Tag Archives: Lancet

BMJ Deceived Lancet Parent Into Attacking Dr. Andrew Wakefield

The British Medical Journal (BMJ)’s commissioned writer Brian Deer duped the father of the 11th child described in The Lancet paper into believing his son’s case was misrepresented. That father, Richard Demirjian, was led to believe the paper said his son’s autistic symptoms began weeks after vaccination when the report said no such thing. The Lancet paper was perfectly consistent with what Demirjian said happened to his son.

So Autism Investigated wrote BMJ editor Dr. Fiona Godlee about how Deer misrepresented Demirjian’s son. Yes, it was that Dr. Godlee who Autism Investigated’s editor confronted back in 2011.

Despite past history, she replied cordially:

Thank you for your message. Might you or Richard Demirjian send a rapid response to the article on BMJ.com. We can then ask Brian Deer to respond. Best wishes. Fiona Godlee

But two months after Autism Investigated submitted a rapid response at her invitation, she coldly rejected it:

I have now had an opportunity to discuss this with our lawyer. We will not be publishing your rapid response. It is highly defamatory of Brian Deer and the allegations you raise have already been refuted in detail by Brian Deer on his website. Best wishes, Fiona Godlee

When asked for details, Godlee gave no reply.

In any case, read the below response and see for yourself if it defames Brian Deer. It doesn’t, but it shows Deer and the BMJ defamed Wakefield – in large part by deceiving parent Richard Demirjian.

Lancet father 11 hammers a nail into the coffin of Deer’s fallacious allegations

Brian Deer republished his Sunday Times accusations in the BMJ knowing that they were refuted in Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s 58-page press complaint against him and against the newspaper that ran the article two years prior.(1) Deer’s justification for doing so was the GMC’s ruling in favor of his earlier accusations of unethical research.(2) He has also misled a parent of one of The Lancet paper children (child 11) into believing The Lancet paper misrepresented the child’s case, but the wording in The Lancet paper itself confirms that the child’s case was not misrepresented.(3) The GMC’s findings have been overturned,(4) and a letter from the parent corroborates that The Lancet paper accurately represented his son’s condition.(5)

Two months after the article was published, Brian Deer received a letter from the parent of The Lancet child 11 that directly contradicts Deer’s account. Yet no correction has ever been made in the BMJ.

In the first article of Brian Deer’s MMR series for BMJ, Deer wrote of The Lancet Child 11:

But child 11’s case must have proved a disappointment. Records show his behavioural symptoms started too soon. “His developmental milestones were normal until 13 months of age,” notes the discharge summary. “In the period 13-18 months he developed slow speech patterns and repetitive hand movements. Over this period his parents remarked on his slow gradual deterioration.”

That put the first symptom two months earlier than reported in the Lancet, and a month before the boy received the MMR vaccination. And this was not the only anomaly to catch the father’s eye. What the paper reported as a “behavioural symptom” was noted in the records as a chest infection.(6)

However, Deer’s claim that child 11 regressed before the vaccine was disputed by child 11’s father in the letter he wrote to Deer (that is currently posted on Deer’s website):

One of the incorrect statements in my son’s discharge report was that autistic symptoms were seen from 13-18 months, while the vaccination was at 15 months. This is clearly inaccurate as his symptoms began several months after the MMR, as reflected in my initial correspondence to the Royal Free requesting my son be included in the research study.(5)

In the private meeting between Deer and father 11 that was referenced in Deer’s article, Deer had apparently misled the father into believing The Lancet paper misrepresented his son’s case. In that same letter to Deer, father 11 echoed Deer’s false statement that The Lancet paper put child 11’s first autistic symptoms at one week after the vaccine when in fact, the paper makes clear that that was only when child 11’s first behavioral symptom (associated, as also described in Table 2, with recurrent “viral pneumonia”). The first symptom, that could have been any of a number of behaviors such as permanent or chronic change in sleep pattern, occurred after vaccination. The table father 11 referred to in The Lancet paper makes no mention of onset of first autistic symptoms.(3) Father 11 corroborates The Lancet paper and contradicts Deer’s BMJ article.

Despite Deer being told by father 11 directly that his son did not regress until after his vaccination, Deer made no effort to correct the misinformation in his BMJ article. On Deer’s personal website, he even continues to cast doubt on father 11’s account:

Which is true for child 11? Who can say, years later? The father says one thing, the medical records another. Nobody can time-travel back to the 1990s. And in lawsuits, it is the records that usually count. But, whichever version is right, Wakefield’s story was not. Neither can be reconciled with The Lancet.(7)

The fact is there is only one correct version: The Lancet paper account corroborated by father 11 twice, both in his correspondence with the hospital and with Deer. The incorrect version is the faulty discharge summary exploited by Deer to mislead. This is not the first time that evidence was submitted to BMJ that dismantles the article’s veracity post-publication.

When other evidence was previously brought to the journal in November 2011 that also supported The Lancet papers findings,(8)(9) Deer deflected by referring back to the GMC findings.(10) Though Deer cited them to add credibility to all his allegations, the findings themselves have been deemed unsustainable by an English High Court ruling.

In 2012, Justice Mitting overturned the GMC decision that The Lancet paper had misrepresented its patient population, was unethical and was part of a litigation-funded project.(4) By extension, the paper’s lead author Dr. Andrew Wakefield could not have been dishonest for not disclosing that the paper was funded by litigation or was part of that project when neither was the case.

