11/28/2009

Mercola and AoA: In Bed Together

I opened up my email inbox and saw the near-dairly Dr Mercola newsletter full of woo (I really wanted to be snarky here, but I held back, just want credit for that). Once I looked through today's choices of craziness to read, I had a general feel for what I wanted to write today. So, I headed on over to Age Of Autism to see what crazy they were up to. And there it was: a choice between Heckenlively (aww, he'll think I'm picking on him) and an article showing that AoA and Mercola have hooked up to sell products (Too far? They're going to have a contest to give away one of his products. Oooh, I hope it's one of them tanning beds!).  Wow, you know, sometimes blogposts fall right into your lap. And when two bastions of anti-vaccination and woo outwardly connect, thereby reaffirming their own positions, well, that's gravy.

Starting with AoA: they're running a link to an interview between Sharyl Atkisson and Mercola on how the H1N1 is all a government hype. Yup, doesn't sound like conspiracy theorists at all. AoA is also promising a future contest with a Mercola goody. They end with noting that Mercola is "the founder of the world’s most visited natural health web site"

Well, at least they aren't arguing his world-reknown or the other empty and absurd labels he likes to pin on the doctors he interviews like Blaylock and Kent "infectious-disease-expert-my-ass" Holderf. We already knew, unfortunately, that there were a lot of people who were into the woo. It doesn't mean he's right. Or someone to be respected.

In fact, I think he's the opposite, especiallly with this latest bit of nonsense: "If you are a pregnant mother, please do not take the H1N1 swine flu vaccine." This is in a piece filled with horror stories of mothers miscarrying some time after the H1N1 vaccine.

I grant you that recommendation is awful and will likely result in some women listening to him and getting H1N1. It's a crapshoot I wouldn't be willing to take with my life nor the life of my unborn baby. If he thinks the vaccine is causing miscarriages (and there is no evidence that it is), then what does the fool think H1N1 would do?). This "idea," though, is worse: "You also need to understand that no reproduction studies have been done to determine how these flu vaccines (whether for seasonal- or the H1N1 vaccine) affect future fertility, and whether or how they affect a developing fetus."

Okay, so he's scared pregnant "natural" women into thinking that if they get the H1N1 vaccine, they will miscarry and be infertile, on top of that. Great.

He ends it with this piece of conspiracy theory: " I urge you to continue educating yourself about vaccines before yet another generation is lost to medical arrogance and greed."

The AoA piece, to back up for a moment, is on the interview with the reporter Sharyl Atkisson, who finds a conspiracy wherever she looks. I cannot believe CBS airs her work. This latest bit of crazy will come as no surprise, I am sure, to those who have run across Atkisson before. And we have. So, she thinks H1N1 isn't that bad and the government is lying. She thinks Wakefield is dreamy. She seems to be consistently anti-vaccine: she also has a report on gardasil. Interesting that a Washington reporter whose official job description is "investigative correspondent focusing on government spending and taxpayer issues" spends so much time on vaccines, basically coming out against them.

This isn't new for her either. Orac covers her anti-vaccine tendencies and her relationship with AoA back in August 2008. He brought it up a year earlier, as well, in June 2007. In July 2008, Liz offered criticism of Atkisson's journalism.

How many times does Atkisson come up on AoA? 19 times. AoA loves her.

Changing topics, I have to leave this post with this rich offering from Mercola: "IQ Isn't Everything: Why a High IQ Doesn't Mean You're Smart." 

Mercola wants you to eat the right foods to boost your IQ and avoid the wrong ones so you can be "mot" (as my Rosie pronounced it for the longest time) and not do foolish things. My recommendation, so much easier: avoid woo.

10 comments:

Corina Becker said...

I'm still trying to figure out how they think that H1N1 is government hype when it's not just the States, but other countries around the world. (Cause honestly, Canada is NOT a part of the US)

And the only thing that Mercola seems to get only partially right is that IQ isn't every thing and doesn't mean a person is smart. IQ tests are for assessments for learning ability and educational purposes ONLY. They should NOT be used to diagnosis people and do NOT reflect a person's intellectual ability. (Never mind that they're terrible at taking disability into account, especially those timed ones, but that's me grumbling)

Sigh. Mercola and AoA... if it wasn't for people taking them seriously, I'd say that they might make lovely babies together.

davidbrown said...

Regarding pregnant women, I think Mercola actually has a point. At the very least, there have been instances where pregnant women have been warned not to receive a vaccine.

davidbrown said...

Ah yes, one more thing: I'm sure the notion of H1N1 causing infertility is tied in some way to the Kano, Nigeria scare, which I consider an evolution of a supestition about witchcraft.

KWombles said...

Mercola is making assertions that go counter to what the CDC and ACIP recommend.

