Vaccine Science – Propaganda

March 21, 2008 at 10:34 pm (Anti-Vaccination, Bad Science) (, , , , , , , , , , )

A WordPress blog called Inside Vaccines has published a ‘critique‘ of the Pichichero1 study called ‘Vaccine Science???’. Before I comment on this blog post, it’s worth pointing out a couple of things. Firstly, here’s what the people behind Inside Vaccines say about their blog:

Inside Vaccines is a group of citizens (scientists, authors, engineers, librarians, researchers, parents and grandparents) who believe that making an effective risk v. benefit assessment regarding routine immunizations is crucial.  Our articles discuss vaccinations, studies and research compilations.  We cite sources such as the CDC and JAMA.  Our hope is that we are able to provide you with clear, concise data which will spur your own research and analysis.  Read on!

I read one of their posts and left a comment expressing my disappointment with the lack of discussion about studies and research compilations, the lack of clear, concise data in the post and the fact that the entire post was a sensationalised account of a meeting between concerned parents and an angry doctor. I didn’t consider that fiction of this kind was really appropriate for a blog with clearly stated aims to provide data and discuss studies and told them so. In their responses to my comment, one point made was that I had not criticised any of their other posts and they asked if it should be assumed that I “took no issue with” the others, they asked “are you merely disappointed that we have strayed from our impeccable style with this one skit?” and referred to their blog as containing “many well-researched, well-referenced articles”.

The article on the Pichichero study has been reproduced – it was first published on this site: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/ group/VaccineScience/message/430. The author of this piece writes that the authors excluded samples for vague reasons and complains of ‘apple picking’. The study states that of the samples taken, they only included those with mercury in range – “only measurements within the range of reliable quantitation were used in these calculations”. That seems to me to be a single explanation for the exclusion. The authors even state the assay used for measuring mercury levels and the limits of reliable quantitation for this assay.

There was a second point made by the author of this ‘critique’ of Pichichero. Apparently, “the very low mercury levels in the blood and stool don’t add up to the amounts of mercury injected”. I’ve read the study and I can’t see any figures for absolute amounts of mercury – except for the total amount provided by injection. The levels in blood and urine were measured in nmol/L and the levels in stool samples were measured in ng/g dry weight. I’d be interested to know how the writer of this post calculated the total amount of mercury from the figures in the paper.

My comments on the Vaccine Play were reproduced on the JABS forum2 and the poster stated that they were currently working on MMR – The Musical, with the part of Iago played by a Pharma Rep. This isn’t a blog that discusses vaccinations, studies and research compilations, provides you with clear, concise data which will spur your own research and analysis or believes that making an effective risk v. benefit assessment regarding routine immunizations is crucial. It is propaganda.

1. Mercury concentrations and metabolism in infants receiving vaccines containing thiomersal: a descriptive study. The Lancet, Volume 360, Issue 9347, Pages 1737-1741. M. Pichichero, E. Cernichiari, J. Lopreiato, J. Treanor. Link to abstract: Pubmed.
2. The JABS forum have featured on a few sites. Here are some: JABS blog; Black Triangle; an open letter to JABS; JABS and public health; JABS; more from JQH on JABS; JABS forum; JABS and Whale.

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5 Comments

  1. Hilary said,

    Thanks to your comments here, I read the blog, and find the Sysyphus series factually spot on, so will be interested to see what Part III contains, and whether it mirrors what has happened in our country as well.

    I was very interested in what you called “fiction”. While I can’t comment on what happens in USA, as I don’t live there, I can tell you that what happens in the country I live, is even worse.

    It seems to me that these people have a very good handle, too, on deconstructing the CDC fictitious use of measles statistics etc. What they said about that is absolutely true.

    I’m prepared to “tolerate” quite a few skits, if they continue to primarily put up medical links and medical studies which can be checked.

    I’ve bookmarked them, and will read there regularly.

  2. Fyrestorm said,

    You think that was propaganda? Have you seen this?

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/parents-guide/

    No sites, references and numbers that make no sense and can not be found anywhere but there.

    The skit on the inside vaccines site on the other hand was almost exactly my experience with our Ped.

    Here is the post I left on that site:

    “Okay…not a ‘play’ this actually happened to me:

    Ped : what do you mean you’re not getting the HIB vaccine?

    Me: I mean I’m not allowing you to give DD any vaccines

    Ped: But she’ll die if she doesn’t have the HIB vaccaine

    Me: You mean death is a remote possibility if she comes in contact with and contracts HIB?

    Ped: No, I mean she’ll die without the vaccine

    Swear to god…she was actually that stupid.

    This is the same ped that insisted that all thimerisol was out of all vaccines (until I showed her the package insert for the vial in her own office

    oh, she also told me that the CDC has said that you can’t get autism from the MMR since they took the thimerisol out…yes, she actually said this…she had no idea that there was never thimerisol in the MMR.

    She then fired me…or I fired her…it was hard to tell which actually happened as I was rushing to get my DD the hell outa there.”

  3. jdc325 said,

    “Thanks to your comments here, I read the blog…”
    Hilary – you don’t really expect me to believe that you found InsideVaccines via my blog rather than the other way round do you?

    Hilary, fyrestorm – neither of you have mentioned the Pichichero study or the ‘critique’ of it that is hosted on InsideVaccines. This post was primarily concerned with the ‘critique’ of the Pichichero study – do you disagree with any of the points I made regarding this ‘critique’?

    Hilary – you have actually referred to the Sisyphus posts (which I have never mentioned either on this blog or on InsideVaccines), yet not referred to the main subject of this post once. Have you got anything relevant to say?

    Nobody has addressed the points I raised and the two comments that have been posted contain red herrings rather than responses. If your intention was to enlighten me, then I am afraid you have failed. It seems to me, though, that your intention was to distract and obfuscate.

  4. Helen Tucker said,

    JDC, I have posted a rebuttal to your 2 points of criticism. You can read it here: http://insidevaccines.com/wordpress/?p=36 (scroll down). If anything I said needs to be explained, please feel free to ask. I’d be happy to defend everything I wrote, or apologize for an error if I made one.

  5. jdc325 said,

    Thanks for the link to your rebuttal Helen. I look forward to reading it.

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