I would like to promote this post by ‘Sharyl Attkinson‘ for its commonsense and informative look at the vaccine-autism link issues, the publicly promoted scientific claims of ‘proofs’ and the associated public debate.
Related articles are being progressively updated, adding strong support to the claims in this post. “86 (now 99) supporting research papers…” , in particular.
[The following is a news analysis and commentary]
A new study this week found no link between vaccines and autism. It instantly made headlines on TV news and popular media everywhere. Many billed it as the final word, “once again,” disproving the notion that vaccines could have anything to do with autism.
What you didn’t learn on the news was that the study was from a consulting firm that lists major vaccine makers among its clients: The Lewin Group.
That potential conflict of interest was not disclosed in the paper published in The New England Journal of Medicine; the study authors simply declare “The Lewin Group operates with editorial independence.”
(As an aside, according to OpenSecrets.org, The Lewin Group’s parent company, UnitedHealth Group, is a key government partner in Obamacare. Its subsidiary QSSI was given the contract to build the federal government’s HealthCare.gov website. One of its top executives and his family are top Obama donors.)
Conflicts of interest alone do not invalidate a study. But they serve as important context in the relentless effort by pharmaceutical interests and their government partners to discredit the many scientists and studies that have found possible vaccine-autism links.
Many Studies Suggest Possible Vaccine-Autism Links
When the popular press, bloggers and medical pundits uncritically promote a study like The Lewin Group’s, it must confound researchers like Lucija Tomljenovic, Catherine DeSoto, Robert Hitlan, Christopher Shaw, Helen Ratajczak, Boyd Haley, Carolyn Gallagher, Melody Goodman, M.I. Kawashti, O.R. Amin, N.G. Rowehy, T. Minami, Laura Hewitson, Brian Lopresti, Carol Stott, Scott Mason, Jaime Tomko, Bernard Rimland, Woody McGinnis, K. Shandley and D.W. Austin.
They are just a few of the many scientists whose peer-reviewed, published works have found possible links between vaccines and autism. But unlike The Lewin Group’s study, their research has not been endorsed and promoted by the government and, therefore, has not been widely reported in the media. In fact, news reports, blogs and “medical experts” routinely claim no such studies exist.
To be clear: no study to date conclusively proves or disproves a causal link between vaccines and autism and—despite the misreporting—none has claimed to do so. Each typically finds either (a) no association or (b) a possible association on a narrow vaccine-autism question. Taken as a whole, the research on both sides serves as a body of evidence.
The Astroturf Propaganda Campaign
It’s theoretically possible that all of the studies supporting a possible link between vaccines and autism are wrong. And, if the propagandists are to be believed, each of the researchers is an incompetent crank, quack, nut or fraud (and, of course, “anti-vaccine” for daring to dabble in research that attempts to solve the autism puzzle and leads to vaccine safety issues). The scientists and their research are “controversial,” simply because the propagandists declare them to be.
The disparaged scientists include well-published neurologists, pharmacists, epidemiologists, immunologists, PhD’s, chemists and microbiologists from places like Boston Children’s Hospital, Horizon Molecular Medicine at Georgia State University, University of British Columbia, City College of New York, Columbia University, Stony Brook University Medical Center, University of Northern Iowa, University of Michigan, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Al Azhar University of Cairo, Kinki University in Japan, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Swinburne University of Technology in Australia, Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology in Poland, Department of Child Health Care, Children’s Hospital of Fudan University in China, Utah State University and many more.
Their work is, at best, ignored by the media; at worst, viciously attacked by the predictable flock of self-appointed expert “science” bloggers who often title their blogs with the word “science” or “skeptics” to confer an air of legitimacy.
This astroturf movement, in my opinion, includes but is not limited to: LeftBrainRightBrain, ScienceBlogs, NeuroSkeptic, ScienceBasedMedicine, LizDitz, ScienceBasedMedicine, CrooksandLiars, RespectfulInsolence, HealthNewsReview, SkepticalRaptor, Skepticblog, Skeptics.com, Wired, BrianDeer, SethMnookin, Orac, Every Child by Two, the vaccine industry supported American Academy of Pediatrics, and the government/corporate funded American Council on Science and Health (once called “Voodoo Science, Twisted Consumerism” by the watchdog Center for Science in the Public Interest).
This circle operates with the moral support of the vaccine industry and its government partners, citing one another’s flawed critiques as supposed proof that each study has been “debunked,” though the studies continue to appear in peer-reviewed, published journals and in the government’s own National Institutes of Health library.
“Weak,” “too small,” “haphazard,” “not replicated,” “junk science,” “flawed,” “unrelated,” declare the propagandists, without exception. Just as attackers spent years challenging any study that linked tobacco to lung cancer.
They know that reporters who don’t do their homework will conduct an Internet search, run across the blogs with science-y sounding names, and uncritically accept their word as if it’s fact and prevailing thought.
It goes on to list a small sample of the many valid technical papers showing that much evidence does reasonably show a relationship, if not a direct causal one, does make a mockery of the “official” statements that “there is no evidence” or there is “no proof”.
Source article here.
If I may include an extract from a post previously posted here, it is quite clear that, in fact lies are being offered and believed by scientists and the general public.