Columns

David Sheffield ’11: Inviting ignorance

By
Opinions Columnist
Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Brown hosts many talks throughout the year. The lecture board brings in well-known speakers, departments hold colloquia and numerous groups and organizations get interesting people to talk about various subjects. This makes the University a livelier place — one with an exchange of ideas and discussion.

While Brown should welcome a broad range of viewpoints, we should not allow ourselves to be used as a soapbox for whomever would like to come speak. There is a point at which the damage done by hosting a speaker outweighs the benefits.

Last Friday, the Brown Bookstore hosted Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill, the authors of “The Age of Autism: Mercury, Medicine, and a Man-Made Epidemic,” for “a reading and [discussion] of their research.” Research is a highly generous word to use to describe what the authors have done. Essentially, they repackaged the last decade’s worth of claims that mercury causes autism, disregarding the actual research that shows those claims to be utterly false. Study after study has shown that autism is not caused by mercury in vaccines.

To state it briefly, the authors of “The Age of Autism” make demonstrably false claims that lead to parents refusing to vaccinate their children. Falling vaccination rates lead in turn to the reemergence of diseases like measles, mumps and whooping cough. The bookstore should not have hosted the Olmsted and Blaxill.

What do we as a university have to gain by hosting people promoting obviously false ideas? The anti-vaccination crowd will continue to give talks around the country and appear in credulous media outfits. The greatest benefit is that it could have allowed doctors and scientists to see the vogue anti-vaccination claims. It is very useful for interested doctors and scientists to know what is being said.

Otherwise, they could not check the claims against actual research and try to correct false statements. However, the bookstore had this as a normal book reading targeted at the public.

The detrimental effects of this event overshadow the positive ones. When Brown hosts a speaker, it provides a certain level of endorsement. Essentially, the University is saying, “this person is worth listening to.” We do not just pick speakers up off the street. No one would go up to one of Lyndon LaRouche’s acolytes on Thayer Street and ask him or her to come give a talk about how the British Empire is currently the biggest world threat and how that relates to Obama being a Nazi. We expect people to be coherent, thoughtful and not live in a fantasy world.

By giving the authors a prestigious soapbox, the bookstore is lending them credibility that they otherwise would not have. People are liable to give the medical claims in “The Age of Autism” more sway than they otherwise would because they expect Brown to not host people giving bad medical advice.

These haven’t been the only unsavory characters that have appeared at Brown. Pervez Musharraf and Rick Santorum, among many others, have given talks here. The same thing happens at Brown’s peer institutions. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited New York City to speak at the United Nations last week. During his 2007 UN visit he controversially appeared at a Columbia event.

These talks should undergo the same ethical calculus as the “Age of Autism” reading. Is it a net benefit or detriment to bring in these speakers?

On the whole, it is beneficial to have them speak. Unlike the authors of “The Age of Autism,” these speakers are not giving bad medical advice. Santorum would not have had much of an effect by using unsound science to try to justify why embryos should be considered humans or why queer people effectively should not be. Ahmadinejad would not have had much success from a Columbia stage convincing people that the Holocaust did not happen. But the anti-vaccination crowd does rely on these sorts of talks to spread their personal dislike for vaccines and whatever rationalization they currently use to justify it; in Olmsted and Blaxill’s case, it is mercury and autism.

They do have plenty of media at their disposal. Oprah, Larry King and the Huffington Post are all too happy to promote these beliefs. Luckily, those people and organizations do not have any academic heft. People may trust them, but they are not doctors.

We need to be mindful of the consequences of choosing speakers. Just as the biology department would need to think carefully about the consequences if they wanted to have some fun by bringing in a creationist or the same with the physics department having a colloquium speaker advocate for geocentrism, all organizations at Brown should be conscious of whether a speaker will make Brown a better or worse place.

David Sheffield ’11 is a math-physics concentrator, who actually does enjoy listening to pseudoscientists. He can be contacted at david_sheffield@brown.edu.

60 Comments

  1. It’s clear young David has had all his shots!

    But, in case that’s not the problem, I will admit that, when I was, likewise, young and ignorant, I defended the U.S.’s need to be fighting in Vietnam!

    Good luck, David!

  2. To the Editor:

    Mr. Sheffield appears to practice the very type of dangerous demagoguery that he claims to seek to exclude from the confines of Brown University. It is odd to observe such opinions voiced in the opinion page of a newspaper at an academic institution like Brown where the freedom to express controversial opinions is cherished and not suppressed.

    Mr. Sheffield produces no evidence to support his opinion that vaccines are beyond challenge, although he is very certain that Messrs. Blaxill and Olmsted are wrong. Sheffield condemns Blaxill and Olmsted with the “anti-vaccine” slur even though they themselves have never adopted such a position. Even if they did take an “anti-vaccine” position there is certainly a place for their opinions – so well laid out in their book – at a place such as Brown University.

    The authors have carefully made a case to show that mercury in vaccines – and multiple additional sources – has contributed to the rise of neurodevelopmental disorders among children. Their argument is pro-child safety. There is little or no science that has exonerated vaccines in causing sucy disorders. In fact, it is well understood by our government and in the courts that vaccines do harm a certain number of children, causing various kinds of neurodevelopmental problems, some of which manifest themselves in the symptoms of autism – which is by definition the same thing as “autism” under the applicable diagnostic criteria. The only open question is how many children are harmed in this way.

    The science Mr. Sheffield neglects to cite – because he is so sure of his rectitude – does not prove mercury in vaccines is safe, it only suggests that more research is necessary. In fact, the leading epidemiologist in the world has testified under oath that there has been zero research of the question of whether or not regressive autism is associated with vaccination. This begs the question, why such research has not been done?

    On the other hand, hundreds of studies have shown the dangers of mercury and other toxins and many animal (including primate) studies – as carefully explained by Blaxill and Olmsted and by scientists in multiple studies – have implicated vaccines and vaccine components in the type of brain injury that can result in disorders, including autism.

    It would be better for a passionate advocate like Mr. Sheffield to debate the issues of vaccine safety head on rather than to resort to his own brand of anti-democratic censorship to suppress an he dislikes.

    SIncerely,

    Robert J. Krakow

  3. It’s clear young David has had all his shots!

    But, in case that’s not the problem, I will admit that, when I was, likewise, young and ignorant, I defended the U.S.’s need to be fighting in Vietnam!

    Good luck, David!

  4. The science is very clear that Blaxill and Olmsted are wrong. Further, he never made the assertion that vaccines are “beyond challenge”. Perhaps Mr. Krakow could enlighten us as to how he came to this conclusion. He does note that by hosting Blaxill and Olmsted, Brown has lent some of its own credibility to these gentlemen. Brown does not have to spend its hard won respectibility on anyone who publishes a book. This is doubly true when the misinformation presented leads to medical treatments which are untested and unsound.

    Blaxill and Olmsted have avoided debating vaccine safety head on in their denial of excellent research which has shown conclusively that whatever environmental causes for autism there may be, thimerosal in vaccines is at best minor and is most likely non-existant as a cause.

    Mr. Krakow alludes to recent primate studies which show exactly the sort of bad science which is used by Olmsted and Blaxill to promote their viewpoint. A recent study by researcher who, herself, was a plaintiff in a vaccine injury case at the time of the research (she has since dropped the case) purpoted to show brain differences in vaccinated and unvaccinated primates. I am sure that David, even as an undergraduate in a different field, would easily be able to discuss the major flaws in that study.

    I am unaware of when the statement Mr. Krakow makes in regards to the lack of study on regressive autism and immunization, but the recent publication in Pediatrics (Price, et al) certainly does address this issue with regards to the vaccine ingredient thimerosal from vaccines and regressive autism. I am sure Mr. Krakow is well aware of this study.

