Editor of Autism Investigated Acquires NoMercury.org

nomercury

Editor’s Note: Lujene Clark, cofounder of NoMercury.org, will be passing on control of her website to me. I am honored to carry on the excellent work of her and her late husband, Dr. Alan Clark. See her announcement below.

Announcing the relaunch of NoMercury

As many of you know, my son, Devon, is a vaccine-injured child. He received a flu shot in December of 2002, and afterwards, he suffered severe neurological, neurobehavioral and immunological changes.

After much research, my husband, Dr. Alan D. Clark, and I discovered that Devon had been poisoned by Thimerosal, the mercury in his vaccines.  In our journey for answers, we soon discovered other parents whose children also suffered similar adverse effects from vaccines. Because of this, in January 2004, Alan and I decided to form our organization, titled NoMercury.

NoMercury’s website quickly became a major resource for the autism community, and we were able to successfully help parents with anti-mercury legislation in numerous states. We were very proud of our work and we were very honored to have met and assisted other parents in their search for answers.

Sadly, in August 2005, Alan was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer, but, in spite of his ailing health, he was determined to continue on with the organization. My last promise to him before he passed away was that I would continue our efforts with NoMercury in order to educate legislators, the medical community and the public about the dangers of mercury, especially in vaccines.

In February of 2006, Alan lost his battle with cancer.  A devastating loss to not only our family and friends, but also the autism community.  Fortunately, I was blessed to have wonderful friends such as Linda Weinmaster and Bob Krakow, who joined me on the Board of Directors of NoMercury to help fulfill Alan’s mission.

Due to the circumstances surrounding Alan’s sudden passing, I needed to reduce the amount of time I was able to dedicate to the organization and my active presence in the autism community.  I needed time to grieve, to heal, to be with my son who needed my full attention, and to aid my father, who had also been diagnosed with cancer.  Life is about priorities, and my priorities drastically changed following Alan’s death.

By the year 2008, much to the dismay of many in the autism community, I also made the difficult decision to no longer maintain the NoMercury website.  I could be politically correct and offer up some innocuous reasons, but I’ve always been brutally honest so there is no point in sugar coating things now.

For quite some time, I had been disappointed in the direction some in leadership positions within the autism community had taken.  But, it seemed that with the passing of great leaders such as Liz Birt in December 2005, Alan in February 2006 and just a few short months later in November 2006, Dr. Bernie Rimland, the community had changed, and, in my opinion, not for the better.  It appeared to have lost its focus, its heart and to some extent – its integrity and accountability.

I had watched as the main focus of some in the autism community had become less about healing our children, fighting for legislation and working on getting neurotoxins out of vaccines to more about self-aggrandizement, individuals promoting themselves and their organizations.  Too many egos, too much posturing and jockeying to be “leaders,” organizational “branding” and too much subterfuge, and far too much “hero worship” for some who certainly did not deserve such adulation and blind faith.  In other words, it felt the mission of the autism community had been compromised, if not forgotten altogether!

Many of the “leaders” had either sold out the community to Autism Speaks for a “seat at the table” or their efforts had been more and more centered toward self-promotion. In my opinion, some of those moves were intended to undermine not only our efforts at NoMercury, but also the efforts of other wonderful groups such as TACA, NVIC, SAR, Moms Against Mercury, HEAL and other smaller organizations; all of whom valiantly struggled to stay above the fray and steadfastly clung to putting the children first, often at great expense and personal sacrifice.

Never one to suffer fools gladly, I had had enough of the egos, the back-stabbing and having my work co-opted (a polite term for others’ taking credit for my efforts and my work.)  I withdrew from a very active presence in the autism community in order to focus on medical research and to educate others more on an individual basis.  Even so, I still very much wanted and needed to fulfill my last promise to Alan – to fulfill the mission of NoMercury.

The thousands of pages of my research, thousands of hours of work product – it’s all been under-utilized, which has distressed me greatly. I knew that at some point I WOULD revive NoMercury, but I also knew that it would have to be placed in the hands of someone extraordinary.   So much of my heart and soul, as well as blood, sweat and tears had gone into this, it would take a very special person who had earned my trust and respect in order for me to relinquish this work product.

Due to recent events that have transpired within the autism community, the answer to this question of who could take the reigns became abundantly clear. This young man possesses an exceptional intelligence, a pure and sincere heart, tenacity, an unquenchable curiosity, personal integrity and an unrelenting commitment to the truth.

I have watched in awe as this amazing young man stood his ground against harsh criticisms and under-handed bullying tactics by some leaders in the community. He has dared to expose the truth in what was happening behind the scenes within leadership; incidents that most parents were (and still are) blissfully unaware of, and don’t realize may have been hindering their efforts as activists.  He bravely proclaimed that not only did the Emperor not have new clothes, in fact, he was naked.  In typical fashion, the guilty shot the messenger while denying the message.

Nonetheless, he has remained firm and stood his ground against those who mock him in an attempt to spin their own inappropriate behavior and who want nothing more than to see this young man fail. Despite everything that has been thrown at him, he has risen above this and formed his own blog, titled Autism Investigated – an honest, hard-hitting, no-holds-barred look at the autism epidemic.

He is a diamond among the stones, and there is no one more fit or deserving than he to take up the fight where Alan left off.  This young man is Jacob Crosby.  With Jake at the helm, I am more confident than ever that Alan’s dreams will be fulfilled.

