5/10/2011

1% You (Didn't) Say?: EBCALA press conference on New Study on Autism and Vaccines

The “vaccine injury” community has been buzzing over the press conference and release of Holland et al’s supposedly earth shattering “study” published in the Pace Environmental Law Review. Some of them proclaim triumphantly that they have proof the government has lied about the lack of a link between vaccines and autism. Now, here, they have the evidence. Some parents feel it’s time for a revolution, time to make the government pay for their lies. None of this rhetoric is new. Not even the information supposedly revealed in this non-scientific study published in a law review. 

Holland et al. write that parents of vaccine injured children have been unhappy with the VCIP (Vaccine Injury Compensation Program). Of course they have; they didn’t get what they felt they deserved. Unhappy parents aren’t proof that the program isn’t fair (a concern of Holland et al’s), nor is it proof that the VCIP doesn’t do a good job at compensation for vaccine injury. 

One of the problems here is that this group of people sees vaccine injuries everywhere. Vaccines are responsible for a whole host of things from SIDS, to MS, to asthma, to autism, to allergies. 

Another problem here are the sorts of things that Holland et al. think are credible sources. On page 428, even if a person reading were unaware of the writers’ biases concerning autism and vaccines, Holland and her fellow “researchers” reveal that they have built their house of cards on a very shaky foundation: “In The Age of Autism: Mercury, Medicine and a Manmade Epidemic, a historical account of autism’s rise, Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill traced the actual identities of most of the original children in Kanner’s 1943 case series. Kanner first noted many of the characteristics that form the core of the syndrome: impaired language, social skills, and repetitive behaviors. But his careful case series analysis failed to ascribe significance to certain related symptoms, including unusual feeding patternsand gastrointestinal problems in the children, and he failed to look at possible environmental exposures that might have been causal.78 All of the identifiedchildren in the case series had experienced known or plausible exposures to ethyl mercury, a then newly-created synthetic chemical.79 Ethyl mercury was used at that time in both vaccines and as an agricultural fungicide the children in the case serieshad parents either in the medical profession working on vaccines or parents in agriculture using fungicides.80 While the mercury connection to autism is not proven, there are many sources, including the Olmsted-Blaxill book,81 that give the hypothesis plausibility.82” 

First off, the only readers or critics who would consider Olmsted and Blaxill’s work historical or plausible are the people who have already decided that their children or they were vaccine-damaged. While it would be fallacious to dismiss this paper solely on the authors or their fondness for Olmsted and Blaxill and the failed thimerosal hypothesis, it has to send red flags up.  

Holland et al. at least admit they aren’t doing science: “This assessment of compensated cases showing an association between vaccines and autism is not, and does not purport to be, science. In no way does it explain scientific causation or even necessarily undermine the reasoning of the decisions in the Omnibus Autism Proceeding based on the scientific theories and medical evidence before the VICP. Nordoes this article have anything to say about state childhood immunization mandates in general.”  

No, what it does is purport to gather evidence that they “found eighty-three cases of autism among those compensated for vaccine-induced brain damage.” Of course, of those eighty-three cases, even Holland et al. admit that only 39 of those 83 (out of a total of 2,500 compensated cases) had confirmation of an autism diagnosis beyond the parents reporting. They report this as a whopping 47%! Of course, if we do the math and take the 39 out of the 2,500, we have 1% of compensated cases having an autism diagnosis. And what’s the prevalence rate again? It’s 1%? Oh. Never mind. 

References:
 Mary Holland, Louis Conte, Robert Krakow, and Lisa Colin, Unanswered Questions from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program: A Review of Compensated Cases of Vaccine-Induced Brain Injury, 28 Pace Envtl. L. Rev. 480 (2011) Available at:http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/pelr/vol28/iss2/6

18 comments:

kathleen said...

well done. Wish I could say that it would stop the crazed "weeping mothers" wanting to storm Washington on fb..but alas..one can't ask for miracles

Life in the House That Asperger Built said...

You're just so good at this! Great job.

Anonymous said...

Please see my comment I posted on the reprint of this post: http://www.science20.com/countering_tackling_woo_and_science_asds/1_you_didnt_say_ebcala_press_conference_new_study_autism_and_vaccines-78842#comment-69530

Autism and Oughtisms said...