    It is not anti-democratic for David to say that Brown University should not extend an invitation to everyone to promote their books and their ideas. He is not calling on Brown University to attempt to silence Blaxill and Olmsted, only to recognize that Brown is lending credibility to these gentlemen and will in some small way be diminished if David is correct about the veracity of Blaxill and Olmsted.

    The debate on vaccine safety, especially in regards to thimerosal and autism, has been held where it should be held: in the scientific literature. Poorly conceived and executed studies on primates do not change the clear answer: the “age of autism” was not caused by thimerosal in vaccines.

  5. It’s clear young David has had all his shots!

    But, in case that’s not the problem, I will admit that, when I was, likewise, young and ignorant, I defended the U.S.’s need to be fighting in Vietnam!

    Good luck, David!

  6. We are now in the grip of an epidemic of autism affecting one percent of our children, one in every 68 boys. Health officials have no answers. They only thing they’re sure of is that the federally approved vaccine schedule isn’t to blame.

    In truth, The Age of Autism reveals how increasing exposure to the second deadliest element on Earth is damaging mankind. No amount of official studies can change that. I would ask anyone skeptical of what Olmsted and Blaxill have written to reserve judgment until they’ve read the book. They can then address what they feel is pseudo-science. Having read the book and written about it, I can say that the only feeling I was left with is a very real fear that mercury exposure, especially through medicine, is responsible for untold sickness and disability.

    Anne Dachel

    Media editor: Age of Autism

  7. Craig Grayson says:

    Robert J. Krakow is a personal injury attorney who tries vaccine injury cases in the US Federal Court of Claims. He has also represented Mr. Andrew Wakefield, the disgraced former UK gastroenterologist whose fraudulent 1998 study kicked off the latest wave of anti-vaccine hysteria. Not saying he doesn’t have a right to express his views, as biased and misleading as they are.

  8. David Sheffield says:

    @rkrakow: I’m afraid that space limitations prevented me from dealing fulling with the evidence against a vaccine–autism link. I have also gone into the details a bit more (although it was still very cursory due to space restrictions) and I did not want to repeat myself. I suggest that anyone interested in the evidence on autism spectrum disorder and vaccines looks at medical websites like the CDC, sciencebasedmedicine.org, and quackwatch.com, all of which provide good quality information. Of course, you can also look up the actual papers on this subject (those sites provide citations to many of them).

    @mhirzel: Yes, I believe I am fully vaccinated.

  9. MaurineMeleck says:

    A poem I once wrote which seems so fitting here

    BANNED

    All the King’s Men
    The Sun Also Rises
    Little Red Riding Hood
    Ulysses
    The Great Gatsby
    The Grapes of Wrath
    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
    A Wrinkle in Time
    The Age Of Autism

    in schools
    public libraries
    bookstores
    Banned: the teaching
    if evolution in Kansas.

    Humans, those proud censors,
    ape their erect ancestors,
    use freedon to forbid books
    like a shibboleth to truth.
    The sad tale of Galileo,
    silenced for his theory
    on the earth’s rotation,
    a forefather of all that
    monkey business in Kansas.

    By Maurine Meleck

  10. MaurineMeleck says:

    sorry corrections ;

    OF EVOLUTION IN kANSAS

    USE FREEDOM TO FORBID BOOKS

  11. Mr. Grayson et al:

    To clarify and correct – yes, I confess that I am an attorney but not just personal injury. I am a former Manhattan prosecutor (narcotics, racketeering, homicide and violent crime) and in private practice for many years I have handled cases in many areas of law, not merely personal injury. I became interested in vaccine injury cases because of my personal experience. I am not sure how your points counter the primary point of my message, which was directed against the position that somehow it was wrong for Brown University to allow Olmsted and Blaxill a forum.

    Correction: I have never represented Dr. Wakefield although I would be honored to do so.

    As for the studies – Price/Thompson has so many flaws that it is insignificant. There was a poor study sample with many families dropping out during the study, among other flaws. It did not compare vaccinated vs unvaccinated populations or even thimerosal exposed individuals vs individuals who received no thimerosal, but high exposure vs. low exposure. Most study subjects received some thimerosal and only a very small number – 10 – were not vaccinated.

    The primate study by Hewitson et al. was forthright about its own limitations, but did clearly reveal that there were deficits in key areas for the vaccinated group of primates vs. the unvaccinated group. Is it a conclusive study? No, but the study certainly raises serious questions about vaccine safety and argues for more research. Studies throughout the world on rats, mice, primates, rabbits and other animals have demonstrated that thimerosal can cause harm. This is the case despite strenuous efforts to suppress such research. The epidemiological studies cited by those who promote the use of mercury in vaccines all have serious flaws. Among other defects, the authors of the studies have problematic unrevealed conflicts of interest that warrant greater attention than any conflict I may have as a humble letter to the editor writer.

    That all ignores the point of my post which is, whatever view one holds on the issue, it surely is in the interest of a fine academic institution like Brown to host writers on controversial topics, regardless of the extent to which some may find the writers’ views objectionable. After all, Olmsted and Blaxill are presenting a view that is in the interest of some children horribly injured. At the same time they do not denigrate the virtues of vaccination. Brown University was right in allowing the debate on this important public health issue to thrive, in the interest of producing a thorough airing of the controversy.

    Robert J. Krakow
    New York, NY
    Conflicts:
    Parent
    Attorney
    Volunteer for Children with Disabilities
    Attorney and advocate for individuals with vaccine injuries

  12. I have always found it hard to believe we debate the issue in the United States of America, whether it is OK to inject tiny infants with the second most deadly element on the face of the earth. But indeed we do, and have for the past decade and more as more and more of us have watched our children regress from perfectly healthy babies to be diagnosed as severely autistic. So here is a supposed scholar in a prestigious University doing just that, defending the injection of mercury into American babies and toddlers. Some day we are going to look back on this and see it in the same light as “bleeding patients” and “shock therapy” as archaic and ignorant. There is no SAFE form of mercury that is the only perpetuated myth here, we know mercury is a proven neurotoxin that can cause significant brain damage and even death. How could anyone defend the injection of this substance in babies and children with or without the autism epidemic or the claims of tens of thousands of educated parents.

    I find it ironic that real laboratory science is slammed while epidemiology known to be easily manipulated to prove any point you wish is defended. The federal alphabet agencies have nothing but epidemiology, bought and paid for by….well themselves. Every ounce of real science has shown what we already know. Mercury is an extremely potent neurotoxin that in even the tiniest amounts kills cells and collects in body tissue.

    We have caused the most devastating and most expensive epidemic in the history of our nation and we will be paying a hefty cost for generations to come if we do not stop the poisoning of our own children. The tsunami of damaged children are quickly reaching adulthood and we are not even preparing for them, we are still denying they are damaged, denying they even exist or that anything is even different from our recent past. It makes one question who the intellectuals really are here.

  13. Oh, depressing. We have the young naive author of this article referencing “Quackwatch” in the comments? How sad. David, please venture outside of Quackwatch and the CDC website. Read up on the dangers of mercury in vaccines (never mind just using common sense in regards to not injecting neurotoxins into babies). I understand that you are young and have a rosy picture of the medical establishment… I understand. I was there once too…. People who have truly done their research here or who have had children injured by vaccines know what they are talking about. We need to take a good hard look at what our vaccination schedules have done/continue to do to our babies. I hope that you continue to research the topic, it appears that you have just skimmed the surface of the debate (your reference to Quackwatch tells that story…). Good luck to you!

  14. Interesting comments, I must say. Many think that Brown should open its doors to anyone with a book.

    Too bad there isn’t consistency to their claims. These same people have ejected a journalist from a conference (whch promotes the idea of vaccines causing autism) for asking a pertinent question of a speaker. The same people then attempted to smear the journalist. The same people ejected public health professional from a conference for nothing other than being a public health professional. These are not the only instances of this. No outrage there.

