Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Cornerstone of Vaccine Safety Research?

By Gambolputty


I remember earlier this year when the Wakefield scandal reached its head. Craig and I poured endlessly over the GMC hearings, checking, rechecking, trying to determine where and what was wrong with the ‘98 Lancet study. He and I both realized that Wakefield was sloppy. Yes, I understand that many of my regular readers will disagree with this. I also share Craig’s opinion of Dr Wakefield, and I am unable to deny the fact that he was slovenly in his research. Did he fake his data? I’m still not completely convinced of that, but the evidence and motive for doing so is certainly compelling. Needless to say, the media had a field day. They celebrated the destruction of Dr Wakefield’s career. They applauded a biased hack journalist with an obvious vendetta. The airwaves were flooded for months with every lurid detail of the investigation. The false skeptics and pseudo-science windbags that infest the various “science-based” websites bragged and preened, saying that they knew all along. They crooned that the “anti-vaxxers” were too stupid to read the science and understand it. You see, they knew the study was faked, and they read the report with that preconceived notion in mind because that is how science works. Dozens of studies by prestigious organisations have shown over and over what the false skeptics have been saying all along. The matter was settled, the science has spoken. Vaccines do not cause autism.

I’m sure some of you are wondering why I bring this up. Not to worry, my point will be evident shortly.

Today I read an intriguing article about the 2003 Danish Thiomersal (or Thimerosal) study. This study is thought to be the cornerstone of the hypothesis that the mercury based preservative had nothing to do with the increase in autism. The study shows that after Thiomersal was removed from Danish vaccines, the incidence of autism continued to increase. So, the false skeptics said, that means that it is not in the least bit possible for vaccines to cause autism (yes, I know…big leap in logic there). The matter was closed, etcetera, etcetera.

Those of us who believe that vaccines can cause neurological damage often return to this study. If you truly read the study, and not the abstract of the study or its conclusion, you would see that the numbers just don’t match up. It’s quite fascinating, if you don’t mind me saying. During the course of the epidemiological investigation, Denmark changed its diagnostic criteria for autism. Not only that, but the inclusion criteria changed mid-study; where, before, autism cases were only included on an in-patient basis, after 1995, they were changed to include cases on an out-patient basis. The authors of the study claim to have accounted for these statistical artifacts, but have never released the raw data to show how they were able to account for this.

But today, an article shows a different story being told. Emails reclaimed through the Freedom of Information Act show that CDC scientists (who claim the fore-mentioned study was independent) and the study authors manipulated and omitted data to show that there was an increase in autism diagnoses after the removal of Thiomersal from vaccines. In fact, these emails show that the CDC knew that the cases of autism were actually decreasing! That’s right…after the removal of Thiomersal, autism cases actually went down in Denmark. Which tells us that the mercury based preservative does, indeed, have a statistical impact on autism diagnoses. This, in fact, further supports Verstraeten’s emails that discuss the increase of autism from TCV’s (Thiomersal Containing Vaccines) that stated that he couldn’t make the association “go away.” And, the CDC lied about it to protect the vaccination program.

The emails, heavily redacted, show that the CDC was aware of the decrease in autism post removal, and wanted to discuss this with the authors. The reply, from lead author Dr Madsen, says this:

“I am not currently at the university, but I will contact you and Poul tomorrow to make up our minds.”

I’m sure you are all familiar with who Poul is, aren’t you? That’s right, Poul Thorsen, who is currently being indicted on fraud and embezzlement. At the time, Dr Thorsen was in residence at the CDC while writing this article. Remember, the CDC claims that this study was independent, and one of their resident researchers was working for them while writing this paper. Which, to the CDC, means that the researchers who wrote this paper were independent researchers. Soon after, Dr Thorsen made a request to the director of the National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (an office of the CDC) to expedite the paper into publication.

What’s interesting to me is how the false skeptics continue to praise how “good” the science is in this study because it supports their belief that vaccines aren’t associated with autism. Here is proof that the CDC and the authors covered up the fraud in their paper. Now, let me ask you this; are the airwaves rife with the sound of reporters covering this development? Are they shocked about the duplicity and fraud of the CDC scientists who misrepresented this study and its importance on the health of our children? Are they dragging the authors of this study through the mud like they did Dr Wakefield?

