The allegation that Dr Andrew Wakefield “fixed” data was made up by a Sunday Times freelance journalist.
Sunday Times False Allegations & Ambush Journalism
The Sunday Times ambushed Wakefield with the new allegations less than 24 hours before approving the freelance journalist’s story for print. [More here: Sunday Times - Sinks To New Low With Yet More MMR Junk Journalism]. This is shortly before final speeches by lawyers are due in the UK GMC proceedings and some parents believe it may be a last-ditch attempt by the freelance journalist to influence the GMC panel before a decision is issued.
The main Sunday Times’ allegation against Wakefield in itself does not ring true: that an already eminent gastroenterologist in a leading British center of excellence could falsify data in a peer refereed paper by 13 highly qualified medical authors. The Sunday Times expects readers to believe that in over 10 years none of the other authors of the paper noticed.
That the allegation is obviously false is from facts already revealed in open hearings in the GMC which The Sunday Times’ journalist attended and is further confirmed in a written statement issued 9th February by Dr Wakefield rebutting the false allegations from The Sunday Times:-
It is a matter of fact that I did not play any part whatsoever in making the microscopic diagnoses of inflammation on any biopsy from any child investigated at the Royal Free Hospital. Intestinal tissues were examined, and the children’s pathology documented, by two doctors (not me) employed in the Department of Histopathology who were experienced in bowel disease, using an agreed protocol to ensure rigor and consistency . These doctors were co-authors on the paper. The same tissues were reviewed by Professor Walker-Smith and his team. …. I did not “change” any findings as alleged. The paper was then reviewed by the relevant authors prior to submission to the Lancet in order to confirm that the diagnoses were correct. The findings reported in the Lancet are, in the opinion of the relevant authors, correct. This is a matter of record at the GMC.
ChildHealthSafety now reveals exclusively worldwide that in an extensive personal campaign waged by The Sunday Times’ freelance journalist against Dr Wakefield, it was the freelance journalist himself who made the allegations now proving to be false to the UK General Medical Council which started the marathon GMC hearings into eminent gastroenterologists Doctors, Andrew Wakefield, Simon Murch and Professor Walker-Smith. This appears unethical behaviour. Journalists are ethically bound to report and not make the news.
Those allegations have been steadily demolished by lawyers and witness evidence in the unprecedented GMC hearings over the past three years.
No parents of autistic children had complained. Whilst the General Medical Council have previously confirmed and then later denied The Sunday Times’ freelancer made the complaints leading to the investigation, ChildHealthSafety reveals the truth in the extracts from The Sunday Times’ journalist’s website [below] which he has now deleted and changed.
The formidable British journalist Melanie Phillips writing in The Spectator today following ChildHealthSafety’s exclusive disclosures says:-
What the Sunday Times did not report was that the GMC investigation into Wakefield was triggered by a complaint from… Brian Deer, who furnished the allegations against him four years ago. He has thus been reporting upon the hearing into his own complaint. Since when has a reputable paper published a story by a reporter who is actually part of that story himself — without saying so – and who uses information arising from the disciplinary hearing which he himself has instigated and which is investigating allegations he himself made in the first place?”
The witch-hunt against Andrew Wakefield Wednesday, 11th February 2009
The freelance journalist claims on his website not to be a complainant in the case, but the active role revealed on his own admissions as shown above tell a different story. The over seventy pages of GMC charges against the eminent doctors appear based closely on the freelancer’s allegations including those The Sunday Times refused to publish in 2004. It seems difficult for the public to conceive how such a close personal involvement can fall within the normal range of detachment objectivity and impartiality required of someone claiming to follow the calling of a professional journalist.