Great post!

melbo said...

Great - I think you summed it up very well.

melbo said...

Look Anonymous, I read your post and I have to say I don't understand it. Kym's I do understand. I wrote out a long comment initially but decided not to post it because I didn't feel like getting into a debate with you. Now that you have come back here to stir the pot, I will gratify you with this response but that is as far as it goes.

And I do wish that if people wanted to be provocative in their views that they owned up to them. Either use your real name or a consistent alias and stand by what you write. People with integrity and decency will not stalk or harrass you for having a different opinion. I don't understand though why you choose to provoke debate with people you clearly don't agree with.

Rosie said...

Vaccines-it's not just autism
By Dr Tenpenny
"About 8 years ago, the concern that “Mercury Causes Autism” was front page news. Everyone was talking about it, writing about it, defending it, refuting it. There were meetings with state legislators to change laws about mercury in vaccines. I was one of the lone voices standing against the avalanche shouting, “It’s …not… just… the.. mercury!” (hear the canyon echo).
By 2004, when most of the mercury was out of most vaccines (it’s still in flu shots given to babies, starting at 6 months of age and every year for life), and the rate of autism continued to rise, the Mercury Campaigns started to slow down and campaigners started to scratch their collective heads. Yes the pervasive brain injury seen in autistic children was related to the large amount of mercury in the vaccines. But without the mercury out, why was the rate of autism continuing to climb? Maybe it’s the aluminum? Yes! That’s it! Aluminum is causing autism! ..and that campaign began.
Truth is, it is all of it. 40 doses of 16 different vaccines by 5 years of age, most before 1 year of age, cannot be harmless. Shots contain measurable and significant amounts of 63 different chemicals, viruses, bacterial cell walls, animal DNA and stealth viruses that can alter the injected person’s DNA. Can that keep you healthy? What does that do to the delecate and rapidly developing immune system of an infant?
Now, the latest is ‘VACCINES CAUSE AUTISM.” No surprise, really, but the Press Conference held on May 10, revealed the Courts and the Government have had knowledge of the connection and a true coverup has been going on for decades. A monumental investigation should be demanded by everyone on all levels. And heads should roll.
The day will come when parents will be informed enough about health, they will be more concerned about the possible consequences of getting vaccines then they will be about their child possibly getting a transient infection. With only a cursory examination of the ingredients in the shots, by simply reading the package inserts, parents will refuse to have these solutions injected into their children — or into themselves. They won’t expect a shot to keep their kids from getting sick. Health is easy, really. Avoid refined food, exercise, drink clean water, get plenty of sleep, be sure to have adequate nutrients and vitamin D.
Bottom line: Vaccines can make you sick for a lifetime. Even if you “believe in vaccines” (such a silly phrase), is getting vaccinated to try to avoid short term “vaccine preventable disease” worth the potential trade off?"

KWombles said...

"Truth is, it is all of it. 40 doses of 16 different vaccines by 5 years of age, most before 1 year of age, cannot be harmless. Shots contain measurable and significant amounts of 63 different chemicals, viruses, bacterial cell walls, animal DNA and stealth viruses that can alter the injected person’s DNA. Can that keep you healthy? What does that do to the delecate and rapidly developing immune system of an infant?"

Using Tenpenny is bad enough. But this is truly absurd. You've offered no evidence for your claims and all the scientific evidence available directly counters your statement.

I suggest you (1) take some basic science courses so that (2) you can understand the massive body of information available about vaccines.

This isn't about believing in vaccines. What the heck is that, anyway? This is about relying on the extensive research regarding vaccines and their relative safety (yes, adverse effects do occur but MS, SIDS, asthma, eczema, autism, and autoimmune diseases do not).

And this article was about the fact that Holland and company's numbers DO NOT support what they contend those numbers do.

KWombles said...

Thank you, everyone else, for your comments!

Rosie said...

"This is about relying on the extensive research regarding vaccines and their relative safety (yes, adverse effects do occur but MS, SIDS, asthma, eczema, autism, and autoimmune diseases do not)."

You mean "MS, SIDS, asthma, eczema, autism, and autoimmune diseases do not", you mean do not occur after vaccination?

