Saturday, January 17, 2009

Vaccine-Autism War: The Empire Strikes Back

Whatever one's views about autism, vaccines and alleged government-"pharma" conspiracies it is clear that the recent IACC vote and surrounding events evidence an orchestrated, if panic stricken, attempt by the empire to quell dissent, to quash a simmering rebellion against official vaccine policies and prevent public inquiry into a possible vaccine-autism connection.

The clandestine IACC vote (the vote was not on the agenda and public members had no prior notice) reversed its own decision of the previous month authorizing vaccine-autism studies. In the earlier vote, as reported by David Kirby on the Huffington Post on January 5, 2009:

"In fact, two vaccine-autism studies have been approved by the IACC, which has proposed spending $16 million to:

1) "Study the effect of vaccines, vaccine components, and multiple vaccine administration in autism causation and severity through a variety of approaches, including cell and animal studies, and understand whether and how certain subpopulations in humans may be more susceptible to adverse effects of vaccines by 2011. Proposed costs: $6,000,000

2) Determine the feasibility and design an epidemiological study to determine if the health outcomes, including ASD, among various populations with vaccinated, unvaccinated, and alternatively vaccinated groups by 2011. Proposed costs: $10,000,000

Additionally, under "Research Opportunities," the panel also endorsed this objective:

"Monitor the scientific literature regarding possible associations of vaccines and other environmental factors (e.g., ultrasound, pesticides, pollutants) with ASD to identify emerging opportunities for research and indicated studies."

For proponents of vaccine-autism research, this is a resounding victory. It covers much of what these advocates have been supporting for a number of years. It is also sure to enrage those who are opposed to such research."

Kirby's words were prophetic. On January 13, 2009 the New York Times published a one-sided promotion of Dr. Paul Offit's book Autism’s False Prophets, a pro-vaccine critique of those who argue that vaccines trigger autism disorders. The article portrays Dr. Offit as a pediatrician, ... a mild, funny and somewhat rumpled 57-year-old who carrys on a heroic struggle to protect children around the world despite anger, even death threats, from irrational parents. He is "a lightning rod, a figure who goes charging into the fray.

Selective quoting is used to present anti-vaccine parents as parasites who should be disregarded by reporters in the same fashion as holocaust deniers, AIDS deniers and those claiming that the moon landing was faked. No reference is made to the position of Dr. Bernadine Healy (former NIH and American Red Cross head) that more research of a possible autism-vaccine connection should be conducted. (Fighting the Vaccine-Autism War, Leading Dr.: Vaccines-Autism Worth Study).

Still on January 13, 2009, the Age of Autism, a rebel stronghold in the vaccine-autism war, sensing something is amiss, questions the NYT puff piece on Offit and the timing of the article:

Do you have any idea how hard it is to get the NYT to mention your book? Let alone a book that came out over five months ago. Why the mollycoddling of Dr. Offit and his book? Why now?

Then, on the evening of January 13, 2009, a public representative on the IACC, Alison Singer, resigns from Autism Speaks "based on her intention to vote on certain Strategic Plan vaccine safety matters in a way that diverged from Autism Speaks' position on this issue." The timing of her resignation suggests that she knew the vote to reverse the IACC December decision to fund vaccine-autism research would be scheduled and would not allow for any media or internet examination of her resignation prior to the vote.

On January 14, 2009 the IACC votes to reverse its decision of a few weeks earlier:

to approve objectives relating to vaccine safety research as part of its deliberations for the Strategic Plan for Autism Research. The decision to debate removing these objectives was not posted on the meeting's agenda, nor were the public members given any forewarning that this section of the plan – which was resolved at the previous IACC meeting in December -- would be revisited. [ Autism Speaks Press Notice]

On January 16, 2009 publishes an interview with Alison Singer in which Ms Singer declares in respect of a vaccine autism connection that "This Question Has Been Asked And Answered’. She states that dozens of studies have exonerated vaccines as a cause of autism. The dissidents who assert a vaccine autism connection are portrayed as a small number of people with very loud voices. As with the NYT and Dr. Offit, neither Ms Singer nor Newsweek make any reference to the critique of the epidemiological studies by Dr. Bernadine Healy or her view that more research of the vaccine-autism question is needed. Dr. Healy's comments about the limits of epidemiological studies or the continued presence of thimerosal in vaccines are not mentioned.

On January 20, 2009 President-Elect Barack Obama will be sworn in as President of the United States. The mainstream media which co-operated with the empire's campaign to quash dissidence on the vaccine-autism issue will be busy with that historic occasion. There will be little time, space or attention for a bunch of looney, irrational, anti-science parents led by an actress.

The empire has struck back. Will that end the matter? In the Lucas movies it did not. In the very real vaccine-autism war it is difficult to see how those who believe in, suspect, or have an open mind on the vaccine-autism issue will be persuaded by this orchestrated series of events.

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Anonymous said...


Your article is well-reasoned and well-written. I hope it gets wide distribution.

All the best,
Kent Heckenlively
Legal Editor, Age of Autism

Unknown said...

Thank you Kent.

Alan Foos said...

Thank you SO much! As a well educated person (8 yrs university study biology/chem/math) and decades of vaccine and amalgam induced illnesses (mercury poisoning) in the family, I defy med/gov to deny these things and oppose perpetuate of such medical fraud. Please visit my site, include a link,
Thank you very much... Alan Foos

Mark said...

Hi Harold
excellent post as ever.
the UK government have desperately been trying to stop secret files being released into the public domain. about decisions made 20 years ago on the introduction of the first MMR. take a look at this blog.
John Stone will be covering this as it develops on AoA.

Blogger Charles LeBlanc said...

Pretty good!!!!

I don't understand the issue with your fancy words but interesting!!

Alan Foos said...

Yes, excellent article. I'm NOT an anti-science crackpot, though; in fact, I have very good academic credentials and research experience; in fact, I've developed a very useful stat theorem which extends the functionality of current statistical design. Going by that, there is NO doubt that the "studies" done by med/gov confirm only that they are liars. See all this at Thank you...

Unknown said...


I am not anti-science either. I am very disappointed with the IACC for trying to close off a legitimate line of scientific inquiry.

Anonymous said...

It just kills me that all they know how to do is block research and call anyone who agrees with researching this topic foul names. It only makes sense if we are going to study environment and what children eat, drink, and breathe every day as possible contributors to autism, then we need to be looking at what gets injected into their bodies also. That's a no-brainer.

Yet they will throw thousands of dollars at studies to discover that fathers of autistic children don't like women with full figures and big boobs or some other such nonsense.

I have never solely blamed vaccines for my daughter's autism but looking back, I do think her immune system as an infant was weak and if I had known better maybe I would have made different choices that wouldn't have led us down the road we are on right now. I have always believed that it was something or several somethings in her environment that contributed to her developing autism way more than genetics did. We have no family history on either side whatsoever of ASDs