ChildHealthSafety reported on the day the new allegations were made [Sun 8/Feb/09] that
not only are these more inaccurate stories with laughable claims, but seemingly illegally quoting out-of-context confidential information from Court disclosed medical records of injured children. In England such action is a potential contempt of Court, punishable by fines and imprisonment.” Sunday Times – Sinks To New Low With Yet More MMR Junk Journalism
The Sunday Times’ freelancer’s part in efforts to discredit Wakefield were reported by ChildHealthSafety here: British Government & Establishment’s Efforts to Deny Compensation to MMR Vaccine Child Victims
Extracts from Sunday Times freelance journalist Brian Deer’s website admitting Deer made the complaints to the UK’s General Medical Council [click image to enlarge - opens in new window]:-
The journalist who has run a personal campaign against Wakefield on his website has made recent public appeals for donations to support his “work”[click image to enlarge - opens in new window]:-
The Link Between Vaccines and Autism
In a number of cases in the US Federal Court the link between vaccines causing autism specifically and other serious conditions not only has the Court found that vaccines were responsible for causing the symptoms of autism, but the defendant, the US Secretary for Health and Human Services conceded the link in one of the cases without going to trial: AUTISM – US Court Decisions and Other Recent Developments – It’s Not Just MMR.
A leading vaccine safety expert and a lead author of the definitive review of scientific evidence claimed to prove no link between the MMR vaccine and autism published by the Cochrane Collaboration of MMR safety stated in an interview with Dr Richard Halvorsen for his book The Truth about Vaccines
The safety studies of MMR vaccine are crap. They’re the best crap we have but they’re still crap“.
In contrast, aside from the pandemic numbers of children developing autism since the substantial increase in the numbers of vaccines given to children since the 1980’s, there is a growing body of scientific evidence of the link between vaccines and autism.
For details of the US Federal Court Hannah Poling case a paper from the Journal of Child Neurology states:-
Young children who have dysfunctional cellular energy metabolism therefore might be more prone to undergo autistic regression between 18 and 30 months of age if they also have infections or immunizations at the same time. Although patterns of regression can be genetically and prenatally determined, it is possible that underlying mitochondrial dysfunction can either exacerbate or affect the severity of regression. Abnormalities of oxidative phosphorylation can be developmental and age related and can normalize with time.“
Developmental Regression and Mitochondrial Dysfunction in a Child With Autism (Journal of Journal of Child Neurology / Volume 21, Number 2, February 2006)
In the US Federal Court case of Ben Zeller of proven developmental delay caused by vaccines the judgement records that the defendant US Department of Health and Human Services had no alternative explanation beyond:-
Unconfirmed speculation by a few treating doctors, as with Dr. Wiznitzer’s hypothesization” http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/ABELL.ZELLER073008.pdf
ChildHealthSafety will in addition be publishing further scientific evidence from published papers showing clear evidence of the direct causal association between vaccines and autism.
Some of the research into the links between mitochondrial dysfunction revealed in the Hannah Poling and other US Federal Court cases can be found here: Explaining Vaccines Autism & Mitochondrial Disorder
References to some of the formal medical papers by Wakefield and others providing evidence of the link are set out at the end of this article.
Vaccine Risks Outweigh Risk of Disease
Autism – A serious problem being ignored
19 Children A Day – 4 in 5 is a Boy
Autism in Britian outstrips all other major disorders affecting British children combined and is substantially more serious than measles. Every day 19 British children develop autism spectrum disorders:
- this will be 600,000 British children and adults in the future (birth rate approx 600,000 p.a.)
- and horrific prospects for expectant parents
- 1 in every 54 boys will be on the Autistic Spectrum
- autism affects 4 times as many boys
- so 1 in 215 girls are affected as well
[* 19 a day and 1 in 54 come from: Baird et Al Prevalence of disorders of the autism spectrum in a population cohort of children in South Thames: the Special Needs and Autism Project (SNAP); Lancet 2006;368:210 –15. This research revealed 1 in 86 British children are being diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorders (116.1 in 10,000).
