Junkfood Science: Exposed: An intentional campaign to scare parents

January 15, 2007

Exposed: An intentional campaign to scare parents

Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick discusses startling information that many parents may not realize concerning the fears over MMR vaccines and autism. He reveals that the conflicts of interests went far beyond what many of us might ever have imagined and more than $29.24 million (U.S. dollars) went into a legal campaign to try, unsuccessfully, to prove that the vaccination caused autism.

The anti-MMR gravy train derailed

Five years ago, supporters of Dr Andrew Wakefield’s claim of a link between the MMR vaccine and autism used to argue that ‘the evidence was stacking up’ in support of this theory. In fact, the only evidence that was stacking up was evidence against the link: more recently a series of robust epidemiological studies showing no reason to suspect that MMR caused autism has been supplemented by rigorous virological investigations failing to demonstrate any link. Meanwhile, another stack of evidence has emerged, revealing how legal aid funding bankrolled the campaign against MMR.....

The Legal Services Commission disclosures confirm that the major beneficiaries of the anti-MMR litigation (payments were made from 1992 up to 2004) were the lawyers. They received some two thirds of the £15million total...

The notion that serious science could result from research sponsored by legal aid funding and administered by lawyers is nonsense. The team of experts assembled by Barr did not include a single recognised autism specialist, paediatrician, vaccine specialist, virologist or paediatric gastroenterologist who has a current public appointment or is currently in practice.

Dr. Fitzpatrick goes on to describe each beneficiary in this team of experts and the evidence against them, beginning with Dr. Wakefield himself who was paid more than $780,000 (in U.S. dollars) for his part.

The biggest single earner from the litigation was Professor John O’Leary who set up the firm Unigenetics to process requests from parents to test bowel and other specimens for traces of measles virus that Dr Wakefield believed would confirm his MMR-autism hypothesis....

“What emerges from these documents,” said Dr. Fitzpatrick, “is that there does not appear to be a single professional supporter of the Wakefield campaign who was not also a beneficiary of the anti-MMR litigation.”

The complete article at Spiked-online can be read from the hyperlink above. The autism connection and some of the other most common vaccination fears were also discussed last month in “Getting our goat.”

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