If you could explain what causes these diseases, I would be grateful.

Do you have a medical degree at all to make such statements?

KWombles said...

Rosie,

You don't have to have a medical degree in order to read the relevant textbooks or studies.

It's not like I'm pronouncing it from on high, making it up as I go, like Dr. Jay does.


The CDC website covers this for the public.

Paul Offit has a new book out that does a wonderful job of going through the kinds of misinformation you posted and providing the relevant research on those questions: Vaccines and Your Child: Separating Fact from Fiction.

If you want more information than you can ever process, how about the 5th edition of the Vaccines textbook? It's massive, 1748 pages long and filled with details on all of the vaccines and the extensive research that has been done on their safety and efficacy.

Ignorance is simply no excuse. None at all. Choosing to follow quacks with their heads quite frankly up their rears who choose to turn their back on what the scientific evidence reveals in order to sell their own products has already led to outbreaks of Hib, measles, and pertussis.

We can rule out causes while still not finding a cause. It's part of medicine; you go in and have medical tests and they rule out potential causes for problems.

Rosie said...

"rule out the potential causes"
This is still not the answer for my question. Nicely dodged!

Mr Profitt has a huge financial interest in vaccines. He is NOT a credible source.

KWombles said...

That was not a dodge; that was an explanation of why your logic was hopelessly flawed.

Your little "Proffit" crap means you're done here. Don't bother to comment again, as I will delete it.

Dr. Paul Offit is one of the most respected researchers and experts on vaccines and infectious disease in the United States. He co-authored the fifth edition of THE go-to textbook on vaccines. In other words, he knows what he's talking about. It's really obvious that you, on the other hand, don't.

Rosie said...

Sorry about this comment, but some say (who read your blog!) "you are not the brightest bulb around".

Feel free to exercise censorship, as this is your blog. No problem!

KWombles said...

I'm still chuckling over your comment. OMG! People who believe vaccines contain DNA altering material, that vaccines are responsible for a whole host of things that have been shown not to be caused by vaccines, people who support Wakefield, who think that whale.to is a good site, people who butcher science all while patting themselves on their back at having discovered a global conspiracy to wipe out an entire generation of people through the use of vaccines? Those folks think I'm not the brightest? Who gives a frak?

It's not censorship, either; you're not deprived of your ability to speak; you're simply being told to do it elsewhere. Funny as hell considering AoA won't let contrary opinions on, but that's okay because they're just protecting their readers. Consider me doing the same here, or choosing not to deal with trolls. Whichever floats your boat.

You got your comments on until you pulled a dumbass stunt with the Profitt crap and now you feel the need to insult me. Oh, wah.

You need a dictionary. It's not censorship; it's a guideline policy. Did you read it before you posted? Rude. Trolling. Engaging in strawmen. Check to all three.

If you'd like to continue to make an ass of yourself, go the Science 2.0 column where I welcome that kind of behavior. Feel free to post to your heart's content. Every click there gets me .0005 cents to donate to Brian Dunning's Skeptoid. :)

If you want to have legitimate discussions without being rude, have at it. Unfortunately, I don't think you can.

Rosie said...

I don't remember mentioning "whale.to". Why are you mentioning it?

I am very proud to have contributed to your noble cause with 4 x 0.0005 cent! Geez, I have to post more, considering the inflation! :)

KWombles said...

Now, you haven't helped a bit here with giving Brian Dunning any money; this site has no ads and brings in nary a penny. You'll have to go post over at www.science20.com where I have a column.

You said folks who-gasp-read me thought I wasn't too bright. Well, I went through a list of those who read me and disagree with me and their belief systems and the places they get their shite from.

Your beloved Tenpenny's got herself a whole page devoted to her: http://www.whale.to/a/tenpenny.html.

Now, make sure you make it worth Dunning's time, please, and if you'd like to rant about vaccines, please do so at www.science20.com; I've got five articles on the front page today. Pick one or more. Have a blast!

Roger Kulp said...

Well,we all know anything coming out of Pace,especially the Environmental Law Department,is as biased and suspect as anything posted at whale.to or naturalnews.com

http://www.pace.edu/school-of-law/faculty-0/full-time-faculty/kennedy-jr-robert-f

'nuff said.