In fact, the court decision refutes all the GMC findings that Dr. Wakefield broke any rule of professional conduct as laid out in GMC’s Good medical practice guidance.(11)(12)(13) Likewise, there is no existing justification for the paper’s retraction.(14) The Lancet knows this. When I confronted The Lancet ombudsman, Dr. Malcolm Molyneux, with the fact that the GMC findings that served as the basis for the retraction were killed, all he could say was:

In the retraction statement, the editors of The Lancet stated that “several elements of the 1998 paper by Wakefield et al are incorrect. In particular….’” The retraction then mentions the enrolment procedure and ethical clearance, but implies that there remain other elements on which the decision was based.(15)

As the above statement reveals, the ombudsman is unable to state a single reason for the paper to remain retracted. Furthermore, there can be no “other elements on which the decision was based” since the retraction statement only cites the GMC findings – now overturned.(14)

Of Brian Deer’s many false claims, among the most egregious is his deceiving father 11 and misrepresenting child 11’s case.

1.     http://www.autisminvestigated.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Complaint_to_UK_PCC1.pdf

2.     http://briandeer.com/solved/gmc-charge-sheet.pdf

3.     See Table 2: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(97)11096-0/fulltext

4.     http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2012/503.rtf

5.     http://briandeer.com/solved/dan-olmsted-child-11.pdf

6.     http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.c5347

7.     http://briandeer.com/solved/dan-olmsted.htm

8.     http://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/11/09/re-how-case-against-mmr-vaccine-was-fixed

9.     http://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/11/17/re-pathology-reports-solve-%E2%80%9Cnew-bowel-disease%E2%80%9D-riddle

10.   Deer dismissed slides from The Lancet paper co-author Dr. Andrew Anthony later supplied by Dr. David Lewis on the excuse that Dr. Wakefield could have tampered with them. The only supporting evidence Deer offered of tampering was the GMC’s ruling that Dr. Wakefield had been “dishonest” based on the disciplinary findings that were since overturned. http://briandeer.com/solved/david-lewis-2.htm

11.    See 12a, which proves Dr. Wakefield was not professionally obligated to disclose his personal connection to litigation or his patent application to the editor of The Lancet. http://www.gmc-uk.org/guidance/ethical_guidance/30191.asp

12.    See page 8, endnote 7, which refers to the National Research Ethics Service (NRES) rules for when Research Ethics Committee (REC) approval is necessary. (NRES link in endnote no longer works) http://www.gmc-uk.org/Good_practice_in_research_and_consent_to_research.pdf_58834843.pdf

13.    NRES rules prove Dr. Wakefield’s birthday party blood draws did not require REC approval because they were not done on patients, therefore falling outside GMC’s authority to make any judgement on the matter. http://www.hra.nhs.uk/documents/2013/09/does-my-project-require-rec-review.pdf

14.    http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(10)60175-4/fulltext

15.    http://www.autisminvestigated.com/the-lancet-dr-andrew-wakefield/

ALL MMR VAX BACKERS CAUSE AUTISM AND MEASLES


There is no available measles vaccine, only the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine. The former prevents measles, the latter causes measles to linger in the guts of children who developed autism and GI disease as a result of MMR. Measles has made a comeback in the US and UK because there is no measles vaccine available – just the MMR which every child should be protected from. Below is a nearly 20-year old story about the withdrawal of the measles vaccine in the UK by the manufacturer because of – get this – high demand for its use. That demand followed publication of exonerated Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s paper on MMR-injured children. Former CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden is complicit in covering up their injuries.

Measles jab withdrawn due to ‘high demand’

PARENTS CONCERNED about inoculating their children with the controversial triple vaccine MMR will be forced to travel to Europe if they want a single measles vaccination, it was revealed yesterday.

The company that makes the single measles vaccine said it was withdrawing it from sale in Britain because it could not meet demand.

From now on parents will have only the option of using MMR, which has been linked by one study, published in the medical journal The Lancet, to autism and bowel disease.

Last night Pasteur Merieux MSD, the Paris-based company that makes both the triple and single vaccines, said the single vaccine had been available in Britain on a named-patient basis only.

“That meant it was only available to a very small number of people,” said Dr Veronique Maguin, the company’s marketing director.

“As demand grew we had to make an ethical decision about who the drug should be available to. It was a problem for the company because we could not satisfy everybody. Our main concern is one of public health and we felt we could not satisfy everybody.”

There has been a huge increase in demand for the single measles injection since the report last February in The Lancet on MMR, which also inoculates against mumps and rubella.

While a subsequent report published by the Medical Research Council found no evidence of the link, many parents remain suspicious of the triple vaccine and want to see more research carried out into its possible side- effects.

Some believe that receiving all three vaccines at once has a negative effect on the immune system.

Ann Coote, a founder member of the pressure group Jabs – Justice, Awareness, and Basic Support – said she was astounded the company was withdrawing the single vaccine.

“It does seem very strange. Most manufacturers faced with a demand for something would be rubbing their hands together,” she said.

“We get a lot of calls from parents who have lost faith in MMR and would prefer to have the option of a single vaccine. We would like to see MMR suspended and more research done.

“In the meantime single vaccines should be available. We are not against vaccines, we are against damage. Parents have a right to make a choice.”

Mrs Coote said many parents were considering travelling to Europe to purchase single jabs.

She said that her own daughter, Rachal, stopped breathing after being injected with the triple vaccine at the age of 18 months.

Now aged 11, Rachal still suffers from epileptic fits and has the mental age of a six-year-old.

Her daughter’s experience led Mrs Coote to set up Jabs, which has 1,700 members.

The Department of Health accepts the vaccine is not risk-free. “All drugs have side-effects,” said a spokeswoman. “We believe that there is more risk from not having the vaccination.”

She said the Government recommended having all three vaccinations at once, though she denied there had been any pressure placed on Pasteur Merieux MSD to withdraw the single vaccine.

