Sunday, February 10, 2008

Anne Dachel: anti-vaccine activist???

This item was emailed to this blog--AR

I read the comment referring to me as an anti-vaccine activist: "You were introduced to autism last June when you interviewed Dr. Miles. After the story ran, you were deluged with messages from anti-vaccine activists, such as Anne Dachel at Age of Autism. The activists convinced you there was another side to the story that needed to be told, and that's what precipitated the Combating Autism series."
I've never thought of myself of being "anti-vaccine." I'm dedicated to publicizing the epidemic of autism affecting a generation of children, yet which is unrecognized by the medical community and the federal health agencies.
The reference was made to "another side to to the story that needed to be told." Isn't that what legitimate journalism is all about? Isn't the media obligated to investigate and fairly present issues like this? Ashley Reynolds gave us some of the most balanced coverage we've ever seen in the press.
Anne Dachel
Media Editor: AGE OF AUTISM
Member of the board of A-CHAMP


Autism News Beat said...

I guess Mr. Olmsted didn't get the memo, Anne:

In fact, maybe we should take a page from the gun lobby slogan – "Guns don't kill people, people do" – and start being specific about what's going on here. Vaccines don't cause autism.

The doctors who inject them into babies and pregnant women do.

Dan Olmsted - editor of Age of Autism

HCN said...

Do you wonder why Mr. Olmsted is no longer employed by UPI?

At the beginning of his "Age of Autism" series he failed to mention the main medical research facility studying the Amish: The Clinic for Special Children.

A simple search on would have found many of the papers published by the staff there on the unique genetics problems in that Amish population. Yet, Olmsted does not even mention its existence.

He now claims that they did not return his phone calls. Funny, they were willing to talk to Paul Elias:

I venture a guess that he did not do enough ground research, went to the area with a set agenda and wrote what he wanted. When the fact that the clinic existed was brought to his attention, he backtracked and called them. Only to be refused because they realized that he had an agenda and would not be reporting truthfully.

Is there a lesson in here for any students of journalism?

FOGARTY said...

Have to disagree with both sides again on the most complex epigenetic syndrome in medical history that is just know starting to be understood on the molecular genetics level.

Autism has 30 plus genes and counting associated with the syndrome. There are as major groups of environemental exposures of concern here: heavy metals, organic compounds, viral-autoimmune issues and likely EMFs are an exposure needing attenuation in the at risk kids.

To say that vaccines cause autism is false. To say there is no association between vaccines and autism is false.

The association and its low strength will be determined on good science rather than the art of influenced epidemiology.

Point is we can vaccinate in much safer manners than the CDC and AAP will admit to as detailed all over this blog. We will, in the future find the highly at-risk kids for vaccine iatrogenesis and pull them off schedule. Haley and Ayoub will be seen amongst the next generation of physcians as heroes.

Joseph said...

To say there is no association between vaccines and autism is false.

It's not false. It's consistent with available evidence. Your claim that the "association is low" is a baseless one you completely made up, Fogarty.

Heraldblog said...

I've never thought of myself of being "anti-Fogarty." I'm dedicated to publicizing the epidemic of autism quackery affecting a generation of children, yet which is unrecognized by the mainstream media and some journalism schools.

Fogarty said...

Available evidence includes Simpsonwood, where the epigenetic signal (association) was observed and had various interpretations of strength.

Prospective controlled comparisons in the at risk population with a light schedule minus Hep B vaccine and the use of titer checks is the science you are all afraid to admit needs to be done and never has been.

This will accomplish immunity in the experimental group without over vaccination. The over vaccinated group in the at risk populace will then be the poor souls that prove the point, and that the CDC has let this country down. Furthermore all those who continue to deny the need for this are lacking integrity or lack true understanding of science as relates to this most important debate in society.

Medical culture has a bad habit of trusting the art of epidemiology, this is a time in particular where that trust is a conflict of interest for the culture itself-one so enmeshed in the problem that it won't see the association even when it a was evident almost 8 years ago.

There is no justification for injecting heavy metals into the small population of children who cannot handle them because of slowed detoxification kinetics.

