Aug 6, 2015,09:00am EDT
A Congressman, A CDC Whisteblower And An Autism Tempest In A Trashcan
In what autism-vaccine causation believers are promoting as a “bombshell,” U.S. Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL), shared the following quote on the House floor last month:
At the bottom of Table 7 it also shows that for the non-birth certificate sample, the adjusted race effect statistical significance was huge. All the authors and I met and decided sometime between August and September ’02 not to report any race effects for the paper. Sometime soon after the meeting, we decided to exclude reporting any race effects, the co-authors scheduled a meeting to destroy documents related to the study. The remaining four co-authors all met and brought a big garbage can into the meeting room and reviewed and went through all the hard copy documents that we had thought we should discard and put them in a huge garbage can. However, because I assumed it was illegal and would violate both FOIA and DOJ requests, I kept hard copies of all documents in my office and I retained all associated computer files. I believe we intentionally withheld controversial findings from the final draft of the Pediatrics paper.
Now becoming widely known as the “garbage can quote,” the scenario it describes appears intended to conjure a group of people closeted in a windowless room stopping just short of building a trash fire to destroy evidence. The alleged “hard copies” in this case are related to a study published in 2004 showing no link between autism and the MMR vaccine in a population of Atlanta schoolchildren.
The person to whom the quote is attributed, William W. Thompson, is one of the authors on that study. Thompson has since said that the study showed an increased risk for autism among African-American boys who received the MMR but that the study authors decided not to publish that information.
Recent analyses of the data—which seem to have survived the garbage can—do not suggest this conclusion. As Jim Frost, the statistician who evaluated the 2004 paper and reanalyzed the data in the above links, noted:
The criticism that the study discarded data from African American subjects just doesn’t hold water. No data was discarded. For the subjects who were linked to birth certificates, the researchers performed additional analyses. In this light, I see a careful observational study that assessed the role of potential confounders.
Three of the other study authors—Frank DeStefano, Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp, and Coleen Boyle—are still with the CDC, and the remaining author, Tanya Bhasin, is no longer with the agency.
The events described in that quote occurred between “August and September ’02.” In 2002—and well before that time—data and analyses weren’t retained only in hard copy versions. Indeed, hard copies of anything were and are fairly irrelevant for record-keeping, and scientists tend to rely on well-backed-up digital versions for archiving.
The idea that a group of scientists working for the US government in 2002 would somehow think that they could conceal data by discarding hard copies of anything defies belief and makes no sense given that the data were still available from the CDC. This isn’t fiction film noir–it’s a multilevel bureaucracy with multiple levels of data backup, archiving, and storage. Digital copies of data are absolutely critical for protecting data integrity, per the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Research Integrity.
Generally speaking, enough data should be retained so that the findings of a project can be reconstructed with ease. While this does not mean that a project needs to retain all the raw data that were collected, relevant statistics and analyses from this data should be saved, along with any notes or observations.
Protecting data integrity • Record the original creation date and time for files on your systems. • Use encryption, electronic signatures, or watermarking to keep track of authorship and changes made to data files. • Regularly back up electronic data files (both on and offsite) and create both hard and soft copies.
Indeed, in 2003, National Institutes of Health Guidelines for a data archive were that the data should be machine readable. The CDC’s 2003 policy on data records and sharing is available here and details the balance between retaining records already available elsewhere and maintaining personal privacy. This balance came into play later in the story of these data.
A decade after the 2004 paper was published, author Thompson set off an intense online controversy after unloading his concerns about this study to Brian Hooker, a bioengineer at Simpson University, and delicensed doctor Andrew Wakefield, leading to Thompson’s being dubbed the “CDC Whistleblower.” Why he turned to these two men instead of opting for the usual, federally protected channels for whistleblowers is unclear.
Hooker obtained not-destroyed-in-a-trashcan data from the CDC to analyze for himself. He subsequently published a paper purporting to support the finding of increased autism risk for African-American boys who had the MMR, in which he notes in the methods that “Cohort data were obtained directly as a “restricted access data set” from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) via a Data Use Agreement” (italics mine). That paper has been retracted.
Scandal hits the CDC – scientists “falsified” vaccine data – Dr Frank Shallenberger
Posted on by HCS
Not about hormones or natural desiccated thyroid but about supposed “evidence based medicine” such as we are told to accept.
Email communication – “Second Opinion – Health Alert”, 23 December 2015
This article contains this interesting insight:
“The story goes deeper and should give pause to any doctor who still believes that Big Pharma money can’t do pretty much whatever it wants to do to get the results it wants to see.”
