1/24/2010

IACC Members: Flat Earthers Because They Acknowledge Autism Not Caused By Vaccines

"IACC lists parents who are related to each other, specifically parents who are first and second cousins as a major causation factor."  --Katie Wright


The IACC (Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee) released its 2009 Strategic Plan recently, and of course, Katie Wright was up at bat over at Age of Autism to take her swings at the committee. It's pretty darn obvious why the vaccine-damaged front is pissed with the IACC. The IACC isn't having any part of the vaccines bit:

"An Institute of Medicine workshop held in 2007 summarized what is known and what is needed in this field (Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, 2007). Numerous epidemiological studies have found no relationship between ASD and vaccines containing the mercury based preservative, thimerosal (Immunization Safety Review Committee, 2004). These data, as well as subsequent research, indicate that the link between autism and vaccines is unsupported by the research literature."

So, what can you do, if you are a militant believer that big pharma stole your child away? Focus on the inbreeding, naturally.

Katie Wright insists that the IACC lists this "parental inbreeding" in the IACC's report: "Finally, I just re- read the “What causes autism?” section of the IACC’s plan." I've read the IACC's 2009 strategic plan several times now, and nowhere is there any reference to shared ancestry. There is, however, a discussion of a study that examined this on the IACC's website, specifically on the Summary of Advances in Autism Spectrum Disorder Research: Calendar Year 2008 under Risk Factors:

"While there seem to be a variety of genes which contribute to the development of autism, researchers found a common biological link between several identified in one study of families with shared ancestry.29 The study examined 88 families with autistic children where parents were first or second cousins. Nineteen of the families studied had two or more cases of autism. Related parents are more likely to have genetic similarities, so studying them increases the likelihood of finding rare recessive genetic traits that are contributing to the family history of autism."

This seems a bit of a misdirect on Wright's part. No links, no specific title, but the suggestion is clear when she uses plan that she means the 2009 Strategic Plan JUST released rather than a summary of autism research.

The IACC does not recommend research into the role of vaccines in autism in its plan. It attempts, though, to appease parents believing vaccines to have played a role in their child's autism by writing:

"To address public concerns regarding a possible vaccine/ASD link, it will be important over the next year for the IACC to engage the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) in mutually informative dialogues. The NVAC is a Federal advisory committee chartered to advise and make recommendations regarding the National Vaccine Program. Communication between the IACC and NVAC will permit each group to be informed by the expertise of the other, enhance coordination and foster more effective use of research resources on topics of mutual interest. Examples of such topics include: studies of the possible role of vaccines, vaccine components, and multiple vaccine administration in ASD causation and severity through a variety of approaches; and assessing the feasibility and design of an epidemiological study to determine whether health outcomes, including ASD, differ among populations with vaccinated, unvaccinated, and alternatively vaccinated groups."

In other words, the IACC will talk the the NVAC about possible research topics, but it will not clutter up its autism research plans with the matter. It doesn't shut the issue down completely. It's a hedge, a conciliatory gesture. It ought to be apparent, though, with AoA and Wright's use of the kissing cousins and subsequent derision over there that there is no conciliatory approach possible with true believers. If you aren't fundamentalists like them, then you are Judases. They have no use for you and engage in a scorched earth policy. Why hedge? There's no scientific evidence. That's acknowledged.
 
You have to love that Wright, if you managed to keep reading her post, then calls the scientists and committee members "earth is flat society advocates":
 
"Despite the fact autism is an extremely heterogeneous disease this earth is flat society advocates studying parental inbreeding as a possible cause of autism, not adjuvants, the effects of combination vaccines or a host of other important environmental factors. Doesn’t that just say it all?"


Well, doesn't that just say it all?

4 comments:

Sadderbutwisergirl said...

"Flat Earth Society?" That's more what they're like, if you ask me. It has been proven again and again that autism is not caused by vaccines and yet they still persist in that belief. Pretty similar description, don't you think?

davidbrown said...

Calling the statement an argument for "shared ancestry as cause" is clearly an oversimplification. What was really proposed was that genetic factors would be easier to find in more "inbred" families.

I have noticed several posts by Age of Autism (particularly JB's offerings) that draw a radical dichotomy between genetic and environmental causation, even though their own side accepts "genetic susceptibility" well enough. I suspect the "function" of all this is to draw their core following away from a position where constructive, intelligible dialogue between sides is possible.

Emily said...

She's clearly missed the point there. It's not that there was autism among these families but that their consanguinity might bring forward more clearly any genes associated with autism in members of the family who have it. If consanguinity were associated with autism, the entirety of the royal houses of Europe would have been autistic for centuries.

Science much?

Emily said...

David Brown said it much better than I. But I can't get over that her scientific insight is so limited that she mistook that paragraph as a statement that the research would now focus on a link between consanguinity and autism. Good Lord.