Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Comment-autism bad, but not related to vaccines...sorry

This item was emailed to this blog -AR

I just saw episode 3 of your series on Autism.I am wondering if KOMU will, in the course of the series disclose that none of the vaccines now routinely used for children contain thimerosol. It has actually been several years since they have. MMR (Measle Mumps Rubella) has NEVER had Thimerosol as a preservative, as it has ALWAYS been preservative free...it being a live virus vaccine.

A few years ago the hue and cry among autism/vaccine conspiracists was that MMR was the autism culprit as it is given at 12 to 15 months andAutism is first usually noticed after that time. I have read of people testifying to the Missouri legislature that the mercury in MMR gave their child autism. I am afraid that can not possibly be true. Studies have shown that Autism is detectable by persons familiar with its symptoms in infants prior to, or at, their first birthday.

As an example see the retrospective first birthday videotape study:

MMR is never given before age one...again, it is not responsible for autism.

As others have noted in your blog, the upsurge in autism cases is in all likelihood a matter of the broadened diagnoses of cases. It can also be related to any number of environmental factors. Some environmental factors combined with genetics are undoughtedly at work with autism and much research is needed. It is a classic fallacious argument however, to assert that vaccines are to blame simply because they are given in infancy around the time that autistic symptoms
manifest. There are plenty of substances and effects in our environment to which humans have never before been exposed. Plastic, for instance, is something that our ancestors never had to deal with, or electromagnetic fields such as are produced by microwaves, cell phones and televisions broadcasting KOMU TV.

You can always find an "expert"somewhere to back up whatever theory you want. Good reporting does not mean rooting around for fringe views. The CDC is not in the business of making people sick. Whenever a problem is found with any vaccine or medicine the CDC pulls it
immediately. (You may remember the rotavirus vaccine which was pulled a few years ago.)

Also...reporting like this has consequences, as in children dying or being born with birth defects due to decreased vaccination rates. Will KOMU be running a month long 14 part series on childhood vaccine preventable diseases?

I think the public deserves to see persons with Rubella syndrome and hear from their families. Seeing an infant with diptheria struggling for each breath should make for a good B roll, and the ascites condition associated with Hepatitis B is also quite dramatic. Perhaps you can find some children with hepatitis. (One of the principle reasons infants are given Hepatitis B in the newborn nursery is to protect them from possible infection from their mothers.) Of course to
film someone dying or ill with polio or living with its effects, they would have to go to India or Africa...not sure if the KOMU budget could get behind that. Finding smallpox would also be a problem...
This website has some pictures and video you could use:

As an aside...
I wonder about the quality of education being afforded by our much touted J School. Seems to me folks are being prepared for a career with the Enquirer, the Globe or some Rupert Murdock outfit and perhaps the taxpayers are not getting their money's worth.
Disappointed in KOMU,

Bill Monroe RN,
Fulton MO

I was interested in seeing how you would present the "CDC view" in the great "debate" on vaccines and autism. You have got to be kidding! So...the CDC did not have the time to address questions of the "When did you stop beating your wife..." variety from student "reporters".
Wow...big "news". You really got them, didn't you! Here is some news for you....that was NOT news.

The fact that vaccines are used safely by most of the world's population and have been studied thoroughly and found to be safe preventing thousands of deaths, suffering, miscarriages and birth defects, does not become a "debate" because a handful of people have chosen to point to vaccines as the cause of their children's autism.

Where were the local vaccine experts? Did you ask to interview anyone at the Health Department, or Dr Cooperstock at MU? Apparently not.

Instead we get more of the Octogenarian PhD (thats NOT a medical Doctor folks), who is satisfied to pass along info based on "...what they tell me". Truly pathetic. And sad.

I think I will skip the next installment in which we learn that Rep Cynthia Davis, and Matt Blunt and the Republican Party are sure to protect our little ones from these nasty vaccines.
Just what IS the agenda of KOMU?
Where are your ethics?

Bill Monroe RN
Fulton MO
"Voting is not enough..."
Gov. Howard Dean


L'asperge said...