“There is a risk to other children if a child is waiting to go back to the doctor for another vaccination. It is also more painful for the child,” she said.

“But the decision to withdraw the single vaccine is the company’s alone.”

measles

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!

Dan Olmsted Exposes Evil “Journalist” for What He Is

It is with great sadness that Autism Investigated relays the announcement that Dan Olmsted – Age of Autism’s founding editor – has passed away. While I have had my differences with him and the Age of Autism site, I will be forever grateful to him for his friendship, advice and platform for my views. I’ve always respected him as a journalist and have never forgotten the excellent work he has done over the years, and I just had a very friendly exchange with him on the day of the inauguration. I will never stop missing him and offer my sincere condolences to the entire Age of Autism team. Autism Investigated will devote the entire week to posts honoring Dan Olmsted, including a proper obituary. May we all honor Dan Olmsted’s life by ending the autism epidemic to make America great again! – Jake Crosby, MPH

“Who Can Say?” — Journalist Who Alleged Wakefield Committed Fraud Backs Off Key Claim

By Dan Olmsted

Brian Deer, the British journalist who claimed researcher Andrew Wakefield committed fraud by linking the MMR vaccine to autism, now admits one of his key allegations against Wakefield may be flat-out wrong. Yet he insists it’s no big deal — that it does nothing to undercut his claim that Wakefield is “an elaborate fraud.”

“Not one of the children were reported on truthfully. Wakefield lied again and again,” journalist Brian Deer said in his post on Saturday, referring to Wakefield 12-child case series published in the Lancet in 1998.  But in the same post, Deer acknowledged that, contrary to his previous reporting, he is now unsure whether Wakefield falsely changed the timing of the MMR shot to put it before the autism symptoms began in a key case.

“Who can say?” Deer wrote Saturday.

The allegation that Wakefield reversed the timing of the shot — clear evidence of fraud, if true — was  featured in detail as the shocking opening to Deer’s 2012 series in the British Medical Journal titled “How the Case Against the MMR Was Fixed.”

Child 11’s autism symptoms developed “two months earlier than reported in the Lancet, and a month before the boy had MMR,” Deer reported, “too soon” to be the cause. That “must have been a disappointment” to Wakefield, who proceeded to switch the sequence to suit his bias, Deer wrote. The father angrily “spotted the anomaly” after Deer identified and interviewed him, but  “needn’t have worried” that Wakefield would get away with it: “My investigation of the MMR issue exposed the frauds behind Wakefield’s research.”

But on Saturday, after I showed that Deer is the one who got the sequence wrong – that the shot indisputably did come first, followed by the development of regressive autism — Deer wrote: “Who can say, years later?” In fact, I can say: The father, whom I also identified and interviewed, wrote Wakefield as early as 1997, and contemporaneous medical records establish, that the child got the MMR at 15 months, became sick for several months, developed autism symptoms by 18 months, and was given a formal autism diagnosis at age 3. The father has always said he believes the shot caused all those consequences — none of which Deer managed to reflect in his own investigation despite interviewing and e-mailing with Father 11 over an extended period of time.

The fact that a core element of his claim of research fraud is now a matter of uncertainty to Deer, the only man who made it, is a remarkable development under any circumstance, but considering the impact the claim has had on the autism debate in subsequent years, it is extraordinary. The claim has been used by officials around the world to say concerns about autism and vaccines have been “debunked” because they originated from a fraudulent research report. A typical example: Senator Dianne Feinstein of California wrote a constituent last week: “I understand that many parents are also concerned that vaccines may cause autism. This claim was published in 1998, in an article in the Lancet, a British medical journal. The researcher who authored the article was later found to have deliberately falsified data to produce a fraudulent link …”

Equally striking is how little its accuracy seems to matter to Deer, convinced as he is that Wakefield’s status as a charlatan is beyond dispute, even if such a central “fact” no longer supports it.

Deer, a veteran newspaper correspondent who, as he frequently points out, has won numerous prestigious journalism awards including the British equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize for his Wakefield investigation, on Saturday offered no convincing reason for how he could have gotten something so central to his fraud claim against Wakefield so wrong. Instead he portrayed the father’s account as a “competing” explanation to the one Deer had independently settled on, based on a couple of unrelated court documents that led him to falsely infer that the autism symptoms preceded the shot in Child 11. Standard journalistic practice would be to check that assumption against the other, far more dispositive evidence that refuted it, and with the child’s father, who subsequently told me: “Mr. Deer’s article makes me appear irrational for continuing to believe that the MMR caused difficulties which predated its administration.”

Instead, on Saturday Deer sneered at the messenger – me – as he staged a full-scale retreat from the facts, using Father 11’s acknowledged but irrelevant antipathy toward Wakefield as cover. He called me “an undistinguished former journalist” who now runs a website “largely funded by anti-vaccine profiteers,” claiming that I had been “dumped some years ago from his post as a copy editor for a news agency owned by the Rev Sun Myung Moon – himself convicted of fraud … Olmsted has since sought a livelihood from his website, misleading vulnerable parents of children with autism. …  He sought to profit with his website by lying to parents whom he disgustingly purports to champion” and followed “British research cheat” Wakefield “into the toilet.”

Whatever. On Saturday Deer also tried to elevate a secondary issue – how long after the shot the autism symptoms occurred in Child 11 – into a replacement for his now-discredited claim that the entire sequence was reversed, an incomparably more serious and black-and-white issue. 

Ultimately, Deer suggested, the truth is unknowable.

“The father says one thing, the medical records another,” as Deer put it on Saturday. In fact, the father says one thing, and the medical records back him. (That does not mean the vaccine caused the autism, of course, but it does mean the father believed it did, and that Wakefield got the sequence right.) Only Deer’s idiosyncratic and journalistically unjustified misuse of a couple of stray medical records, unchecked by the reality described by everyone else, says another.

