Tag Archives: Dr. Brian Hooker

Vaccine Industry Watchdog Responds to Forbes Defense of Mercury-Laced Vaccinations

BRIAN HOOKER, PHD, PE

Dr. Brian Hooker, PhD, says Forbes misrepresented congressional records and CDC studies

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Last week, PhD biochemist Brian Hooker created a stir when he announced he had obtained sensitive documents from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. According to Hooker, these documents implicated the vaccine preservative Thimerosal (50% mercury by weight) in causing autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, revealing what he says CDC officials had long known, but never disclosed publicly: a 7.6-fold increase in autism during infancy after exposure. Emily Willingham, who frequently editorializes in support of the vaccine program, responded in Forbes by criticizing a news story that went viral on the subject of Dr. Hooker’s FOIA revelations.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140228/MN73622)

Dr. Hooker methodically itemized “misrepresentations and outright errors” that he says appeared in Forbes.com. “Willingham either confused two CDC studies or intentionally deceived Forbes’ readers,” said Hooker. “There was one concealed study that found a very high association between Thimerosal and autism. That was the study that was kept from the public which I obtained. And there was a later study by the same researcher – CDC-paid epidemiologist Thomas Verstraeten – who had watered down the results of the earlier study to appear as if there were no association between Thimerosal and autism. That second study was made public even though it was fraudulent.  Willingham pointed to the conclusions of the later study and implied that they came from the earlier study.”

Although Willingham denies that the CDC researcher, Dr. Verstraeten, was under pressure to alter the results of the earlier study, Dr. Hooker points out that Verstraeten’s own email written at the time (an internal CDC document obtained through FOIA) reveals otherwise. Verstraeten’s subject line, “It just won’t go away,” refers to his difficulty in making the statistical association between Thimerosal and autism disappear.

Making an example of how he says Dr. Verstraeten hid that association in his reanalysis of the data on 400,000 infants, Dr. Hooker says Verstraeten did not include clinics within HMOs where there was a strong correlation between Thimerosal exposure and autism incidence. According to Hooker, “Willingham brazenly disregarded Verstraeten’s own chilling words: ‘All the harm is done in the first month [of life]…’ He wrote those words about the study I obtained.”  The abstracts of Verstraeten’s two studies and further comment on the controversy can be viewed here.

Dr. Hooker says Willingham misrepresented the congressional record when she selected quotes from a 2007 U.S. Senate report which falsely asserted that allegations of a cover-up are unsubstantiated. He considers the U.S. House of Representatives’ 2003 report titled Mercury in Medicine (the result of a 3-year investigation) a “scathing, 80-page indictment of the CDC regarding the Thimerosal coverup.”  The report concludes, “Our public health agencies’ failure to act is indicative of institutional malfeasance for self-protection and misplaced protectionism of the pharmaceutical industry.”

Willingham treated Verstraeten’s final, watered-down results as solid epidemiological evidence, when, according to Hooker, the final version of the Verstraeten study is fraught with statistical flaws, primarily “overmatching.” He provided an example:  the cases and controls received the same vaccination schedule and the same Thimerosal dosage; thus, no true comparison could be made.  Hooker says this invalidates all of the analyses (done separately for HMOs A, B and C).

Willingham quoted Verstraeten’s  2004 letter in the journal Pediatrics regarding his later, diluted study, omitting the fact that the CDC has used the study to exonerate Thimerosal despite Verstraeten calling the study “neutral.”  In addition, the 2004 Institute of Medicine (IOM) Immunization Safety Review (ISR) committee report used this as the only U.S. epidemiological study (among the 5 studies) as the basis to reject the Thimerosal-autism hypothesis, shutting the door on any further research.

“In light of Ms. Willingham’s enthusiastic defense of mercury in vaccines despite conclusive evidence of its harm to children, it is ironic that the tagline for her column is ‘I write about the science they are selling you.'” remarked Dr. Hooker. Thimerosal is still administered to pregnant women and infants via the flu shot.

Brian Hooker, PhD, PE is an associate professor of biology at Simpson University. His over 50 science and engineering papers have been published in internationally recognized, peer-reviewed journals. He 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, which is dedicated to informing the public about the cause(s) of the autism epidemic and the rise of chronic illnesses. To learn more, visit focusautisminc.org and ashotoftruth.org,  an educational website sponsored by Focus Autism.

AutismOne is co-sponsoring this message and 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.

