Saturday, August 26, 2017

Someone is Wrong on the Interweb in the Tory tabloid press

Reporting on medscamming malpractice, the Evening Standard provides their version of the backstory at the industry-mandated rate of one paragraph break per sentence:
One treatment Dr O’Connell is accused of practising involves injecting the pig gut hormone secretin into patients.
The use of the hormone is based on the theory that autism is caused by the “autistic enterocolitis” disease – an illness invented by the now struck-off British doctor Andrew Wakefield.
The GMC is also investigating whether Dr O’Connell used the potentially dangerous treatment of chelation, which clears the body of lead and mercury.
Chelation as a form of treatment links back to another of Wakefield’s claims that childhood vaccines cause mercury to build up in the body which, in turn, leads to autism.
 H/t Brian Deer. Steve Silberman swallows the Standard's dramatised history (but his methods are unsound):

Question to Radio Yerevan: Is it true that the secretin fad was inspired by Wakefield's fabrication of “autistic enterocolitis” in 1998 in the UK, and that Wakefield* also claimed that autism is a form of mercury poisoning caused by the thimerosal used in vaccines?

Radio Yerevan replies: In principle, yes. Except that
1. The Secretin fad began in 1996 in Baltimore, and spread through word-of-mouth and a privately-circulated document [Beck & Beck 1998], with the first formal publication of anecdotes [Horvath et al. 1998] predating Wakefield's claims.

2. Wakefield's fabricated leaky-gut syndrome was never mentioned by any of the true believers in the Secretin cure, or news reports, or in the speculations as to how a digestive-secretion stimulant might help, or by failed attempts to replicate its claimed results [Dunn-Geier et al. 2000; Sturmey 2005]

3. The thimerosal-in-vaccines-causes-autism story began in 2001 as one of the less funny jokes in Medical Hypotheses [Bernard et al. 2001], in which Wakefield et al. [1998] are cited only tangentially (in the antepenultimate line in Table 1). Wakefield's claims did not reach the authors' threshold of relevance when the same journal gave us Blaxill, Redwood & Bernard [2004] and Geier & Geier [2005], or when Bradstreet et al.** [2003] opted for the John Birch Society Medical Journal as a vehicle for their purity-of-body-fluids theories. The Geiers showed no familiarity with Wakefields oeuvre when they went on to monetarise the story, selling their expert testimony in court, then selling the chelation scam. Nor did the other chelation propheteer, Boyd Haley, industrial chemist and professional expert witness who believes that Alzheimer's Disease is caused by dental fillings [Haley 2006]. Wakefield's fraud had long been exposed when a failed politician went looking for an ambulance to chase and climbed aboard the mercury scamwagon in 2005.

4. Wakefield's grift has always targetted the MMR vaccine, which contains no mercury.

[Radio Yerevan format stolen from Yastreblyansky]
* Whose father was an elderly baboon and his mother a standing reproach among she-asses, may apes void upon the fallen Tablets of his race.

** Jeff Bradstreet was a broad-spectrum conman who never saw a grift he didn't want to steal.

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