Wakefield’s vaccine/autism fabrication is getting uglier and uglier

CNN reports that:
“A now-retracted British study that linked autism to childhood vaccines was an “elaborate fraud” that has done long-lasting damage to public health, a leading medical publication reported Wednesday.

“An investigation published by the British medical journal BMJ concludes the study’s author, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, misrepresented or altered the medical histories of all 12 of the patients whose cases formed the basis of the 1998 study — and that there was “no doubt” Wakefield was responsible.

“‘It’s one thing to have a bad study, a study full of error, and for the authors then to admit that they made errors,'” Fiona Godlee, BMJ’s editor-in-chief, told CNN. “‘But in this case, we have a very different picture of what seems to be a deliberate attempt to create an impression that there was a link by falsifying the data.'”

Britain stripped Wakefield of his medical license in May. “Meanwhile, the damage to public health continues, fueled by unbalanced media reporting and an ineffective response from government, researchers, journals and the medical profession,” BMJ states in an editorial accompanying the work.

Speaking to CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” Wakefield said his work has been “grossly distorted” and that he was the target of “a ruthless, pragmatic attempt to crush any attempt to investigate valid vaccine safety concerns.”

The now-discredited paper panicked many parents and led to a sharp drop in the number of children getting the vaccine that prevents measles, mumps and rubella. Vaccination rates dropped sharply in Britain after its publication, falling as low as 80% by 2004. Measles cases have gone up sharply in the ensuing years.

In the United States, more cases of measles were reported in 2008 than in any other year since 1997, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“But perhaps as important as the scare’s effect on infectious disease is the energy, emotion and money that have been diverted away from efforts to understand the real causes of autism and how to help children and families who live with it,” the BMJ editorial states


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21 responses to “Wakefield’s vaccine/autism fabrication is getting uglier and uglier

  1. I hope CNN presented a rebuttal or two when they spoke with that charlatan.

    • I wonder if CNN did any reviews on their reporting in 2008. I seem to remember big, flashy press releases on this and breathless reports in the media. All on a study on 12 patients. Of course it was a peer-reviewed paper from a prestigious medical journal.

  2. Hi Steve

    You may remember me when both of us were involved in fighting certain activities that you have coined as junk science. You may be interested in the attached article that addresses Wakefield problem. Attached is also my bio for your information. It may not be a bad idea if you and I could discuss potential areas of common interest

    Happy Thanksgiving


    A. Alan Moghissi, PhD


    Institute for Regulatory Science

    P. O. Box 7166

    Alexandria, VA 22307

    Tel: (703) 765 3546

    Fax: (703)765 3143

    Senior Fellow and Member of Board of Regents

    Potomac Institute for Policy Studies

    901 N. Stuart Street Suite 200

    Arlington, VA 22203

    Tel: (703)525 0770

    Fax: (703) 525 0299

    Associate Director

    International Center for Regulatory Science

    George Mason University

    Arlington, VA

    Adjunct Professor

    School of Medicine

    Georgetown University

    Washington, D.C.

  3. Can anyone who’s child was harmed because they weren’t vaccinated, sue this fraud?

  4. Makes you wonder how many more of these scare “studies” are falsified to fit the “agenda”.

  5. Among other damage, it made Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey batsh*t crazy and they still have not recovered, even with the revelations of falsehood.

  6. I know a few people who fell for this crap and you still can’t convince them otherwise.

  7. I have an autistic child (Aspergers syndrome actually) and so I know how difficult it can be. You wonder what caused it, and if there was anything you could have done to prevent it. If it is genetic, then in a way you are responsible. Wouldn’t it be easier if it turned out that you weren’t? I had these thoughts myself, but being someone who is respects reason and hates being led around the nose by fear and guilt, I researched Wakefield’s “study” and found it profoundly lacking. So I rejected it back then and went on with my life.

    Today my child is living on his own and pursuing a career in voice acting. I am very proud of him and don’t really care anymore why he has these challenges. I hope some day that we found the cause and can cure it, but then there are many things I hold the same hope out for.

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