    Robert Krakow, please. I understand the science quite well. A wave of your hand does not dismiss the Price study in Pediatrics, as I am sure the Special Master will make very clear to you in the near future. A wave of the hand does not brush away the Hewitson monkey study. They had two control animals and two brain scans per animal and tried to measure amygdala volumes. Anyone with any background reading the literature knows these are very difficult experiments and that many measurements are needed to get a valid result. The authors presented noise as data, claiming that this vital part of the brain shrinks during maturation. Heck, they claimed that the brain in general of infant macaques doesn’t grow for two months. They then compared their vaccinated monkeys against this false standard and claimed deficits.

    I would suggest you use this study in court and let the Special Master respond but I believe your clients deserve better representation. That isn’t sarcasm, it is an honest assessment of what is absolutely junk science. Promote it as someing beyond a very poorly conceived and executed pilot study if you wish. It doesn’t change the facts.

  15. If research existed showing mercury does not contribute to neurologic disorders, then the conversation would be over.

  16. “We have caused the most devastating and most expensive epidemic in the history of our nation and we will be paying a hefty cost for generations to come if we do not stop the poisoning of our own children. “

    And, yet, it isn’t observable in epidemiology? Can you explain that with something other than a conspiracy theory where hundreds of people in multiple countries must be involved?

    “The tsunami of damaged children are quickly reaching adulthood and we are not even preparing for them, we are still denying they are damaged, denying they even exist or that anything is even different from our recent past. It makes one question who the intellectuals really are here. “

    I believe you have been a member of one or more so-called advocacy groups for about 10 years. Is that accurate?

    Please, why haven’t your advocacy groups done anything to prepare for the “tsunami”? Your groups spend all their efforts promoting vaccines as the cause of autism but ignore the needs of the existing people with autism. Why is that?

  17. “That all ignores the point of my post which is, whatever view one holds on the issue, it surely is in the interest of a fine academic institution like Brown to host writers on controversial topics, “

    My guess is that Brown does host writers on controversial topics. That does not mean that all writers on all controversial topics should be hosted.

    Should Brown host holocaust denialists such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Should Brown host creationists? Should Brown host ex-celebritities with false miracle cures for cancer? Clearly Brown has limited resources in time and reputation to spend. Lending a podium to everyone just because they claim to be “controversial” is not going to happen.

    There are subjects where the controversy is valid. “The Age of Autism” is about 5 years too late to make that claim.

    As you are well aware, the arguments made by Blaxill and Olmsted weren’t even used by the attorneys representing children in the autism omnibus. Did those attorneys fail their clients?

  18. I find this all very interesting.

    What did Mr. Sheffield do? He went to a talk that he was fairly certain he would disagree with. He did not protest the authors either before or during the presentation.

    After the talk he wrote his opinion that these authors should not be hosted because they are not just controversial, but that their opinions promote “bad medical advice”.

    In response to his piece above, people are jumping on him that he shouldn’t have aired (or even held!) his opinion.

    The irony is rather thick.

  19. Sheffield writes: “Essentially, they repackaged the last decade’s worth of claims that mercury causes autism, disregarding the actual research that shows those claims to be utterly false.”

    This shows quite clearly that Sheffield has not read the book. The book is not a regurgitation of vaccines cause autism claims – it is an incredibly well researched history book. Yes, a history book – not something that should be banned at a university like Brown that prides itself on educating young people to be critical-thinkers whose great deductive reasoning minds are worthy of leadership roles in society. Having read about half of the book now, I am very impressed with the investigation into the history of mercury in medicine and the strong evidence put forth suggesting INJECTED MERCURY which was the standard of care in the late 1880s produced a devastating condition in syphilis patients called General Paralysis of the Insane – neurological problems, paralysis problems leading to death – not present in groups where mercury was not used in syphilis patients – THIS is NEW! It’s groundbreaking new evidence that should raise eyebrows and give any critical mind at Brown University reason to pause and evaluate the claims made by health officials that the extremely high doses of mercury in vaccines have nothing to do with a) the paralysis and neuro side effects listed on vaccine inserts, 2) the exploding rate of autism and 3) the slow, steady physical & mental paralysis and “insane” decline in our elderly otherwise known as alzheimers. This plus the authors put forth more NEW data by tracking down the original autism patients and finding clear evidence that the parents of these children had 1st hand contacts with ethylmercury, the specific mercury that kids in the 1990s were overdosed on in routine childhood vaccinations. So with that synopsis, how in the world can a smart thinking person suggest that banning this book from debate at a university is wise….maybe at the community college level but at Brown? Come on now…I think your student population can handle it – it’s just history.

  20. “That all ignores the point of my post which is, whatever view one holds on the issue, it surely is in the interest of a fine academic institution like Brown to host writers on controversial topics, “

    My guess is that Brown does host writers on controversial topics. That does not mean that all writers on all controversial topics should be hosted.

    Should Brown host holocaust denialists such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Should Brown host creationists? Should Brown host ex-celebritities with false miracle cures for cancer? Clearly Brown has limited resources in time and reputation to spend. Lending a podium to everyone just because they claim to be “controversial” is not going to happen.

    There are subjects where the controversy is valid. “The Age of Autism” is about 5 years too late to make that claim.

    As you are well aware, the arguments made by Blaxill and Olmsted weren’t even used by the attorneys representing children in the autism omnibus. Did those attorneys fail their clients?

  21. TeresaBinstock says:

    David Sheffield’s review makes clear his agenda and suggests he has not read Olmsted’s and Blaxill’s “The Age of Autism…” Mr. Sheffield’s rhetoric is as uninformedly prejudiced as the book’s use of citations is authoritative. The authors’ several histories of the medical industry’s misuse of mercury and related compounds should be required reading in many curricula.

  22. “That all ignores the point of my post which is, whatever view one holds on the issue, it surely is in the interest of a fine academic institution like Brown to host writers on controversial topics, “

    My guess is that Brown does host writers on controversial topics. That does not mean that all writers on all controversial topics should be hosted.

    Should Brown host holocaust denialists such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Should Brown host creationists? Should Brown host ex-celebritities with false miracle cures for cancer? Clearly Brown has limited resources in time and reputation to spend. Lending a podium to everyone just because they claim to be “controversial” is not going to happen.

    There are subjects where the controversy is valid. “The Age of Autism” is about 5 years too late to make that claim.

    As you are well aware, the arguments made by Blaxill and Olmsted weren’t even used by the attorneys representing children in the autism omnibus. Did those attorneys fail their clients?

  23. “David Sheffield’s review makes clear his agenda and suggests he has not read Olmsted’s and Blaxill’s “The Age of Autism…” Mr. Sheffield’s rhetoric is as uninformedly prejudiced as the book’s use of citations is authoritative”

    Daviid sit through the talk by Olmted and Blaxill. The authors did present their ideas at this talk, didn’t they? He did not write in complaint about Brown hoting these authors until after they presented their ideas. Surely David can form an opinion based on the talk.