Jake uses his unequivocal intelligence along with his fierce drive and determination in an effort to end this travesty of mercury-poisoned, vaccine-injured children.  He wants to see to it that future generations of children do not have to overcome the struggles and obstacles that he himself has endured and conquered.  He wants what he has always wanted – what MANY of us want – to end the harming of children through unsafe and untested vaccines.

Jake has amazing talents, not only his brilliant mind and perseverance, but he possesses outstanding analytical reasoning, investigative skills and is a very talented writer.  He does NOT feel the need to filter or sanitize the truth to make it more socially palatable for those who find the truth uncomfortable and inconvenient.  To Jake, the truth IS the truth and it needs to be told regardless of outcome or exposure, especially if it impedes our community’s ability to end this madness.  I could not agree with him more, and for all of these reasons I have listed, I believe Jacob Crosby is the perfect person to carry on this organization that Alan and I began almost ten years ago.  I know that this young man will do right by the community and remain true to Alan’s vision, and I know he will be successful.

Linda and I have agreed to remain on board in an advisory capacity to support Jake’s efforts.  He will soon be making the NoMercury website available once again as a valuable resource tool for the community, in addition to his investigative work.  We are so excited for the possibilities…so don’t be surprised if you once again see us in the halls of your State Legislature or up on The Hill.  After all, our track record for successfully assisting parents with their legislatives efforts remains unsurpassed.

Please join us in welcoming Jake and giving him your support.

Kindest regards,

Lujene G. Clark, MA, LMT
President & Co-Founder
NoMercury

Jacob Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated (http://www.autisminvestigated.com) 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 currently attends The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services where he is completing an MPH in epidemiology.

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NYT’s Public Editor – A Public Relations Tool

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By Jake Crosby

How could The New York Times publish “all the news that’s fit to print” when Eli Lilly’s board of directors member Ellen Marram also sits on the board of directors for The New York Times?

As evidence of this bias, The New York Times’ current public editor, Margaret Sullivan, recently bragged on her blog that Brendan Nyhan – former health policy research scholar for Johnson & Johnson’s philanthropic arm, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – praised The New York Times for carrying on the vaccine-autism cover-up in print in the wake of Jenny McCarthy’s confirmation as co-host for “The View.” As my past investigations have shown, The New York Times does not follow its own ethics policy, and the public editor is nothing more than a public relations tool.

There is perhaps no better proof of this, however, then my below exchange with The New York Times’ Office of the Public Editor two years ago, after the newspaper’s ethically bankrupt reporter Gardiner Harris wrote an article in 2011 praising IOM‘s latest whitewash of the vaccine-autism link. The exchange ended with Sullivan’s predecessor, Arthur Brisbane, dismissing my complaint and essentially admitting The New York Times does not follow its own ethical guidelines.

Jake Crosby 9/6/11
to Public/NYT/NYT.

Dear Mr. Brisbane,

My name is Jake Crosby; I hold a BA in both history and health: science, society and policy and am also a student at the GW School of Public Health and Health Services studying for an MPH in epidemiology. I have also been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome (autism spectrum disorder) and am a contributing editor to Age of Autism: Daily Web Newspaper of the Autism Epidemic.

I am writing to complain yet again about your reporter, Gardiner Harris, for his biased reporting in favor of the pharmaceutical industry when reporting on the vaccine-autism controversy while in possession of an undisclosed conflict of interest. Last year, I complained to your predecessor, Clark Hoyt, about the fact that Harris’ brother works for a firm that sells laboratory equipment to pharmaceutical companies. Hoyt wrote me back admitting that Harris assumed some of his brother’s clients are manufacturers of vaccines.

Yet since my complaint last year, Gardiner Harris’ name appeared in the byline of yet another story denying the vaccine-autism link that ran on August 25th; the title, “Vaccine Cleared Again As Autism Culprit,” speaks for itself.

As such, Harris is once again in violation of The New York Times “Ethics in Journalism” policy, which states:

“Similarly the journalist may be asked to affirm that to the best of his or her knowledge no household member or close relative has financial holdings that might reasonably raise doubts about the journalist’s impartiality. If such conditions arise, the staff member must alert newsroom management.”

http://www.nytco.com/press/ethics.html#affirming

This policy also includes brothers, as stated in the section, “Avoiding Conflicts Over Family”:

“A brother or a daughter in a high-profile job on Wall Street might produce the appearance of conflict for a business reporter or editor.”

http://www.nytco.com/press/ethics.html#B2

I was disappointed because I was left with the impression, following my first complaint to your newspaper, that Gardiner Harris was taken off the story because of his violations of The New York Times’ “Ethics in Journalism” guidelines. His name appeared in no byline of any such biased article about the vaccine-autism connection since my first complaint, until August 25th.

While Gardiner Harris is undoubtedly at ethical fault – having already been warned – I am open to the possibility that an honest fluke might have caused this article to somehow miss The New York Times’ newsroom management and make it to press, especially since The Times is undergoing a change in executive editorial leadership this month.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Jake Crosby
Contributing Editor
Age of Autism
www.ageofautism.com/jake-crosby

 Joseph Burgess of the Office of the Public Editor responded the next day, asking for my exchange with Clark Hoyt and senior standards editor Greg Brock:

Mr. Crosby, thanks for writing.  This might be an unrealistic request, but do you still have your correspondence with the previous public editor or Times staffers on this issue?  That would make it easier for us to process your email with The Times.

