The Truth about vaccines 2, more lies

This episode is sub-titled What is in vaccines, are they effective, and what about polio.

I accessed the documentary by joining the email list. From there, I got a daily email with a link to watch today’s episode free for 24 hours. After the 24 hours, the episodes are available for purchase at the Truth about Vaccines website. I am not going to share a link to the video because I don’t want anyone to think I am an affiliate with them, trying to earn referral dollars. On their website, you will see that they have a referral program where can earn $1 per person you refer. (I have taken screenshots)

My goal in watching this series is to “take one for the team” and blog about the worst mistruths and list in each episode.

The series is hosted by Ty Bollinger. Ty is a CPA. See episode 1 for information about Ty. 

So, let’s look at the top ten lies from episode two.

One: Robert Kennedy, Jr states all vaccine safety studies are epidemiological and they are notoriously prone to manipulation.  Epidemiology is the study and analysis of the patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease conditions in defined populations.  For example, he states, the CDC eliminates all autists from safety studies.

Let’s look at the reality. There are three parts to this claim: A, that all the safety studies are done by the CDC; B, that all safety studies are epidemiological; and, C, that children with autism are not included in these studies.

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A. There are many different sources for vaccine safety studies. In the USA, one source is the Vaccine Safety Datalink, which is collaborative project between CDC’s Immunization Safety Office and nine health care organizations. These studies are published in journals, but the CDC also has a link to them their website. These studies are not conducted by the CDC. The CDC also publishes yearly reports on vaccine safety. Some of these studies have authors who are affiliated with the CDC and some of these studies were done by the CDC but by far most are NOT affiliated with the CDC. Vaccine safety studies are also done by researchers in other countries.

B. Safety studies are all epidemiological.  ‘Epidemiology is the study of how often diseases occur in different groups of people and why.” Thus, all safety studies are epidemiological. This is true.  But, this is a deceptive comment in that it implies that safety studies should be not epidemiological.  I think what RFK means is that there should be a study on a group of children purposely left unvaccinated for the sake of science, a vaccinated versus unvaccinated study. This would leave those children vulnerable to disease, for the sake of science, and would never be approved by any ethics committee in any country. Even this study would be epidemiological. In other words, there really isn’t a good alternative. It appears the RFK does not understand the term.

C. Children with autism are not included in safety studies.  This is simply untrue. Here is a study from Denmark. The implication is that vaccine safety studies are not done on special populations but that is simply untrue. Here is a study from Cuba that included physically and mentally disabled persons. Here is a study from Japan that included handicapped persons. Here is another Japanese study.  Much thanks to Dot for helping me to find these.

Two:  Brandy Vaughan, who sold Vioxx for Merck for two years, makes a claim that no vaccine safety studies include sick or disabled children. See 1C for refutation.

Three: Suzanne Humphries and Sherri Tenpenny state vaccine studies never use saline placebo.  But, here is a flu study that used a saline placebo. Here is a literature review of HPV studies, some of which used saline placebo. Here is another flu vaccine study with saline placebo.  Here is a meningococcal serogroup B safety study with a saline placebo.  Why am I easily able to find many saline placebo studies on Pubmed when these two doctors cannot?

Four: Mike Adams appears in his lab to tell us that healthy people will always make a strong immune response to wild flu because they will immunize themselves. This is simply untrue. Studies show that more unvaccinated children die of influenza than vaccinated, even in those previously healthy.

Five: A common topic, in this series, is that vaccine ingredients are toxic. Not once does any of the so-called experts mention how toxicity varies by dose. Irvin Sahni, MD, claims vaccines have the herbicide glyphosate in them as well as anti-freeze. What is amazing about these claims is this man has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.  He should know better than to make claims not grounded in science. Parents need to know that the glyphosate in vaccines issue has been debunked and there is no antifreeze in vaccines. A single component of anti-freeze, polyethylene glycol, is used in some flu viruses but it is not anti-freeze and it is not toxic.

Are you beginning to be as annoyed as I am at these lies? I make this face a lot lately.

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Six: There is glyphosate, an herbicide, in vaccines. This is a claim made by many of the “experts” in the documentary but no one discusses the reality, which is that there is one study done by Moms Against Monsanto, where in glyphosate was found in vaccines which use mammal cells. The theory is that the animals who eat the grain which has been sprayed with glyphosate have it in their tissue, which is then used to grow vaccine viruses, and that is transferred into the vaccines. A great discussion of the reality of this claim comes from The Genetic Literacy project. As you can see, the results of this MAM study have been challenged by many and they have been replicated by no one.

