"Fortunately, the ‘better diagnosis’ myth has been soundly debunked. In the 2009 issue of Epidemiology, two authors analyzed 1990 through 2006 California Department of Developmental Services and U.S. Census data documenting an astronomical 700 to 800 percent rise in the disorder.
These scientists concluded that only a smaller percentage of this staggering rise can be explained by means other than a true increase.
Because purely genetic diseases do not rise precipitously, the corollary to a true autism increase is clear — genes only load the gun and it is the environment that pulls the trigger. Autism is best redefined as an environmental disease with genetic susceptibilities."
Dr. John Poling, Atlanta Journal Constitution, March 13, 2009
One such champion for the cause of parents seeking answers about their children's autism disorders and the growing autism epidemic is Dr. Jon Poling a neurologist and assistant professor at the Medical College of Georgia whose daughter, Hannah Poling, has been a successful petitioner in the US National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. That case in itself stands in defiance of the vaccine propaganda campaign, led by vaccine patent holder Dr. Paul Offit, which has decreed falsely that science has decided conclusively that vaccines are safe, play no role in autism and that parents who observed autistic onset in their children after vaccinations are hysterical and deluded.
Now on Friday March 13, 2009 Dr. Jon Poling has stood up and delivered a serious blow to the credibility of vaccine patent holder Dr. Offit and others who have gone to war against concerned parents with autistic children. In a guest editorial column in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Blinders won’t reduce autism, Dr. Poling calls into question Dr. Offit's autism expertise, or lack thereof, his lack of scientific objectivity and his smear campaign against parents of autistic children who have witnessed their children develop autism after vaccinations.
Blinders won't reduce autism should be must reading for anyone involved with, or interested in, the vaccine-autism war. It should actually be ordered as mandatory reading by editors at such media outlets as the New York Times, Globe and Mail and the CBC which have decreed an ened to further inquiry on the vaccine-autism connection or promoted mindlessly the pro-vaccine campaign of vaccine patent holder Dr. Paul Offit.
With strong voices like Dr. Jon Poling, Dr. Bernadine Healy, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and David Kirby the truth might yet be known about the environmental causes of autism, including any possible vaccine factors that might be involved in triggering autism in some children. They will have to continue the fight for knowledge against those, like vaccine patent holder Paul Offit, and journalist Andre Picard, who scream imperiously that further inquiry must cease. Let us hope they prevail.
Thanks for posting on this Harold. I am not surprised at all. I wondered how long it would take for Dr. Poling to take a stand.
Now, there will be the inevitable attempt to demolish "Dr. Poling's" credibility. Yet, it won't work this time.
It is a war but, unfortunately, it is a war that affects kids. My young great-grandson is due for his shots and I am VERY nervous -- to say the least.
Hi Mr. Doherty,
Thanks for posting this. Dr. Poling’s opinion piece is a good example of everything that is wrong about how the topic is being handled.
Below I cut/pasted the entire conclusion section from the paper. You will notice that his comments bare no resemblance to the paper’s conclusions.
Also the importance of environment on autism were recognized in the early 1970’s—he completely misstates the current understanding on the etiology of autism.
Finally, as anyone who has made it through population genetics 101 can attest, precipitous genetic changes can occur very rapidly. It all depends on the situation/details.
Dr. Poling’s article is simply rubbish and in no way helps anyone in our community.
“Conclusions: Autism incidence in California shows no sign yet of plateauing. Younger ages at diagnosis, differential migration, changes in diagnostic criteria, and inclusion of milder cases do not fully explain the observed increases. Other artifacts have yet to be quantified, and as a result, the extent to which the continued rise represents a true increase in the occurrence of autism remains unclear.”
Your negative assertions are not supported by the one paragraph you cited from the study. That paragraph clearly indicates that non-environmental factors do not explain the rise in autism diagnosis, that indicates a real increase in the diagnoses of autism disorders. The single sentence you effectively rely on simply hesitates to indicate the precise extent to which the increase is environmental vs diagnostic criteria change and substitution.
As noted the IACC is pursuing an environment-genetic model of autism causation in its research funding strategy.
You may reference knowledge of environmental factors from the 70's but that doesn't mean that such knowledge was explored in the intervening years. Teresa Binstock reported in 1999 that the "its gotta be genetic" autism research paradigm dominated official autism research thinking and funding decisions.
Calling Dr. Poling's editorial rubbish is the exact kind of smearing of dissenting voices that creates suspicion amongst many that all is not right in the world of vaccines.
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