4/5 x 116.1/5000 = 1 in 54 (4/5ths of the 116.1 are boys and approx 5000 of the 10,000 children affected will be boys)]
See here how the risk to children in Western economies from measles is now insignificant for the vast majority Measles – The Official UK Statistics.
REFERENCES – MMR LINK TO AUTISM
The evidence in this rechallenge study of a large number of children is strong proof confirming the association and was presented by Dr Wakefield in closed session to the US Institute of Medicine before issuing a report which neither confirmed nor denied the link – the data was ignored and no transcript of the IoM session has been disclosed:-
Wakefield A, Stott C, Limb K. Gastrointestinal comorbidity, autistic regression and Measles-containing vaccines: positive re-challenge and biological gradient. Medical Veritas: 3 (2006) 796–802.
This study also confirms the association:-
PERSISTENT ILEAL MEASLES VIRUS in a Large Cohort of Regressive Autistic Children WITH ILEOCOLITIS AND LYMPHONODULAR HYPERPLASIA: ReVisitation of an Earlier Study
Walker, S.J., Hepner K., Segal, J., & Krigsman A., Department of Physiology & Pharmacology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27101 USA
Conclusions: Preliminary results from this large cohort of pediatric autistic patients with chronic GI symptoms confirm earlier findings of measles virus RNA in the terminal ileum and support an association between measles virus and ileocolitis /LNH.
As do these studies:-
Elevated levels of measles antibodies in children with autism. Singh VK, Jensen RL. Pediatr Neurol. 2003 Apr;28(4):292-4.
Abnormal measles-mumps-rubella antibodies and CNS autoimmunity in children with autism. Singh VK, Lin SX, Newell E, Nelson C. J Biomed Sci. 2002 Jul-Aug;9(4):359-64.
Serological association of measles virus and human herpesvirus-6 with brain autoantibodies in autism. Singh VK, Lin SX, Yang VC. Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1998 Oct;89(1):105-8.
There are many studies addressing childhood developmental disorders and gastrointestinal disease:-
CDD and Gastrointestinal Disease
1. Wakefield AJ, Anthony A, Murch SH, Thomson M, Montgomery SM, Davies S, Walker-Smith JA. Enterocolitis in children with developmental disorder. American Journal of Gastroenterology 2000;95:2285-2295
2. Furlano RI, Anthony A, Day R, Brown A, McGavery L, Thomson MA, Davies SE, Berelowitz M, Forbes A, Wakefield AJ, Walker-Smith JA, Murch SH. Colonic CD8 and gamma delta T-cell infiltration with epithelial damage in children with autism. Journal of Pediatrics 2001;138:366-72.
3. Wakefield AJ. The New Autism (Invited Article) Clinical Child Psychology & Psychiatry 2002;7:518-528
4. Wakefield AJ., Puleston J. Montgomery SM., Anthony A., O’Leary J.J., Murch SH Entero-colonic encephalopathy, autism and opioid receptor ligands. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 2002;16:663-674
5. Torrente F., Machado N., Perez-Machado M., Furlano R., Thomson M., Davies S., Wakefield AJ, Walker-Smith JA, Murch SH. Enteropathy with T cell infiltration and epithelial IgG deposition in autism. Molecular Psychiatry. 2002;7:375-382
6. Wakefield AJ, Ashwood P, Limb K, Anthony A. The significance of ileo-colonic lymphoid nodular hyperplasia in children with autistic spectrum disorder. European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2005: 17
7. Ashwood P, Anthony A, Pellicer AA, Torrente F, Wakefield AJ. Intestinal lymphocyte populations in children with regressive autism: Evidence for extensive mucosal immunopathology. Journal of Clinical Immunology, 2003;23:504-517.
