Tag Archives: Thomas Verstraeten

12-Year-Old Scientist Indicted for Vaccine-Autism Link Cover-Up

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Photo Credit: FBI Archives

This post is a vaccine skeptic’s satirical response to a viral video made by 12-year-old Marco Arturo, who presented the “Evidence That Vaccines Cause Autism” as nothing more than blank sheets of paper in order to disparage people who acknowledge that vaccines actually do cause autism.

12-year-old US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) scientist Marco Arturo was indicted after committing fraud by covering up crucial evidence that vaccines cause autism when crafting his review, “Evidence That Vaccines Cause Autism.” The report – sponsored by the CDC and published by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) – concluded:  “The evidence favors rejection of causation.”

Findings omitted from the report showed that in African-American children, those who had an autism spectrum disorder were more than twice as likely to receive a measles-mumps-rubella vaccination before three years of age compared to their neurotypical counterparts. They also showed that children who received the highest doses of mercury from vaccinations in their first month of life were 7-times more likely to receive an autism diagnosis than those who received no mercury during that same time period.

But since the vaccine injury-liable CDC paid the researchers to say vaccines were “well, pretty safe,” according to IOM committee chairwoman Marie McCormick, those results were unacceptable. “We are not ever going to come down that it is a true side-effect,” Dr. McCormick said in a secret meeting. And so they didn’t, but the results were so daunting that scrubbing them was difficult.

“It just won’t go away,” Arturo’s CDC colleague Thomas Verstraeten wrote in email. Ultimately, they made the association between the highest exposure category for mercury and autism go away by combining that category with weaker categories. They then claimed they “lost” the original data so that no researchers could replicate it, but in reality they just threw it all into a big garbage can in Arturo’s backyard.

Unfortunately, he and his other colleagues were later ratted out by a senior CDC scientist who was initially in on the scheme with them. So Arturo took $2 million in embezzled CDC grants and fled to Denmark where he now currently awaits extradition from. If convicted, he faces a 12-year prison sentence: equivalent to his entire lifetime.

Did Andrew Wakefield Out The CDC Whistleblower For Money?

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By Jake Crosby

Five months have elapsed since senior CDC scientist Dr. William Thompson – who spoke out about the suppression of research results linking autism to early measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine administration – was prematurely outed without his permission by de-licensed British doctor Andrew Wakefield. Yet one question still lingers: why did he do it?

The answer may lie in what Wakefield’s critics have accused him of being motivated by for the last decade: money.

Much of Wakefield’s personal income comes from his role as president of the Strategic Autism Initiative (SAI), a non-profit he runs for the purposes of funding autism research. However, only a small portion of SAI’s contributions actually went to autism research; the vast majority went into his pocket according to SAI’s latest available 990 form. He had also solicited donations for a libel suit he filed in Texas that was eventually dismissed on jurisdictional grounds where he was ordered to pay defendants’ legal costs.

Contributions for both Wakefield’s lawsuit and his non-profit came from the very community of parents of vaccine-injured children who Wakefield claims to be helping. His image and relevance to that community are what help him receive money from that community. As his lawsuit was winding down, his hijacking of the CDC whistleblower story gave Wakefield just what he would have needed to reinvigorate his hero role to the very people who had come to follow him so devoutly. It would also give him yet another reason to solicit money from his supporters.

What started as the release of online videos that mentioned the whistleblower by name and included surreptitious recordings of his voice became a two-month campaign to raise money for a documentary film Wakefield said he was making about the whistleblower saga. Yet only $2,325 – far below the lofty goal of $230,000 – was actually raised. And despite an ongoing campaign by Wakefield’s supporters to circulate the whistleblower story on Twitter and other social media sites, those efforts have had no appreciable impact on the story’s exposure. Nonetheless, Wakefield succeeded in galvanizing support for himself from his own community of followers even though his interference in the story likely eliminated any chance of widespread media coverage.

Now in 2015, prospects of the whistleblower William Thompson being able to testify about the CDC’s role in suppressing research associating autism with MMR vaccination before Congress appears to be supported by little else than rumors on blogs. A recent outbreak of measles in Disneyland has led to The Washington Post among other papers blaming the outbreak on Wakefield, dubbing him the “high priest” of the “anti-vaccine movement” despite never mentioning Thompson or any other examples of misconduct at CDC.

15 years after a researcher at CDC concluded a causal vaccine-autism association in email to colleagues while studying the mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal, media focus remains fixed on Wakefield thanks in no small part to his own actions. Not only does that benefit CDC, but Wakefield also stands to benefit by the reinforcement of his image as a “martyr” to his support base that still provides him with sympathy and financial backing.