Best,

Joseph Burgess
Office of the Public Editor
The New York Times
public@nytimes.com

Note:  The public editor’s opinions are his own and do not represent those of The New York Times.

So I responded, forwarding my previous exchanges with Hoyt and Brock:

Dear Mr. Burgess,

It is my pleasure. Your request is a perfectly reasonable one; thank you for asking. Below, you will find my exchanges with both the previous public editor and Greg Brock, Senior Editor for Standards, who Clark Hoyt shared my complaint with.

Thank you for your prompt reply, and I look forward to further correspondence.

Best,

Jake Crosby
Contributing Editor
Age of Autism
www.ageofautism.com/jake-crosby

The next day, Burgess responded again – asking where Hoyt or Brock gave the impression that Harris was removed from covering vaccines and autism (even though I noted in my initial email that Harris’ name did not appear on the byline of any such article since my initial complaint):

 Mr. Crosby, thanks for writing back and for providing the emails.  Just so that I understand, what gave you the impression that Mr. Harris was removed from  covering this angle of his beat?  It doesn’t seem from my reading of the emails that either Mr. Hoyt or Mr. Brock came to the conclusion that there was a conflict of interest for Mr. Harris due to his brother’s professional interests.  If you could point me to a specific place where they may have given you that impression that would be greatly appreciated.

Best,

Joseph Burgess
Office of the Public Editor
The New York Times
public@nytimes.com

Note:  The public editor’s opinions are his own and do not represent those of The New York Times.

So I responded:

Dear Mr. Burgess,

It is – once again – my pleasure. The specific place where Mr. Hoyt and Mr. Brock gave me that impression was when I cited the ethical guidelines showing Gardiner Harris held an undisclosed conflict of interest in my last response to them, they did not take issue with any part of my interpretation. If they had, I think they would have said so to clarify the journalistic code of ethics for reporters at The Times. The fact that Mr. Hoyt and Mr. Brock did not appear to take any such issue, however, implied tacit confirmation of my points.  

That coupled with seeing Mr. Harris’ name absent from the byline of any further articles The Times ran about this controversy before August 25th left me with the impression up until then that silent action had been taken and that Mr. Harris had been effectively phased out of covering this angle of his beat, as you call it, for The New York Times.

Best,

Jake Crosby
Contributing Editor
Age of Autism
www.ageofautism.com/jake-crosby

Then after three days of back-and-fourth exchange with Burgess, Arthur Brisbane personally responded to my email to kill my complaint altogether. His excuse? “…ethic policy at The Times is open to interpretation…”:

Mr. Crosby: Thanks for your message. I have read through the history of your correspondence with Clark Hoyt and Greg Brock and also reviewed your current complaint. It seems to me that this matter was given an thorough review in the previous case. While the ethic policy of The Times is open to interpretation, I would concur with my predecessor on this. I don’t see a problem with Mr. Harris writing on the subject.

Again, thanks for letting me know of your concern.

Art Brisbane
public editor

In other words, The New York Times’ ethical policies can be spun any way The Times’ public relations “editor” sees fit, even if his “interpretation” is directly contradicted by the policy itself. Nonetheless, I responded asking for Brisbane’s “interpretation” of that policy:

Dear Mr. Brisbane,

It is my pleasure, and thank you for both reading my correspondence with Clark Hoyt and Greg Brock along with my current complaint.

I beg to differ with you that my previous complaint was thoroughly reviewed. Your predecessor did not make any reference to the ethical policies of The Times regarding conflicts of interest. In fact, his excuse for Mr. Harris not having a conflict of interest was contradicted by The Times’ ethical policies. If your reasoning is that the ethical policies of The Times are “open to interpretation,” then I would appreciate hearing what your interpretation of those policies would be and how you think they would absolve Mr. Harris.

Best,

Jake Crosby
Contributing Editor
Age of Autism

www.ageofautism.com/jake-crosby

I never received any word back. I sent follow-up emails to the newspaper’s executive editor Jill Abramson and publisher Arthur Ochs-Sulzberger Jr., but never received any reply from them either. Obviously, The Times’ ethics policy was not interpreted differently; it was flouted.

Eight months after my exchange, Gardiner Harris was re-assigned to India as a foreign reporter for The Times, where he came down with travelers’ diarrhea from eating a mango that the former public health reporter failed to wash. He continues to report from there to this day. Meanwhile, The Times continues to be complicit in helping the government whitewash away the scientific fact that vaccines cause autism in media as Ellen Marram of Eli Lilly – the company that introduced the mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal to the market – continues to sit on The New York Times’ board of directors.

As justification for this, The Times’ current public editor Margaret Sullivan states on her blog:

“It can be important to state both sides of an argument — but only when both sides are legitimate.”

But “legitimate” does not accurately describe the position on autism and vaccines by the IOM, which privately stated “…we are not ever going to come down that it [autism] is a true side effect…” before reviewing any evidence for or against, nor that of The New York Times which is based on such scientific misconduct.

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 currently attends The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services where he is completing his candidacy for an MPH in epidemiology.

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The Vaccine Industry’s Many Talking Heads

mouthpieces

By Jake Crosby

The vaccine industry has many voices that echo the same talking points. While they may all deliver the same message, they each come from different backgrounds and are connected to the vaccine industry in different ways. Below are some of those people who have come out of hibernation to bash ABC for allowing Jenny McCarthy to co-host “The View.”