Media Contact: Angela Medlin, A Shot of Truth, 1 866-498-2768, angela@ashotoftruth.org

News distributed by PR Newswire iReach: https://ireach.prnewswire.com

 

SOURCE Brian Hooker, PhD, PE

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Forbes’ Emily Willingham Pretends CDC Study Results Don’t Exist

Editor’s Note: Click the above image to enlarge.

By Jake Crosby

Forbes’ writers seem to have trouble reading scientific abstracts. In December, its senior editor Matthew Herper cited a press release that contradicted the research he discussed to endorse the vaccine efficacy of Gardasil. That, however, pales in comparison to the type of misrepresentation contributor Emily Willingham made when she conflated an earlier, suppressed CDC analysis (left abstract in image) showing thimerosal is associated with autism with a later, watered-down analysis CDC distributed at a public meeting that showed no association (right abstract in image). All the more remarkable is that she is an autism parent herself and has a PhD in biology.

Following the press release by Focus Autism, AutismOne and A Shot of Truth about the earlier abstract uncovered by A Shot of Truth scientific advisor Dr. Brian Hooker, Willingham responded with a long and verbose article titled, “Is The CDC Hiding Data About Mercury, Vaccines, and Autism?” She then answered her own title with: “You know the rule. The answer is, ‘No.'”

One paragraph in, she was already getting basic facts of the abstract disastrously wrong: “In 1999, four authors affiliated with the CDC presented an abstract at a conference … a CDC conference for fellows of its Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS).” The conference takes place annually in April, but the research project of thimerosal did not even begin until August of that year as pointed out by chemist and Coalition for Mercury-Free Drugs‘ secretary Dr. Paul King in a comment to me. That error of Willingham’s, however, could hardly have predicted what was to come.

Although she never linked to the abstract from her article, she did read it and quoted directly from it – noting that it compared a “highest exposure group” to an “unexposed group”. Though she acknowledged the study authors “reported an increased risk for nondegenerative neurological disorders,” she never acknowledged they included autism.

Then five paragraphs into her article she suddenly switched from talking about the long-suppressed abstract to talking about a later analysis  where no comparison of autism across highest-and-unexposed groups was included. The manuscript describing that analysis, dated June 1st, 2000, was presented at the closed Simpsonwood meeting of federal officials and pharmaceutical industry representatives the following week and then distributed by CDC at a public meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices later that same month. That document Willingham cited was not concealed from the public for over a decade and did not show that thimerosal is associated with autism, unlike the abstract of the earlier analysis. Yet she spent the rest of her article discussing the later study as if it was the same CDC study cited in the press release circulated by Focus Autism, AutismOne and A Shot of Truth and later picked up by Health Impact News Daily whose headline she drew attention to.

She even quoted the lead investigator Dr. Thomas Verstraeten presenting the lack of association with autism in the later manuscript:

“This is the result for autism, in which we don’t see much of a trend except for a slight, but not significant, increase for the highest exposure. The overall test for trend is statistically not significant.”

Dr. Verstraeten was under considerable pressure to reanalyze the data to  make the association between thimerosal and neurological disorders disappear, as evidenced in an email he titled “It just won’t go away.”  He wrote “…some of the RRs [relative risks] increase over the categories and I haven’t yet found an alternative explanation… Please let me know if you can think of one.” He and his colleagues issued successive studies  watering down the original results and ultimately, as  Willingham conceded, he was hired by vaccine maker GlaxoSmithKline.

What Willingham never quoted, however, was the reported result for autism in the abstract of the earlier analysis that the press release was actually about:

“The relative risk (RR) of developing a neurologic development disorders was 1.8 (95% confidence intervals [CI] = 1.1-2.8) when comparing the highest exposure group at 1 month of age (cumulative dose  > 25 ug) to the unexposed group. Within this group we also found an elevated risk for the following disorders: autism (RR 7.6, 95% CI = 1.8-31.5), nonorganic sleep disorders (RR 5.0, 95% CI = 1.6-15.9), and speech disorders (RR 2.1, 95% CI=1.1-4.0).”

Apparently, Willingham is imitating CDC, as all the way back in 2004 one of the coauthors of both CDC analyses Dr. Frank DeStefano said in a presentation to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) that:

“In no analyses were significant increased risks found for ADD or autism”

In that same presentation, DeStefano also claimed the “Initial” analysis was a study dated February, 29th, 2000, where the association with autism originally reported in the suppressed abstract was apparently diluted away by combining the highest exposure category with a lower exposure category. The very existence of the positive research results from the long-suppressed study abstract was denied.