Tragically, the people who do not benefit at all while suffering the most from this ongoing narrative are the very community of people that is still largely misguided enough to keep following him without examining his possible motives.

Addendum: See on The Epoch Times.

Kennedy May Publish Deleted Chapters, But Still Backtracks on Thimerosal

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By Jake Crosby

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. might restore chapters he deleted from his book “Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak,” according to the blog of Focus Autism. Meanwhile, a letter Kennedy had written to Medical News Today earlier this year took a strong, unambiguous stand on the autism-thimerosal link, suggesting it was only very recently that he backtracked from his position that thimerosal causes autism. However, based on Kennedy’s recent comments in the press, he shows no sign of reverting to his original position, even if he does add the chapters back in which would presumably include those on autism.

In an August 7th blog post titled “RFK Jr.’s book is bringing a lot of attention to the problem, both positive and negative,” Focus Autism founder and philanthropist Barry Segal wrote:

“The good news is that supposedly Kennedy (who is now being beaten up by both sides) is going to publish the missing chapters, which will add strength to his argument.”

If true, it would prove a very fortunate development in the Kennedy book saga. Unfortunately, he still has yet to revert to his previous stance that thimerosal causes autism.

In an article he wrote on AlterNet titled “Invitation to Open Debate On Thimerosal” that ran the day before Segal’s blog post, Kennedy made multiple statements backtracking from his original position that autism is caused by thimerosal in vaccines (boldface mine):

“In fact most of the criticisms have focused on how thimerosal has been linked to autism. That is not the subject of the book, nor is that claimed within the book.”

“The argument is not whether it causes autism, which is not clearly proven, although this curiously been [sic] the focus of recent criticism of the book (which no one had read to date).”

“This book, a meta-review essentially, does not pretend to answer the thorny question of whether thimerosal is a culprit in the autism epidemic.”

“…a possible thimerosal-autism connection is far from a settled question.”

“…thimerosal might, in some cases, contribute to autism causation.”

These statements by Kennedy represent a position that is markedly different from one expressed in a letter he had written to Medical News Today several months prior on March 28th, 2014 (boldface mine):

“For two years, I have worked with a team of doctors and respected scientific researchers to assemble every published study on Thimeresol, the mercury based vaccine preservative still present in dangerous concentrations in US flu vaccines and pediatric vaccines worldwide. We have assembled and digested close to five hundred peer reviewed published pharmacological, toxicological, clinical, animal and human epidemiological studies in leading publications. These studies overwhelmingly implicate Thimeresol in a host of neurological injuries including ADD, ADHD, Speech delay, Language Delay, Tics, Misery Disorder and Autism.”

He also did not mince words when discussing the CDC or its study led by Epidemic Intelligence Services’ Dr. Thomas Verstraeten (boldface mine):

Instead of cleaning house, coming clean and embracing transparency, the CDC has gone to extremes to conceal its vaccine safety data from the public and from outside scientists and researchers. The agency claims to have lost or misplaced the raw data underlying it’s only study of  Thimeresol’s impacts on US cohorts. That in house study – the so called Verstratten [sic] study – initially showed strong dose related causative links between Thimeresol exposure and autism.”

While Dr. Mark Hyman reportedly convinced Kennedy to remove chapters from his book in the first place, the mystery remains as to who convinced Kennedy to backtrack from his position on thimerosal’s harms. Certainly Dr. Hyman is a suspect, as is Kennedy’s ghostwriter Adam Hadhazy who once wrote in defense of the toxin. Or, the person behind Kennedy’s backtrack could be someone else entirely.

Regardless of who it is, Kennedy’s book will remain a disappointingly inadequate call for an unequivocal ban on thimerosal – with or without the additional chapters – unless revisions are made in the book’s preface, introduction and conclusion. In the meantime, Kennedy has yet to even add the chapters back in as only the butchered version of his book is in print.

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.

Cover-up Scandal: CDC’s Vaccine Research Exposed as Flawed and Falsified

CDC’s Vaccine Safety Research is Exposed as Flawed and Falsified in Peer-Reviewed Scientific Journal

Substantial Scientific Evidence Exists that Vaccine Ingredient is a Developmental Neurotoxin

Watchung, NJ, June 12, 2014
by A Shot of Truth

Just months after U.S. Congressman Bill Posey compared the Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s vaccine safety studies to the SEC’s Bernie Madoff scandal, malfeasance in the CDC’s studies of thimerosal-containing vaccines has, for the first time, been documented in peer-reviewed scientific literature. While the CDC states on its website that “low doses of thimerosal in vaccines do not cause harm, and are only associated with minor local injection site reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site,” the journal BioMed Research International now provides direct evidence that the CDC’s safety assurances about the mercury-containing preservative are not fact-based, according to the article’s lead author, Brian Hooker, PhD.