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Seth Mnookin – As the vaccine industry’s media go-to guy, Seth Mnookin appeared in early-2011 on the heels of the pharma-sponsored British Medical Journal’s trial-by-media of British scientist Dr. Andrew Wakefield, accusing him of fraud (later officially found unsubstantiated). Mnookin took advantage of the ensuing media circus to promote his book “Panic Virus,” which was written from the vaccine industry’s perspective. One false rumor started by Mnookin – later disproved – was that Rolling Stone secretly retracted Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s article on the thimerosal-autism cover-up titled “Deadly Immunity.” Before RS dispelled the rumor, however, Salon.com used it as pretense to truly retract Kennedy’s piece. The CEO and Founder of Salon is a brother-in-law of Arthur Allen, the vaccine industry’s original media go-to guy whose wife is Senior Fellow of a Merck-funded think tank called the New America Foundation. While aggressively promoting his book, Seth Mnookin also claimed to have become involved purely as an objective journalist. This was later disproved – his uncle Robert Mnookin Chairs Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation, where the mother-in-law of Alison Singer is also a professor. Singer runs and founded the “Autism Science Foundation” – a front group of the vaccine industry dedicated to stifling research into the vaccine autism link. Singer has also made false reassurances of Mnookin’s objectivity.  Seth Mnookin does not hold up well to criticism, as evidenced by his multiple encounters with the editor. During his last encounter, he refused to address a challenging question the editor asked him at his alma mater of Harvard regarding CDC research that inadvertently associated MMR vaccination with autism. During his second-to-last encounter, Mnookin booted the editor out altogether.

Jake-Tapper-AP

Jake Tapper – A CNN news anchor, Tapper appears to have quite a rapport with Seth Mnookin, at least on Twitter. CNN led the media lynching of Dr. Wakefield in January 2011 and Fred Hassan, former president of PhRMA, sits on the board of directors for Time Warner – the company that owns CNN. Tapper gave Seth Mnookin airtime as an expert while mentioning on Twitter the fact that his book won an award from the National Association of Science Writers – a pharma-linked union of “journalists.” Tapper’s father, Dr. Theodore Tapper, is a South Philadelphia pediatrician. After a virus that causes fatal wasting disease in piglets was discovered to have contaminated millionaire vaccine industrialist Paul Offit‘s rotavirus vaccine, Dr. Tapper dismissed concerns about this as “much ado about nothing.” Like father, like son.

specter

Michael Specter – Having first came to the public scene in 2009 with the publication of his book “Denialism,” New Yorker Staff Writer Michael Specter appeared for a brief time to be the vaccine lobby’s new media go-to guy. He was later caught plagiarizing the talking points of millionaire vaccine industrialist Paul Offit, indicating just how much original research Specter did on the topic. As a result, he apologized…to Paul Offit. Who Specter should have really apologized to were the very folks whose positions he merely dismissed. Today, Michael Specter continues to occasionally blog about this controversy from the sidelines of The New Yorker, despite his disgrace.

AlexPareene_Bio

Alex Pareene – Joining Salon from Gawker in mid-2011, Pareene has become Salon’s new in-house vaccine-autism cover-up apologist, starting with his endorsement of the 2011 Institute of Medicine whitewash of the MMR-autism link. That report came only months after Salon retracted Kennedy’s “Deadly Immunity” article from the internet, which included a quote by 2004 IOM review committee chairwoman Marie McCormick: “…we are not ever going to come down that it [autism] is a true side effect…” of vaccination before looking at any evidence for or against. So Salon knows the IOM reports on autism and vaccines are produced in bad faith, but promotes them anyway. This makes Salon, and by extension Alex Pareene, complicit in the cover-up.

williamsme

Mary Elizabeth Williams – Before Salon hired Pareene, Mary Elizabeth Williams served the role of Salon’s resident vaccine-autism cover-up apologist. A long time colleague of Salon Founder and CEO David Talbot, Williams could not write the words “autism” and “vaccines” in the same article without also writing “Jenny McCarthy.” Before, she managed Salon’s forums.

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Liz Szabo – USA Today’s answer to The New York Times‘ ethically bankrupt Gardiner Harris, Szabo first appeared in late-2009 to bash Jenny McCarthy. In mid-2010, Szabo won an award for her vaccine reporting from the Campaign for Public Health Foundation, funded by the vaccine industry.

willingham

Emily Willingham – An autism parent and “Science” Writer, Willingham also ascribes to the neurodiverse ideology – that autism is a difference to be celebrated. She is also a prominent member of the National Association of Science Writers, linked to the vaccine industry through its sister organization the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing – funded by the pharmaceutical industry.

mdmama

Dr. Claire McCarthy – A Boston Children’s pediatrician who also blogs, Dr. McCarthy became another public spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), heavily-funded by the vaccine industry. AAP’s position on autism and vaccines was perhaps best revealed by former president Dr. Renee Jenkins, who reportedly told ABC’s Good Morning America: “Ninty Seven plus percent of children don’t have these defects, so, when you look at what the risk and the benefits to children are, and, you really weigh the risks, then the benefits far outweigh the risks that occur.” The implication is clear – AAP is perfectly fine with giving up to 3% of American children autism to protect the vaccine program. This is the group Dr. McCarthy speaks for.