One decade later and Emily Willingham and Forbes Magazine are now following CDC’s lead, as are other vaccine industry talking heads.

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.

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.

SafeMinds Summed Up In One Comment

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By Jake Crosby

In a now-deleted comment I recently left under a press release posted by Lyn Redwood on the SafeMinds website that tried to take credit for uncovering suppressed CDC evidence for thimerosal causing autism, I wrote:

David Geier discovered the “Generation Zero” data, Lyn, not anyone at SafeMinds. Similarly, these “new disclosures” have already been publicly available on the CoMeD site for months. That you’re linking to it now does not make it “new.” In fact, none of the discovered CDC data showing statistically significant associations between thimerosal exposure and autism has ever been discovered by anyone at SafeMinds. Those who actually have discovered these research results have either been excluded from testifying before Congress by SafeMinds or been excluded from testifying in the omnibus autism proceeding on behalf of petitioners, also by SafeMinds.

SafeMinds never exposed the thimerosal cover-up, but rather is a part of it. In the weeks leading up to the 2012 congressional hearing, Lyn Redwood wrote in an email that it makes her “crazy” that Andrew Wakefield is crucified and Danish fugitive Poul Thorsen evades justice. Yet right after she said this, she gave up her speaking slot to a man who went to absurd lengths to falsely play down Thorsen’s role in the fraud that sought to exonerate thimerosal.  She backed out on the excuse she was picking up her son from his first college quarter, even though it ended two weeks before the hearing. She later claimed she was “very sad” Thorsen was not mentioned in SafeMinds’ congressional testimony before Congress, even though her actions led to Thorsen not being mentioned.

Now Lyn Redwood is announcing the release of this latest CDC information without crediting its discoverer, Dr. Brian Hooker.

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.

Mark Blaxill’s Thimerosal Backtrack: An Act To Throw The Omnibus?

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By Jake Crosby

Following the disclosure of emails on Autism Investigated in which Mark Blaxill responded to the lead omnibus attorney in vaccine court with attacks on expert witnesses Dr. Mark and David Geier, Autism Investigated reader John Best made an astute observation about the attorney’s email. Within that email, the attorney wrote:

“…we realize that we have to  deal with the fact that the increase has continued beyond the removal of thimerosal, but we have to convince the Special Masters that something in the environment, perhaps several somethings, is triggering symptoms of ASD in many kids.”

To which John Best responded in a comment:

“The lawyers claimed they had to account for the increase [in autism] after thimerosal was all gone and that they had to blame something in the environment. So, the lawyers admitted right there that they were throwing the case intentionally. Too bad the statute of limitations for legal malpractice has passed. Those words are all that are needed to hang them.
Did they think the whole world was too stupid to know that shooting 25 mcg of thimerosal into pregnant women equated to 200 times the alleged “safe” dose of mercury?
Jake, you should have entitled this: Lawyers Admit Throwing Case.”

To which I responded:

“That was almost certainly Mark Blaxill’s doing:
http://www.autisminvestigated.com/mark-blaxill-danish-fraudulent/

He claimed to change his views in a 2007 email to Dr. Brian Hooker based on the premature conclusion that reported autism prevalence still going up in California was evidence against thimerosal’s role in the autism epidemic, yet also cited the very Danish numbers Blaxill once called “uninformative and potentially misleading” to defend thimerosal right after being informed of their fraudulent nature by Dr. Hooker. What this would suggest is that Blaxill’s representation of himself as a leading proponent of thimerosal’s significance in causing the autism epidemic only to backtrack from his position later was all just an act to sink the omnibus and strike a PR victory for pharma.”

The latest component of this act that I did not mention in the above comment, however, is Blaxill’s downplaying of harm from thimerosal and vaccines in general. Neither was mentioned in Mark Blaxill’s speech before Congress, nor are they in the mission statement of the Canary Party that he chairs and founded. Such minimization of thimerosal’s harm helps prevent some of the worst perpetrators of the thimerosal cover-up from facing justice for burying evidence of its role in causing the autism epidemic. And the lead actor pretends to have no ties to the pharmaceutical industry when he still does.

It is about time someone drew the curtain on his act.

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 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.

Autism Investigated Announces Awards for 2013

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On New Year’s Eve, Autism Investigated announces its awards for 2013 looking back on the highlights of the year and the lessons learned – an award for each of five categories listed below. As I told one reader:

“2012 was a year of blissful ignorance whereas 2013 was a year of hard lessons – they were not easy to learn, but I think we will all be better off because of them. Here’s to an enlightened new year.”

