Implications, Toxicology

The Malicious Smearing of a Crusading Doctor (

The position of John Witherow, chief editor of the British newspaper The Sunday Times London, may be in jeopardy following an escalating debate over a story about anti-vaccine campaigner Dr. Andrew Wakefield. Freelance journalist Brian Deer’s shown-to-be-false story alleged that Wakefield “fixed” data in a Lancet medical journal paper to show a link between the MMR vaccine, autism and serious bowel disorders in children.

For the allegation in Deer’s story to be true meant that for 10 years, a single-handed action by Wakefield had to have gone completely unnoticed by the other 12 authors on the well-known paper. While 10 of the authors have partially retracted the suggested interpretation in the paper of a possible link between the MMR vaccine and autism, the bulk of the Lancet paper still stands and has been replicated in other scientific studies.

The Times also did not mention as part of the story that an investigation into Wakefield was triggered by a complaint from Brian Deer himself, meaning that his article was a report on the hearing into his own complaint.

  Child Health Safety February 19, 2009

Dr. Mercola''s Comments Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

I have enormous respect for Dr. Wakefield, as in my opinion he is one of the most well-respected academic researchers on autism in the world. This latest attempt to smear his name, in which freelancer Brian Deer said he “changed and misreported results in his research, creating the appearance of a possible link with autism,” has been called out for what it is: fraud.

In order to understand the graveness of this latest attack, it helps to first know a bit of background.

Sadly, Dr. Wakefield has been persecuted for more than a decade by both Pharma-funded special interest groups as well as public health officials maintaining close relationships with vaccine manufacturers.

His crime?

Daring to publish a study in The Lancet in 1998 calling for more scientific investigation into the possible link between the MMR vaccine and autism.

What he and colleagues identified was a previously unknown combination of bowel disease and autism in 12 children. Bowel symptoms are common in autistic children but had until then been regarded as simply a manifestation of their behavioral problems.

The finding that these children had real and severe bowel disease was a groundbreaking discovery in and of itself, but then, against the advice of others in the team, Dr. Wakefield explained in the paper that eight parents said their previously normal child had fallen ill after receiving the MMR inoculation — a mixture of weakened but live measles, mumps and rubella virus.

Dr. Wakefield has found evidence of measles virus infection in damaged bowel tissue from some of the children, and later revealed he had seen 170 children with the bowel effects and autism, and that a majority of the parents involved had said their children fell ill after being given the MMR vaccine.

After these findings were publicized, rates of MMR vaccine in the UK promptly fell, Dr. Wakefield was fired from his position and later was charged with professional misconduct by the UK’s General Medical Council (GMC). The paper was also removed from The Lancet amidst all the controversy.

It should be noted that through it all, Dr. Wakefield has defended his findings and said he did not regret his decision to get involved in the MMR controversy. Back in 2001, he said:

“Losing a London hospital teaching job doesn’t do much for my CV but there are bigger issues at stake. What matters now most of all is what happens to these children.”

Then, just last month, writer Brian Deer published an article in The Sunday Times London attempting to further tarnish Dr. Wakefield’s reputation by saying he “fixed” data for the study.

What’s Really Going On Here?

It has now come out that Brian Deer’s allegations were totally false and amounted to nothing more than a smear campaign. But it’s not just a simple case of a reporter with mistaken facts, because Brian Deer was the one who originally furnished allegations against Dr. Wakefield in the first place.

In other words, the GMC’s investigation was triggered by a complaint made by Deer, so he was essentially reporting on a disciplinary hearing that he himself instigated.

Ironically, the article came out just days before the U.S. “vaccine court” ruled that the MMR vaccine does not cause autism, and Deer is now being challenged to explain his potential role in all of this.

On top of that, MMR vaccine manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline has just appointed James Murdoch, the head of News International and boss of The Sunday Times (the paper that published Deer’s story) to its board!

The conflict of interest appears so blatant that some have now dubbed The Sunday Times “The Sunday Glaxo”!

A Reminder to Always Read Between the Lines

Whenever you hear or read something in the news, it is so important to examine the source and look for any hidden agendas. This is especially true when it pertains to your health or the health of your children.

It appears the truth may just come out and Dr. Wakefield may get the vindication he’s deserved all along. In the meantime, if you’re looking for information to help clear up the whole vaccine controversy in your own mind, the Related Articles below are an excellent starting point.

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