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Thursday, February 25, 2010

J. B. Handley: Show Me The Monkeys! - AGE OF AUTISM

J. B. Handley: Show Me The Monkeys!


By J.B. Handley
Do you remember that scene where Indiana Jones tosses the date up in the air, expecting to catch it in his mouth?
Suddenly, Indy is saved at the last second by Sallah who points at the dead monkey on the floor.
Why did every audience member intuitively get the connection?  %u2018Cause what%u2019s bad for a monkey is probably bad for us.
Show me the monkeys.
If a scientist were dropped into the autism controversy with no previous understanding of anything, here is what they would be presented with:
-  A dramatic increase in the number of kids with autism, creating a need to find an environmental, rather than genetic, cause.
-  A vaccine schedule that has grown dramatically during a time when the autism rate has grown dramatically, representing something (vaccines) nearly every child is exposed to from their environment.
-  The knowledge that vaccines do, with certainty, cause brain damage in a certain subset of kids. As Jim Moody has pointed out, it%u2019s certain that vaccines cause brain damage, we just need to know how many kids have been damaged.
-  The fact that tens of thousands of parents have reported that heir child regressed into autism after vaccination. People like Andy Wakefield never created this connection. He, like many other honest doctors and scientists, simply reacted to the dizzying number of parental reports. He listened to parents.
Show me the monkeys.Thinking again about these scientists who are learning about the autism epidemic  for the first time and presuming they are agnostic to the political risks of questioning the Godliness of vaccines, they would find themselves in quite a pickle for one very simple reason:
If in fact vaccines seemed like a good place to start to assess a fairly obvious risk from the environment, a risk that was known to cause brain damage and that many parents were pointing to as a cause of their child%u2019s regression, than it would really be hard to know where the hell to start because we give so many vaccines at once.
Show me the monkeys.People forget how many vaccines we actually do give in a very short period of time so sometimes it just bears repeating the obvious, even though I%u2019m certain I%u2019m boring some of you in doing so, so here%u2019s just the first 6 months of most American newborns:
Day 1 of life: Hepatitis B
2 month visit: Hepatitis B, Rotavirus, DTP, Hib, Pneumococcal, Polio
4 month visit: Hepatitis B, Rotavirus, DTP, Hib, Pneumococcal, Polio
6 month visit: Hepatitis B, Rotavirus, DTP, Hib, Pneumococcal, Polio, Flu
26 vaccines.

Getting back to these scientists again, the ones learning about this whole thing for the first time, the one thing I am dead certain about, so certain in fact that I%u2019d bet everything I have and then borrow another 100x what I have to really, really go for it is that there is not one shred of science anywhere on this planet that yet, in any way shape or form, looks at the real world in terms of how vaccines are administered and tries to figure out if, in the real world, something very, very horrible may actually be happening to our kids from so many vaccines given at once.

 Something like, we started out with really good intentions to save kids lives, but didn%u2019t realize that something with a tiny risk of brain injury when given singularly, may in fact see that risk grow geometrically when given in combination, so that the risk of brain injury is no longer a risk so much as simply an expected side effect.

 Something like that. Show me the monkeys.

 So these scientists, looking at this whole mess for the first time and all these vaccines and all these parent reports and the fact that vaccines are most certainly known to cause brain injury would realize that there simply had to be some way somehow to isolate some population somewhere who had not yet actually been exposed to all these vaccines that are given to most children so early in life.

 What these scientists would be left with, I am wholly certain, is that there are three relatively easy and obvious paths for how you would go about trying to figure out if all these tens of thousands of parent reports were actually telling you something, or if all these parents were just sort of making it up to get better services:

 -  Find a group of kids who never received any vaccines and compare their rates of all the things you suspect the vaccine schedule may be causing to kids who got all their vaccines. See if there are any differences that are significant, statistically speaking.

 -  Take a group of kids whose parents claim regression after vaccination and see if there is anything materially different about their bodies from a group of normally developing children who didn%u2019t regress after vaccination.

 -  Start from scratch with an animal model, thereby bypassing potential ethical issues of not having children vaccinated, and see what happens to a group of animals vaccinated like our kids compared to a group of animals getting no vaccines.