Seven: Ty claims formaldehyde in vaccines is not the same as what is made in our bodies or what is in our foods, naturally, because it cannot be broken down by the body. Formaldehyde is used to inactivate pathogens and toxins. Ethyl acetate is used to precipitate formalin out of solution in a gas chromatography tube. So, there is not actually any formaldehyde in the vaccines. It is just used in the process of manufacturing. The CDC explains how some ingredients are removed before the vaccine is given. Just the Vax blog explains how even what is possibly left is not a health concern.

Eight: This is a new claim, for me. Toni Bark and Lawrence Pavelsky, both doctors who are against vaccines, claim that polysorbate 80, when used in conjunction with other drugs, opens the gut and blood brain barriers. Further, they claim, because everything with them also gets into the gut and brain, then nanoparticles of viruses, bacteria, and aluminum are also getting into these parts of our bodies. Larry says polysorbate 80 binds to the viruses and and aluminum and “walks into the brain the way a ghost can go through a wall.”  He concludes that this is what is causing vaccinated children to have autism and other neurodisabilities.

Now, first of all, we know vaccines are not causing autism. Secondly, aluminum salts in vaccines are microparticles, not nanoparticles. Polysorbate 80 is used with nanoparticles of certain drugs, like loperamide, to deliver them to the brain when necessary.  These drugs only cross the blood brain barrier  when loaded onto polybutylcyanoacrylate (PBCA)-nanoparticles and coated with polysorbate 80. But, aluminum salts are microparticles, not nanoparticles. There are experiments underway using aluminum salt nanoparticles but all existing vaccines use microparticles of aluminum salts and those are much too large to cross the blood brain barrier.  Aluminum salts are about 2 um or 2000 nanoparticles in size.

Nine: Ty, and others, claim the amount of aluminum in vaccine exceeds the FDA limit. Ty is referring to a document on the FDA website which refers to aluminum use in total parenteral nutrition. The TPN limit is 25 micrograms per liter. TPN is a method of feeding people bypassing the gastrointestinal tract. Sick newborns, for example, may receive TPN via a vein. Children and adults with bowel disease may also get TPN. Adult daily requirements for TPN are 30–40 mL Water (/kg body wt/day).  This has nothing to do with vaccines and is not the aluminum limit for vaccines. In fact, an “FDA study found that the risk to infants posed by the total aluminum exposure received from the entire recommended series of childhood vaccines over the first year of life is extremely low” and  “the maximum amount of aluminum an infant could be exposed to over the first year of life would be 4.225 milligrams (mg), based on the recommended schedule of vaccines. Federal Regulations for biological products (including vaccines) limit the amount of aluminum in the recommended individual dose of biological products, including vaccines, to not more than 0.85-1.25 mg. For example, the amount of aluminum in the hepatitis B vaccine given at birth is 0.25 mg.”

Ten: I cannot believe I got all the way to #9 and I still am only half way through this episode!  The rest of the episode is about polio and Salk and SV40.  Suzanne plugs her book and claims there was a diagnostic criteria change around the time the polio vaccine was invented and that is the reason polio rate dropped. She claims the vaccine had nothing to do with it. Sayer claims women pass SV40 to their fetuses and he got it from his mother who had that vaccine. Toni claims the polio vaccine causes massive paralysis in developing countries, but it is not tracked.

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In lieu of debunking all these claims, I am going to link to Mr Skeptical Raptor, who has done a find job debunking polio vaccine claims. These all specifically address claims made by the movie, although these blog posts were written well before the movie. Antivaxers like to recycle the claims. Skeptical Raptor fully cites all sources and backs all claims.

Polio, and SV40 do not cause cancer

Jonas Salk is an American Hero

Polio vaccine did not cause 47,000 cases of paralysis in India

Bill Gates is not trying to depopulate the world with vaccines

And, finally, to learn more about the single greatest public health initiative of all time, wherein we went from polio paralysing 1000 children a day in 1988 to 37 cases of polio (wild and vaccine-derived) last year, please visit the The Global Polio Eradication Initiative website.

