Daily Archives: February 12, 2009

Special Court that Heard the Autism Omnibus Says that Measles Vaccine Is Not Associated with Neurological Damage: Some Detail from the Rulings

The Autism Omnibus held hearings into three tests cases that were intended to establish a principle of general causation that links vaccinations with developmental conditions or neurological damage and would therefore qualify for compensation from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Three families agreed to be the test cases presented in court – the Cedillos, the Hazelhursts and the Snyders – on behalf of the Petitioners’ Steering Committee (PSC). However, the panel of Special Masters has ruled that the PSC did not presented sufficient plausible or adequante evidence to demonstrate that vaccines are causally linked to autism in these children, even using the comparatively light standard of the ‘preponderance of evidence’. Brief ruling note.

Thousands of parents who claimed that childhood vaccines had caused their children to develop autism are wrong and not entitled to federal compensation, a special court ruled today in three decisions with far-reaching implications for a bitterly fought medical controversy…

The decision by three independent special masters is especially telling because the special court’s rules did not require plaintiffs to prove their cases with scientific certainty — all the parents needed to show was that a preponderance of the evidence, or “50 percent and a hair,” supported their claims. The vaccine court effectively said today that the thousands of pending claims represented by the three test cases are on extremely shaky ground.

In his ruling on one case, special master George Hastings said the parents of Michelle Cedillo — who had charged that a measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine caused their child to develop autism — had “been misled by physicians who are guilty, in my view, of gross medical misjudgment.”

There is some additional information on US Court of Federal Claims and the detailed rulings behind the decisions are available. Continue reading


Filed under Andrew Wakefield, autism, Current events

The Daily Record on Holford’s “Online Guide To Complete Health And Happiness”

The Daily Record have learned nothing from their previous gaffe in which they allowed an IONista to dispense erroneous information about food. Not content with that previous free advertising for Patrick Holford’s subscription service, they now argue that

YOU can now take the guesswork out of getting healthy with a leading nutrition expert [Patrick Holford’s] new online programme and website…The huge benefit of this programme is it gives clear and practical advice based on the user’s relationship between what they eat, their lifestyle and their everyday symptoms.

Readers can judge for themselves if Holford can correctly be described as a “leading nutrition expert”. However, that aside, we would argue that things are inevitably more complex than this. Many factors are involved in health and happiness, and is always a strong element of chance – for example, a healthy lifestyle may not help if you are hit by a bus. The idea that one can reduce health and happiness to an answer produced by an online programme is hideously reductive and simplistic. Readers with a good memory may recall how much Patrick de [sic] Vinci Holford loathes reductionism, much as it uses it to sell his pills. Continue reading


Filed under patrick holford

Social Media Strategies for Employers and Organisations: Suggestions for LBC and Global Radio

US Airforce Social Media Tool

US Airforce Social Media Tool

Putting aside the recent difficulties that have embroiled Jeni Barnett and Dr Ben Goldacre, LBC and Global Radio are communication companies and, as such, they are careful monitors of communication technology and zeitgeist. Most businesses have some form of press strategy for managing their image and responding to media enquiries; it is taken for granted and a recognised cost of doing business or even running a charity. Agents for various celebrities are keen followers of social media that refer to their clients. Continue reading


Filed under Current events