 I think Andy Wakefield is the only doctor on the planet who has attempted to do both the second and third ones, and no one has yet done the first one, even though Dan Olmsted has been writing about it for five years or so.

 Show me the monkeys.

 One of the many interesting aspects of this whole autism-vaccine debate is how many times it seems that the issue is presented in a very binary fashion: a kid who gets vaccinated has a risk of autism or nothing. I%u2019m preaching to the choir when I tell you that if in fact autism is a byproduct of too many vaccines, than it is most certainly the tiny tip of a very, very large iceberg. An iceberg named ADHD, speech delay, learning disability, asthma, food allergy, and many, many more.

If, in fact, autism is just a tiny tip of the iceberg, than it is very likely that these poor little monkeys who were given our vaccines are messed up in many, many ways.

 Show me the monkeys.

 Let me say something to clear my conscience: I love animals and I hate animal testing. I feel terrible writing about these monkeys because the truth is that they were all sacrificed at the end of this study. It breaks my heart open to think about how these monkeys had to live their lives and I do think it is both cruel and inhumane to experiment on animals. We are all God%u2019s creatures.

 The only thing I can say in defense of the sacrifice of these poor monkeys is that I have a very strong feeling their deaths will not be in vain. I have this strong feeling these monkeys will in fact save and improve the lives of many, many thousands of kids, if not millions. These monkeys have made a huge contribution to the planet%u2019s life, and I am very grateful for them.

 Show me the monkeys.

 If you were alive last week, you may have heard the gravedancer%u2019s ball, tapdancing all over town. Ding dong, Andy%u2019s dead, and so is his stupid theory and movement, yippee! They were everywhere, and they were gleeful.

 They were also driving web traffic to Generation Rescue's website to new, unprecedented levels, bigger than we have ever seen.

 The most downloaded page? Alternative vaccine schedules.

 Show me the monkeys.

 On Friday, you could almost hear the collective gasp of the gravedancers when Jenny & Jim%u2019s statement about the monkey study hit the wires. Did you notice the %u201Ctheir theory is dead%u201D articles slowed to a trickle?

 It was amazing how many journalists I talked to on Friday, journalists who had been told by their editors to write something about this whole Wakefield thing. I referred them all to the statement.

 It wasn%u2019t what they were expecting to hear. They wanted to talk about the death of a theory and we talked instead about monkeys. How were they supposed to know unvaccinated children had never been looked at?

 Do you know how many of those reporters from Friday have actually written an article as of today?


 Show me the monkeys.

 The other side is playing defense again. My favorite argument so far?

 %u201CThere is no animal model for autism.%u201D

 Right, O.K. Well, is there an animal model for being completely and utterly messed up, both in terms of neurological and immunological function?

 Show me the monkeys.

 Yes, the expected drumbeat has begun.

 %u201CDon%u2019t trust anything that guy Wakefield publishes, it%u2019s all lies!%u201D

 %u201CHe probably poisoned those poor monkeys, with something other than vaccines I mean!%u201D

 In fact, some yahoo apparently protested to Neurotoxicology, the journal with the courage to publish the first phase of the unvaccinated monkey study, letting them have it for even considering publishing something with Andy%u2019s fingerprints on it. This yahoo claims that he wrote:

 %u201CIt has been reported that your journal has or will soon publish a paper cowritten by Andrew Wakefield, against whom there are well-substantiated charges of fraud.  If so, you have breached professional ethics, and unless you retract immediately, I feel it is the duty of all professionals to boycott your magazine and all others in the Elsevier line.  I would welcome any explanations or clarifications you have to offer.%u201D

 The editor of Neurotoxicology apparently responded to said yahoo with the following response:

 %u201CAs Editor of Neurotoxicology this is to inform you that the referenced manuscript has been subjected to rigorous independent peer review according to our journal standards. If you have issues with the science in the paper please submit them to me as a Letter to the Editor which will undergo peer review and will be subject to publication if deemed acceptable.%u201D

 For those of you who don%u2019t speak %u201CScientist%u201D, the response from the Editor of Neurotoxicology actually reads:


 Show me the monkeys, and let the world decide.

J.B. Handley is Co-Founder of Generation Rescue.

Posted via web from NJCVC's posterous


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