As I’ve shown in a 10-part series,  this tendentious approach applies to the entirety of Deer’s reporting on Wakefield, including Deer’s accusation that in five of the 12 children – Child 11 included – autism symptoms occurred before the shots were given. In fact, those cases are no more illustrative of Deer’s allegation of the shot-symptoms sequence than Child 11. Nonetheless, when one “fact” starts to wobble, Deer refers to all the other facts that have not been as closely scrutinized as if they offer some sort of collective support – “Of course, my reports did not hinge on child 11, or on any individual case,” he said Saturday. “As explained in the most detailed account of Wakefield’s grotesque misconduct, it rested on the findings (as the BMJ noted) that not one of the children were reported upon truthfully. Wakefield lied and lied again.” 


And if that’s not enough, well, Wakefield’s license to practice medicine was revoked and the Lancet paper was retracted (largely based on the “facts” Deer alleged).

At some point, though, Deer’s claims – or anyone else’s – must hinge on the facts of individual cases if they are to add up to widely accepted evidence of “Wakefield’s grotesque misconduct.” Just saying so doesn’t make it so; referring to “lie after lie” doesn’t constitute “an elaborate fraud” unless each “lie” can be shown to be exactly that. (Deer’s piece on my own reporting was titled, “Dan Olmsted lies for research doctor.” One is tempted to rewrite the headline as “Lying Undistinguished Former Journalist Lies for Lying Research Fraud Wakefield.”)

The timing of shots and symptoms in just 12 children more than a decade ago may seem trivial, but the issue is anything but arcane. Millions of cases of autism have occurred since 1998, when Wakefield sounded what he believed was an “early warning” of a possible link between vaccination and autism that required further research and led to his suggestion that until that was complete, the M, M, and R in the MMR should be given separately. Thousands of parents have subsequently described such an outcome, but because Wakefield has supposedly been “discredited” and his work “debunked” — by Brian Deer — that and other evidence have been dismissed.

I first wrote about Deer’s investigation in 2012. Let me again spell out what I learned from Father 11 and how it differed from Deer’s account.

I met Father 11, who like Deer I identified from my own independent reporting, at a Peet’s Coffee shop in an affluent, picture-perfect Southern California enclave, and we sat outside in the mid-60s sunshine he jokingly called “a little frosty.” A wealthy businessman who lives in a gated community nearby, he wore a light jacket emblazoned with “Cal,” for the University of California at Berkeley where he got an engineering degree. He carried a thin file folder and a spiral notebook.

In this laid-back setting, it was hard to grasp the role he and his family have played in one of the major medical controversies of our time, one that unfolded in a foggy city 6,000 miles to the east.

This father is Deer’s best witness among the parents of the 12 children described in the Lancet paper – in fact, his only one, the lone parent who is hostile to Wakefield, not just a little frosty, but coldly angry. His anonymous comments to Deer in the BMJ seemed to fully support the January 5, 2011, cover story: “Secrets of the MMR Scare: How the Case Against the MMR Was Fixed.”

“My investigation of the MMR issue exposed the frauds behind Wakefield’s research,” wrote the ludicrously self-aggrandizing correspondent.

Child 11, in fact, was Deer’s opening into fraud. He was among those “whose parents apparently blamed MMR,” but Deer commented acidly that “Child 11’s case must have been a disappointment. Records show his behavioural symptoms began too soon.” [Italics in original] Deer quoted from a Royal Free Hospital discharge summary: “His developmental milestones were normal until 13 months of age. In the period 13-18 months he developed slow speech patterns and repetitive hand movements. Over this period his parents remarked on his slow gradual deterioration.”

Deer summarized: “That put the symptom two months earlier than reported in the Lancet, and a month before the boy had MMR. And this was not the only anomaly to catch the father’s eye. …” (Note that it is Deer, not the discharge paper, saying the symptoms came “a month before the boy had MMR.”)

Well yes, if you’ve got a parent saying that a child developed autism before he got the MMR shot, and you’ve got a research paper saying the opposite and suggesting a link between the shot and the disorder, and pulling the same stunt with several other children, you’ve got your fraud right there.

The BMJ report was the coup de grace for serious consideration of a link between vaccines and autism. Wakefield was “convicted of fraud,” wrote Time magazine in an article titled “The Dangers of the Antivaccine Movement.” An editorial in The New York Times, titled Autism Fraud,noted Britain’s General Medical Council had already stripped Wakefield of his medical license, and the Lancet retracted the paper: “Now the British Medical Journal has taken the extraordinary step of publishing a lengthy report by Brian Deer, the British investigative journalist who first brought the paper’s flaws to light — and has put its own reputation on the line by endorsing his findings.”

Indeed it did.

“Clear evidence of falsification of data should now close the door on this damaging vaccine scare,” Editor in Chief Fiona Godlee wrote. She said “there is no doubt it was Wakefield” who was responsible for the “elaborate fraud,” despite having 12 co-authors.H

old the door, please. I was about to learn that Deer’s explosive claim about Child 11 – Exhibit A in this alleged hoax — was false. And that was just the first step of my journey into a world where things were not at all as they seemed.

The father opened the file folder – guarding the papers against a fickle coastal breeze — and showed me a letter he had written on January 1, 1997, to “Dr. Andrew Wakefield, Royal Free Hospital, London, England.”“My son [name deleted] at age 15 months, was immunized with the Merck MMR vaccine and became ill for the next several months,” the letter began.“As his pediatric records indicate he came down with a viral infection, and shortly thereafter viral pneumonia. His condition slowly deteriorated over time, and was diagnosed as being autistic on his birthday at age 3. The onset of his autistic behavior began around 18 months. … He was diagnosed as moderate to severe, with no speech, no eye contact, and cognitive function at 6 months overall.”

