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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Newsweek: Anti-Vaxxers Accidentally Fund a Study Showing No Link Between Autism and Vaccines

From Newsweek
via lbrb - Left Brain Right Brain

By Matt Carey
October 3, 2015

Newsweek has an article up at Newsweek about the recent vaccine study–the one discussed in the press release here. The title of the article pulls no punches: Anti-Vaxxers Accidentally Fund a Study Showing No Link Between Autism and Vaccines.

Here’s how it starts:


"Most experts today agree that the belief that childhood vaccines cause autism is based on bunk science. Even still, some advocacy groups claim immunizations are responsible for raising the risk for this neurodevelopmental condition, despite a growing body of research that shows there isn’t a link. (The study that most anti-vaccination groups point to was retracted after it was found to be based on falsified data.)"

If the title didn’t tip you off that there would be no false balance here, this first paragraph is very clear.

Here’s the second paragraph, where they discuss how SafeMinds, called an organization in the anti-vaccine movement:

"Despite the science, organizations involved in the anti-vaccine movement still hope to find some evidence that vaccines threaten children’s health. For example, the autism advocacy organization SafeMinds recently funded research it hoped would prove vaccines cause autism in children. But this effort appears to have backfired for the organization—whose mission is to raise awareness about how certain environmental exposures may be linked to autism—since the study SafeMinds supported showed a link between autism and vaccines does not exist."

SafeMinds, even though they funded the study and were kept aware of the progress, even though they knew the methods and approved of them, wants to do their own analysis.

But Sallie Bernard, president of SafeMinds, says she would at least like to see a re-analysis of the newest data. “We feel that embedded within these data sets there are animals that have potentially an adverse reaction to this vaccine schedule that would mirror what happens in human infants,” she says.

“The majority who get vaccines are fine, but we believe there is a subset that have an adverse reaction to their vaccines. By looking at the raw data, not data in aggregate, we may be able to identify the subgroup that had that reaction.”

And who at SafeMinds would be better qualified than the authors to do this analysis? (who would even be remotely qualified?)

No one.

Has SafeMinds shown excellence in research methods and integrity in the past?

No.

Does anyone doubt that SafeMinds would torture the data to the point of getting the answer they want?

Integrity would be accepting the results of the study they sponsored. SafeMinds lacks that integrity.

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