  24. Mr. Sheffield’s superficial knowledge of this topic is shown by his use of the term “anti-vaccine”. You don’t have to be “anti-car” to be concerned about reducing car accidents. You don’t have to be “anti-airplane” to be concerned about reducing plane crashes. Thousands of parents have reported their children’s regression into autism following vaccines. These reports are consistent with adverse reactions listed on vaccine labels and on the HRSA vaccine injury table such as encephalitis and encephalopathy. A generation of children is suffering very high rates of immune system disorders such as asthma, allergies, diabetes, auto-immune disorders, neurological disorders such as ADHD and autism, and digestive disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease. Many studies have shown that immune system dysregulation and neuroinflammation are major factors in autism. Our vaccine schedule has increased dramatically over the past 25 years. Babies receive two dozen vaccines by the age of two, and another dozen before school starts – unprecedented in human history. Tiny amounts of mercury have been shown to harm nerves cells and immune cells. Mercury is not the only vaccine ingredient capable of causing inflammation and other effects on the immune and nervous systems. The whole point of vaccines is to stimulate the immune system, hence the use of adjuvants such as aluminum, which is another neurotoxic metal. There are a whole lot of issues in need of further study here. It’s not enough to just point out that diseases are dangerous. It’s not simply a choice between all the vaccines exactly as they are or no vaccines. We need honest, independent evaluation of the risks and benefits of each vaccine and the combined schedule. Instead, we have government agencies that are responsible for both promotion and safety, that have a vested interest in denying problems. And way too much influence from pharma company financial interests.

    There is no question but that vaccine injuries occur, and that some of these injuries lead to autism. At the very least, our government agencies should be studying vaccine injured children to better understand how to better identify and treat vaccine injuries. And the fund which we the consumers pay for with a surcharge on vaccines is supposed to help people with vaccine injuries. Instead, the vaccine injured are left on their own, with their parents scrambling to try to figure out how to help them, with very little help from mainstream medicine.

  25. It’s amazing to me how often one hears that censorship must reign in the arena of vaccine safety discussions, because to fully air any vaccine safety concerns will cause falling vaccination rates. Surely our vaccine program should be able to stand up to scrutiny? Regarding our government’s failure to do adequate research (such as studying vaccine injured children, or comparing long-term health outcomes in vaccinated vs. unvaccinated populations), “There is a completely expressed concern that they don’t want to pursue a hypothesis because that hypothesis could be damaging to the public health community at large by scaring people. First of all, I think the public’s smarter than that. The public values vaccines. But more importantly, I don’t think you should ever turn your back on any scientific hypothesis because you’re afraid of what it might show.”
    w w w . cbsnews.com/stories/2008/05/12/cbsnews_investigates/main4086809.shtml

    David Sheffield says, “Study after study has shown that autism is not caused by mercury in vaccines.” That is simply not true. See:
    w w w . generationrescue.org/science
    w w w . 14studies.org/studies_thimerosal.html
    w w w . ageofautism.com/2010/09/theres-a-funny-thing-about-evidence-more-support-for-autism-mercury-link.html

    It does not appear that Mr. Sheffield has read Mark Blaxill’s and Dan Olmsted’s book. I’m reading it right now, and it is excellent – intelligent, interesting, extremely well researched, making connections which should have been made years ago – and not only about vaccines and autism.

  26. The author presumably sat through the talk and though not a doctor, he apparently is a scientist. Couldn’t he tell us something specific which he found to be “demonstrably false” and why? “Study after study” doesn’t quite cut it. In the absence of specifics, this is merely a screed.

    For some reason, corporate proxies like to have physicists fight their battles for them. I’m thinking of Frederick Seitz, consultant to R.J. Reynolds, and his part in the tobacco wars. It’s always been easy for corporations to buy scientists to manufacture propaganda for them.

    Every Brown student should read _Deceit and Denial_ by Markowitz and Rosner. It recounts the decades-long effort on the part of industry to deny the harm done to children by lead in the environment. And yes, scientists were sashaying into battle on the side of lead.

  27. MattC commented: “There are subjects where the controversy is valid. “The Age of Autism” is about 5 years too late to make that claim.”

    “The Age of Autism” is not late for anything – it is fresh new material – very timely, very newsworthy and as Dan Olmsted has attested as a very talented award winning investigative journalist, “it is the story of a life time.”

    I stand by my earlier statement: This book is an important contribution to history…..

    Sheffield writes: “Essentially, they repackaged the last decade’s worth of claims that mercury causes autism, disregarding the actual research that shows those claims to be utterly false.”

    This shows quite clearly that Sheffield has not read the book. The book is not a regurgitation of vaccines cause autism claims – it is an incredibly well researched history book. Yes, a history book – not something that should be banned at a university like Brown that prides itself on educating young people to be critical-thinkers whose great deductive reasoning minds are worthy of leadership roles in society. Having read about half of the book now, I am very impressed with the investigation into the history of mercury in medicine and the strong evidence put forth suggesting INJECTED MERCURY which was the standard of care in the late 1880s produced a devastating condition in syphilis patients called General Paralysis of the Insane – neurological problems, paralysis problems leading to death – not present in groups where mercury was not used in syphilis patients – THIS is NEW! It’s groundbreaking new evidence that should raise eyebrows and give any critical mind at Brown University reason to pause and evaluate the claims made by health officials that the extremely high doses of mercury in vaccines have nothing to do with a) the paralysis and neuro side effects listed on vaccine inserts, 2) the exploding rate of autism and 3) the slow, steady physical & mental paralysis and “insane” decline in our elderly otherwise known as alzheimers. This plus the authors put forth more NEW data by tracking down the original autism patients and finding clear evidence that the parents of these children had 1st hand contacts with ethylmercury, the specific mercury that kids in the 1990s were overdosed on in routine childhood vaccinations. So with that synopsis, how in the world can a smart thinking person suggest that banning this book from debate at a university is wise….maybe at the community college level but at Brown? Come on now…I think your student population can handle it – it’s just history.

  28. “David Sheffield’s review makes clear his agenda and suggests he has not read Olmsted’s and Blaxill’s “The Age of Autism…” Mr. Sheffield’s rhetoric is as uninformedly prejudiced as the book’s use of citations is authoritative”

    Daviid sit through the talk by Olmted and Blaxill. The authors did present their ideas at this talk, didn’t they? He did not write in complaint about Brown hoting these authors until after they presented their ideas. Surely David can form an opinion based on the talk.

  29. Sorry for the typos–the last should read

    Daviid sat through the talk by Olmted and Blaxill. The authors did present their ideas at this talk, didn’t they? Keep in mind that David did not write in complaint about Brown hosting these authors until after they presented their ideas.

    Surely David can form an opinion of the work of Blaxill and Olmsted based on their talk, can’t he?

  30. ” I am very impressed with the investigation into the history of mercury in medicine and the strong evidence put forth suggesting INJECTED MERCURY which was the standard of care in the late 1880s produced a devastating condition in syphilis patients called General Paralysis of the Insane – neurological problems, paralysis problems leading to death – not present in groups where mercury was not used in syphilis patients “

    This is a great example of the sort of pseudo science that Blaxill and Olmsted partake in. They create a narrative, the cite references to make it rather sciency and…they come to the wrong conclusions.

    First, let’s say that mercury is the worst thing ever in the history of the world. Doesn’t mean it causes autism. Putting together a lot of stories about how mercury use in medicine was bad doesn’t make it a cause of autism.

    Second, “General Paralysis of the Insane” still exists even after mercury therapy has been abandoned. It exists today, albeit in rare cases. There is a paper describing 136 cases–in the 1960s–in Singapore. This is long after mercury therapy was abandoned.

    General Paralysis is not mercury poisoning. Autism is not mercury poisoning. Blaxill and Olmsted are just wrong.

  31. Teresa Conrick says:

    David Sheffield’s opinion piece here is representative of the problem with denialism and ignorance. The book and discussion of ,”The Age of Autism, Mercury, Medicine and a Manmade Epidemic, is an indepth investigation of the dangers of mercury. That same investigation takes us to those original 11 children identifed by Kanner. The book goes into detail about those families and how mercury, especially ethyl mercury, is found to be a common denominator. How Mr. Sheffield attempts to negate these facts is a fascinating look into the origin of vaccine zealism, where fear mongering and Public Health have morphed into a pharmaceutical company’s best friend. Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill have made it clear that they are not against vaccines but instead are reporting on the history of mercury, which for centuries was used as its delayed and often lethal effects were denied. Mr. Sheffield gives us all an illustrative look at how that mercury denialism continues despite fact upon fact showing its dangers. Brown did a great job hosting this informative and historical talk.

