Introduction: Liking & Similarity, a Form of the ‘Sceptic’ Gambit, and Spin
This is my first post about Richard Halvorsen’s book. There may be further posts if I can maintain my enthusiasm for writing about Dr Halvorsen’s view of vaccination as I continue to read about it. Read the rest of this entry »
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.