Multiple specialists in the United States confirmed the autism diagnosis, the letter added, as well as their suspicions of the MMR vaccine as the cause. Further workups in California also revealed “indeterminant inflammatory bowel disease” — the dual syndrome Wakefield was then investigating at the Royal Free. That was why the father wanted the hospital’s pediatric gastroenterologists to evaluate his child.

So – first came the shot, then the symptoms. The father’s account, and medical records created before he got anywhere near Wakefield, could not be clearer. But didn’t he tell Brian Deer exactly the opposite, as recounted in the opening of the BMJ cover story? And didn’t a hospital record confirm that?

No. And no.

Though you’d never know it, the father was actually disputing how long after the shot specific symptoms occurred. In fact, the father did directly blame the MMR for causing his son’s illnesses and autistic regression – a fact that appears to have escaped Deer’s notice, or at least acknowledgement.

Yes, the father was angry at Wakefield. Yes, he disagreed with other points, some of them unrelated to the content of the Lancet article. But no – he did not say that the symptoms came before the shot. That was not an “anomaly” in the Lancet paper that caught his eye, as Deer wrote.

And the discharge document itself? It was simply wrong, one of thousands of pieces of paper generated by many medical personnel in a complicated medical case stretching over many years; perhaps the “13-18 months” was a typo for “15-18,” since that is what the father had reported all along. Regardless, the father says he never told Deer that the symptoms came first, and there is no evidence to the contrary. Deer apparently did not bother to check that one piece of paper against the large volume of other evidence, or to confirm it with the father, or to make sure that his own claim that symptoms began “a month before the boy had MMR” coincided with any actual chronology.

As far as I can tell, no one on the planet — no doctor, no parent, no document – has ever said Child 11 was anything but healthy and developing normally before the MMR. No one, that is, but Brian Deer in the BMJ. And here we see Deer at work: Because Wakefield was by definition a fraud – because Deer said so – any discrepancies between data in the Lancet paper and any other source was proof against Wakefield. One document says 13-18 months for the period of regression? That was evidence enough that Wakefield “used bogus data … to manufacture a link” between the MMR and autism.

To my surprise as we sat outside in Southern California, the father told me he hadn’t read the BMJ article, and he declined my offer to quote from it or have him read it during our visit. He would rather lay out the sequence in his own words, he told me.

That turned out to be a useful approach.

His son had been completely healthy and developing normally, he said, until the MMR shot at 15 months triggered a downhill progression.

“I very much believe it,” he said about the relationship of the shot to the symptoms: The measles component of the vaccine triggered an immune deficiency that produced the cascade of devastating physical and mental problems. This, in fact, was Wakefield’s provisional hypothesis.

How did Brian Deer miss all this? How did he misrepresent the core of the alleged fraud and claim the symptoms came before the shot? How did he rely on the father to rage against Wakefield but completely omit the fact he believed his child’s autism did not just come after the vaccine but was caused by it?

Who can say?

Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.

Originally posted on Age of Autism

Happy New Year: The Lancet Acknowledges Dr. Andrew Wakefield Is Exonerated

While The Lancet ombudsman Dr. Malcolm Molyneux refused to reverse the retraction of exonerated gastroenterologist Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s landmark paper on post-vaccination autism, Dr. Molyneux did acknowledge that the UK General Medical Council’s findings of misconduct against Dr. Wakefield had been overturned.

When told that the 2012 High Court decision in favor of Dr. Wakefield’s colleague Prof. John Walker-Smith “would kill the GMC findings on which your journal’s retraction was based”, the ombudsman Dr. Malcolm Molyneux replied:

Dear Mr Crosby,

Thank you for your letter of June 13, 2015, in which you request that the Lancet Editor reinstate the retracted paper Ileal-lymphoid-nodular-hyperplasia, non-specific colitis and pervasive developmental disorder in children.

In the retraction statement, the editors of The Lancet stated that “several elements of the 1998 paper by Wakefield et al are incorrect. In particular….’” The retraction then mentions the enrolment [sic] procedure and ethical clearance, but implies that there remain other elements on which the decision was based.

Having considered all of the relevant material, I can see no sufficient reason for reinstatement of the Wakefield paper. I do not believe that COPE’s guidelines have been violated by retraction of the paper in question, or by failure to reinstate it.

I do not believe there is justification for any further debate about this extensively discussed article.

Yours sincerely,

Prof Malcolm Molyneux, Lancet Ombudsman

Despite Molyneux alluding to “other elements” which he did not name, at least both The Lancet and Dr. Andrew Wakefield agree that he was exonerated of the disciplinary findings against him now that they have been completely overturned. The British Medical Journal had better have a strong enough relationship with the drug company Merck to offset the expulsion from the National Library of Medicine that journal may now face as a result of defaming Dr. Wakefield. Now that The Lancet ombudsman has acknowledged that elements of its own retraction of Dr. Wakefield’s paper have proven to be false, The Lancet had better hope the same for its own relationship with Merck as well.

There is another choice The Lancet can make, however, which is to do the right thing by restoring Dr. Wakefield’s paper to its rightful place in the medical literature. And then maybe – just maybe – The Lancet editor can get that five minutes with Donald Trump he’s been begging for…

 

 

Here’s to a Happy New Year!

Dr. Andrew Wakefield on Re-Licensure – “I will now give this very, very serious consideration”

Wakefield_VaxedTrailor-1024x576

At the annual AutismOne conference – 26.5 minutes into the below Twitter-linked video of a Q/A session on the documentary Vaxxed – director and much-maligned doctor Andrew Wakefield said he will give “very, very serious consideration” to getting his medical license restored. His comment was met with applause and cheers from the audience, who gave him a standing ovation.

