Tag Archives: Glaxosmithkline

Alison Singer: Autism Parents’ Jewish Ghetto Police

Fake autism charity/pharma front group founder Alison Singer has just made an appearance on Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (who famously said that America does not want Donald Trump to be president). So Autism Investigated has decided to re-run this 2011 Age of Autism post about her by the Deplorable Autist himself. It includes updated links to the vaccine-autism link science she denies exists, the truth behind her “foundation”, and the fact that she prevented autism in her younger child by spacing out of vaccines. In other words, she knows what caused her older daughter’s autism yet collaborates with the pharmaceutical industry to help it injure and kill more children for profit.

Alison Singer: Autism Mom, Pharma Wife

By Jake Crosby

Alison Singer: autism parent, IACC seat usurper, industry front group founder, recent guest on The Dr. Oz Show, and now – loyal Pharma-funded wife. Of course, that’s what she’s always been. We just didn’t know it, until now.

Mrs. Singer is married to Dan Singer, a longtime employee of McKinsey and Company: a global management consulting firm. Singer’s firm sponsors one of the awards given out by the British Medical Journal, which published and even endorsed British Pharmaceutical Industry sock puppet Brian Deer’s false allegations of fraud against Dr. Andrew Wakefield. McKinsey is not Pharma, you might say. True to an extent, but McKinsey’s commitment to the industry is significant. In the “industry practices” category of “client service,” McKinsey and Co. has a whole page on “Pharmaceuticals & Medical Products,” where they offer a wide range of consultation services to the pharmaceutical industry on everything from prescription pharmaceuticals, to over the counter medicines, to biotechnology and medical products and diagnostics. In 2006, in the company’s quarterly, an article was even run entitled “Avian flu: Expanding global vaccine production.” The avian flu vaccine is preserved in 49 micrograms of mercury, approximately twice that of a season flu shot.

But on January 12 McKinsey did more than consult for the pharmaceutical industry; they partied with its leading vaccine spokesman, millionaire vaccine industrialist Dr. Paul Offit. An email invitation sent out by Alison Singer’s group, the Autism Science Foundation, read:

“Please join us for the book launch and signing

at the offices of McKinsey & Company


55 East 52nd Street, 21st floor


New York, NY 10022


Wednesday, January 12, 2011
6P-8P

Hosted by: Autism Science Foundation

RSVP: Julie Martin
Tel. 646-723-3977

Underneath that message is a bio of Paul Offit and next to it is a picture of Offit’s book cover. Below the book cover, it says:

“All proceeds from sales of Deadly Choices will be donated to the Autism Science Foundation”

It’s more than a little odd that McKinsey would be promoting the work of the Autism Science Foundation (ASF). Ever sensitive to the prestige and standing of its partners, McKinsey would seem a more natural partner of Autism Speaks, the Park Avenue charity of the autism world rather than an upstart run out of Singer’s garage (actually, ASF rents Singer a desk and receptionist from a “Sunshine Suites” property in Noho). Understanding their ASF promotion requires understanding McKinsey’s longstanding role in the autism-vaccine controversies.

And McKinsey partners have been closely connected to the debate, up to the highest levels of the firm. Up until recently, McKinsey was headed by Ian Davis, younger brother of GlaxoSmithKline board of directors member Sir Crispin Davis, and twin brother of Sir Nigel Davis – the judge who denied appeals from MMR litigation claimants to have their legal aid continued.

Though Ian Davis would eventually step down from his position at McKinsey in 2009, it was not before Alison Singer resigned from Autism Speaks. Her resignation was prompted by the charity rightfully condemning the IACC’s backhanded removal of research into some pharmacologic etiologies of autism from its mission. Mrs. Singer’s justification was that there are limited funds for autism research that could be better spent, even though Singer supports such funding being dumped into the money pit of genetic research, and even though not only pharmacologic, but environmental factors overall, have been horribly understudied by comparison.

So she founded a front group posing as an autism charity – the Autism Science Foundation – with millionaire pharmaceutical industrialist Dr. Paul Offit. ASF is the only autism research organization founded on the basis of the science it won’t pursue (it’s been “asked and answered, vaccines don’t cause autism”) than that it will do. And despite the fact that she was originally appointed to a public seat on the IACC as an Autism Speaks representative, she was allowed to keep her position as representative of her own corporate fringe offshoot, effectively usurping Autism Speaks’ representation on the committee.