gorskibeer

Dr. David “Orac” Gorski – “Science”Blogger and vaccine industry mouthpiece Dr. David Gorski blogs under his moniker “Orac” where anyone who disagrees with him on vaccines is a “crank,” “anti-vaccinationist” and any other ad hominem attack he can dish out. In 2010, it was discovered that his employer was in partnership with vaccine maker Sanofi-Aventis as Dr. Gorski was conducting a clinical trial for Sanofi drug Riluzole, sponsored by his employer. Eventually, the trial was terminated before the enrollment phase due to funding running out. More recently, Dr. Gorski was discovered to have promised that if autism prevalence declines by a certain year, he would admit the vaccine preservative thimerosal might cause autism. That has since happened, yet Dr. Gorski refuses to come through on his promise. He can be seen squirming on YouTube when confronted with his broken promise at a talk he gave in March.

joseph moran photography

James Poniewozik – A TV critic for TIME Magazine, Poniewozik is a new voice in this debate. TIME, however, is not. That magazine has unanimously promoted pharma’s talking points and merrily carried the cover-up into print. Currently, the CEO of Time Inc is Laura Lang, former executive of Pfizer.

plait

Phil Plait – Perhaps best known for posing nude next to his telescope, penthouse astronomer Phil Plait is in-effect a less verbose, even less articulate version of blogger David “Orac” Gorski. Phil Plait formerly blogged for Discover Magazine and now blogs for Slate.com. He was previously president of the James Randi Educational Foundation. James Randi is a stage magician who is fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, an affiliate group of the Center for Inquiry which includes a retired Merck scientist on its board of directors.

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 currently attends The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services where he is completing his candidacy for an MPH in epidemiology.

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Examiner.com: New peer reviewed study strongly links autism to vaccine induced type 1 diabetes

Examiner.com-logo

Originally published at Examiner.com in HEALTH NEWS

JULY 14, 2013

BY: 

On Friday, July 12, Classen Immunotherapies, Inc. issued a press release about a new peer reviewed study that was published in the current issue of Open Access, Scientific Reports (Volume 2, Issue 3, 2013) linking the autism epidemic to the epidemic of vaccine induced type 1 diabetes.

The press release stated:

Growing evidence shows that a large percentage of cases of autism have an inflammatory or autoimmune component. The new data shows autism is strongly linked to type 1 diabetes another epidemic inflammatory disease where the epidemic has been proven to be caused by vaccines.

Immunologist J. Bart Classen, MD authored the new paper. In the press release, Dr. Classen, says, “We have been publishing for many years that vaccine induced inflammation is causing an epidemic of type 1 diabetes and other diseases. Our new data, as well as the extensive data from others regarding the role of inflammation in the development autism, leaves little doubt vaccines play a significant role in the autism epidemic.”

The large number of vaccines given to patients is leading to an epidemic of chronic inflammation resulting in epidemics of autoimmune diseases and allergies according to Dr. Classen’s research.

An Italian court ruled in favor of the Bocca family whose nine-year-old son became autistic after receiving the MMR (Measles/Mumps & Rubella) vaccine. See: http://www.examiner.com/article/us-media-blackout-court-rules-that-mmr-vaccine-caused-autism

Source: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/autism-epidemic-linked-epidemic-vaccine-100000000.html

 

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US News Betrays Legacy of Dr. Bernadine Healy

145_23

By Jake Crosby

When one types the words “autism vaccines” into the Google News search engine on July 13th 2013, two links to US News and World Report come up. The first one that appears at the very top is a typical pharma talking point-laden article peppered with ad hominem attacks at Jenny McCarthy for her position on vaccines. The author of the article, Pat Garofalo, is a former employee of a political think tank heavily tied to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who has gone on-record saying HHS has been ordering media outlets to censor the vaccine-autism debate. Garofalo argued that McCarthy’s views on vaccines should prevent her from co-hosting “The View.” The second US News article that appears further down in the search engine results is a well-reasoned piece from four years ago by the late former NIH director Dr. Bernadine Healy – an actual doctor – who was health editor of US News and World Report at the time.

The difference between the two articles cannot be understated, both reflecting the inherent knowledge of their respective authors. First, let’s take a look at Garofalo’s piece, in which he states rather bluntly:

“As the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has put it, ‘The medical and scientific communities have carefully and thoroughly reviewed the evidence concerning the vaccine-autism theory and have found no association.’”

Then you have Dr. Healy’s piece, which states:

“Youngsters like Hannah Poling, for example, who has an underlying mitochondrial disorder and developed a sudden and dramatic case of regressive autism after receiving nine immunizations, later determined to be the precipitating factor.”

That determination was also made by the Department of Health and Human Services. So how is it that HHS can make the statement that there is no association between vaccines and autism when it has made such a determination with Hannah Poling’s autism and those of others compensated through the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program? Perhaps that’s because, as Dr. Healy said herself in a 2008 CBS interview, HHS has tried to bury the evidence that vaccines could lead to autism, rather than study it.

According to Dr. Bernadine Healy:

“There is a completely expressed concern that they don’t want to pursue a hypothesis because that hypothesis could be damaging to the public health community at large by scaring people.”

Of course, not pursuing that hypothesis would be damaging to the public health at large, let alone the public health community. Such a pursuit in 1999 by CDC’s epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Verstraeten revealed that the mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal multiplies one’s risk for autism by more than 7-fold. Dr. Verstraeten concluded, “…all the harm [e.g. autism] is done in the first month [of life],” but rather than publishing results, CDC chose to bury them. The federal agency also paid the IOM to produce a report rejecting autism as a cause of vaccinations. As the chairwoman Marie McCormick said in one closed IOM meeting on January 12, 2001 before examining any evidence, “…we are not ever going to come down that it [autism] is a true side effect….” She also said, “…CDC wants us to declare, well, these things are pretty safe on a population basis.”