Dr. Wakefield first expressed interest in having his license restored earlier this year, and Autism Investigated received a signed letter from the UK’s General Medical Council (GMC) saying they would consider his application for restoration and “any further supporting evidence” he provides. He then drew criticism from Autism Investigated after saying in a text message that re-licensure still was not a priority for him.

But on the night of May 28th, Dr. Wakefield had a well-received change of tune that couldn’t have come a moment too soon. He was gracious for being reminded earlier that day that it was approval from an ethics committee of the National Health Service (NHS) that the GMC claimed he needed but lacked when he arranged for blood to be taken from children at his son’s birthday party. However, those rules did not apply to those children because they were not patients. So the birthday party allegations are totally nullified.

All the GMC findings that caused Dr. Wakefield’s medical license to be revoked and his papers retracted have really been overturned four years ago. Unfortunately, it is because his medical license remains revoked and his papers remain retracted that he continues to be dismissed. Winning back his medical license would take away those excuses to dismiss him once and for all.

When the audience was done clapping for Dr. Wakefield after he expressed his renewed interest in restoration, he concluded, “If I am vindicated it will give credence to the parents’ story”. Then someone from the audience rose up and said, “the world needs more doctors like you. You need your license back.”

Addendum: Embedded link replaced with embedded video footage of Q/A following Dr. Wakefield’s excellent documentary.

Andrew Wakefield Fights to Win Back Medical License

With all the attacks against de-licensed British doctor Andrew Wakefield by the scavengers of the media, one thing that gets lost is the fact that the findings on which the retraction of his paper and revocation of his medical license were based have been completely overturned. Wakefield is now looking to get his medical license back that the UK’s General Medical Council had taken from him over five years ago.

When faced with the fact that the findings used to justify the retraction were effectively disproved, the ombudsman of The Lancet – the journal that retracted Wakefield’s paper – Dr. Malcolm Molyneux admitted:

The retraction then mentions the enrolment [sic] procedure and ethical clearance, but implies that there remain other elements on which the decision was based.

The only accurate way to interpret Molyneux’s answer is that he tacitly acknowledges that the findings specifically mentioned to justify the paper’s retraction were overturned, but does not want to do anything about it or even revise the journal’s retraction statement. When pressed on what those “other elements” were that justified the paper’s retraction, Molyneux did not respond further.

Now that Andrew Wakefield is screening a film on the government’s cover-up of vaccines causing autism at the Tribeca Film Festival, I only wish he would include the unwarranted retraction of his paper in his Tribeca bio. I have been quite disappointed in Wakefield – from saying he insists on GMC’s witch trial against him and his colleagues to giving an interview with the pharma-conspiring New York Times, he has truly proven himself to be clueless about how to handle the scavengers’ attacks on him. Look at how pathetic his Tribeca film bio is:

Andrew Wakefield, MB.BS., is an academic gastroenterologist who practiced medicine at the Royal Free in the U.K. publishing over 140 scientific papers. In 1995, he was contacted by parents of autistic children with stomach issues; he learned that these conditions often occurred immediately following an MMR vaccine. In pursuit of this possible link, Dr. Wakefield led an initial study of twelve children with both stomach and developmental issues. The report, published in The Lancet, would catapult Wakefield into becoming one of the most controversial figures in the history of medicine. Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Controversy is his second film.

This is what it should really say:

Andrew Wakefield, MB.BS., is an academic gastroenterologist who practiced medicine at the Royal Free in the U.K. publishing over 140 scientific papers. In 1995, he was contacted by parents of autistic children with stomach issues; he learned that these conditions often occurred immediately following an MMR vaccine. His initial study of these children was retracted by The Lancet and his medical license was revoked because of disproved disciplinary findings that have now been completely overturned on appeal. Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Controversy is his second film.

Wakefield tells Autism Investigated that he is trying to get his medical license back, which is all the more appropriate now that the findings against him have been completely overturned by his colleague’s appeal. Yet he has never commented on whether he will even make a public statement about it. He most certainly should, especially now that his documentary on the CDC whistleblower story that he hijacked is being screened at Tribeca.

Update: Tribeca Film Festival pulled the documentary: “The Festival doesn’t seek to avoid or shy away from controversy. However, we have concerns with certain things in this film that we feel prevent us from presenting it in the Festival program. We have decided to remove it from our schedule.”

Footage from the film includes surreptitious recordings of Dr. William Thompson’s voice leaked by Wakefield as well as a silhouetted actor posing as Dr. Thompson.

Addendum: Last January, Autism Investigated sent the following question to the General Medical Council: “How do you justify keeping Dr. Andrew Wakefield de-licensed when all your findings against him have been overturned on appeal by his colleague, Prof. John Walker-Smith?”

The GMC replied with a signed letter that did not address the findings themselves, but did conclude: “a doctor can apply for restoration to the register in certain circumstances. We would then consider the doctor’s application, along with any further supporting evidence they provide, and determine whether to grant restoration to the register.”

More than five years has elapsed since Dr. Wakefield’s erasure, making him eligible to apply. Once he does, the GMC will have to consider his application along with “any further supporting evidence” he provides.

Andrew Wakefield Betrays CDC Whistleblower

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By Jake Crosby

When I wrote the article SafeMinds Steals The Show, Literally… early last year, I never thought I would write a piece I would enjoy writing even less than I enjoyed writing that one.

I was wrong.