Scandal hits the CDC – scientists “falsified” vaccine data
The beginning of the end is here. I’m talking about the beginning of the end of your right to refuse having unproven and dangerous vaccines or drugs injected into your body or your child’s body.
As is often the case, California is setting the standard. Mandatory vaccinations are scheduled to begin this January in California. If you don’t get the vaccinations, your child cannot go to school. Yes, you still have to pay your taxes to fund the school system, so all of the vaccinated children can have a place to go. It’s just that your child won’t be able to go unless you inject him with biological agents and chemical adjuvants. But most doctors, the news media, and many people continue to argue, “Where’s the proof that vaccines are dangerous?” You won’t believe the answer to that question. It’s on the editing floor!
Dr. William Thompson is a senior scientist at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC is the government institution that studies the effects of vaccines on children and adults. Fifteen months ago, the good doctor became a whistleblower when he admitted that a 2004 CDC study that he was a part of was falsified in order to show that there was no link between the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine and autism. And now we know why no link was found.
Dr. Thompson says the authors of the study, including him, deliberately omitted crucial data to hide the connection. When they included the data, the study found a 240% increase in autism among African American children and a 69% increase in all children who were vaccinated with the MMR vaccine before 36 months of age. Apparently, Dr. Thompson’s conscience finally got the best of him.
In August of 2014, Dr. Thompson said, “I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the Journal of Pediatrics.”
He then admitted under oath that the CDC falsified data in order to deny the link between vaccinations and autism. And that’s not all. The story goes deeper and should give pause to any doctor who still believes that Big Pharma money can’t do pretty much whatever it wants to do to get the results it wants to see. Dr. Thompson also said that senior CDC researchers tried to destroy all the documents related to the cover-up. However, Dr. Thompson has saved these documents! Here is his amazing statement:
“At the bottom of Table 7, it also shows that for the non-birth certificate sample, the adjusted race effect statistical significance was huge. All the authors and I met and decided sometime between August and September ’02 not to report any race effects for the paper. Sometime soon after the meeting, we decided to exclude reporting any race effects, the co-authors scheduled a meeting to destroy documents related to the study. The remaining four co-authors all met and brought a big garbage can into the meeting room and reviewed and went through all the hard copy documents that we had thought we should discard and put them in a huge garbage can. However, because I assumed it was illegal and would violate both FOIA and DOJ requests, I kept hard copies of all documents in my office and I retained all associated computer files. I believe we intentionally withheld controversial findings from the final draft of the Pediatrics paper.” So things are really hitting the fan now, you say? Not so fast on that one.
The CDC denies all wrong doing. But the CDC is the largest purchaser of vaccines in the world, buying billions of dollars’ worth of vaccines each year. So with that amount of money on the table, their response is not necessarily completely believable. And to date, there have been no Congressional hearings at all looking into the scandal. What’s more, the mainstream media has refused to talk about it. For Big Pharma, it’s business as usual. Many Californians are forced to vaccinate their children even if they don’t want to simply because they aren’t able to homeschool their children or rich enough to pay for a private school. Pregnant women, children, and others are still told that vaccines are completely safe. So, is there any good news here at all? There is one bit of positive news.
One courageous Florida congressman has spoken in front of Congress twice about this issue. His name is Bill Posey. Dr. Posey is demanding his colleagues call hearings on this matter. It’s time to speak up. Please call your congressperson today to tell them that at the very least they should join with Dr. Posey and demand a congressional hearing on this matter to find out the truth. You can find the contact information for your representative at: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/
Virtually every single one of my patients with an autistic child tells me that the problems started shortly after a vaccination. Is this just coincidence? Should these parents continue to be completely ignored? Should Dr. Thompson’s amazing confession be ignored? A dangerous precedent has now been set leading to the time when, at its discretion and against your will, you and your children will be forced to take anything Big Pharma wants to feed you. It could be the beginning of the end.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
Will CDC whistleblower on vaccines testify before Congress? By Brian Shilhavy, Health Impact News. December 4, 2015. http://healthimpactnews.com/…/will-cdc-whistleblower-on-va…/
By Ariana Eunjung Cha
May 25, 2016 at 9:25 p.m. GMT+8
On its surface, the movie “Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe” appears to be a slickly produced scientific documentary with lots of charts and data about one of the most important issues of our time. The central premise of the film is that the country’s mandatory measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine — when given to children under age 2 — may be leading to an epidemic of autism diagnoses.