Mr. Monroe is right, and years from now the student journalists will look back at this series and wonder what the heck they were thinking. Reporting on public health matters is serious business. Your trainwreck of an investigation proves it.

Larger news orgs hire consultants to help navigate unfamiliar waters in science, military affairs, middle east history, etc. This series could have been so much more if you had just hooked up with the a spokesperson for the AMA. The American Pediatrics Assoc. has a public affairs office that would have worked wonders.

If some media watchdog group ever hands out an award for midguided and gullible medical reporting, they should call it The Ashley. The series is truly that bad.

BillinMidMO said...

The Ashley...
Poor thing... she says she has been working round the clock on this and gets 50 to 60 emails a day on it. I blame the J School. They seem to be teaching "gotcha" and sensational yellow journalism. Just see how they have us involved in their website? The students are taught, I believe that this reaction is a good thing...completely divorcing themselves from the concept that maybe they are just bad reporters.
If I were Ashley, I would take this kind of feedback to the School to get her money back.
"The Ashley"....too funny...and sad!

Autism News Beat said...

I can't really blame Ashley. She's obviously ambitious, and thought she stumbled onto a great story. Unfortunately, her reach exceeds her grasp. I think she's starting to realize that she's been played.

passionlessDrone said...

Hi Ashley -

Whatever you do, don't take any advice from autism news beat. He is nothing more than a petty censor who deletes postings from his blog for which he has no real evidence to refute.

Keep up the good work!

lindaweino said...

Hey Bill,

I hope you went back and watched the entire series. This is the most balanced reporting ever presented by the media. This issue has room for much needed debate on vaccines.
In case you didn't leave, do you really believe what you said could possibly be more dangerous than the second most neuro toxic substance, injected into our babies? Is mercury really safer than T.V., plastic and cell phones? Common sense should prevail even when protecting the scared cow of vaccines. My son has been screened for every environmental exposure that I know of. All came back negative except mercury and other heavy metals

Your comment about the Hep B shot is crazy, women are screened for Hep B while pregnant. If the mother is infected her baby should be vaccinated. I’m not against vaccines just the poisons in them.

Thimerosal has never been safety tested. Read the MSDS on thimerosal, in the manufacturer own words "effects including mild to severe mental retardation and motor coordination impairment." Dr. Fogarty is correct we need to look at the susceptible population. If we had,my child would have been spared. Better diagnoses is nuts, ask any school teacher that has been in the class room for 20 years. They all say something happened to kids today. Most teacher will tell you they have 5 kids out of 20 with an IEP and have 2 or 3 more that probably qualify. Not recognizing autism would be like missing the elephant in the living room.

ANB said...

So only autistic kids have IEPs? Interesting.

BillinMidMO said...

Hepatitis B is given to newborns because in the real world not all women have prenatal care.
I brought up plastic, and other common things in outr enviroment because haley implied the only obvious commonality across different countries was thimerosol...an obvious fallacy. Of course mercury is something to be avoided and is in our environment ...mostly as a result of coal fired electricty plants. Most rivers in the United states are officially unfishable due to increased mercury and other toxins. That is why I limit myself to no more than 2 or 3 fish dinners a month. As I have pointed out...only trace amounts of thimerosol are now present in childhood vaccinations (less than 0.3 mcg as compared to the 25 mcg used earlier. Some vaccines have no thimerosol traces at all)

lindaweino said...


What real world are you talking about? Here in the United States most women get prenatal care. I did, so why give my child a Hep B shot, convenience? Its easier to not treat each patient as an individual? Or we want greater profits for vaccine makers? My son has proven mercury toxicity confirmed by several main stream labs. Where did he get mercury poisoning from? Even Paul Offit admitted that mercury containing vaccine given to pregnant women can cause autism.