During the time Singer resigned from Autism Speaks and began her front group, Ian Davis was still head of the company where her husband continues to work. Here’s a brief sequence of events. For more than 20 years, Dan Singer has been a loyal employee of McKinsey, joining the company out of Harvard Business School in 1989 and climbing the ladder until being promoted to director in 1994. That same year, he married his Harvard and Yale sweetheart, Alison Tepper, now Alison Tepper-Singer, whom we all know as Alison Singer. She would take up a job at NBC later that year and the couple would have a daughter together.

Then in 1999, Singer quit her job as a vice president of the network when that daughter was diagnosed with autism. She recently told CNN about her decision about giving MMR to her next child:

“I split the vaccine for my second daughter.”

Her second daughter now remains neurotypical. And the choice to vaccinate against measles, mumps and rubella separately seems not to have harmed Singer’s second daughter in any way. So Alison Singer not only followed Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s advice (and conceivably is benefiting from it), but was even an advocate for his cause in the popular press – at least in one instance.

When NBC ran an episode of “ER” in 2001 that featured a child who died of the measles presumably because he was not vaccinated with MMR, Singer reacted with outrage. According to The New York Daily News:

“Alison Tepper Singer, a former vice president in NBC’s desktop video division, faulted the “ER” episode for its “complete belittling of another viewpoint,” she told The News. Singer resigned from NBC in 1999 when her older daughter was diagnosed with autism.

“It was so irresponsible and so callous and so heartbreaking for parents who are dealing with this issue that I found it sad,” she said of the “ER” episode.”

Then in 2003, Ian Davis became McKinsey’s worldwide managing director. In other words, he became Dan Singer’s boss. Did this change of leadership bring a new kind of influence into the Singer household? Only the Singers know for sure. But one thing is clear, that Alison Singer, after previously splitting up the MMR for her younger, neurotypical daughter and speaking out against a biased TV show, began changing her public position about what she thought might cause autism.

Now, I already have a good idea what Alison Singer might say to all this, her reading of the “science” convinced her otherwise. In response to a January 14, 2010 article I wrote about Kevin Leitch speculating that guilt over giving his daughter a vaccine that triggered her autism drove him to finding solace in the neurodiversity movement, Singer wrote the following comment on the Leftbrain/Rightbrain blog:

What a strange story. Many parents question whether vaccines are involved in autism because of the media coverage of the issue, but then they read the science and realize the studies are there and the science clearly indicates no causal role for vaccines. Kev, although I find your point of view refreshing and your posts unique, I dare say you are hardly alone at coming to this conclusion. Jake will have to try harder next time.

 

What a strange position for her to take. Not only did she not read my article but there was already plenty of purported “research” in 2001 claiming to disprove a link between MMR and autism, virtually all of which was thrown out as useless junk science in an international review by the Cochrane Collaboration in 2005, which also conceded the evidence of the vaccine’s safety was “largely inadequate.” Many of those sorts of studies published since 2001, including the CDC’s own study, were actually positive findings reported as negative ones. Perhaps most disturbing of all was the confirmation of vaccine-strain measles virus in the terminal ileums and cerebrospinal fluid of children with autism and bowel disease in the O’Leary paper published in Molecular Pathology and the Bradstreet paper published in JPandS respectively (contrary to the propaganda machine, the later Hornig paper did not falsify these findings). Finally, one would think the HHS concessions of children like Bailey Banks and Hannah Poling who developed autism after their vaccines becoming public knowledge would have ended this debate altogether.

I don’t know what “science” Ms. Singer is referring to, but scientifically, consumers have far more reasons to fear vaccines and the MMR vaccine in particular in 2011 than they ever had back in 2001. Whatever motive the Singers’ would develop for no longer believing the MMR causes autism, it was certainly not scientific. If the twin brother of a person who denied justice to personal injury claimants and the younger brother of a man helping to facilitate a smear campaign against one of the claimants’ expert witnesses became my boss, I would not want to say anything potentially favorable about that witness for fear of jeopardizing my job. I certainly would not want my wife to do the same, either.

Alison Singer had a very different opinion by the time NBC President Bob Wright founded Autism Speaks along with his wife Suzanne compared to her opinion in the Daily News piece in 2001. Whatever changed Mrs. Singer’s mind about what causes autism, it likely happened within a time period no sooner than 2001 but probably no later than 2005 when she joined Autism Speaks. Ian Davis becoming head of McKinsey occurred right in the middle of that, also happening at around the same time his brother Crispin joined Glaxo’s board of directors. She has kept this connection between her husband’s company and the pharmaceutical industry to herself.