In short, government agencies have already proven that at least some vaccines cause autism, but have chosen to bury that information. Instead of citing what the Department of Health and Human Services actually knows as reflected in the troubling words of doctors such as Thomas Verstraeten and Marie McCormick, Garofalo instead decided to only quote the carefully-worded spin cranked out of the Department’s PR machine. He also chooses to cite the vaccine industry’s champion “journalist” Seth Mnookin, who has been shown to be very averse to critical questions when publicly challenged at his own events.

Additionally, Garofalo asserts Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s case series paper was fraudulent – never mind the fact that an actual investigation looking into the matter yielded nothing and that BMJ editor Fiona Godlee – whom Dr. Wakefield is now suing – cannot defend her accusations under critical questioning at NIH. That is in stark contrast to Dr. Wakefield, who eviscerated critical questions of him after he debunked the BMJ’s fraud allegations at Garofalo’s and my alma mater of Brandeis University.

What could explain Garofalo’s evangelical backing of the vaccine industry? Perhaps that could be the due to the fact that before his hiring by US News in March, he was Economic Policy Editor for nearly five years at ThinkProgress, a political blog owned by the think tank the Center for American Progress. The Center’s president was formerly a senior advisor to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. When asked in a 2010 Reader’s Digest interview what can be done to address public concerns about vaccine safety, she replied:

“There are groups out there that insist that vaccines are responsible for a variety of problems despite all scientific evidence to the contrary. We have reached out to media outlets to try to get them to not give the views of these people equal weight in their reporting to what science has shown and continues to show about the safety of vaccines.”

When questioned about the above quote the following year by HDNet investigative reporter Greg Dobbs, HHS back-tracked:

“No one here can remember or determine that this quote is factual.”

Nonetheless, neither HHS nor Sebelius ever denied making such remarks, and ThinkProgress certainly seems to be following through with her request of censoring vaccine safety concerns.

After Garofalo promoted his article, ranting, “Seriously, crazy anti-vaccine pseudoscience has no place on television,” ThinkProgress health reporter Tara Culp-Ressler egged him on shouting, “Preach it!!” Obviously, promoting vaccines is like a religion to these people – a religion that has to be preached. What more can one expect from folks with ties to a think tank aligned with an HHS Secretary who openly supported media censorship of vaccine risks? Not much.

What a blight on the legacy of Dr. Bernadine Healy that the publication she formerly edited is just another forum to back the vaccine-autism cover-up in media by encouraging censorship. If US News cared about journalistic integrity one iota it would toss Pat Garofalo back to the Sebelius-tied political hack blog ThinkProgress where he belongs.

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 currently attends The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services where he is completing his candidacy for an MPH in epidemiology.

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Mark Blaxill Publicly Attacks Critics

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By Jake Crosby

On the 4th of July, Canary Party Chairman Mark Blaxill made his first public statement responding to revelations of his role in hijacking November’s congressional autism hearing. He descended into a litany of ad hominem attacks against his critics, including myself.

The catalyst for his statement was a critical comment in a discussion thread on Age of Autism – the blog Mark Blaxill both sponsors and edits – from philanthropist and Focus Autism founder Barry Segal, who summed up some of what I had already written online about Blaxill’s involvement in hijacking the hearings. I wrote how he had prevented autism parent and Ph.D. biochemical engineer Dr. Brian Hooker from testifying on the government’s vaccine-autism cover-up through the deceitful actions of a hired lobbyist who pretended to represent Dr. Hooker. It was Dr. Hooker who originally succeeded in having Congressional Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chair Darrell Issa commit to holding hearings on autism causation and the vaccine program with other congressmen and congressional staff present. After Dr. Hooker’s co-organizer Dr. Gary Kompothecras – a wealthy chiropractor and autism parent of 1-800-Ask-Gary fame – spilled the beans about the hearing to Mark Blaxill at AutismOne, trouble ensued.

A lobbyist named Beth Clay was working on behalf of the Coalition for SafeMinds (Sensible action for ending Mercury-induced neurological disorders), where Mark Blaxill was Government Affairs Committee Chair at that time. It was Blaxill who ended up testifying instead, completely leaving any mention of vaccines out of his speech. SafeMinds also changed the topic of the hearing from the vaccine-autism cover-up to the “federal response,” enabling autism epidemic deniers to show up and give testimony. I had previously tried to leave comments raising these concerns on Age of Autism, only for them to be censored. Segal’s, in contrast, was allowed through.

Barry Segal formerly funded autism advocacy activities led by Mark Blaxill via an umbrella organization known as Facing Autism, which Blaxill chaired. Unhappy with the way his money was being spent, however, Segal withdrew financial support, culminating in Facing Autism’s dissolution. Immediately after saying he was opposed to “more friendly fire” Blaxill fired a barrage of insults at Segal including the following: “One way to be effective is never to ask for a nickel from Barry, I made that mistake once and don’t plan to repeat it.”

Blaxill did verify Tim Bolen’s claim that he had introduced him to Dr. Gary Kompothecras, who revealed plans of the hearing to Blaxill. He then claimed that he already heard about the hearing “through the grapevine” before receiving verification of it from Dr. Kompothecras at AutismOne. But as Blaxill admitted to me before his encounter with Dr. Kompothecras, Blaxill’s knowledge of the hearing was in the form of “rumors.” In any case, he did not hear about the hearing through SafeMinds.