8. Ashwood P, Anthony A, Torrente F, Wakefield AJ., Spontaneous mucosal lymphocyte cytokine profiles in children with regressive autism and gastrointestinal symptoms: Mucosal immune activation and reduced counter regulatory interleukin-10. Journal of Clinical Immunology. 2004:24:664-673
9. The Gut-Brain Axis in Childhood Developmental Disorders: Viruses and Vaccines. Wakefield AJ., Collins I., Ashwood P. Invited chapter in Infectious Disease and Neuropsychiatric Disorders Chapter 21, pp 198-206. Ed. S.H. Fatemi
10. Wakefield AJ. The Gut-Brain Axis in Childhood developmental Disorders. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. 2002;34:S14-S17
11. Wakefield AJ, Murch SH, Anthony A, Linnell J, Casson DM, Malik M, Berelowitz M, Dhillon AP, Thomson MA, Harvey P, Valentine A, Davies SE, Walker-Smith JA: Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children. Lancet 1998 Feb 28;351(9103): 637-41
12. Ashwood P, Wakefield A. Immune activation of peripheral blood and mucosal CD3+ lymphocyte cytokine profiles in children with autism and gastrointestinal symptoms. Journal of Neuroimmunology: 2006 Feb 20.
13. Wakefield A, Stott C, Limb K. Gastrointestinal comorbidity, autistic regression and Measles-containing vaccines: positive re-challenge and biological gradient. Medical Veritas: 3 (2006) 796–802.
Etiology of CDD
1. Wakefield AJ and Montgomery SM. Autism, viral infection and measles mumps rubella vaccination. Israeli Medical Association Journal 1999;1:183-187
2. Montgomery SM, Morris DL, Pounder RE, Wakefield AJ. Paramyxovirus infections in childhood and subsequent inflammatory bowel disease. Gastroenterology 1999;116:796-803
3. Kawashima H., Takayuki M., Kashiwagi Y., Takekuma K., Hoshika A., Wakefield AJ. Detection and sequencing of measles virus from peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with inflammatory bowel disease and autism. Digestive Diseases and Sciences. 2000;45:723-729
4. Wakefield AJ and Montgomery SM. Measles, mumps, rubella vaccine: through a glass, darkly. Adverse Drug Reactions & Toxicological Reviews 2000;19:265-283
5. Uhlmann V., Martin C, Shiels, Wakefield AJ, O.Leary JJ. Possible viral pathogenesis of a novel paediatric inflammatory bowel disease. Molecular Pathology 2002;55:84-90
6. Bradstreet JJ., El Dahr J., Anthony A., Kartzinel J., Wakefield AJ, Detection of Measles Virus Genomic RNA in Cerebrospinal Fluid of Children with Regressive Autism: a Report of Three Cases Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. 2004.9:39-45
7. Wakefield AJ. Enterocolitis, autism and measles virus. Molecular Psychiatry. 2002;7:S44-46
8. O’Leary JJ, Uhlmann V, Wakefield AJ. Measles virus and autism. Lancet. 2000;356:772 (letter)
9. Wakefield AJ. MMR vaccination and autism. Lancet. 1999;354:949-50 (letter)
10. Stott C., Blaxill M., Wakefield AJ. MMR and Autism in Perspective: the Denmark Story. Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons 2004;9:89-91
11. Wakefield AJ. Entero-colitis, Autism and Measles Virus. Consensus in Child Neurology. 2002;6:74-77
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Notes on terminology:-
In the US the official diagnostic definition of what we call “Autism Spectrum Disorders” or ASD are instead called “Pervasive Development Disorders” or PDD for short. That is under the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th edn)” or “DSM IV” for short.
“Autistic Spectrum Disorder” is the term applied internationally under the “ICD” or “International Classification of Disease”
Many refer to ASD and PDD as “autism” but “autism” is a subset of the spectrum and is often referred to also as “childhood autism”, “typical autism” and “Kanner autism”. [The common behaviours like hand flapping, loss of eye contact and suchlike in young children are unmistakable, whereas other spectrum disorders like mild Aspergers Syndrome can be more difficult to diagnose.]
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