I feel this sentiment is very strongly reflected in Autism Investigated’s awards for this year – a year when Autism Investigated only existed for the second half, but an eventful year nonetheless.

So here they are: Autism Investigated’s Awards for 2013!

Scientist of the Year: Dr. Brian Hooker

A researcher, professor, parent and advocate, Dr. Brian Hooker exemplifies scientific integrity, courage and persistence. Having organized the congressional hearing in 2012, Dr. Hooker works tirelessly to expose the scientific corruption of CDC and related groups that are implicated in the government cover-up of vaccines’ role in causing autism in children, especially vaccines containing the mercury-based, neurotoxic preservative thimerosal. He has made tremendous inroads with Congress despite overwhelming adversity, even from groups that claim to agree with his activities. Nonetheless, he remains unyielding in his pursuit of justice for countless vaccine-injured children, including his own son.

Thank you, Dr. Hooker!

Scoop of the Year: Mark Blaxill’s Early Interference in Autism Omnibus

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(Click to enlarge.)

Last October, Autism Investigated was sent email exchanges from 2003 and 2004 between members of SafeMinds and the lead petitioners’ attorney  in the autism omnibus proceeding for 4,900 children who developed autism after vaccination and were seeking federal compensation. The emails reveal that members of SafeMinds were being retained as consultants in the litigation. The email exchanges also reveal some troubling remarks by Mark Blaxill, then-board member of SafeMinds. Below are statements he has made in those emails to the attorney against petitioners’ expert witnesses Dr. Mark and David Geier as well as against suing in general. Also disturbing is his reference to his employer’s pharmaceutical clients.

Direct quotes from Mark Blaxill’s emails:

“The issue I will confess to the most difficulty with is the “sue the bastards” model…Please recognize, though, that my firm has clients on the other side and so I cannot–in fairness to my partners–get directly involved in the quest for money. I only am interested in the quest for the truth….I would say there are a few lawyers I’ve run into that make my discomfort really sharp.”

“As to the Geiers, I may be a bit of a minority voice here, but I worry very much that they can do our cause more harm than good. They are not very good scientists, write bad papers (both writing badly and reporting in sloppy fashion) and attract too much attention to themselves as individuals. In this last regard, they don’t show nearly as well as Andy Wakefield but they’re trying to play the same role. Frankly, if I were on the other side and were asked to critique their work, I could rip it to shreds. I’m surprised they haven’t been hit harder. So I think you are wise to diversify.”

I have not been a big fan of the Geiers. I worry they do not represent our side well. They often do sloppy work.”

In response to the last quote by Blaxill, the attorney replied:

“Thanks, Mark, very helpful.”

The autism omnibus eventually collapsed and thousands of children were denied justice. In a podcast interview last October, Mark Blaxill said he was not apologetic about anything he has done.

Quote of the Year: Dr. Boyd Haley on Mark Blaxill and the Geiers

After the above email passages were posted on Autism Investigated, emeritus chemistry professor, scientist and leading authority on mercury toxicity Dr. Boyd Haley responded in the below email:

I know both Mark Blaxill and Mark & David Geier fairly well. Mr. Blaxill does not have the biological science and medical training of the Geier’s and most of their articles address issues on the biological level. I have critically read most of the publications by the Geier’s and I seriously doubt that Mr. Blaxill could shred this research even though he may think he could.

Boyd E. Haley, PhD
President
CTI Science, Inc.

Irony of the Year: Tina Brown runs bogus autism-and-pedophilia-linking article, despite having son with autism.

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Last August, The Daily Beast ran an article by Eustacia Cutler – mother of internationally famous autistic advocate and animal scientist Dr. Temple Grandin – falsely claiming autistic men have an affinity for pedophilia. Dr. Grandin distanced herself after the article was written following an inquiry by Autism Investigated. The major irony to emerge from this is that Tina Brown – editor of The Daily Beast – has an adult son with Asperger Syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder. She did not respond when confronted about the story on Twitter. The following month, Tina Brown stepped down as editor of The Daily Beast.