Andrew Wakefield has betrayed the CDC whistleblower by releasing his name without his consent. On the Autism Media Channel website, a video hosted by Wakefield is up announcing the whistleblower’s name and playing recordings of his voice. In the video is scientist and parent Dr. Brian Hooker, who had been in discussions with the whistleblower and made the catastrophic mistake of sharing his identity with Wakefield. Complicit in the betrayal is Age of Autism, which is promoting Wakefield’s video while repeating the whistleblower’s name.

In commentary to a small group of people later relayed to Autism Investigated, attorney Robert Krakow commented:

“I am very familiar with the information [whistleblower] offered. Disclosure of [whistleblower]’s existence and identity at this point in time is a colossal blunder and an inexplicable error in judgment that damages irreparably the opportunity to use [whistleblower]’s very valuable information and testimony effectively.  I know that Brian Hooker did not make the disclosure.”

It remains truly ironic that Andrew Wakefield – a man betrayed by the Lancet editor a decade ago – would turn around and betray the trust of someone who has come forward with valuable information about the fraud committed in a federal agency. Also ironic is that Wakefield similarly betrayed the trust of Dr. Brian Hooker, whose congressional activities have been repeatedly undermined by groups associated with Age of Autism.

More will be reported as this story develops.

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.

 

Kennedy’s Ghostwriter Defended Thimerosal

adam hadhazy

ghostwriter: A person whose job it is to write material for someone else who is the named author. – Oxford Dictionaries

By Jake Crosby

As surprising as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. chopping out the chapters on autism from his book “Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak” while saying there is no proof thimerosal causes autism, is the identity of one of the professional writers he hired to write his book for him. The creator listed in the file properties of Kennedy’s unpublished manuscript had actually defended the neurotoxic vaccine preservative thimerosal, which appears to shed light on Kennedy’s decision to strike the chapters.

Adam Hadhazy is a “freelance science writer” with his own professional website and linkedin account. He also authored a piece for Popular Mechanics in 2010 defending thimerosal, titled “The Truth About 9 Anti-Vaccine Studies.” In it, he quoted millionaire vaccine industrialist Paul Offit as summarizing Dr. Mark Geier’s research on thimerosal and autism “junk.” Hadhazy also called Dr. Andrew Wakefield “discredited” and wrote that his 1998 Lancet paper on children with autism and bowel disease “largely launched the dangerous anti-vaccination movement.”

Adam Hadhazy further cited the letter former CDC researcher  Thomas Verstraeten wrote to Pediatrics falsely stating that CDC did not conceal any evidence  thimerosal causes autism. Citing Paul Offit, Hadhazy suggested that infants can “conservatively handle thousands of vaccines simultaneously”. The take-away point from all this is that Hadhazy is an all-purpose defender of the vaccine program, and he’s written Kennedy’s book for him. Hadhazy’s “substantive, behind the scenes role” in Kennedy striking the chapters connecting thimerosal to autism is more than evident.

In the Washington Post, Dr. Mark Hyman – celebrity doctor who wrote the book’s preface – takes credit for convincing Kennedy to remove the chapters. Yet Dr. Hyman is an awfully strange person to have done so, given that he has no history of writing about thimerosal. Dr. Hyman further echos a familiar pharma talking point: “Yes, there’s been an increase in autism, even as we take out thimerosal” (Ironically, the CDC data Dr. Hyman relied on to defend thimerosal is not even considered reliable by thimerosal defenders). Hadhazy’s piece for Popular Mechanics on thimerosal and vaccines is heavily laden with pharma talking points.

In Kennedy’s officially released book, the entire part on autism is removed including a chapter titled “Autism Rates Decline When Thimerosal Exposure Levels Are Reduced” and another on the government’s concession that vaccines caused autism in Hannah Poling. The entire part critiquing media coverage was removed as well. Even chapters in remaining parts were pulled. Those include chapters on CDC and AAP’s conflicts of interest, the Breusewitz v. Wyeth Supreme Court decision siding with drug companies, the Homeland Security Rider seeking to protect thimerosal maker Eli Lilly and CDC’s intimidation tactics against scientists such as Dr. Mark and David Geier and Prof. Richard Deth. Those chapters were apparently “too combustible” to keep as well, as was the word “Causative” that was taken out of the chapter title that formerly read “The Verstraeten Study – Causative Links between Thimerosal and Neurological Damage.”

Meanwhile, Age of Autism continues to ardently defend Kennedy, saying on its Facebook page: “If you’d like to piss in the cornflakes, find another bowl.”

It looks like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has already done that to his own bowl.

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.

Lancet Keeps Wakefield et al. Retracted in Contempt of Court

Monotone legal concept

By Jake Crosby

Findings of the UK General Medical Council against the Wakefield et al. paper were overturned by the High Court, yet the Lancet still keeps that paper retracted – citing those overturned findings. Previous attempts have been made to persuade Lancet editor Richard Horton and the previous Lancet ombudsman Charles Warlow to restore “Ileal-Lymphoid-Nodular-Hyperplasia, Non-specific Colitis and Pervasive Developmental Disorder in Children” by Wakefield et al. Horton flatly refused, while Warlow denied having any responsibility for reconsidering the status of the paper.

Then in March, the Lancet hired Wisia Wedzicha – a new ombudsman to take Warlow’s place. In April, I contacted her asking that she repeal the retraction and restore Wakefield et al. Below is my email correspondence with her. Interestingly, she did acknowledge having responsibility for reconsidering the status of the paper, despite keeping it retracted for no given reason. She also  made it clear that she did not want to hear about this matter again.