He's persuasive in his sales pitches and he sounds great, much like Wakefield, but he is still selling woo. He cloaks his rhetoric with occasional truths, but only in order to build his web of woo on. He is undoubtedly more dangerous than AoA and GenRes because his readership is not restricted to parents of autistic children, but reaches out to those consumers looking for health-related answers. Make no mistake, he is not a reliable source of medical information.


http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/preg-guide.htm

According to the table provided at the above link, pregnant women should not get the mist, but it is recommended that they receive the inactivated flu virus vaccine.

They should also not receive the varicella or the MMR.



"The H1N1 flu has taken an extraordinary toll on pregnant women, who are four times more likely to be hospitalized for complications." --http://www.wivb.com/dpp/health/Pregnant-women-urged-to-get-vaccine

"Oct. 1, 2009 -- H1N1 swine flu has killed 28 pregnant women in the U.S., raising the level of concern among obstetricians and CDC investigators.

The 28 women who died were among about 100 pregnant women who required intensive care because of severe H1N1 swine flu disease." --http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/news/20091001/28-pregnant-women-dead-from-h1n1-swine-flu-in-us

"Protect Yourself, Protect Your Baby — Take 3

•Take time to get vaccinated.
•Take everyday preventive actions.
•Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor recommends them." --http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/pregnancy/

Pregnant women were included in the vaccine trials. -- http://health.usnews.com/blogs/on-women/2009/07/30/pregnant-women-will-be-included-in-h1n1-flu-vaccine-trials.html

"1 out of every 25 pregnant women who contracted H1N1 died of it. By any standard, that is an appalling death rate." --http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2009/10/pregnant-women-h1n1-flu-vaccine.html

"Initial Results Show Pregnant Women Mount Strong Immune Response to One Dose of 2009 H1N1 Flu Vaccine

Healthy pregnant women mount a robust immune response following just one dose of 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine, according to initial results from an ongoing clinical trial sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health." --http://www.nih.gov/news/health/nov2009/niaid-02.htm





For readers disinclined to go to the CDC link:

"Risk to a developing fetus from vaccination of the mother during pregnancy is primarily theoretical. No evidence exists of risk from vaccinating pregnant women with inactivated virus or bacterial vaccines or toxoids. Live vaccines pose a theoretical risk to the fetus. Benefits of vaccinating pregnant women usually outweigh potential risks when the likelihood of disease exposure is high, when infection would pose a risk to the mother or fetus, and when the vaccine is unlikely to cause harm.1 Generally, live-virus vaccines are contraindicated for pregnant women because of the theoretical risk of transmission of the vaccine virus to the fetus. If a live-virus vaccine is inadvertently given to a pregnant woman, or if a woman becomes pregnant within 4 weeks after vaccination, she should be counseled about the potential effects on the fetus. But vaccination is not ordinarily an indication to terminate the pregnancy. Whether live or inactivated vaccines are used, vaccination of pregnant women should be considered on the basis of risks versus benefits – i.e., the risk of the vaccination versus the benefits of protection in a particular circumstance."

Minnesota said...

Read from FDA website section 8.1 from vaccine insert

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/UCM182401.pdf

8.1 Pregnancy
Pregnancy Category C: Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine or AFLURIA. It is also not known whether these vaccines can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity. Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.
8.3 Nursing Mothers
Neither Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine nor AFLURIA has been evaluated in nursing mothers. It is not known whether Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine or AFLURIA is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine is administered to a nursing woman.
8.4 Pediatric Use
Safety and effectiveness of Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine and AFLURIA in children below 6 months of age have not been established. The safety and immunogenicity of AFLURIA was evaluated in 298 children between the ages

KWombles said...

"Why does CDC advise pregnant women to receive the 2009 H1N1 influenza (flu) vaccine (shot)?
Getting the flu shot is the single best way to protect against the flu. It is important for a pregnant woman to receive both the 2009 H1N1 flu shot and the seasonal flu shot. A pregnant woman who gets any type of flu has a greater chance for serious health problems. Compared with people in general who get 2009 H1N1 flu (formerly called “swine flu”), pregnant women with 2009 H1N1 flu are more likely to be admitted to hospitals. Pregnant women are also more likely to have serious illness and death from 2009 H1N1 flu. When a pregnant woman gets a flu shot, it can protect both her and her baby. Research has found that pregnant women who had a flu shot get sick less often with the flu than do pregnant women who did not get a flu shot. Babies born to mothers who had a flu shot in pregnancy also get sick with flu less often than do babies whose mothers did not get a flu shot."

"What studies have been done on the 2009 H1N1 flu shots and have any been done in pregnant women?
Studies to test the 2009 H1N1 flu shots in healthy children and adults and pregnant women are being done now. Results are available from some of the studies done in non-pregnant adults and children. These results show that the immune system responded well to the 2009 H1N1 vaccine, and the safety results were very similar to those seen in studies of seasonal flu vaccine. These studies are being conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the vaccine manufacturers."

http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/pregnant_qa.htm

Free Speaker said...

Now we know why incest is illegal.

KWombles said...

Hah, thanks for the laugh, Freespeaker!

AutismNewsBeat said...

Maybe in your state.

cawill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.