Mark Blaxill continued by trying to deny having anything to do with oversight of SafeMinds‘ lobbyist, Beth Clay, only to later contradict himself. First he claimed he had nothing to do with her hiring or oversight, but later admitted to working on the SafeMinds‘ Government Affairs Committee with her.

Not only does Mark Blaxill contradict himself in terms of his professional relationship with Clay, but conveniently leaves out the fact that he was in fact Chair of SafeMinds’ Government Affairs Committee and therefore had to have worked with the lobbyist. Clay assisted him in writing his testimony, and he corresponded often with her on email threads.

Furthermore, Mark Blaxill did not deny that she misrepresented Dr. Hooker to congressional staff. In fact, Blaxill did not address that at all, stating:

“Lobbyists work behind the scenes always and since Beth is a lobbyist and SafeMinds was Beth’s client, I don’t doubt she worked to get SafeMinds placed on the panel.”

That does not explain the fact that Clay’s “behind the scenes” work to have SafeMinds placed on the witness panel effectively changed the topic of the hearing and prevented Dr. Hooker from being invited by the congressional committee to testify. Blaxill did, however, try to throw the following bone to Age of Autism readers:

“Brian’s exclusion was a highly unfortunate outcome, one I hope we can fix soon by getting him in front of Congress to represent his important work.”

But will he fix it soon? Blaxill’s Canary Party asked for the next hearing to be about reforming the VICP rather than focusing on the government malfeasance Dr. Hooker had been working to uncover. Blaxill then defended his speech that he gave before Congress that was totally devoid of the word “vaccines,” by admitting he “pulled a few punches.” That’s putting it lightly. His excuse, ironically, was to build momentum for the next congressional hearings. Never mind that his continuous interference is helping to lose that momentum and completely derail the hearings.

Mark Blaxill directs his final paragraph at me, calling my reporting “delusional.” He then flip-flops by stating I have “so much potential to do good work.” He also talks about wanting to “heal the rift between us” five months after unfriending me on Facebook.

Now, he plans to continue shutting off contact with critics like myself on the excuse that, “I have no intention of getting into any flame wars on this subject.”

Perhaps it’s time for Mark Blaxill to practice what he preaches.

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 currently attends The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services where he is completing his candidacy for an MPH in epidemiology.

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Seth Mnookin’s Introduction at Harvard: “His dad’s a buddy of mine!”

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Editor’s Note: This post was previously submitted to Age of Autism, but rejected without being read. It is now published here as Autism Investigated’s first full-length article.

By Jake Crosby

On March 29th, a few weeks after I publicly challenged the vaccine lobby’s blogger David Gorski (“Orac”) on his broken promises related to thimerosal removal, I challenged the vaccine industry’s media go-to guy Seth Mnookin, at his alma mater of Harvard no less. The event was organized by the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and the topic was “Does the public believe in science?” Not only did it cover the vaccine controversy, but also controversies over climate change and of course stem cell research.

As with the event in New York City where I had my first conversation with Seth Mnookin over a year ago, this event was also in the form of a panel discussion. Sitting on the panel with Mnookin were two Harvard Professors and a writer for USA Today.

The moderator was M. William Lensch, Faculty Director of Education for the Institute. He introduced each member of the panel, but gave a special introduction for Seth Mnookin.

Speaking jovially, Lensch said of Mnookin, “His dad’s a buddy of mine!”

Lensch revealed that he was introduced to Seth Mnookin’s writing through his father Jim Mnookin, who was the 2011’s “Hedge Fund Consultant of the Year.”

“Jim told me to read Seth’s book about the Red Sox.” Lensch said how much he loved that book and about what an avid fan he is of the Boston Red Sox.

“So the Red Sox got Seth Mnookin this speaking gig,” I thought to myself.

Each panelist spoke briefly. When Seth Mnookin spoke, he talked about how there were more cases of measles and how concerning he thought those were and blamed them on vaccine exemptions. However, a measles “outbreak” occurred in Britain just after the UK Health Minister declared before Parliament that, “… MMR vaccination uptake is currently at historically high levels.” That said, Mnookin blaming any US increase there might be in measles on decreased vaccination rates seems premature at best.

He then continued about the recent epidemics of whooping cough – which actually did kill children in the United States – but he did concede that it was waning immunity from the vaccine, not vaccine exemptions, that were causing those outbreaks. In fact, I was the first to inform him of this last year on Twitter, citing none other than the CDC when he tried to exploit the pertussis epidemic in Washington State to serve his agenda. (His only response was to block me from responding to any more of his tweets.)

Then he brought up a study that had apparently just come out – by one of the original thimerosal cover-up co-conspirators Dr. Frank DeStefano of CDC – which Mnookin claimed laid to rest the “myth” that receiving many vaccinations at once increases one’s risk for developing autism. Of course, that study did not look at vaccines at all, but number of “antigens” per vaccine, the lion’s share of which were in the whole-cell pertussis (DTP) vaccine that was being replaced by the acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine while the vaccine schedule was increasing in correlation with the explosion of the autism epidemic. The study was merely a re-analysis of old data from a 2010 study claiming to show no association between exposure to the mercury-based preservative thimerosal and autism. In that study the authors suppressed results showing prenatal thimerosal exposure multiplied the risk for autism by eight-fold as revealed by biochemical engineer and autism parent Dr. Brian Hooker.