Remember to always think for yourself,

 

Kathy

 

 

There is no autism epidemic

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One argument made by people opposed to vaccination is that autism is new, caused by vaccines, and is an epidemic. In the film Vaxxed, which I watched and reviewed here, the filmmakers quote Dr Stephanie Seneff, a computer scientist, as saying that by 2032, 80% of boys, 50% of all children, will be on the autism spectrum.  Respectful Insolence blog has done a nice job of debunking Seneff’s claims. Even though we know Dr Seneff is wrong, there are people who worry she could be correct.

I have already shown you how vaccines do not cause autism.  That argument involved looking at autism and immunization science. We also know that autism diagnosis has shifted a great deal.  This paper explains how “the second edition of the DSM, the DSM-II, published in 1952, defined autism as a psychiatric condition — a form of childhood schizophrenia marked by a detachment from reality.”  Since that time, the diagnostic criteria for autism has shifted and grown to now be a spectrum and it includes behaviors we previously ignored or diagnosed as schizophrenia, intellectual disability, emotional disturbance, or specific learning disability.  Tara Haelle explains diagnosis shift nicely in this article for Forbes.

Some people don’t trust the science. If you discount the science because you do not trust it, there is another way of making this argument and it debunks the idea that autism is new and an epidemic. This way uses logic, which is reasoning conducted or assessed according to strict principles of validity. This is not about feelings. This is like how Mr Spock from Star Trek talks and reasons.

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Logic statements have rules or conditions. They are called conditional statements. for example,  “If all philosophers are thinkers and John is a philosopher, then John is a thinker,” is logical because if one is true and the other is true, then the third must be true.

 If the mental retardation and schizophrenia rates in USA used to be 3-5% and the current diagnosis of similar behavior is now called autism or intellectual disability and rates are currently 3-5%, then the autism rate is not increasing. 

Autism is not new. Mental retardation and schizophrenia rates have decreased as autism and intellectual disability rates have increased. This is because we have new terms for behaviors which have been in humanity for all eternity. A current diagnosis of autism includes behaviors we formerly diagnosed as mental retardation. Look at this meme from RtAVM. It makes the point visually.

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Source

First, a bit of history. Prior to the early 1900s, we did not have many good tools for diagnosing and treating people who had any differences from the “norm” with regards to their thinking and behavior. Gradually, the fields of psychiatry and psychology, as well as other social and behavioral sciences, have learned more and more about human behavior and the brain.  In his book, Neurotribes, Steve Silberman goes through the “earliest days of autism research” and he  chronicles “the brave and lonely journey of autistic people and their families through the decades.” I highly recommend this book as a starting place for anyone wanting to learn about the history of autism.

Prior to the 1970s, we did not have special education in the USA. Two legal cases from the early 1970s, Pennsylvania Assn. for Retarded Children v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (PARC) and Mills v. Board of Education of District of Columbia, paved the way for more laws that have led to what we know today as special education. In 1972, Congress decided to investigate how children with disabilities were living and found many problems, including lack of education. In 1975, they passed The Education for All Handicapped Children Act. Congress has since amended and added to it and renamed it IDEA, The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Since 1975, more and more children are now educated in schools and, in order to do so, many changes have been made to medical and educational diagnoses for behavior and disabilities.  When I was a young child, in the early 1970s, we did not find any children with disabilities in the schools. My mother paid for private tutoring for my brother, who had a mild reading issue. There was no reading specialist in schools. Children with severe disabilities were institutionalized and children with mild disabilities struggled and often dropped out of school. Children with behavior issues fared poorly in school. Many school-related issues were blamed on the child or on parenting practices. All that has changed, thanks to IDEA, including the labels we give to children to enable them to get the services they need.

Before IDEA, a diagnosis of autism was rare. More likely, children with severe symptoms were labelled “mentally retarded” or “schizophrenic.” Yes, you read that correctly. Please continue to read as I explain.

In an analysis of the prevalence of mental retardation, Dutch epidemiologists Roeleveld and Zilhuis looked at rates for severe MR as well as mild from 1939 through 1986. They concluded, from looking at data from many countries, including USA, that the rate of mental retardation in children was 3%.

Now, look at the graph below. Yes, I know some of you don’t like Autism Speaks, but I am using this graph to make a point. The rate of autism appears to have risen dramatically since 1975. But, Autism Speaks published this graph and stated “approximately 53% percent of the increase in autism prevalence over time may be explained by changes in diagnosis (26%), greater awareness (16%), and an increase in parental age (11%).”  They acknowledge how the increase has many factors behind it.