All who care about the best of for our children will agree with this. It is now time for large safety and efficacy protocol comparisons to be done on vaccines. Many vaccines are given 2 and 3 times to a child who is already immune in the series, why?
Its a matter of money not good clinical science. Its a matter of public policy rather than individualized care.

I don't disagree that quackery will be part of humanity forever and is generally the first thing that gets thrown at the things that we can't fix in medicine.
Now that the molecular genetics are starting to show problems in metal detoxification in children does impact neurological development in a subset of these kids we need to take that one step further to improve pediatric neurological health. What is that approach? Maybe we should rename it for cultural reasons . . . assisted nucleon bioexcretion. We'll go by the acronym ANB instead of chelation-sounds fun!

Love working culture change through great debates like this....keep it coming!

Joseph said...

Available evidence includes Simpsonwood, where the epigenetic signal (association) was observed and had various interpretations of strength.

You're misinforming readers, Fogarty. When the Simpsonwood attendees were asked to rate the likelihood of an actual association, the average grade they gave was 1.8 out of 6. There was only one doctor there who thought it might be more likely than not (4 out of 6).

Furthermore, there had not been as much science done on the question when Simpsonwood happened compared to what is available now. Verstraeten et al. was a study with a lot of limitations. It was finding "signals" (just to give you an example) such as thimerosal being a protective factor against CP.

The recent CDC study (Thompson et al., 2007) was a considerably better study methodologically and in terms of transparency (where even SafeMinds participated, albeit withdrawing after the results came in.)

Fogarty said...

Even if you went with the group interpretation of 1.8/6, it really calls for doing safety studies scientifically here with prospective randomized protocol comparisons, to prove rather than insinuate safety as the art of epideimiology does time after time and ends up being wrong when when realize their is a discordance effect of an exposure in a genetically different populace that exists as a subset of a larger populace that has no problems with the exposure.

The only doctor calling it 4 out of 6 was the person who's opinion would have been most honest by background in Enironmental Medicine rather than Vaccine Industry. He started to catch hell for his honesty, again showing how epideimiologic interpretations are and art based on biostatistics NOT a true science.

Remember this is a highly influenced group which included lots of people who are too close to the situation to be objective, even with that bias they still came out to as a whole indicating an association concern of 1.8 on a 6 point scale. Thats not as low as we would want for the kids of this nation especially when it is so obvious that we can actually achieve appropriate immunity with vaccines in a more elegant manner as demonstrated all over this blog by me. What quite frustrating for parents is to be continually stonewalled into believing vaccines are 100% safe when the truth is we don't have any long term prospective science on safety in this critical area of medical intervention-prevention.

Joseph, I am glad you mentioned the Thompson study. I had a world famous Mayo Clinic Autism researcher (bone fide as ANB would say) reference that piece as evidence there is no association between vaccines and autism. He obviously never read it or has poor reading skills, much like you.

Look at the parenthetical phrase in the methods.

1: N Engl J Med. 2007 Sep 27;357(13):1281-92.

Comment in:
N Engl J Med. 2007 Sep 27;357(13):1278-9. N Engl J Med. 2008 Jan 3;358(1):93-4; author reply 94. N Engl J Med. 2008 Jan 3;358(1):93; author reply 94.

Early thimerosal exposure and neuropsychological outcomes at 7 to 10 years.

Thompson WW, Price C, Goodson B, Shay DK, Benson P, Hinrichsen VL, Lewis E,
Eriksen E, Ray P, Marcy SM, Dunn J, Jackson LA, Lieu TA, Black S, Stewart G,
Weintraub ES, Davis RL, DeStefano F; Vaccine Safety Datalink Team.

National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases, Influenza Division,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.

