A Whistleblower stirs up a frenzy on Autism, MMR and the CDC in America
A ‘Whistleblower’, Dr William Thompson, a senior scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the USA has publicly stated that the CDC withheld data that confirmed a link between MMR and Autism.
The word ‘fraud’ is commonly used in press comment about the CDC action.
And in the last two days, there has been release of messages supposedly sent to Dr Andrew Wakefield by Thompson apologising for his ‘dishonesty’ and the effect it had on Wakefield’s life.
Let us just follow this through because the blogging press – for Wakefield, cover ups, MMR and Autism has been having a field day.
Dr Andrew Wakefield is a British former surgeon, medical researcher and honorary consultant in experimental gastroenterology at the Royal College of Pathologists, best known for his 1998 research paper claiming that there was a link between the administration of the MMR vaccine and the appearance of autism and bowel disease.
The controversy was enormous. Wakefield has continued to defend his research and conclusions, while Sunday Times reporter Brian Deer, in particular, has aggressively attacked Wakefield and produced evidence in support of his claims. On 28th January a GMC tribunal found charges (including dishonesty) proven against Wakefield and in May 2010 Wakefield was struck off the Medical Register.
Critics claim he has cost ‘countless’ lives (never seemingly quantified) because of his ‘untrue claims’ and thus parents did not vaccinate their children with MMR; while Wakefield himself has always maintained that there was a smear campaign against him, funded by Pharmaceutical Companies and often using skeptics and paid anonymous bloggers. (Ed: Surely not?)
Wakefield now lives in Austin, Texas where he has a number of business and charitable interests mainly to do with Autism.
Ten days ago a news story broke in America. Typically the headlines used phrases such as
“Whistleblower speaks out about MMR and CDC fraud”.
A second round of comments has occurred in the last two days – typically:
“Whistleblower Thompson apologises to Dr Andrew Wakefield”.
What is this all about? Read this comment from Natural News in America.
‘Whistleblower William Thompson has now gone public with a statement posted on the website of the law firm representing him, Morgan Verkamp LLC.
‘My name is William Thompson. I am a Senior Scientist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where I have worked since 1998. I regret that my co-authors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data were collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed.’
Furthermore Natural News states: The statement (above) opens with a blatant admission of scientific fraud at the CDC:
There are a few immediate comments one needs to add. A Whistleblower to me is someone who rushes off to the mainstream media to tell about dirty deeds. Thompson here held a private chat with someone he did not know was recording him, nor was going to publish along with his name. That doesn’t, of course, affect the content, which has now been verified by CNN.
Thompson also makes the point that the data suggested one group of Americans (African Americans) did seem to have an increased risk of Autism from MMR. Not that all the people in the study had an increased risk.
The fact is that incidence of gastrointestinal problems is high in children with autism. Here is an excerpt from Chris Woollams new book ‘The SECRET SOURCE of Your Good Health’:
‘In a 2013 meta-analysis of available research ‘Gastrointestinal Concerns in Children with Autism: What do we know?’ for the Autism Science Foundation in America, Doctors Barbara McElhanon of Emory School of Medicine and William Sharp of the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta observed that:
i) There has been a rapid increase in the numbers of cases to 1 in 88 children born according to the CDC, 2012). This has prompted a level of urgency amongst carers.
ii) There has been frequent reporting of gastro- intestinal symptoms (Croen et al., 2012).
iii) There has been a fivefold increase in reported cases of feeding problems (Sharp et al., 2013).
The results of the meta-analysis suggested children with ASD are at increased risk for gastrointestinal issues (1). Specifically, greater levels of gastrointestinal symptoms reported by parents compared with siblings (roughly an 8 fold increase in the risk) with areas of specific concern including abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhoea.
Certainly there is 2012 research showing that kids with autism were twice as likely as children with other types of disorders to have frequent diarrhoea or colitis (an inflammation of the large intestine).
Researchers from Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute have shown that autistic children have different gut bacteria to ‘normal’ children with one species of gut bacterium completely missing.
Research (2) into gut bacteria and autism is gathering pace.
Teams of researchers at America’s top Universities are studying the connection between your gut bacteria and your brain and specifically how they affect mood swings, attitudes and diseases from Autism to Alzheimer’s. For example, at UCLA, Professor Emeran Mayer M.D. has been studying the link between the bacteria in your gut and how your brain functions. An analysis of 60 humans showed that different regions of the brain were stimulated as a result of the dominance of different gut bacteria.
In a third study (3) there was a clear finding that the bacteria in a child’s gut affects its brain development. “The data suggests that there is a critical period early in life when gut microorganisms affect the brain and change the behavior in later life,” commented Dr. Rochellys Diaz Heijtz, lead researcher.
Of course, none of this proves that vaccines, and specifically MMR, cause autism. Indeed, one research study showed there was an increase in autism risk with mothers who had ‘unusual’ bacteria in their birth canal. The Arizona State research mentioned above stated that unusual bacteria may first enter the baby during transit of the birth canal. It also suggested that stressed mothers can have stressed babies and that the relevant bacteria are also passed during the passage through the birth canal.
But the fact is that autism levels are increasing, gut bacterial composition has been linked to brain development, and drugs and vaccines can definitely influence such bacteria.
The $173 million human microbiome project in the USA, along with its European twin shed important light on the role of the microbiome in your health – and the inconvenient truth that vaccines and drugs damage it. Research is gathering pace in this area. It won’t be long before we really do know the truth. Let’s hope it is not too long. Because autism is for life – at the moment it can be managed to a degree but not cured.
(1) Buie T, Campbell DB, Fuchs GJ 3rd, Furuta GT, Levy J, Vandewater J, et al. Evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders in individuals with ASDs: a consensus report. Pediatrics. 2010;125(suppl 1):S1-18
(2)Mulle JG, Sharp WG, Cubells JF. The gut microbiome: a new frontier in autism research. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2013;15(2):337. doi: 10.1007/s11920-012-0337-0. Epub 2013 Feb 15
(3) Collaboaration between the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and the Genome Institute in Singapore in 2011 – looked at the effect of gut bacteria on brain development in mice (PNAS)