Event of the Year: NVICP Congressional Hearing Cancellation

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The event of the year – or rather non-event of the year – goes to the cancellation of the congressional hearing on the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP). By asking Congress to investigate NVICP, Canary Party was able to prevent the CDC cover-up of vaccine dangers from gaining exposure in a congressional hearing despite the organization’s false promises to Dr. Brian Hooker that it would ask specifically for an investigation into the malfeasance. Then at a Canary Party Briefing held the month before the anticipated NVICP hearing, the case of vaccine-injured child Hannah Poling was misrepresented. After her mother Terry Poling protested in the comments of Age of Autism – the blog sponsored by Canary Party and edited by its chairman Mark Blaxill – Age of Autism took down the video of the briefing without explanation. After the incident was written about on Autism Investigated, Age of Autism claimed technical failure before finally re-uploading the video three days after its removal. That night, Autism Investigated received word that the December-scheduled NVICP congressional hearing that Canary Party was instrumental in lobbying for was cancelled. The reason, according to one reliable legal source, was that NVICP is an “overly divisive issue.”

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 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.

Dr. Boyd Haley: “I seriously doubt Mr. Blaxill could shred [the Geiers’] research”

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By Jake Crosby

Following a post on Autism Investigated in which then-board member of SafeMinds Mark Blaxill was quoted as having called Dr. Mark and David Geier’s work “sloppy,” Dr. Boyd Haley contacted Autism Investigated and weighed in on the matter. Blaxill also claimed in a 2003 email of the Geiers’ work, “…I could rip it to shreds.”

The Geiers – father and son scientists – have repeatedly published studies implicating the mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal in causing autism. Dr. Haley, whose email is below, is president of CTI Science, professor emeritus of chemistry from the University of Kentucky as well as a world-renowned expert on mercury toxicity.

This is what Dr. Haley had to say about Mark Blaxill’s remarks concerning the Geiers:

I know both Mark Blaxill and Mark & David Geier fairly well. Mr. Blaxill does not have the biological science and medical training of the Geier’s and most of their articles address issues on the biological level. I have critically read most of the publications by the Geier’s and I seriously doubt that Mr. Blaxill could shred this research even though he may think he could.

Boyd E. Haley, PhD
President

CTI Science, Inc.

Dr. Haley gave his permission to post the above email on Autism Investigated.

Mark Blaxill made these remarks in email to Attorney Mike Williams, lead petitioners’ attorney in the autism omnibus proceeding where Dr. Mark and David Geier were both expert witnesses for the petitioners. Eventually, the omnibus collapsed and 4,900 children were denied justice. Years after disparaging the Geiers’ work to Attorney Williams, Blaxill cited the fraudulent Danish research of international fugitive Poul Thorsen to defend thimerosal in email to omnibus petitioner and scientist Dr. Brian Hooker.

Today, history is repeating itself as Mark Blaxill continuously works to keep research fraud like Thorsen’s from being exposed before Congress and undermines the advocacy of Dr. Hooker. The Canary Party (founded and chaired by Blaxill) falsely led Dr. Hooker to believe that the organization would ask Congress to specifically pursue research misconduct like that committed by Thorsen. Canary Party’s apparent deception ultimately culminated in the indefinite collapse of the congressional autism hearings altogether.

Nonetheless, it is encouraging to learn that Mark Blaxill’s earlier attacks on Dr. Mark and David Geier are not sitting well with Dr. Boyd Haley.

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 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.

NVICP Congressional Hearing Cancelled

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By Jake Crosby

Unconfirmed reports by several reliable sources including an attorney have been brought to the attention of Autism Investigated. According to these reports, the congressional hearing on the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has been cancelled by the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform chaired by Congressman Darrell Issa. This information comes after a vaccine-injured child’s case was misrepresented at a congressional briefing by Canary Party, video footage of which was removed along with an entire post from the Canary Party-sponsored Age of Autism blog.

After Autism Investigated reported on the deletion of the video, Age of Autism restored the post without the video, claiming technical difficulties. Then, after Autism Investigated posted a link to the video and an Age of Autism reader requested AoA also provide a link, the video was fully restored with the technical excuses scrubbed. Below is the NVICP hearing cancellation message from the attorney who gives insight into the reasons behind the cancellation:

“I was just informed by the Counsel for Chairman Issa that due to ‘great deal of reluctance about participating or being drawn into what they, in their private candid discussions with us, say they see as an overly divisive issue’ they are canceling the hearing.”

Autism Investigated will provide updates as this story develops. If confirmed, it will be a tragedy that direct interference by Canary Party and specifically Mark Blaxill led to the collapse of the hearing. Blaxill said on Linderman last month that Canary Party asked for hearings on NVICP instead of CDC malfeasance (as was falsely promised to autism parent and scientist Dr. Brian Hooker) because that was the topic Issa wanted. Yet now Issa is cancelling the hearing because of the divisiveness of the topic itself – the very topic Blaxill claimed Issa wanted to hold the hearing about.