The paper opens by citing over 165 studies that have found Thimerosal to be harmful, including 16 studies that had reported outcomes in human infants and children of death, acrodynia, poisoning, allergic reaction, malformations, auto-immune reaction, Well’s syndrome, developmental delay and neurodevelopmental disorders including tics, speech delay, language delay, ADHD and autism. These findings by multiple independent research groups over the past 75+ years have consistently found thimerosal to be harmful. “Substantial scientific evidence exists and has existed for many years that the vaccine ingredient thimerosal is a developmental neurotoxin” says George Lucier, former Associate Director of the National Toxicology Program.

Studies showing harm from thimerosal sharply contradict published outcomes of six CDC coauthored and sponsored papers – the very studies that CDC relies upon to declare that thimerosal is “safe” for use in infant and maternal vaccines. Dr. Hooker, biochemist and vaccine industry watchdog, said of the six CDC studies, “Each of these papers is fatally flawed from a statistics standpoint and several of the papers represent issues of scientific malfeasance.  For example, important data showing a relationship between thimerosal exposure and autism are withheld from three of the publications (Price et al. 2010, Verstraeten et al. 2003 and Madsen et al. 2003).  This type of cherry-picking of data by the CDC in order to change the results of important research studies to support flawed and dangerous vaccination policies should not be tolerated.”

Dr. Boyd Haley, international expert in mercury toxicity and a co-author of the recently published paper said “There is no doubt that authorities in the CDC have initiated and participated in a cover-up of vaccine-induced damage from thimerosal to our children—-and this I consider criminal.” The paper, “Methodological Issues and Evidence of Malfeasance in Research Purporting to Show Thimerosal in Vaccines is Safe,” was published on June 6 and contains eight pages of evidence that the CDC has had knowledge of the vaccine preservative’s neurological risks, yet continues to cover them up.

The paper concludes, “five of the publications examined in this review were directly commissioned by the CDC, raising the possible issue of conflict of interests or research bias, since vaccine promotion is a central mission of the CDC. Conceivably, if serious neurological disorders are found to be related to Thimerosal in vaccines, such findings could possibly be viewed as damaging to the vaccine program.”

Dr. Hooker has submitted over 100 FOIA requests to the CDC over the past 10 years and has amassed thousands of pages of documents showing malfeasance in the CDC’s vaccine safety program.  Hooker revealed that one CDC document quoted a top official instructing CDC employees to “Review all correspondences and documents to see if there is ‘foreseeable harm’ to the agency if they were released” so the documents could be redacted by CDC attorneys prior to release.

Barry Segal, founder of the Focus Autism Foundation and former entrepreneur whose company sales peaked near $2 billion said, “We are in the process of exposing what may be the biggest federal scandal ever with immense damage to our economy and our people, especially our children who are the future of our country. Their health has been compromised by mercury in vaccines. We need Congress to take action now. Thimerosal must be banned.”

A more effective vaccine preservative “2PE” has replaced thimerosal in many other vaccines and possesses a much better safety profile according to Dr. Hooker.

The Focus Autism Foundation is dedicated to providing information to the public that exposes the cause or causes of the autism epidemic and the rise of chronic illnesses – focusing specifically on the role of vaccinations. To learn more, visit FocusAutism.org.  A Shot of Truth is an educational campaign sponsored by Focus Autism

BioMed Research International

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/247218/

Focusautism.org – www.focusautism.org

A Shot of Truth – www.ashotoftruth.org

See Also:

CDC Caught Hiding Data Showing Mercury in Vaccines Linked to Autism

Originally published at Health Impact News Daily

 

Watch Jake Crosby’s AutismOne 2014 Talk

Props to AutismOne’s Teri Arranga for her introduction.

Originally posted on AutismOne

So often, when we think of investigating autism, we think of discovering the physiological underpinnings. But what about the sociological forces that perpetuate the autism epidemic? Politics from without? Or – surprisingly – politics from within? In this startling lecture, Jacob Crosby, MPH, discusses the obstructionist forces that have hampered progress within the autism advocacy arena.

Jake Crosby, MPH

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a bachelor’s degree in both history and health and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a master’s degree in epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a PhD in epidemiology. For nearly five years, he was contributing editor to Age of Autism.