Alison Singer cannot honestly call her group an “autism charity” when its activities are focused on promoting and defending drugs (ie vaccines) for the pharmaceutical industry. She has actually traveled with Paul Offit to Atlanta to speak at an immunization conference on how to compel parents to vaccinate recklessly. Autism Science Foundation is a corporate front group with an agenda that predetermines its approach to autism. Its non-profit status should be revoked.

Originally published on Age of Autism

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

6

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

How Dan Olmsted and David Kirby Helped Kill A Landmark Autism Lawsuit

Justice-Denied-IPI

By Jake Crosby

It may sound bizarre, but that is exactly what happened when journalists Dan Olmsted and David Kirby interfered with Coalition for Mercury-Free Drugs’ Reverend Lisa Sykes’ 2008 personal injury lawsuit against drug companies Bayer, Wyeth and GlaxoSmithKline. Incredibly, Olmsted and Kirby were persuaded to co-write a letter that took the side of the drug companies against Sykes’ case. Even more bizarre was who successfully appealed to Olmsted and Kirby to support Bayer: vaccine industry mainstay blogger Dr. David Gorski, via an open letter on “Science”Blogs. (He would later accept direct funding from Bayer: a 30,000-euro grant according to Gorski himself.)

It all began when “neurodiversity” blogger Kathleen Seidel of the now-defunct neurodiversity.com website was subpoenaed by attorney Cliff Shoemaker, who was representing Reverend Sykes in her case against Bayer and other pharmaceutical companies for injuries her son sustained from mercury exposure through vaccination and Rh-immunoglobulins. Seidel had quite a track record of pro-pharma activities. She had complained against scientists to their state medical board and to the FDA, and had also written in support of the CDC freezing outside researchers from accessing a federal database. These complaints by her would eventually culminate in a scientist being coerced by FDA into voluntarily withdrawing a product from the market, even though it met FDA’s safety standards. Seidel’s complaints would also lead to a scientist losing his medical license and his son being fined $10,000 by a medical board known for flouting fairness statutes meant to protect doctors. According to millionaire vaccine industrialist Paul Offit, Seidel falsely claimed to him that Generation Rescue co-founder JB Handley threatened her with a lawsuit which in turn led to Handley being libeled in Offit’s 2008 book. He would be forced to change the text in his book. Not surprisingly, Seidel had also attacked Rev. Sykes’ case.

So what is wrong with Sykes’ lawyer, Clifford Shoemaker, subpoenaing Kathleen Seidel in order to try and find out possible connections she may have to pharma? Well, according to the vaccine industry blogger David Gorski’s letter to Kirby and Olmsted: ”freedom of speech” and the “First Amendment.” Gorski also insisted Seidel was not connected to the pharmaceutical industry (as if he would admit that she was if he was privy to this information) and noted that she is not a defendant in the case, despite her persistence in helping those defendants by targeting their critics. Gorski did make one point to Olmsted and Kirby that was correct, however:

If both of you, who so strongly disagree with Kathleen’s conclusions, were to speak out, it would shame Shoemaker and his clients, the Sykes, beyond any condemnation that I or the rest of the blogosphere can provide.

Indeed, Olmsted and Kirby were in a unique position to undermine Reverend Sykes’ case against Bayer and other pharmaceutical companies given that both journalists are well known to be on the same side of the debate as Sykes. That is the real reason Gorski wrote them his letter as he stated himself. He even hilariously tried to make them feel sympathetic towards Seidel by saying that they wouldn’t like being subpoenaed by vaccine manufacturers, and ended his email with the following plea:

If a lawyer representing a plaintiff suing vaccine companies can get away with this, just imagine what abuses lawyer [sic] with the resources of a big pharmaceutical company or the government could perpetrate to silence blogospheric critics. Imagine what mischief they could cause by demanding the correspondence, e-mails, financial records, and contacts with religious groups from their critics. That would be you, Mr. Kirby and Mr. Olmsted.

Just think about it.

Sincerely,

Orac

And yet, Orac, (blogging pseudonym for Dr. David Gorski) supports that very “mischief.” After Dr. Andrew Wakefield sued Brian Deer, Dr. Fiona Godlee and the British Medical Journal for libel in 2012, Gorski wrote Dr. Wakefield’s lawsuit:

…would allow them [Deer and Godlee’s lawyers] to subpoena all sorts of information…It might also, as I’ve pointed out, allow the defendants’ lawyers to depose all manner of Wakefield’s connections relevant to this libel suit, possibly even some of Generation Rescue’s luminaries and bloggers at AoA, given that it appears very much to me as though GR (Generation Rescue) and AoA coordinate their attacks on Deer and Godlee with Wakefield.