This is not the first hearing Mark Blaxill hijacked. After news of last year’s hearing was leaked at the 2012 AutismOne conference, Blaxill and SafeMinds – the organization whose government affairs committee he had chaired – hired a lobbyist who misrepresented Dr. Brian Hooker to congressional staffers. Dr. Hooker originally organized the November hearing and succeeded in having Issa commit to holding hearings on autism causation and the vaccine program.

Yet through questionable lobbying activities, SafeMinds and Mark Blaxill effectively changed the topic of the hearing to the “federal response” enabling autism epidemic deniers to be invited to give testimony. Blaxill testified instead of Dr. Hooker and refused to discuss the fraudulent research defending thimerosal that Dr. Hooker had planned to testify about. But what can one expect when Blaxill cited Thorsen’s fraud to defend thimerosal in email to none other than Dr. Hooker? Blaxill’s excuse for not mentioning vaccines in his testimony was that he pulled a few punches to ensure another hearing was in the works, yet Issa had already committed to holding multiple hearings. And now Issa won’t hold the scheduled Dec. 4th hearing thanks to the topic Canary Party requested of Congress.

Rather than paving the way for a second congressional hearing, Mark Blaxill prevented a second congressional hearing altogether. At the first hearing, he told me:

“I don’t have a whole lot of hope.”

Blaxill’s prediction was a self-fulfilling prophecy.

For relevant posts on this sad saga, see below links beginning with most recent:

Age of Autism Deletes Canary Party Briefing Video

Mark Blaxill Defended Thimerosal With Fraudulent Danish Research

Mark Blaxill Admits COI When His Undermining Began

Listen to Jake Crosby on Linderman Unleashed

Mark Blaxill’s Early Interference in Autism Omnibus Revealed

Canary Party VP: “your judgement is compromised on this because of your autism”

How Dan Olmsted and David Kirby Helped Kill Landmark Autism Lawsuit

No More Federal Research Fraud – OPPOSE HR1757!

Age of Autism Condemned For Banishing Autism Investigated’s Editor

Mark Blaxill Publicly Attacks Critics

Outbound Links to other relevant articles:

SafeMinds Ignores Major Allegations While Replying Dishonestly to Other Charges – Age of Autism

SafeMinds Steals the Show, Literally… – Bolen Report

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 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.

Mark Blaxill Defended Thimerosal With Fraudulent Danish Research

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By Jake Crosby

Recently emerging emails from 2007 show that Canary Party Chairman Mark Blaxill has cited the fraudulent Danish research continuously used by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to argue for thimerosal‘s safety, even after autism parent and scientist Dr. Brian Hooker explained to him exactly how it is fraudulent: Thorsen and his colleagues buried data showing autism prevalence and incidence were declining after thimerosal’s removal from Danish childhood vaccines. Not only that, but Blaxill even compared Thorsen’s “research” to more recent and similarly flawed data from California to further doubt the significance of thimerosal’s role in causing the autism epidemic. He wrote:

“Brian,

There’s no one more committed to the mercury argument than me. But there’s a hard bit of evidence here regarding the thimerosal argument. The rates in California never went down and as far as I can tell are still going straight up with no deceleration at all. And you’ve seen the Denmark numbers. As I’ve said many times, this can mean only one of three things: the theory is wrong, the numbers are wrong, or the issue is more complex than everyone thought. I vote for number three, but am open to any answer that gets closer to figuring out what happened to [his daughter]. Because something did.

Personally, I have chosen not to enter into the criminal side of this and to try to engage people on the facts and the data rather than the question of justice. That’s not to say I don’t believe there may be criminal behavior in here somewhere and that justice needs to be served; it must be. It’s just that I would degrade my own particular contribution by engaging in that way.”

Years after Mark Blaxill chose “not to enter the criminal side of this,” the principal investigator of such fraudulent research from DenmarkPoul Thorsen – was indicted on fraud charges and was added to the list of DHHS Office of the Inspector General’s list of most-wanted fugitives. In the weeks leading up to the November 2012 congressional hearing, Blaxill persistently tried to play down the significance of Thorsen’s role in the fraudulent research on group email threads for SafeMinds – the group that co-opted the hearing when Blaxill was still chairing the organization’s government affairs committee. He even went so far as to assert that Thorsen probably lied about being principal investigator in email to Dr. Brian Hooker. When confronted with the archived webpages of the website for Thorsen’s now-defunct NANEA website listing him as “Principle Investigator,” Blaxill admitted that he too had access to those very same webpages despite arguing against what they said.