Originally posted at AutismOne

AutismOne is a non-profit charity organization 501(c)(3) started by a small group of parents of children with autism. Parents are and must remain the driving force of our community, the stakes are too high and the issues too sacred to delegate to outside interests. AUTISM IS A PREVENTABLE/TREATABLE BIOMEDICAL CONDITION. Autism is the result of environmental triggers. Autism is not caused by “bad” genes and the epidemic is not the result of “better” diagnosis. Children with autism suffer from gut bugs, allergies, heavy metal toxicity, mitochondrial disorders, antioxidant deficiencies, nutritional deficiencies and autoimmune diseases – all of which are treatable. THE KEY IS EDUCATION The AutismOne Conference, AutismOne Radio, AutismOne Outreach and Autism in Action initiatives educate more than 100,000 families every year about prevention, recovery, safety, and change.

Originally posted at AutismOne

 

Addendum: See AutismOne Slides

Vaccine Industry Watchdog Obtains CDC Documents That Show Statistically Significant Risks of Autism Associated with Vaccine Preservative Thimerosal

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Biochemist Brian Hooker, scientific advisor to A Shot of Truth, reveals CDC knew of risks for over decade.

Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) February 19, 2014

For nearly ten years, Brian Hooker has been requesting documents that are kept under tight wraps by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). His more than 100 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests have resulted in copious evidence that the vaccine preservative Thimerosal, which is still used in the flu shot that is administered to pregnant women and infants, can cause autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

Dr. Hooker, a PhD scientist, worked with two members of Congress to craft the letter to the CDC that recently resulted in his obtaining long-awaited data from the CDC, the significance of which is historic. According to Hooker, the data on over 400,000 infants born between 1991 and 1997, which was analyzed by CDC epidemiologist Thomas Verstraeten, MD, “proves unequivocally that in 2000, CDC officials were informed internally of the very high risk of autism, non-organic sleep disorder and speech disorder associated with Thimerosal exposure.”

When the results of the Verstraeten study were first reported outside the CDC in 2005, there was no evidence that anyone but Dr. Verstraeten within the CDC had known of the very high 7.6-fold elevated relative risk of autism from exposure to Thimerosal during infancy. But now, clear evidence exists. A newly-acquired abstract from 1999 titled, “Increased risk of developmental neurologic impairment after high exposure to Thimerosal containing vaccine in first month of life” required the approval of top CDC officials prior to its presentation at the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) conference. Thimerosal, which is 50% mercury by weight, was used in most childhood vaccines and in the RhoGAM® shot for pregnant women prior to the early 2000s.

The CDC maintains there is “no relationship between Thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism rates in children,” even though the data from the CDC’s own Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) database shows a very high risk. There are a number of public records to back this up, including this Congressional Record from May 1, 2003. The CDC’s refusal to acknowledge thimerosal’s risks is exemplified by a leaked statement from Dr. Marie McCormick, chair of the CDC/NIH-sponsored Immunization Safety Review at IOM. Regarding vaccination, she said in 2001, “…we are not ever going to come down that it [autism] is a true side effect….” Also of note, the former director of the CDC, which purchases $4 billion worth of vaccines annually, is now president of Merck’s vaccine division.

Dr. Hooker’s fervent hope for the future: “We must ensure that this and other evidence of CDC malfeasance are presented to Congress and the public as quickly as possible. Time is of the essence. Children’s futures are at stake.” A divide within the autism community has led to some activists demanding that compensation to those with vaccine-injury claims be the top priority before Congress. Dr. Hooker maintains that prevention, “protecting our most precious resource – children’s minds,” must come first. “Our elected officials must be informed about government corruption that keeps doctors and patients in the dark about vaccine risks.”

Referring to an organization that has seen its share of controversy this past year, Dr. Hooker remarked, “It is unfortunate that SafeMinds issued a press release on my information, is accepting credit for my work and has not supported a worldwide ban on Thimerosal.”

Brian Hooker, PhD, PE, has 15 years experience in the field of bioengineering and is an associate professor at Simpson University where he specializes in biology and chemistry. His over 50 science and engineering papers have been published in internationally recognized, peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Hooker has a son, aged 16, who developed normally but then regressed into autism after receiving Thimerosal-containing vaccines.

Dr. Brian Hooker’s investigative research is sponsored by the Focus Autism Foundation.

The Focus Autism Foundation is dedicated to providing information to the public that exposes the cause or causes of the autism epidemic and the rise of chronic illnesses – focusing specifically on the role of vaccinations. To learn more, visit focusautisminc.org.

A Shot of Truth is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and educational website sponsored by Focus Autism.

AutismOne is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides education and supports advocacy efforts for children and families touched by an autism diagnosis. To learn more, visit autismone.org.

Originally posted on PRWeb.

Correction: As Coalition for Mercury-Free Drugs‘ Dr. Paul King pointed out, the year 1999 on the abstract specifies the year its lead investigator Thomas Verstraeten joined the EIS, but not the year of the abstract itself. The EIS conference the study authors planned to submit their abstract to took place during the year 2000.