    Teresa Conrick
    Contributing Writer-Age of Autism Blog

  32. MargaretToigo says:

    Indeed, to provide anti-vaxers a respectable forum, such as the Brown Bookstore, lends them credence they do not deserve.

  33. ” I am very impressed with the investigation into the history of mercury in medicine and the strong evidence put forth suggesting INJECTED MERCURY which was the standard of care in the late 1880s produced a devastating condition in syphilis patients called General Paralysis of the Insane – neurological problems, paralysis problems leading to death – not present in groups where mercury was not used in syphilis patients “

    This is a great example of the sort of pseudo science that Blaxill and Olmsted partake in. They create a narrative, the cite references to make it rather sciency and…they come to the wrong conclusions.

    First, let’s say that mercury is the worst thing ever in the history of the world. Doesn’t mean it causes autism. Putting together a lot of stories about how mercury use in medicine was bad doesn’t make it a cause of autism.

    Second, “General Paralysis of the Insane” still exists even after mercury therapy has been abandoned. It exists today, albeit in rare cases. There is a paper describing 136 cases–in the 1960s–in Singapore. This is long after mercury therapy was abandoned.

    General Paralysis is not mercury poisoning. Autism is not mercury poisoning. Blaxill and Olmsted are just wrong.

  34. ” I am very impressed with the investigation into the history of mercury in medicine and the strong evidence put forth suggesting INJECTED MERCURY which was the standard of care in the late 1880s produced a devastating condition in syphilis patients called General Paralysis of the Insane – neurological problems, paralysis problems leading to death – not present in groups where mercury was not used in syphilis patients “

    This is a great example of the sort of pseudo science that Blaxill and Olmsted partake in. They create a narrative, the cite references to make it rather sciency and…they come to the wrong conclusions.

    First, let’s say that mercury is the worst thing ever in the history of the world. Doesn’t mean it causes autism. Putting together a lot of stories about how mercury use in medicine was bad doesn’t make it a cause of autism.

    Second, “General Paralysis of the Insane” still exists even after mercury therapy has been abandoned. It exists today, albeit in rare cases. There is a paper describing 136 cases–in the 1960s–in Singapore. This is long after mercury therapy was abandoned.

    General Paralysis is not mercury poisoning. Autism is not mercury poisoning. Blaxill and Olmsted are just wrong.

  35. MattC wrote: “First, let’s say that mercury is the worst thing ever in the history of the world. Doesn’t mean it causes autism.”

    True. And I was skeptical of mercury’s role in autism for years. However, today, after reading this book I have gone from being neutral on mercury, to being astonished that this toxic, heavy metal is still used in medicine today and in particular in vaccines that are injected in pregnant women and babies.

    I find the history in this book INCREDIBLE! That the very first cases of autistic kids had ethyl mercury in their home environments – the exact type of mercury that’s still contained in today’s vaccines – brought into their proximity by their parents is STUNNING. And these groundbreaking historical discoveries are very NEW, very NEWSWORTHY…

    ….and also worthy of debate and discussion among smart, intelligent students -who – given that they are Brown students – have discerning minds and can draw their own conclusions.

    I personally think it will be very hard for any reader of this book to come down on the side that mercury’s continued use in medicine is justified or that it is good for people.

    Brown students, challenge yourselves, read the book and let MattC and Sheffield know what you think!

  36. ” I am very impressed with the investigation into the history of mercury in medicine and the strong evidence put forth suggesting INJECTED MERCURY which was the standard of care in the late 1880s produced a devastating condition in syphilis patients called General Paralysis of the Insane – neurological problems, paralysis problems leading to death – not present in groups where mercury was not used in syphilis patients “

    This is a great example of the sort of pseudo science that Blaxill and Olmsted partake in. They create a narrative, the cite references to make it rather sciency and…they come to the wrong conclusions.

    First, let’s say that mercury is the worst thing ever in the history of the world. Doesn’t mean it causes autism. Putting together a lot of stories about how mercury use in medicine was bad doesn’t make it a cause of autism.

    Second, “General Paralysis of the Insane” still exists even after mercury therapy has been abandoned. It exists today, albeit in rare cases. There is a paper describing 136 cases–in the 1960s–in Singapore. This is long after mercury therapy was abandoned.

    General Paralysis is not mercury poisoning. Autism is not mercury poisoning. Blaxill and Olmsted are just wrong.

  37. ” I am very impressed with the investigation into the history of mercury in medicine and the strong evidence put forth suggesting INJECTED MERCURY which was the standard of care in the late 1880s produced a devastating condition in syphilis patients called General Paralysis of the Insane – neurological problems, paralysis problems leading to death – not present in groups where mercury was not used in syphilis patients “

    This is a great example of the sort of pseudo science that Blaxill and Olmsted partake in. They create a narrative, the cite references to make it rather sciency and…they come to the wrong conclusions.

    First, let’s say that mercury is the worst thing ever in the history of the world. Doesn’t mean it causes autism. Putting together a lot of stories about how mercury use in medicine was bad doesn’t make it a cause of autism.

    Second, “General Paralysis of the Insane” still exists even after mercury therapy has been abandoned. It exists today, albeit in rare cases. There is a paper describing 136 cases–in the 1960s–in Singapore. This is long after mercury therapy was abandoned.

    General Paralysis is not mercury poisoning. Autism is not mercury poisoning. Blaxill and Olmsted are just wrong.

  38. MattC seems to be posting the same comment over and over.

    I’d like to repost my most recent comment so that it’s not buried….perhaps what I have written is causing some ire? Discussion and debate inclusive of all viewpoints is healthy – it’s how knowledge evolves.

    MattC wrote: “First, let’s say that mercury is the worst thing ever in the history of the world. Doesn’t mean it causes autism.”

    True. And I was skeptical of mercury’s role in autism for years. However, today, after reading this book I have gone from being neutral on mercury, to being astonished that this toxic, heavy metal is still used in medicine today and in particular in vaccines that are injected in pregnant women and babies.

    I find the history in this book INCREDIBLE! That the very first cases of autistic kids had ethyl mercury in their home environments – the exact type of mercury that’s still contained in today’s vaccines – brought into their proximity by their parents is STUNNING. And these groundbreaking historical discoveries are very NEW, very NEWSWORTHY…

    ….and also worthy of debate and discussion among smart, intelligent students -who – given that they are Brown students – have discerning minds and can draw their own conclusions.

    I personally think it will be very hard for any reader of this book to come down on the side that mercury’s continued use in medicine is justified or that it is good for people.

    Brown students, challenge yourselves, read the book and let MattC and Sheffield know what you think!

  39. What I find troubling is that someone from an esteemed Institution of Higher Learning would actually use their own personal presuppositions regarding a controversial topic to inform their determination as to whether a particular voice should be allowed to speak on that topic and at that institution. That my friend is called censorship.

    This is a complicated issue for sure, and I would recommend that David take the time to do some of his own research, and possibly even read this book (as outlandish as that sounds), before coming to his own conclusions and then trying to force those onto others by suggesting that we limit exposure of the public to opposing points of view.

    For those of us who are familiar with this issue, and have read the science on BOTH sides…all of it…you are doing a wonderful job of demonstrating your ignorance.