During his 2007 email exchanges with Dr. Hooker, Blaxill was planning to participate in an environmental autism panel held by the IOM where he similarly refused to bring up vaccines: (as with his 2012 speech before Congress nearly six years later). Just three years prior, IOM put out a report rejecting vaccines’ causal role in autism after the institute secretly decided it would never come down that autism is a true side-effect of vaccination prior to reviewing any science. Concerned about Blaxill’s reliance on data that is ecological – inherently incapable of even showing whether children who received more thimerosal had higher rates of autism – Dr. Hooker commented in email to fellow autism advocates (boldface mine):

“Mark Blaxill is NOT a scientist and should not think that he can represent the science around the issue.  I’m frankly sick of him playing “cowboy” scientist acting as if anyone can do what a lot of us trained so long and hard to do. If I see another stupid ecological study or an argument about an ecological study, I’m gonna hurl…  From my email conversations with Mark, it is apparent he is going to conceed [sic] the whole thimerosal argument because the rates in California didn’t go down.  ‘Scuse me but he’s dangerous.

Brian” 

The following year, Blaxill practically did just that when he wrote in Age of Autism regarding autism in California:

“The continued increases in autism rates provide strong evidence against the idea that early thimerosal exposure, and only thimerosal exposure, is causing the increased population rates of autism.”

He would also repeat this same statement – in the 2010 book “The Age of Autism” that he coauthored with Dan Olmsted – in a way that eerily echoed the wording of a CDC press release urging patients to receive the thimerosal-laced swine flu shot. I alerted Blaxill and Olmsted to this problem months before their book release, warning them that the California statistics were likely no better than the fraudulent Danish autism statistics, but they included it anyway. This is in spite of the continued exposure of children in California to mercury from flu shots and the fact that autism prevalence was restricted to very young children – most likely driven by downward shifts in age of diagnosis. I had written an article for Age of Autism based on these observations months before. Little did I know at that time that Blaxill had himself compared the California rates to the Danish data in email to Dr. Hooker three years prior – not to point out how the California data is uninformative as I had done, but rather to validate it on the basis of Thorsen’s fraudulent research.

Despite Blaxill’s claim that autism in California was “…still going straight up with no deceleration at all,” changes in the overall autism caseload not limited to a specific age group were decreasing. Then in 2012, Mark Blaxill refused to bring up the first CDC-reported, statewide decline in autism prevalence in children born in 2000 – a possible connection to thimerosal’s removal – when he addressed a press conference held by Canary Party on the newly released statistics. In practice, Mark Blaxill has apparently been exercising the position of IOM – ignoring evidence favorable to thimerosal’s role in causing autism and publicizing evidence which purports to go against it, while never coming to the firm conclusion that autism is a true side-effect of thimerosal. This is in spite of the fact that CDC’s own epidemiologist concluded in email to colleagues that perinatal thimerosal exposure caused autism as written in “Evidence of Harm,” by David Kirby. Yet Blaxill had reportedly convinced Kirby to insist such proof does not exist, only “evidence,” hence the book title.

After Danish research was just recently published showing autism prevalence declining in years corresponding to thimerosal’s removal from vaccines, Age of Autism ran the following action alert: 2003 Danish Study on Mercury Fabricated? New Study Completely Different Results.” What the post did not say was that documents obtained by Dr. Brian Hooker through FOIA have already answered that question affirmatively. Moreover, Age of Autism only drew attention to Mark Blaxill’s public criticism of Thorsen’s work, but not Blaxill’s clandestine endorsement of it while ignoring Dr. Hooker’s email telling him exactly how it was fraudulent. AoA’s action alert also made no mention of the fact that Mark Blaxill’s Canary Party falsely promised Dr. Hooker that it would ask Congress to make the next hearing specifically about research fraud like that committed by Thorsen, but instead asked Congress to make the hearing be about something else.

No matter how much the evidence for the government’s thimerosal cover-up mounts, Mark Blaxill works to prevent that evidence from being exposed in the congressional hearings as much as possible in favor of his rhetorical and eternal question about the autism epidemic: “What’s going on?”

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 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.

Mark Blaxill Admits COI When His Undermining Began

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By Jake Crosby

Mark Blaxill appeared on Linderman Unleashed Thursday to “rebut” my interview with Linderman last week (both interviews embedded below). Unfortunately, Blaxill avoided much of what I said despite admitting he’d had a conflict of interest with vaccine manufacturers while David Kirby was writing the book “Evidence of Harm.” Mark Blaxill also made tacit reference to my autism – and not in a positive way – near the end of the interview.