Because vaccines given today have less mercury does that mean the children who received vaccines in the 90's did not get mercury poisoning from mercury in vaccines? The vaccine manufacturers did not remove thimerosal to decrease their profits. My sons pediatrician changed his diagnoses to include heavy metal toxicity because he reviewed his high levels mercury beginning with exposure in utero which damaged his methylation process. I am happy to share his 400 + pages of lab work to verify this. I grew up in beef country so I don't eat any fish. Bill you appear to be a caring nurse, but you don’t know what you don’t know. Since we agree mercury is toxic we should review the EPA and FDA standards for mercury. 2 parts per billion allowed in water supply, 200 ppb is considered toxic waste and must be handle according to laws, a trace amount mercury vaccines has 2,000 ppb and a 25 microgram mercury vaccine has 50,000 ppb. Direct injection is more dangerous than ingestion because our digestive system has amino that remove toxins. Please visit no mercury.org and read over the MSDS. We should not inject anyone with neuro toxic poisons in the name of good health. Dr. Fogarty is correct we need to screen newborns, if this had been done my son would have been spared most of his exposure to mercury.

BillinMidMO said...

I am happy you had prenatal care, but I can assure you that in a nation with 47 million uninsured persons, there are a very large number of women who do not receive this "luxury".
Most mercury contamination in the United Statees derives from coal fired power plants. They are still building these plants. Anyone concerned about mercury in the environment should direct their energy there, rather than concerning themselves with trace amounts of mercury found in today's vaccines.
I believe you should have a talk with the parents of a rubella child, before declaring a moratoriam on vaccinations til more research is in, as Fogarty suggests. Of course Rubella children are hard to find in the Untied States since the rate of such children dropped over 97% after MMR routine vaccination was intrduced.
Lets see... Tetanus... well the Missouri Legislature passed a law recently as a result of much emotionally charged testimony unscientifically supported testimony, to outlaw giving Thimerosol preserved vaccine to pregnant women. Most medical facilities, I believe, went to the effort and expense of stocking such vaccine but I am sure some have not, thus missing vaccination opportunities with these women. I think you can expect to find at least a few new mom's with Tetanus as a result. They and their grieving fanmilies would have an opinion as well.
You can not divorce the discussion of vaccines from vaccine preventable illnesses and the overwhelming societal benefit these vaccines have had in reducing sickness, debilitation and death.

lindaweino said...


I do not see society benefiting from vaccines that cause more harm than good. You can not ignore what you did to the 90's generation with the addition of the HIB and Hep B vaccines to the schedule. We are about 2 years before we see the beginning effect on adults with mercury poisoning. I saw some effects first hand when my older boys went on school visits. We have reports from most Universities with numbers of females population exceeding males in college. I have had many of the diseases we vaccinate for and function much better than my mercury poisoned son.
I like how you don't answer my questions, why not only follow necessary procedures for those pregnant women who have received prenatal care, and their babies don't need Hep B shots? MONEY. You are closed minded because you livelihood depends on you not understanding that vaccines can cause harm. The real stats speak loud and clear.

Did coal fired plants just become the source of energy in the 90's to cause the explosion of autism?

A graph of contagious disease incidence, which begins at 1900 (or earlier), will show a picture of death, disease incidence and severity that declined by 90% (average) before vaccine introduction. Plague and scarlet fever declined without vaccine. Measles declined in mortality 99.7% before vaccine introduction. At some point we might inevitably conclude that vaccine 'necessity' is a sales gimmick not a scientific reality. "Scientific medicine has taken credit it does not deserve for some advances in health. Most people believe that victory over the infectious diseases of the last century came with the invention of immunizations. In fact, cholera, typhoid, tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough, etc, were in decline before vaccines for them became available - the result of better methods of sanitation, sewage disposal, and distribution of food and water," wrote Greg Beattie in 'Vaccination: a Parent's Dilemma.'














BillinMidMO said...

You have certainly cherry picked the data on this list! Jumping around in which years you present data for, and ending in the 70s... You present only on a select few vaccine preventable diseases. Why not polio, or smallpox or Rubella, etc etc...
Seems to me that the discussion is now degrading into the realm of real fringe thought. Before we start hearing about Nazis and Hitler...I think I will leave this thread.
Again...KOMU may consider the number of comments and interest a sign that they have done a good job, and that is definitely not true. KOMU and the tax payers who fund the J School should be ashamed and willing accept whatever liability and karma comes to them as a result of parents declining to immunize their kids.