It contains heartbreaking footage of happy, laughing toddlers who, their parents say, became profoundly disabled almost overnight after receiving the shot. It explains the findings of a study that confirms the link and unearths recordings from a former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientist who purportedly claimed the government quashed findings of the connection.
But what the movie doesn’t get into is as compelling as what it does present. There are numerous facts, backstories and events that the filmmakers pretend didn’t happen that challenge many of the main points of the film. Here’s what you need to know to put “Vaxxed” into context:
1) The most important thing to know is that the link between vaccines and autism has been debunked — widely and repeatedly. The original study that raised the issue was published in 1998 in the journal the Lancet and involved 12 patients who, after receiving the MMR vaccine, suffered ill effects that appeared to be autism. While many researchers were skeptical of the finding, panicked parents in both Great Britain and the United States pushed vaccination rates down sharply. Outbreaks of the measles, mumps and rubella on both sides of the Atlantic soon followed.
In 2004, Sunday Times journalist Brian Deer reported serious ethical violations by the 1998 paper’s lead author, gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield. Deer accused Wakefield of having been paid by a law firm that had been planning to sue vaccine manufacturers and of subjecting some of the children to unnecessary, invasive procedures for the study. After the revelations, most of the researchers named as co-authors in the study disavowed the findings and withdrew their names from the paper. In 2010, the Lancet’s editors retracted the paper. Three months later, Britain’s General Medical Council revoked Wakefield’s medical license.
“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,” BMJ editor-in-chief Fiona Godlee told CNN at the time. “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.”
2) The director of “Vaxxed” — and the main expert who appears on camera — is that same Andrew Wakefield.
3) Actor Robert De Niro, who has an autistic son, originally lobbied to put the film on the schedule for the Tribeca Film Festival in March. But several days later, he said he had a change of heart.
4) One of the main figures in the film, CDC scientist William Thompson, is heard only in voice recordings. Those recordings, the movie discloses, were of phone conversations Thompson had with another researcher who secretly recorded the calls. “Oh, my God. I cannot believe we did what we did. But we did,” Thompson says at one point, purportedly about omitting findings confirming a link between the MMR vaccine and autism from an official 2004 report.
Thompson has remained silent on the matter, but the other researcher, biologist Brian Hooker, has released a statement saying that Thompson would be publishing a paper soon that shows no link between the MMR vaccine and autism in African American males after all.
Hooker said he is “suspect of any analysis coming from the CDC due to the historic nature of the agency’s scientific misconduct and conflicts of interest specifically around any link between vaccines and autism.” He also detailed his conversations with Thompson:
5) While the issue of vaccines and autism still comes up regularly — as it did when presidential contender Donald Trump mentioned his belief in the theory in a debate last year — most scientists consider the connection between vaccines and autism to be discredited. Dozens of top journals — including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders — have published papers that looked into a possible link and found none.
A study in JAMA in April 2015 was one of the largest; it involved an analysis of 96,000 children. The authors wrote that their findings “indicate no harmful association between MMR vaccine receipt and [autism spectrum disorder] even among children already at higher risk.”
6) While experts still don’t know what causes autism, it is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors such as infections or exposure to certain chemicals that may lead to differences in the shape and structure of a child’s brain. According to an estimate by the CDC published last year, 1 in 45 (or 2.24 percent) of children age 3 to 17 may have autism — a steep rise over the past few decades. Researchers have theorized that part of the rise could be attributable to a greater awareness of the condition. The CDC said the most recent jump from 2011 to 2014 may have a very mundane reason behind it: a change in the questionnaire the agency uses to track cases.
MMR vaccine and autism: an update of the scientific evidence
- PMID: 14761240
- DOI: 10.1586/14760522.214.171.124
An hypothesis published in 1998 suggested that measles-mumps-rubella vaccine may cause autism as a result of persistent measles virus infection of the gastrointestinal tract. Results of early studies were not supportive and in 2001 a review by the Institute of Medicine concluded that the evidence favors the rejection of a causal relationship at the population level between measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and autistic spectrum disorder. Studies published since the Institute of Medicine report have continued not to find an increased risk of autistic spectrum disorder associated with measles-mumps-rubella. The vaccine also has not been found to be associated with a unique syndrome of developmental regression and gastrointestinal disorders. The evidence now is convincing that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine does not cause autism or any particular subtypes of autistic spectrum disorder.