Unfortunately, I knew none of this regarding this new study, hearing about it for the first time and only having Seth Mnookin’s interpretation of it, which is obviously unreliable. So I brought up yet another study led by DeStefano from all the way back in 2004 that also suppressed results – this time showing that early exposure to the MMR vaccine can multiply the risk for autism by more than 2-fold, which the authors dismissed as an artifact of non-existent immunization requirements for special education children in Georgia. I felt this was more relevant as it concerned a combined vaccine and also because Mnookin consistently blamed measles outbreaks on vaccine exemptions. Bringing up this study by CDC and how the results directly conflicted with the conclusion, I asked Seth Mnookin if he felt the conclusion should be retracted.

Rather than responding to my question, he asked me:

“You want to introduce yourself?”

Although there were other questioners who didn’t introduce themselves, I went ahead and introduced myself:

“Sure, Jake Crosby, MPH Candidate concentrating in epidemiology at GW School of Public Health and Health Services.”

That wasn’t enough for Mnookin, who then asked me:

“What website are you contributing editor to?”

I replied, “Age of Autism: Daily Web Newspaper of the Autism Epidemic.”

I have to give him credit for giving me such an opportunity to plug my then-forum, although I am no longer allowed to contribute to Age of Autism despite still being listed as a contributing editor. Mnookin then asked me:

“And what is Age of Autism’s opinion about autism and vaccines?”

I responded:

“The opposite of yours.”

At that point, the civility broke down and Seth Mnookin went off on a rant against me, starting by calling a CDC study led by the same author as the one he plugged that day: “insignificant minutia to anyone unfamiliar with this topic,” and said my question was “devoid of facts.” It’s funny how he called the CDC’s study of MMR “insignificant minutia,” but felt the study that didn’t even study what he purported it studied was worth mentioning.

Meanwhile, he continued his rant, claiming there are “studies” of “millions” of children that show no connection whatsoever between vaccines and autism. When he made that argument to me the first time I met him, I pointed out that it was one Merck-funded Finnish study that compared the number of doses of MMR vaccinations to hospitalization rates of autism – the latter is totally useless for measuring autism rates since children are almost never hospitalized for developing autism.

Mnookin went on to say “I don’t know why you follow me to my events, I don’t know what rise you get out of this. You regularly attack me on Age of Autism, attacking my past, attacking my uncle.” The uncle he was referring to was Robert Mnookin, close colleague of vaccine lobby front group president Alison Singer’s mother-in-law. And if attending two of his talks within a year and a half constitutes “following” him, things must be pretty quiet for Seth Mnookin. He also said, “I know there will be a post about this tomorrow” (more like three months, actually).

Mnookin then concluded, “I will not engage you in a big debate about this.”

Taken aback, I replied, “Thank you for not answering my question.”

Then an audience member stood up for me, telling Mnookin, “You shouldn’t take it personally; science isn’t personal.”

The last time I publicly challenged Seth Mnookin at one of his talks, I got booted out after he lied that I disrupted past events of his. In his interview with a neurodiversity blog, Mnookin later tried to claim he had nothing to do with my removal:

“I recently spoke at a medical research conference — via Skype as my daughter had just been born — and there was someone in the audience who was very vocally anti-vaccine, and who ended being taken out of the room for something I had nothing to do with, and in fact I probably would have preferred that he stayed — but regardless, that was an upsetting incident to me.”

Mnookin did not prefer my attendance at the panel discussion he gave at Harvard, that’s for sure.

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 currently attends The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services where he is completing his candidacy for an MPH in epidemiology. For nearly five years, he was contributing editor to Age of Autism where he eventually encountered resistance to his investigations into the activities of several of the blog’s sponsors (one of which is also an editor) and was ultimately blocked from writing for the site.

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Welcome to Autism Investigated!

The purpose of this site is to investigate the who, what, when, where and why of the autism epidemic, particularly the role vaccines play in causing it as well as the government’s role in covering up that cause. To maintain independent coverage, Autism Investigated will not accept sponsorship or commercial advertising of any kind. Readers are encouraged to make their own contributions to the site either via authored articles or through participation in our interactive comment discussions. We value your voice and look forward to your readership. To ensure that you don’t miss our posts, please subscribe to Autism Investigated and you’ll receive email notices of new articles. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook too.

Evidence of a link between vaccines and autism has been both discovered and denied by government agencies. Dr. Thomas Verstraeten, who concluded thimerosal multiples the risk of autism 7-fold in a study for the CDC’s Vaccine Safety Datalink Team, wrote in a Dec. 17, 1999 email, regarding infants who had received the vaccine preservative “…all the harm is done in the first month.” Yet Dr. Marie McCormick, Chair of the CDC/NIH-sponsored Immunization Safety Review at IOM, stated on January 12, 2001, regarding vaccination: “…we are not ever going to come down that it [autism] is a true side effect…”

This blog will dig deep to understand why the facts continue to be denied and obfuscated. Tomorrow, my first full-length article will appear on Autism Investigated.

Sincerely,

Jake Crosby

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 currently attends The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services where he is studying for an MPH in epidemiology. For nearly five years, he was contributing editor to Age of Autism where he eventually encountered resistance to his investigations into the activities of several of the blog’s sponsors (one of which is also an editor) and was ultimately blocked from writing for the site.

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