  40. David and “Matt C”,I agree that everyone has a right to their own opinion. However, in this highly biased and completely devoid of facts opinion piece, the thing that makes it so infuriating to those of us who have actually READ the book AND have taken the time to research/read/understand the background to this book, and who have READ the scientific studies (rather than base all of our own opinions on consensus science), is that just like SO very many out of date and out of touch media outlets, there are literally no REAL facts to back up any of the opinions/thoughts that are expressed in this piece. And for the media out there like David, and those like Matt C who commented here, who continue to purpetuate the idea that anyone who questions anything about any part of Mercury, or any part of vaccinations, that they are then labeled ‘crazy’ and ‘anti-vaccine’, YOU ARE SORELY MISTAKEN and have actually been just ‘taken’ by those you wish to defend. Those that make such opinions that are factless actually are starting to be seen right thru these days, and more and more media outlets are starting to realize that no longer will/can consensus science, like that presented in this piece here, will actually be able to be continued. With this day in age, more and more people are doing their own research, they are able to READ the FULL studies to be able to make their own proper fully understood opinion, and THAT is the way it SHOULD be….Pieces (and comments)like this one that use such inflamatory statements like :”Essentially, they repackaged the last decade’s worth of claims that mercury causes autism, disregarding the actual research that shows those claims to be utterly false. Study after study has shown that autism is not caused by mercury in vaccines.” (The author obviously has not even read the book because this is not at all what has happened, if it WERE, then by NOT explaining ‘what’ was repackaged, or exactly what research was disregarded’ and the biggest mistake this author made in his attempt at credibility, to try to sway the reader, he simply figured any reader would simply read “Study after study has shown tha tautism is not caused by mercury in vaccines.” withOUT presenting ANY facts or links directly to ANY of those studies to which the author is referring. He is using consensus science, because surely all of the readers here, along with the great knowledgeable students and faculty at Brown, surely will all take this authors ‘word’ of his own opinion based on ‘well THEY said so’….Sorry ,but WHO is ‘they’ and what did they say?’…WE are ALL smarter than that.And the comments by Mark C…like:”After the talk he wrote his opinion that these authors should not be hosted because they are not just controversial, but that their opinions promote “bad medical advice”. “Well, both Mark and David used the phrase “bad medical advice” without stating any factual information with it. WHAT ‘medical advice’ do the Authors ‘give’ in the book, and who or why shows that ‘THAT medical advice’ is ‘bad’? Again, simply stating that doesnt make any persuading arguement to anyone to help this piece inform or sway opinion.I know that if I wanted to share my opinion, especially one so strong as this piece does, how strongly David feels, enough to compare it to “Ahmadinejad” etc…to make such a strong and serious reference…well, I personally, in an effort to share how passionate my opinion was, I CERTAINLY would produce as much REAL INFORMATION as possible without simply using inflamitory scare tactics…Also, to call anyone who wants to learn/educate themselves and keep our kids safe by ASKING questions and researching vaccines/toxins/environment/etc, to label that person as ANTI-VACCINE, well, its simple proof that David and those who cant state real facts and information to their opinions, certainly DO NOT, and HAVE NOT read or even understood this book, or the plight of all of us who DO understand and actually take the time to read the entire studies, not just the ‘abstracts’ and ‘opinions’ of those studies that have been ‘cherry picked’ to ‘explain’ the consensus science. “ANTI-VACCINE” is FAR from where ‘our side’ is coming from…a much more truthful name would be “pro-SAFE vaccine”….we are “PRO-individual-medicine”…simply stated this way: ANY doctor or scientist or any rational person with any common sense would AGREE that 100% of vaccines for 100% of people 100% of time is not even expected. WE ALL know and agree that there will be a small, very small percentage of infants/children/teens/adults that WILL have a reaction, from little to extreme, including up to even Death. The ISSUE is that we obviously NEED to work harder and faster and try to find out WHO is at a greater risk of the possibility of those reactions/side effects, and CERTAINLY also trying to find out if its possible that maybe one person might be able to properly process the vaccine,and get the needed protection from it one day,…

  41. What I find troubling is that someone from an esteemed Institution of Higher Learning would actually use their own personal presuppositions regarding a controversial topic to inform their determination as to whether a particular voice should be allowed to speak on that topic and at that institution. That my friend is called censorship.

    This is a complicated issue for sure, and I would recommend that David take the time to do some of his own research, and possibly even read this book (as outlandish as that sounds), before coming to his own conclusions and then trying to force those onto others by suggesting that we limit exposure of the public to opposing points of view.

    For those of us who are familiar with this issue, and have read the science on BOTH sides…all of it…you are doing a wonderful job of demonstrating your ignorance.

  42. David, you are a complete moron. How did you get into Brown? Here’s an idea. Get some of your smart Brown medical professors, some people from the RI Dept of Health, and some local representives from the AAP and host a debate with Blaxill, Olmsted, and a few others of their choosing. If you are correct, Blaxill and Olmsted will be publically shredded. My prediction is that you will not find anybody to debate them because none of these people will be able to justify injecting mercury into any living thing. If you do find them, have the debate and let the chips fall where they may.

  43. I’ve been reading Blaxill and Olmsted for years now. They are clearly not very well versed in science. Their book (yes, I’ve read it) makes that very clear. They can pick terms out and try to use them to sound like they have some understanding, but is clear that they are not comfortable and not understanding the terms they use.

    That is all beside the point. They don’t make a logical connection. Sorry for those who disagree, but making multiple corellation=causation arguments doesn’t make it valid. Saying, “Gee, the number of mental hospitals went up, therefore mercury was causing insanity” isn’t valid and offers nothing to their basic thesis, “autism goes up with thimerosal exposure”. Even if they came up with a plausible story, it is completely negated by the data.

  44. MattC says, “Even if they came up with a plausible story, it is completely negated by the data.” What data? This is just more of the same kind of stuff that we keep hearing from vaccine defenders:

    “We understand science but you don’t.” (with no explanations of any science)

    “All the science proves abc and disproves xyz….” (with no specific scientific references)

  45. MattC says, “Even if they came up with a plausible story, it is completely negated by the data.” What data? This is just more of the same kind of stuff that we keep hearing from vaccine defenders:

    “We understand science but you don’t.” (with no explanations of any science)

    “All the science proves abc and disproves xyz….” (with no specific scientific references)

  46. Question for Matt C. If the CDC wanted the “anti-vax” movement to go away in regards to thimerosal, why would they not contract the FDA to safety test it? Once the FDA proved it safe to inject into people, we could all go back to looking for that sneaky autism gene. You are twice the moron that David is.

  47. Jim Thompson says:

    David Sheffield said “Study after study has shown that autism is not caused by mercury in vaccines.”

    This leads the readers to misunderstand a fundamental element of the scientific method. While a specific study may not find a causal relation, it is not possible to have a study that has shown that autism is NOT caused by mercury in vaccines. Check and read one of the many unbanned books on the scientific method at the Brown University Library.

    And then read the literature that supports a casual relation.

  48. Jim Thompson says:

    David, there are 91 MILLION projected doses of seasonal flu vaccine with 50 parts per million mercury recommended by the CDC for 6 month old children and pregnant women.

    Look at the US CDC “double think” that George Orwell warned us about:
    “There is no convincing evidence of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in vaccines…” (do a web search for “CDC vaccines safety concerns thimerosal).

    In fact, the Thimerosal doses are NOT low. The concentration of mercury in a flu vaccine with Thimerosal preservative (50 parts per million mercury) is 250 times the United States Environmental Protection Agency Hazardous Waste threshold (0.20 parts per million mercury).

    So any spilled or unused flu vaccines with Thimerosal cannot legally be flushed down a sanitary sewer.
    It is time for this pathetic double think to end. It is time to remove Thimerosal from vaccines. It is time to recall vaccines with Thimerosal. It is time to end the Age of Autism.

