws”.

Far from Canary Party/CCHC’s “middle of the road” approach, ensuring that science and facts prevail over the fraudulent science and lies spouted by Pan is the best way to kill bills like his. Time to stop supporting Canary Party.

See on The Epoch Times.

Brian Hooker Rewards Wakefield For Betraying Whistleblower

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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

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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

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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

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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.