BACKGROUND: It has been hypothesized that early exposure to thimerosal, a
mercury-containing preservative used in vaccines and immune globulin
preparations, is associated with neuropsychological deficits in children.
METHODS: We enrolled 1047 children between the ages of 7 and 10 years and
administered standardized tests assessing 42 neuropsychological outcomes. (We did
not assess autism-spectrum disorders.) Exposure to mercury from thimerosal was
determined from computerized immunization records, medical records, personal
immunization records, and parent interviews. Information on potential confounding
factors was obtained from the interviews and medical charts. We assessed the
association between current neuropsychological performance and exposure to
mercury during the prenatal period, the neonatal period (birth to 28 days), and
the first 7 months of life. RESULTS: Among the 42 neuropsychological outcomes, we
detected only a few significant associations with exposure to mercury from
thimerosal. The detected associations were small and almost equally divided
between positive and negative effects. Higher prenatal mercury exposure was
associated with better performance on one measure of language and poorer
performance on one measure of attention and executive functioning. Increasing
levels of mercury exposure from birth to 7 months were associated with better
performance on one measure of fine motor coordination and on one measure of
attention and executive functioning. Increasing mercury exposure from birth to 28
days was associated with poorer performance on one measure of speech articulation
and better performance on one measure of fine motor coordination. CONCLUSIONS:
Our study does not support a causal association between early exposure to mercury
from thimerosal-containing vaccines and immune globulins and deficits in
neuropsychological functioning at the age of 7 to 10 years. Copyright 2007
Massachusetts Medical Society.

Publication Types:
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

Mesh Terms:
Child Development/drug effects*
Developmental Disabilities/chemically induced
Developmental Disabilities/epidemiology
Developmental Disabilities/prevention & control
Environmental Exposure/analysis
Ethylmercury Compounds/adverse effects
Ethylmercury Compounds/analysis
Ethylmercury Compounds/pharmacology
Immunoglobulins/administration & dosage
Infant, Newborn
Intelligence/drug effects*
Neuropsychological Tests
Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
Preservatives, Pharmaceutical/adverse effects
Preservatives, Pharmaceutical/pharmacology*
Regression Analysis
Thimerosal/adverse effects
Vaccines/adverse effects

Ethylmercury Compounds
Preservatives, Pharmaceutical

PMID: 17898097 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Pretty small study and again not really as scientific as we are duty-bound to be as a society that is dumping thimerosal into the world's children for monetary reasons. The world hates ous for Iraq now, wait until those of us turning the tide on this debate start informing the non-English speaking third world cultures about our economic imperative here.

Notice also in the results the speech problems that WERE associated with increasing thimerosal. Looking at Thompson's paper shows that prospective comparisons on just speech delay issues will be easy to prove in association with heavy metal exposures in vaccinations.

Keep studying Joseph, you'll understand eventually that my informatics skills, scientific understanding of this and ability to flip culture faster than anyone in their thirties in medicine leads many away from ever wanting to debate me twice.

Heraldblog said...

Oh brother.

LegalEnvironmentalMedicine said...

1: Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2008 Feb;102(2):267-73.

The legal failure to prevent subclinical developmental toxicity.

Cranor C.

Department of Philosophy, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.

Legal systems appear to function poorly to identify and prevent subclinical
developmental toxic effects in children that can lead to long-term harm. In the
USA, the vast majority of substances enter commerce without any legally required
testing (under so-called 'post-market' laws). In 1984, less than 20% of all
substances had been subject to pre-market testing and there has been little
change since. Once substances are suspected of contributing to harm, an
administration agency has the burden to show risks or harms and their causes, an
increasingly difficult demonstration. Post-market laws tend to produce no data
prior to exposures and any protections result after some harm may have occurred.
Pre-market screening laws such as the US Toxic Substances Control Act provide
little data or protection. Pre-market testing and approval laws, analogous to US
drug and pesticide laws, offer better approaches for identifying and eliminating
toxicants before they result in harm, but do not apply to many products and
rarely include concerns for developmental toxicity. The Registration, Evaluation,
Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals legislation in the European Union has
greater promise for the identification of new or existing toxicants. However, the
potential for serious, subtle subclinical developmental effects provides reasons
to pursue a more precautionary approach to identifying potential toxicants and
forestalling harms. This paper sketches a more robust precautionary law and a
more substantial departure from existing laws that would treat chemical invasions
as trespasses. The scientific community can assist legal efforts by credibly
publicizing the seriousness of subclinical developmental effects.

PMID: 18226082 [PubMed - in process]

Joseph said...

Keep studying Joseph, you'll understand eventually that my informatics skills, scientific understanding of this and ability to flip culture faster than anyone in their thirties in medicine leads many away from ever wanting to debate me twice.

Are you sure that's why?