  49. MattC argues: “They don’t make a logical connection.”

    One of the most important logical connections that Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill make in their collection of historical facts involves Autistic Patient #1, Donald T, as described by autism’s 1st medical expert, Leo Kanner.

    Olmsted tracked down Donald T who is alive and well today and uncovered some STARTLING NEW information. You’ll have to read the book for the details but to summarize: this 1st child of autism who exhibited behaviors so unusual, and never seen before that a new childhood disorder came on the radar – had something AMAZING happen to him. After years of being an unreachable autistic child, he was afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis. The standard treatment for RA was GOLD SALTS at that time. After months of treatments on GOLD SALTS, the patient’s brother describes Donald T as having “A MIRACULOUS RECOVERY FROM AUTISM.”

    So the chem students at Brown will enjoy this connection the authors make- which I think is quite logical:

    The GOLD SALTS bound to MERCURY and the toxic mercury load in Autism Patient #1 was lessened during the course of treatment. As the mercury load was reduced there were marked improvements in social behaviors and less autism – he even went on to become President of his Fraternity.

    So we have Donald T + evidence of early ethyl mercury exposure and this may or may not equal autism.
    Then, we have Donald T + GOLD SALTS = Substantial reduction in autistic behaviors

    Knowing that gold binds to mercury (just ask the chem folks), it seems very logical to deduce that the ethyl mercury may have in fact had some role in the manifestation of this patient’s autism.

    Some may call that a leap or pseudo-science; I call it a LOGICAL CONNECTION.

    When you combine that story with all the evidence that Age of Autism turns up showing a commonality of early exposures to ethyl mercury in Leo Kanners original case reports, it’s a compelling body of data that deserves discussion and debate versus censorship and book banning.

    And that doesn’t even take into account the ethics involved – if there is a potential way to help autistic people have better lives and reduce the personal and familial toll of extreme social isolation and the societal toll of paying for the care of the large and growing popution of autistic people, then by all means, let the GOLD SALTS CLINICAL TRIALS begin!

  50. Interview with Mary Catherine Desoto, Ph.D.
    w w w . ageofautism.com/2010/08/autism-and-heavy-metals-an-interview-with-mary-catherine-desoto-phd.html

    Article from Acta Neurobiol Exp 2010, 70: 165–176:
    Sorting out the spinning of autism: heavy metals and the question of incidence
    Mary Catherine DeSoto and Robert T. Hitlan
    w w w . ane.pl/pdf/7021.pdf
    “In this paper, we argue that increasingly over the past decade, positions that deny a link to environmental toxins and autism are based on relatively weak science and are disregarding the bulk of scientific literature. In this paper, we are not focusing on vaccines, which is but one exposure pathway, but on exposure to toxic heavy metals as a broader class, of which a vaccine containing a heavy metal preservative would be but one possibility of exposure. It should be clear that any link between toxins and autism is almost certainly mediated by one’s genetic makeup, and that other toxins, such as organophosphates (Eskenazi et al. 2007) likely play a role as well. In this conceptualization, the gene pool did not change, but exposure to substances that directly affect gene functioning is changing…

    “The question about toxic exposure and autism is open, with the weight of evidence favoring a connection that is not well understood. Although it is not possible to say with certainty, it seems likely that the connection would be mediated by genetic susceptibility and ability to detoxify. That is, some people have genotypes that confer higher susceptibility to toxic exposures…”

  51. Beth,

    do you realize that Donald T. wasn’t the first person with autism? This is one of the big holes in the Blaxill/Olmsted argument. Autism predates thimersoal. There have been people with autism who were born before thimerosal.

    The idea that Olmsted and Blaxill went through the records of the patients in Kanner’s paper to support their idea that autism was “new” is very circular reasoning.

    And, it is wrong. Blaxill and Olmsted know that there are records of people with autism born before Kanner’s study subjects.

    Twyla,

    please don’t put quotes around things I didn’t say or even imply. If you are forced to make that sort of argument, it is you who is shutting down debate, not me.

    I don’t know if everyone who believes Blaxill and Olmsted don’t understand science. I do know that those two don’t. Their introductory chapters are obviously written by non experts who are trying to convince the reader that they have read up on the subject. In the process they expose their ignorance.

  52. “The GOLD SALTS bound to MERCURY and the toxic mercury load in Autism Patient #1”

    Here is a great example. The gold in the salts does not bind to the form of mercury in the body. This has been discussed multiple times online by medical professionals.

    Could you quote the evidence that Blaxill/Olmsted give for these to bind to the mercury? Do they have some sort of test that was run on Donald T.? Do they have tests run on other people given gold salts? Or is this just a claim, unsubstantiated by fact or science, by Olmsted and Blaxill.

    It is an unsubstantiated claim.

  53. David or Matt C,
    I see that you and/or any of the ‘anti-vaccine’ name callers have responded to any of the questions/comments I posted yesterday…hmmmm…interesting….
    …I mean, I know my comment was pretty long, but given that Matt C and David completely ignored the questions and comments I made…well, it says a LOT!

    Gosh, you would think there would AT LEAST be defense to their own statements, and even the name “anti-vaccine”….

    We see right thru you guys….just keep on going round and round with your scare tactics and wordplay…with no real scientific explanation or REAL documentation/proof of anything you state, opinions are opinions for sure, and everyone is entitled to their own,BUT if you present a statement as a FACT within your own opinion, without any backup, well, its nothing more than an opinion…certainly NOT FACT…….see my last post yesterday for the specifics…

  54. yaka11,

    what do you mean by “anti-vaccine name callers”? Have I called anyone anti vaccine? No. Are you referring to commenters here who are anti-vaccine and who are name calling? Certainly there are supporters of Blaxill and Olmsted who have resorted to name calling, but don’t they consider themselves to be not anti-vaccine?

    Sorry I didn’t respond directly to you before. One hint. Paragraphs. Makes it a lot easier to read what you write. Another hint, don’t claim that others are calling you “crazy” when they havn’t. It doesn’t make you out to be reading the discussion, and makes it seem like you are very defensive.

    When it comes to people who use the “we aren’t anti-vaccine we are pro-safe vaccine” argument. That’s nice and inflammatory on its own, isn’t it? How about “pro safer vaccine”. If you want to assume that vaccines are not safe you need to define safe.

    All medical procedures carry some risk. If you want 100% safety in anything before you will admit to it being “safe” you will consider nothing safe.

    As to “bad medical advice”. Let’s see, Olmsted and Blaxill are claiming that a person can be recovered from autism with gold salts. Even DAN! doctors don’t use this as a method of treating autism.

    Gold salts carry significant risk. Many people react badly, especially with prolonged exposure.

    Gold is a heavy metal, right? One thing about gold is that it is chemically inert to a very good extent. This makes chelation impractical as a treatment. So, gold salts can cause problems and you can’t get the gold out. That’s bad medicine.

    Also, if you want a response, keep in mind that my name is Matt, not Mark. I don’t mind the mistake, but I skim over “Mark” while looking at your very long paragraph.

  55. yaka11,

    what do you mean by “anti-vaccine name callers”? Have I called anyone anti vaccine? No. Are you referring to commenters here who are anti-vaccine and who are name calling? Certainly there are supporters of Blaxill and Olmsted who have resorted to name calling, but don’t they consider themselves to be not anti-vaccine?

    Sorry I didn’t respond directly to you before. One hint. Paragraphs. Makes it a lot easier to read what you write. Another hint, don’t claim that others are calling you “crazy” when they havn’t. It doesn’t make you out to be reading the discussion, and makes it seem like you are very defensive.

    When it comes to people who use the “we aren’t anti-vaccine we are pro-safe vaccine” argument. That’s nice and inflammatory on its own, isn’t it? How about “pro safer vaccine”. If you want to assume that vaccines are not safe you need to define safe.