In Kirby’s book, Blaxill was quoted as threatening to resign from SafeMinds‘ board should the organization speak out against drug companies poisoning children – companies that he admitted at the time were clients of his then-employer, Boston Consulting Group. The period when Evidence of Harm was still being written also corresponds with when Blaxill and others from SafeMinds were secretly advising the Vaccine Injured Petitioners’ Steering Committee for the autism omnibus, where he trashed petitioners’ expert witnesses Dr. Mark and David Geier and said Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s work was “not well-supported by the epi data.” Blaxill did all this despite his connections to the vaccine industry. He claimed on the show that “no one worked harder” than he did in showing how CDC cheated with numbers using the Vaccine Safety Datalink, and yet, it was David Geier not Mark Blaxill who discovered the CDC’s early results showing thimerosal caused harm including autism.

It should  be stated that while on Linderman, Blaxill also denied possessing a conflict of interest any longer – claiming to not have one since 2006. Nonetheless, the troubling trend of his undermining advocacy against vaccines causing autism began during his employment with the Boston Consulting Group, which has vaccine manufacturers for clients.

The latest example of this trend can be seen in the congressional autism hearings in which Mark Blaxill has been consistently working to prevent CDC malfeasance from being exposed both before Congress and on national television via dishonest lobbying practices. While Mark Blaxill chaired SafeMinds’ Government Affairs Committee, SafeMinds succeeded in changing the topic of last November’s hearing so it would no longer be about CDC malfeasance as originally planned and organized by autism parent and scientist Dr. Brian Hooker. Blaxill and SafeMinds’ actions prevented Dr. Hooker from testifying.*

In a more recent example of such undermining, Mark Blaxill’s Canary Party released an action alert asking Congress to investigate the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program last April – a complete betrayal of trust to Dr. Brian Hooker. Just two weeks prior, Canary Party President Jennifer Larson had promised Dr. Hooker that the alert would ask Congress to hold the next hearing specifically on CDC malfeasance, which the last hearing would have been about had SafeMinds not changed the topic. Age of Autism – both sponsored and edited by Blaxill – covered up such revelations about the alert by refusing to publish my critical comment on the pretense it was “picayune.”

Yet in spite of these activities – SafeMinds’ lobbying, Canary Party’s action alert and most recently Canary Party President Jennifer Larson’s $40,000 contribution the PAC of Congressional Committee Chair Darrell Issa – Mark Blaxill insists any involvement of his in sabotaging the hearing is “a lie” and that he has “no power” over how the hearing topics are chosen or who is invited to testify. While Issa, other congressmen and their staffers have the final say, Mark Blaxill consistently avoids discussing his ongoing role in attempting to influence their decisions to keep exposure of the vaccine-autism cover-up out of the hearings.

Instead, he denies having any explanation for all the failures that have occurred concerning the hearings and similar initiatives – many of which he contributed to – and essentially blames his followers for not being rich and powerful enough to defeat DHHS or big pharma rather than his own largely self-styled and unwanted leadership. He told Linderman:

“To be honest, you know we’re fighting with pop guns, man, and the other side has tanks…but you go to war with the army that you got, not the one that you wish for. And the fact is, we’re not making enough change, and I don’t know what to do about it to be honest, other than to keep fighting and to keep fighting the best way that we can.”

And that would be, according to Mark Blaxill, with the analogous equivalent of pop guns fighting tanks while he thwarts yet another hearing and his vice president Ginger Taylor tells people my judgement is compromised by my autism. At the end of the interview (which began with my name being stated by Curt Linderman as the very reason for the interview), Blaxill clearly made another derogatory reference to my autism without naming me:

I think we need to love our kids whether they’re  low-functioning or high-functioning, and when they’re high-functioning and they’re not functioning the way we hope they would, we love them anyway. 

Yet just days after my first article on how SafeMinds hijacked the last congressional hearing went online, he unfriended me on Facebook. I guess I really must not be functioning the way Mark Blaxill hoped.

Interviews:

Mark Blaxill’s response

My interview on Linderman

*Linderman mistakenly asked Blaxill to verify if the Canary Party influenced the November hearing when it was actually SafeMinds’ involvement in that hearing that I had taken issue with during my interview. I had also noted that Blaxill’s base of operations later shifted from SafeMinds to Canary Party in his efforts to influence Congress.

 

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 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.