 

—–Original Message—–
From: Jake Crosby
To: ombudsman
Sent: Sun, Apr 20, 2014 5:58 pm
Subject: Wakefield et al. Should Still Be Restored

Dear Prof. Wedzicha,

I am an epidemiologist and public health student who also edits an autism news website, autisminvestigated.com. A paper remains retracted by your medical journal on the basis of findings since overturned by a High Court Ruling. It is long past due that that paper, “Ileal-lymphoid-nodular-hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children” by Wakefield et al. be fully restored to the published record.

A 2010 judgment by the General Medical Council was the basis for the Lancet’s retraction, signed by “The Editors of The Lancet,” who gave the following reasons for pulling the paper:

“In particular, the claims in the original paper that children were “consecutively referred” and that investigations were “approved” by the local ethics committee have been proven to be false.”

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(10)60175-4/fulltext

But following the successful appeal of the paper’s senior clinical investigator – John Walker-Smith – the GMC findings that served as the basis for Lancet’s retraction have since been overturned.

With regard to the GMC’s false claims that the patients in the paper were not “consecutively referred”:

“157. …Thus construed, this paper does not bear the meaning put upon it by the [GMC] panel. The phrase “consecutively referred” means no more than that the children were referred successively, rather than as a single batch, to the Department of Paediatric Gastroenterology.”

Similarly, the GMC’s rulings that the children in the Lancet paper were subjects of a research project that did not gain ethical approval also proved unfounded:

“158. …The [GMC] panel’s finding that the description of the patient population in the Lancet paper was misleading would only have been justified if its primary finding that all of the Lancet children were referred for the purposes of research as part of Project 172-96 is sustainable. Because, for the reasons which I have given, it was not, this aspect of its findings must also fall.”

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2012/503.html

The judge found only one misleading statement in the paper, but it was not because investigations undertaken were unethical experiments described as gaining ethical approval in the paper according to the now-overturned findings on which the paper’s retraction was based. On the contrary, it was because investigations in the paper were described as being ethically approved when most were clinically indicated and required no such approval, although a few investigations were ethically approved. This may require an erratum, but it does not justify keeping the paper fully retracted.

When these points were made to Richard Horton in 2012, he dismissively replied, “We have no plans to change our decision about this paper.”

After I took this matter up with your predecessor Charles Warlow, I was promised a response from him by executive editor Richard Turner: “Prof Warlow will be in touch with you in due course.”

Although I never received any reply from Prof. Warlow, he apparently replied to at least one other reader who raised the same concerns that I did. Warlow dismissively replied:

“In fact this is an editorial decision which as Ombudsman is not my business; I have to deal with complaints about process, delays, rudeness and such like.”

http://childhealthsafety.wordpress.com/2013/05/16/andrew-wakefields-lancet-paper-lancet-ombudsman-there-is-a-scientific-argument-which-is-continuing-and-has-yet-to-be-sorted-out-to-everyones-satisfaction/

In fact, among the categories listed under “What our ombudsman can investigate” is “challenges to the publishing ethics of the journal.”

http://www.thelancet.com/ombudsman

This is very much an issue of publishing ethics since it concerns a paper staying fully retracted from the published record based on legal findings since-overturned by a High Court decision. Interestingly, your predecessor did not include “publishing ethics” in the categories he said he could investigate in his reply to that other reader. I think a case could be made for editorial dishonesty given that the retraction was signed by “The Editors of The Lancet” and given that Richard Horton insisted on keeping the paper retracted in spite of being informed of how the paper remained retracted on the basis of overturned charges. I also believe he is very conflicted in making such a decision since he himself testified against the paper’s lead author at the GMC Hearing that led to the paper’s retraction. This matter deserves fair and independent consideration.

I hope you will investigate accordingly, and I look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,

Jake Crosby, MPH

—–Original Message—–
From: Wedzicha, Jadwiga A
To: ‘Jake Crosby’
Sent: Fri, May 2, 2014 6:07 am
Subject: Ombudsman

Dear Dr Crosby,

Thank you very much for your inquiry. I know the case in question well and I do not believe that there are sufficient new grounds to overturn the paper’s retraction from the Lancet.

I regret to inform you that I can see no reason for an investigation.

Sincerely,

Wisia Wedzicha
Lancet Ombudsman
Professor of Respiratory Medicine
Airways Disease Section
National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London,
Emmanuel Kaye Building,
Manresa Road,
London SW3 6LR
44 (0) 207 594 7947

From: Jake Crosby
Sent: 05 May 2014 10:27
To: Wedzicha, Jadwiga A
Subject: Re: Ombudsman

Dear Dr. Wedzicha,

Thank you for your reply and also for your acknowledgement of the ombudsman’s responsibility for overturning retractions.

I must say I am very puzzled as to how there are not sufficient grounds to overturn this retraction when the GMC findings it was based on have been overturned by the High Court. As you can see from the quotes in my previous email, the ruling judge explicitly stated in his findings that the GMC was wrong to deny that the patients described in the paper were consecutively referred. He also struck down the GMC’s findings that the investigations described in the paper required ethical approvals that were not obtained, which the Lancet also cites as its basis for keeping the paper retracted. So how can this retraction stand without remaining in contempt of the High Court?

Sincerely,

Jake Crosby, MPH (I do not have a doctorate.)

—–Original Message—–
From: Wedzicha, Jadwiga A
To: ‘Jake Crosby’
Sent: Wed, May 7, 2014 4:18 am
Subject: RE: Ombudsman

Dear Mr Crosby

Thank you for your email.
The comment I made about not overturning the retraction still stands and there is no case to change this position.

I now consider this matter closed.

Best wishes

Wisia Wedzicha
Lancet Ombudsman

Wisia Wedzicha
Professor of Respiratory Medicine
Airways Disease Section
National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London,
Emmanuel Kaye Building,
Manresa Road,
London SW3 6LR
44 (0) 207 594 7947

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.