    All medical procedures carry some risk. If you want 100% safety in anything before you will admit to it being “safe” you will consider nothing safe.

    As to “bad medical advice”. Let’s see, Olmsted and Blaxill are claiming that a person can be recovered from autism with gold salts. Even DAN! doctors don’t use this as a method of treating autism.

    Gold salts carry significant risk. Many people react badly, especially with prolonged exposure.

    Gold is a heavy metal, right? One thing about gold is that it is chemically inert to a very good extent. This makes chelation impractical as a treatment. So, gold salts can cause problems and you can’t get the gold out. That’s bad medicine.

    Also, if you want a response, keep in mind that my name is Matt, not Mark. I don’t mind the mistake, but I skim over “Mark” while looking at your very long paragraph.

  56. MattC wrote:

    “Beth,do you realize that Donald T. wasn’t the first person with autism? This is one of the big holes in the Blaxill/Olmsted argument. “

    Donald T is recognized as Patient 1 in Kanners case reports – doesn’t mean he was the first person with autism – just means he’s the 1st that Kanner observed and wrote about. The authors do not claim that this is the 1st person with autism. There is no hole in the author’s argument.

    The key findings that make this book a pivotal contribution to history are:

    1) They provide compelling evidence that injected mercury does cause harm to humans. There’s strong evidence in GPI patients in the 1890s who got injected mercury treatment. Western medical doctors today still inject mercury into people believing it is benign – they are doing it every day this time of year by the 10’s of thousands with the big flu vaccine drive. This despite ethyl mercury, the preservative used in vaccines having a skull and crossbones on the bottle. This is reckless. Didn’t necessarily believe so in the past, but now I do.

    2) They have discovered the surprising commonality of early exposures to ethyl mercury among Kanner’s original autistic patients – those that he observed and wrote about – which is an important new discovery Olmsted made while researching historical archives and family professional backgrounds.

    3) They found that a severely autistic child improved “MIRACULOUSLY” after gold salts – and btw, the take away on this finding is that this should be further investigated. I don’t believe the authors or anybody else with a brain would just start gold salts therapy without some serious research and studies beforehand. The monkeys that developed autism like symptoms when given thimerosal (ethyl mercury) injections in doses similar to those human infants got in vaccines in the 1990s would be a great place to start. AoA reported on these monkey studies a few months ago. Do the monkey’s get better on gold salts? If so, then move on to people – you know how drug/therapy development works. Nobody’s suggesting bypassing that.

    Anyway, those are my main points in the debate. I’ll exit the discussion with these parting thoughts:

    This book is historic, it’s devastating to people who call themselves MD’s who continue to shoot people up with mercury, and it’s a call to intelligent professionals in the healthcare industry to practice the precautionary principle and opt for medicines and vaccines that don’t contain mercury.

    MattC clearly sees the world differently and he is entitled to his opinion. I would hope that despite his unique perspective, the brilliant minds at Brown University will continue to be open to discussion and debate of this book and its contents. When rants of censorship arise, know that the deep pockets of industry are tapped early and often to protect, defend and further its agenda ….not saying that’s at work here – but really, “Banned at Brown?”…. important new additions to the history books?… I don’t see it happening. Lively discussion, yes; censorship, no.

  57. yaka11,

    what do you mean by “anti-vaccine name callers”? Have I called anyone anti vaccine? No. Are you referring to commenters here who are anti-vaccine and who are name calling? Certainly there are supporters of Blaxill and Olmsted who have resorted to name calling, but don’t they consider themselves to be not anti-vaccine?

    Sorry I didn’t respond directly to you before. One hint. Paragraphs. Makes it a lot easier to read what you write. Another hint, don’t claim that others are calling you “crazy” when they havn’t. It doesn’t make you out to be reading the discussion, and makes it seem like you are very defensive.

    When it comes to people who use the “we aren’t anti-vaccine we are pro-safe vaccine” argument. That’s nice and inflammatory on its own, isn’t it? How about “pro safer vaccine”. If you want to assume that vaccines are not safe you need to define safe.

    All medical procedures carry some risk. If you want 100% safety in anything before you will admit to it being “safe” you will consider nothing safe.

    As to “bad medical advice”. Let’s see, Olmsted and Blaxill are claiming that a person can be recovered from autism with gold salts. Even DAN! doctors don’t use this as a method of treating autism.

    Gold salts carry significant risk. Many people react badly, especially with prolonged exposure.

    Gold is a heavy metal, right? One thing about gold is that it is chemically inert to a very good extent. This makes chelation impractical as a treatment. So, gold salts can cause problems and you can’t get the gold out. That’s bad medicine.

    Also, if you want a response, keep in mind that my name is Matt, not Mark. I don’t mind the mistake, but I skim over “Mark” while looking at your very long paragraph.

  58. Jim Thompson says:

    David:

    There about 4 million babies born in this country each year. The CDC estimates between 25 thousand to 40 thousand new autism cases each year. This is not about Brown University having some fun. This is an epidemic of brain injury to children.

    Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill wrote “Age of Autism” with this in mind. They have done an excellent job.

    Use the library or interlibrary loan at Brown University and read:

    (1) “Thalidomide and the Power of the Drug Companies” by Henning Sjostrum and Robert Nilsson

    (2) “Evidence of Harm” by David Kirby.

    (3) “Minimata” by W Eugene and Smith and Eileen Smith.

    And look up Wikipedia “Tomoko Uemura in Her Bath.” Here is an excerpt:
    “Smith realised that a single, striking photograph was required to become a symbol of Minamata disease. In Smith’s own words, ‘It grew and grew in my mind that to me the symbol of Minamata was, finally, a picture of this woman [the mother], and the child, Tomoko. One day I simply said […] let us try to make that symbolic picture’.

    And read Age of Autism by Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill.

  59. sarena1964 says:

    As a parent, researcher and advocate for children I am of the belief to see the big picture. For many years I have read the science and followed Dan Olmsted and many other writings which should not be confused with author Dan Brown. Perhaps David Sheffield doesn’t realize another disturbing piece of the avalanche that has taken down many of our children.
    Toxic Chemicals Safety Act of 2010 (TCSA). The primary purpose of this Bill is to regulate that which we expose our children to on a daily dose of anything that touches the skin, hair etc. Many of the comments in the article and commentators touch upon toxins in vaccines and we must also know that the FDA does not regulate the Personal Care industry of products that go on your skin. There are so many eggregious areas associated with what toxin are in the products and testing has concluded in many lab animals that they cause neurological and cancerous outcomes, not to mention reproductive and GENE mutuations. It’s mind blowing to know that we here in the U.S. have only banned 9 ingredients vs. Europe which is over 1,300. Additionally the mercury in vaccines is banned in many countries but here in the U.S. it is seen as safe as I hear mom’s on the school yard tell me they disagree with me because their doctor “god” told them so. Really, at least you can request for a vaccine to be free of mercury, but we cannot ask that our babies sunscreen, baby wash, our soaps, Axe products for teenagers all be free of known carcinogens. My son along with many other boys I know have ADD and increased hyperactivity due to dyes, toxins etc., so I really am NOT shocked by how their little bodies work – but, I am shocked that most parents don’t care because they are only thinking about today and not what the reproductive and gene mutuations of tommorrow’s babies will bring. Suzanne Arena, Ava Anderson Nontoxic

  60. “I am shocked that most parents don’t care because they are only thinking about today and not what the reproductive and gene mutuations of tommorrow’s babies will bring”

    If the parents you are talking to are like me they probably don’t appreciate the judgmental scorn you show.

    I’d bet that I’ve spent as much time or more than you have reading on this subject. If you want to discount me as not caring or taking advice from my doctor “god” you have that right. I have the right to consider your attitude to be insulting and ignorant.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*