Category Archives: brian deer

Will Patrick Holford Be Calling Upon His Mailing List to Sign the New Andrew Wakefield Petition? If So, We’ve Made Some Annotations

In June 2007, as the Autism Omnibus Hearings were in progress and the initial test case was being heard, Patrick Holford contacted his mailing list and asked them to sign a petition in support of Dr Andrew Wakefield. Although it doesn’t look like he ever signed the petition, it is clear that he influenced other people to sign, people who directly cited him as instrumental in the decision not to vaccinate children against preventable diseases.

Dr Carmel O’Donovan, Andrew Wakefield’s wife, recently emailed around asking for signatures in support of him. However, it seems that there is another petition, this one grandiosely and desperately asking people to sign up to We Support Andy Wakefield (Tiny URL’d). Age of Autism rather half-heartedly just reproduces the blusterous call for an enquiry (Tiny URL’d) and, without any trace of irony, condemns “the censorship of science” and the competence of Brian Deer in his remarkable investigative journalism.

We offer an annotated version of the petition: all links have been added by us and our text additions are in italics. Continue reading


Filed under Andrew Wakefield, autism, autistic spectrum disorders, brian deer, measles, MMR, patrick holford, vaccination, vaccines, Wakefield

Patrick Holford Promotes Error: Does This Explain His Continuing Support for Opposing MMR and Supporting Andrew Wakefield’s Research?

Patrick Holford on ITV Lunchtime 16 April 2008
Former Visiting Professor Patrick Holford has such a sensitive moral barometer that he is constantly pointing out his perception of the failings of actual researchers and scientists and questioning their integrity. Operating in this parallel world that he does (see Part 1 and Part 2), perhaps it is not surprising that he continues to avoid issuing an update on what the findings from the Autism Omnibus and the stark revelations of the fraud and deliberate manipulation that underpins Dr Andrew Wakfield’s research means for his marketing and promotion of unevidenced diagnostic tests and diet strategies for the ‘treatment’ of autism (assessed here).

You may remember Patrick Holford’s keen support for Andrew Wakefield and his research (see, also, Patrick Holford and Andrew Wakefield’s Discredited Findings: Part 1 and Part 2). we have previously noted that Holford espouses support for Wakefield and his research allows some entrepreneurs to sell unevidenced diagnostic tests (both Wakefield and Holford continue to support the use of Secretin despite not only the absence of efficacy but the indication that it may be less efficacious than a saltwater placebo), promote consultation for difficult-to-follow diets and sell supplements. Continue reading


Filed under Andrew Wakefield, autism, autistic spectrum disorders, brian deer, gluten- and casein-free diet, heavy metal toxicity, IgG tests, immunization, measles, mercury, MMR, patrick holford, supplements, thimerosal, thiomersal, vaccination, vaccines, Wakefield

Patrick Holford and Andrew Wakefield’s Discredited Findings: Part 1

Professor Patrick Holford of Teesside University and Head of Science and Education at Biocare frequently upbraids professionals and researchers for what he perceives as their lack of up-to-date research.

Yet, it was with an extraordinary sense of deja woo that we learned about Patrick Holford’s Concerns About the MMR Vaccine. Continue reading


Filed under Andrew Wakefield, autistic spectrum disorders, brian deer, Holford, immunization, measles, MMR, patrick holford, Wakefield

Holford’s ‘reply in the BMJ’

Sorry to keep banging on about this – but I’ve just found another piece of Holford’s writing where he describes his BMJ Rapid Response as a “reply in the BMJ“. This really could be misleading.

Hell, I’d love to have a reply article in the BMJ to put on my CV. However, Rapid Responses are quite different from articles: the BMJ puts nearly everything that’s submitted onto their website, and does not subject Rapid Responses to peer review etc.

Interestingly, the Sunday Times journalist Brian Deer warned the BMJ in 2005 (in a Rapid Reponse) that “countless BMJ rapid responses…have been routinely lifted wholesale and republished across the web as apparent content from a medical journal“. Whether or not Holford is trying to mislead his readers, it would be easy for readers to misinterpret his references to a BMJ ‘letter’ and ‘reply’ as claims that the BMJ published his response to Goldacre as a letter or as a full article. The BMJ did not do this.

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Filed under Ben Goldacre, bmj, brian deer, british medical journal, Holford, letter, patrick holford, rapid response