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I will mention it again. The hypocrisy of these false skeptics utterly fascinates me.

Now, I’m sure there will be cries of “Conspiracy Theorist” forthcoming, but I will take the time to mention this. It isn’t much of a stretch to come to the realisation that the CDC is doing everything in its power to protect the Vaccination program. Because, if it were to become wide-spread knowledge that they have been covering up information about the safety of childhood vaccines, falsely claiming that they are safer than they let on, then the faith in doctors, scientists, and the pharmaceutical giants would be shattered irrevocably.

Isn’t this, to you, a compelling reason to fake and manipulate data so that it shows that vaccines are as safe as they claim?

If they’ve lied about this, what else have they lied to you about?


  1. Quite a lot. Did you notice all the news lately about flu vaccine and the studies that show very little efficacy? Like this one, for example: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/managing-your-healthcare/research/articles/2008/10/06/kids-flu-shot-largely-ineffective-over-past-few?PageNr=1

    And yet the conclusion is always that vaccinating is appropriate and will help, even though they don't have data that demonstrates good results.

    Methinks they make a habit of misrepresentation and fudging.

  2. Here, from the reports of the Osterholm study of flu efficacy: "In what Osterholm described as the "most exhaustive review to date," the researchers winnowed through 5,707 articles to come up with 31 studies that met strict criteria for inclusion, including 17 randomized controlled trials and 14 observational studies.

    "These are the very best of all the studies that have been done," he said."

    Over 5,000 studies and only 31 are good enough to include? So why so many crappy studies? And why are these bad studies treated as valid and used to recommend the vaccine?

  3. Denmark, strange country isn't? They removed Thimerosal in 1992.

    Not even one pseudosceptic asks why the did that in 1992.

  4. Good question Anonymous! The next question: After all those studies from Denmark showing that thimerosal is good stuff and doesn't cause autism or any other neurological damage despite being a neurotoxin...why haven't the Danes brought it back?

  5. I must admit that those are both extraordinarily excellent questions.

    Those silly Danes...don't they know that Thiomersal is good for you?

    It's also quite remarkable how the false skeptics are avoiding this revelation like the plague. Not a single word from any of them concerning this. Do I hear a collective sticking of fingers in ears and singing "La La La, I can't hear you?"

  6. Gambolputty,
    Since you were the partner who actually got the GMC transcripts, have you reviewed the latest presentation from Wakefield regarding the accusations of Fraud. I would be very curious how they measure up against the actual evidence. From his presentation, it looks like the fraud paper in the BMJ was cooked up pretty nicely.

  7. Schwartz, that's a very difficult question to answer, mate. Part of me is really compelled by the new allegations of Deer's misrepresentations in this matter.

    I'm taking a "wait and see" approach. The truth of the matter is that I honestly don't know.

  8. The criticism of the BMJ by Dr. Lewis is interesting. http://www.nature.com/news/2011/111109/full/479157a.html?s=news_rss

  9. As for TH removal in Denmark: You can see from this study which looks at the autism rates according to birth cohort that there is decline between cohort born in 1994-1995 and subsequent cohorts 1996-1997 and 1998 and 1999. This decline is quite substantial and exact the opposite of what Madsen et al stated based on registration date in the Danish registry database. See it for yourself: http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/162/12/1150/POA80062T1 and article itself http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/162/12/1150#POA80062T1

  10. I've only just started reading into this, and happened to stumble across this article.

    One thing caught my eye. It's mentioned that the CDC director wanted to speak with Poul Thorsen regarding the results that showed the decrease. Then, another thing caught my eye, i.e. the statement that Thorsen pushed to have the paper expedited for publication.

    It's interesting that those who defend this study claim that Thorsen was an inconsequential author in the study (neither first nor last on the list). The implication from the two points I mentioned above shows that he had quite a bit more to do with the study than previously believed, thereby invalidating their claim.