Kathleen Seidel said...

The last paragraph and the chart in Linda Weinmaster's previous comment were lifted from Mark Sircus' article, Mercury Poisoning: A Crisis in Medical and Dental Science. Sircus is a histrionic, out-and-out antivaccinationist -- he doesn't hide behind the "vaccine safety" smokescreen, like so many of the anti-thimerosal crusaders do. That being said, he deserves credit for writing the passage and assembling the data.

If the speculation and inference, cartoonish conspiracy theories, and outraged fantasies about those who do not validate her world view broadcast here and on KOMU by Mrs. Weinmaster bear any resemblance to her Vaccine Injury Compensation Program claim, it's no wonder the claim was dismissed.

ANB said...

Linda, did you consult with your attorneys before you agreed to the KOMU interview? Did they give you talking points? Did you inform Ashley that you are a litigant in a vaccine related lawsuit, or did you play her the same way as Haley and Ayoub?

lindaweino said...

Ken and Kathleen,

I did not need to consult with an attorney and receive talking points before my interview with KOMU. I told the truth of what happened to my child when I filed a VICA claim caused by RhoGAM and childhood vaccines. My sons claim was dismissed because we did not file the claim within 3 years of his vaccine injury. He was almost 12 years old when we confirmed he had mercury poisoning past the 3 year statute of limitations. There is no conspiracy theory here. I believed vaccines were safe and did not contain poisons when I fully vaccinated all of my children.

You are so correct, I should have credited Mark Sircus with his paper on vaccine/mercury caused illness and disease. Thank you for posting this important link.

Kathleen I know you are defending your mothers profession, but she did not know she was poisoning kids with vaccines, none of the doctors did until the late 90's. Unfortunately, the AAP did not inform pediatricians so they could FIRST DO NO HARM. Since both Kenneth and Kathleen are professionals who have their careers invested in the pharmaceutical industry they know how to spin the issues.

You both seem to have a Branded Solution to everything.
Your diverse pharmaceutical experience coupled with innovation and technology enable you to challenge convention, within the confines of the pharmaceutical environment, with ideas and concepts that compel action. Then integrate your services with flawless execution for the effective solution.

Fogarty said...


I never declared a moratorium on vaccines. Please show some of my commons sensical approaches to those in medicine whom you know are physicians. My point on this blog as repeatedly stated os to make the system work better. If a mother is already Hep B immune her children can wait a little longer than a few hours to get their first hepatitis B shot.


ANB said...

That last paragraph was a little too literate and grammatically correct to be yours, and since you are a known plagiarist, I Googled the text, and what did I find?


Yes, there are several companies that call themselves CJ Communications. I mistakingly received one of their checks in the mail several years ago.

I understand that I could never convince you how mistaken you are, since that would involve proving a negative. So think what you want. I've always enjoyed comic conceit.

Kathleen Seidel said...

"Kathleen I know you are defending your mothers profession, but she did not know she was poisoning kids with vaccines... Since both Kenneth and Kathleen are professionals who have their careers invested in the pharmaceutical industry they know how to spin the issues."

Mrs. Weinmaster, you are completely out of line to suggest that my mother "poisoned" anybody. My mother, who died in June of this year, was a special education teacher who worked with severely impaired teenagers. She was an honorable and loving person in life, and her memory deserves the deepest respect.

Your vicious assumptions about my supposed "career" are also incorrect.

To Ashley and crew: I hope you are paying attention to these discussions and getting a better sense of the character of this person to whom you have devoted so much sympathetic attention and air time.

Anonymous said...

Wow, the antivaxxers are certainly not lacking any vehemence and venom.

Truly remarkable that students created this site as a tool to provide information and they've allowed it to be turned into an antivax and antiscience spam machine.

-The Anti-antivax

ANB said...

Editorial discretion is not censorship. It would be perfectly acceptable for KOMU to edit out personal attacks and misinformation. Editors do that all the time.

Safer than the CDC said...

ANB-its really democractic of KOMU to avoid editing your personal attacks and misinformation as well as Kathleen Siedel and a few select others. You should thank them.