When Dr. Wakefield first filed his lawsuit, Gorski wrote that:

Communications between Wakefield and any AoA blogger might be subject to discovery.

That would include “Mr. Kirby and Mr. Olmsted,” not to mention me and potentially anyone else who has ever contributed to Age of Autism and corresponded with Dr. Wakefield. Obviously, Gorski would support the Merck and GSK-funded British Medical Journal, its editor Fiona Godlee and writer-for-hire Brian Deer serving Olmsted and Kirby with a subpoena. Gorski’s ploy is not surprising at all, given his complicity in the CDC’s thimerosal-autism cover-up and IOM’s subsequent whitewash.

What is devastatingly surprising, however, is Kirby and Olmsted’s response that came just three days after Gorski’s letter that blatantly stated: “I am appealing to both of you to use your influence and position in the autism biomedical movement to protest this shameless action by Mr. Shoemaker.”

In a complete betrayal to the autism community, Olmsted and Kirby did use their influence to protest Shoemaker’s subpoena, but they only sent their letter of protest to David Gorski. It appeared on his blog and nowhere else:

We both take this matter very seriously, and strongly oppose any effort to subpoena the records of Ms. Kathleen Seidel. We have also clearly expressed our feelings to Mr. Shoemaker. While we may not agree with her opinions, we consider Ms. Seidel to be a colleague. Rights to privacy, and to free speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment, must be upheld for all. We urge Mr. Shoemaker to reconsider, and drop this action against Ms. Seidel.

David Kirby

Dan Olmsted

Perhaps the most shocking part of the letter is their reference to Seidel as their “colleague” – a colleague who has no journalism credentials, who complains against scientists to their state’s medical board, the FDA and medical journals while advocating for outside researchers to be frozen out of accessing a taxpayer-funded, federal database. That is the “colleague” Kirby and Olmsted profess to support on the basis of “free speech” – a “colleague” whom by Gorski’s own standards as applied to Dr. Wakefield’s case – would be more than appropriate to subpoena.

It gets worse, however, much worse.

Less than two weeks after Kirby and Olmsted’s signed letter of support for their “colleague” Kathleen Seidel invoking the first amendment, Seidel gained free legal support from a Washington, DC-based consumer advocacy group called “Public Citizen.” More specifically, she was receiving support from Public Citizen’s “First Amendment Team.”

Dan Olmsted is connected to Public Citizen through its Health Research Center director/cofounder Dr. Sidney Wolfe. Dr. Wolfe’s involvement in Public Citizen spanned nearly four decades. Did Dan Olmsted provide Kathleen Seidel with free legal support? Whether directly or indirectly, the letter of support for Seidel he cosigned with Kirby could have only helped.

Within a day of David Gorski boasting about Public Citizen’s support for Seidel on “Science”Blogs, Shoemaker’s motion to subpoena was quashed. Less than two weeks after that, the Sykes dropped their case against Bayer and other pharmaceutical companies. The following month, the Sykes’ lawyer Clifford Shoemaker was professionally sanctioned.

As this was all happening, Olmsted and Kirby’s support for Seidel drew the ire of one notoriously cantankerous Age of Autism reader – autism father and Hating Autism blogger John Best. He tried to complain about Olmsted and Kirby’s support for Seidel – and by extension Bayer – in the comments of Age of Autism, only to be censored. Eventually, Best was banned from commenting on Age of Autism altogether. Apparently, Seidel’s right to free speech is more important to Age of Autism than that of its own readers as well as the scientists whose reputations she worked to destroy and whose research she worked to stifle.

John Best is not the only person who did not receive a satisfactory explanation from Kirby and Olmsted regarding their support of Seidel. David Kirby did not respond to my inquiry for this article. (I merely asked him if anyone other than Gorski had pressured him to write the letter.) Age of Autism editor Dan Olmsted has informed me that he refuses to communicate with me altogether. When we were still communicating, however, he figuratively claimed:

John Best wants to shoot me, and I’m a good guy!”

At that time, I had no idea that this “good guy” helped quash a thimerosal lawsuit against Bayer – much less that that was what Best had been complaining about and been censored from Age of Autism over. Then in 2011, David Gorski disclosed taking research funds directly from Bayer. I would love to know what role Olmsted and Kirby’s letter invoking “free speech” may have played in helping secure direct pharmaceutical funding to Gorski – a blogger who ironically considers them worthy of subpoena by vaccine industry-backed litigants.

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated and is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a BA in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy, He is completing his candidacy for an MPH in epidemiology from The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.