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Today, in 2016, the Autism Science Foundation says the rate of Autism in USA is 1 in 68, which is 1.47%. Others think the rate of autism is 1:45, which is about 2%.  As of 2014, an estimated 5.4% of children between ages 5 and 17 qualify as disabled in some way. This includes hearing and vision disabilities as well as ambulatory disabilities and all other categories of disabilities. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 14% of public school children qualify for special education services under IDEA. This includes children with speech and language impairments, learning disabilities, and many other categories. (Remember, none of these children would have had services at all prior to IDEA). Of those 14%, 8% are labelled autistic and 7% are labelled with an intellectual disability (ID). Thus, 1.12% and 0.98%, respectively, of public school children are autistic or have an ID. This comes to 2% of public school children. Doubtless, there are also children with ID or autism diagnosis not in public schools so, for the sake of the argument, let’s assume the autism plus ID rate is at least 2% in real life, in USA.

We no longer use the term “mentally retarded.”  So, what happened to it?  Are there no longer any children suffering symptoms we used to label “MR?”  Far from it. We changed the diagnosis from mental retardation to autism and intellectual disability. We know a lot more today than we used to about how intellectual quotient (IQ) tests are not the best way to define a person’s abilities.  In 1941, mental retardation was defined as social incompetence associated with deficits in mental ability. In 1959, it was “subaverage general intellectual functioning which originates during the developmental period and is associated win adaptive behavior.” In 1973, the definition changed again, to subaverage general intellectual functioning.

Meanwhile, according to Autism Speaks,  in the 1970s, autism was beginning to be understood as “a biological disorder of brain development.” In the 1980s, the diagnosis manual (DSM-III) first distinguishes autism from childhood schizophrenia and then the DSM-IIIR showed a checklist of criteria for diagnosing autism. By 2000, the DSM-IV and DSM-IV-TR had expanded the definition of autism to include Asperger’s syndrome. In 2015, a Danish study found the “vast majority of people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders today would never have qualified under the 1980 classification, and no formal classification separate from schizophrenia existed before then.” Dr Jess P Shatkin writes that most of the early work on childhood “schizophrenia” was really about autism. We also know that in the 1940s, Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger delineated two forms of autism out of the pool of schizophrenia psychoses. Back then, anyone who would today have been labelled Aspergers would have just been called odd. Aspergers did not become an official diagnosis until 1994. Currently, we no longer commonly diagnose children as schizophrenic. Today, this is a very rare diagnosis.

Since the 1970s, thanks in part to IDEA and related research, the diagnosis of mental retardation has been used less and less. Gradually, the shift was made to using the term intellectual disabilities. In 2013, the term “mental retardation” was struck from federal registers by President Obama. It was replaced with the term “intellectual disability.”

 

Update 8/30/19: Something else I recently found is that the numbers of children, in the thousands, who qualify for special education services in the USA have not changed much since 2000. From a report by the National Center for Education Statistics,  in 2000 we had 6,300,000 children with disabilities received services in American schools.  By 2016, that number was 6.677,000 which is not a significant increase. The number of children with a diagnosis of autism rose from 93,000 in 2000 to 617,000 in 2016 while emotional disturbance diagnosis decreased, in the same time period, from 480,000 to 347,000 and intellectual disability decreased from 624,000 to 425,000. The percent of American children receiving services in special education in 2000 was 13.3% and it was 13.2% in 2016.

 However, there were different patterns of change in the percentages of students served with some specific conditions between 2004–05 and 2015–16. The percentage of children identified as having other health impairments (limited strength, vitality, or alertness due to chronic or acute health problems such as a heart condition, tuberculosis, rheumatic fever, nephritis, asthma, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, epilepsy, lead poisoning, leukemia, or diabetes) rose from 1.1 to 1.8 percent of total public school enrollment; the percentage with autism rose from 0.4 to 1.2 percent; and the percentage with developmental delay rose from 0.7 to 0.9 percent. The percentage of children with specific learning disabilities declined from 5.7 percent to 4.6 percent of total public school enrollment during this period.

 

The point: it is logical to conclude that the number of children we serve in special education in the USA has not changed much in 20 years but the diagnoses we give them has changed as we learn more.  The rate of autism has not changed much in the 100 years we have been tracking these kinds of diagnosis. We have just changed the name for it. Three percent (3%) of public school children fall in the autism or intellectual disability diagnoses. This is a similar rate to the mental retardation and schizophrenia rates of yesteryear.

 

Autism is not new.

 

 

Remember to think for yourself.

 

Kathy