Posted by: Ticktock | August 7, 2008

RFK Jr. Was Wrong About Vaccines – Owes Apology!

Here’s a blast from the past for you – Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on Scarborough Country spreading myths about vaccines and autism.  The claim that the increase in the number of vaccines in 1989 influenced the rise in autism is disingenuous.  Even Amanda Peet knows that, despite the number of vaccines, the number of antigens are far less today than before, and that mercury is found in much higher quantities in an average glass of tap water and fish.  It is now common knowledge that autism rates have continued to rise, despite the fact that thimerosal has been removed from new childhood vaccines for seven years now.   At the time of the above video, RFK Jr. put together a slick little article that was based on cherry picked data, misleading language, and blatant fabrications.  And yet, his Scarborough interview is still taking up a waste of cyberspace and raising the vaccine threat level to orange because people trust the Kennedy name.

RFK Jr. says that there are “hundreds and hundreds” of studies proving that thimerosal causes autism.  I’m interested to see these “hundreds and hundreds” of quality studies.  Where are they?  He said that he’d post them on his web site, but I couldn’t find them.  He also dismisses any study that disproves the link between thimerosal and autism as “junk science” without proving his accusation.  Then he completely lies to say that the case against thimerosal is based on “hundreds and hundreds” of studies when I doubt that he could provide even one study that doesn’t have the sullied names of father and son amateurs Mark and David Geier.  And where, pray tell, are these quality studies now that thimerosal exposure has decreased significantly in the face of rising autism diagnoses? 

I’m sure that we’ve all noticed how RFK Jr. has dropped off the vaccine-activism map.  Or at the least, he hasn’t published any nonsense since the Rolling Stone article that smeared the truth.  I plan to ask him where he stands now that he has been proven wrong when he visits the Cincinnati Zoo this fall.  He will be giving a presentation, and I’m hoping that the audience will have a chance to question him on his honesty and ethics.  Maybe I’ll ask him for the apology he owes to America.

In the meantime, take a look at Amanda Peet’s interview on Good Morning America.  Now that’s one celebrity who deserves our full attention:  the type of pro-vaccine celebrity who says… “don’t pay attention to celebrities”.  Instead, she urges the public to trust the peer reviewed doctors and scientists who have done the research and studied the facts.  And those Anti-Vaccine activists who want to stain the reputations of these respected doctors and scientists by pointing to their disclosed conflicts of interest, should also point out that their favorite poorly done studies rely on undisclosed conflicts of interest, which are much more suspect, in my opinion.

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Responses

  1. You go, SkepDad! RFK jr spoke at the “Green Our Vaccines” rally a few months ago.

    Here’s some help:

    http://www.theskepticsguide.org/sgublog/?p=289

    Some Vaccine Misconceptions
    Date: July 27, 2008 | Author: Steven Novella
    Category: Science and Medicine | Comments: 21 » |

    Ever since there has been widespread use of vaccination for disease prevention there has been an anti-vaccine movement. Recently, their efforts have focused on the alleged link between vaccines and autism – I have written extensively about the evidence against such a link on Science-Based Medicine and NeuroLogica. But the anti-vaccine movement goes beyond the autism question.

    Anti-Vaccine Boilerplate

    http://www.theskepticsguide.org/sgublog/?p=295

    My entry last week was on some common misconceptions about vaccines that appeared in the SGU forums. Such posts commonly attract the attention of the anti-vaccine league, and some “boilerplate” antivaccine misinformation is sure to appear in the comments. Sure enough, poster “in4mdconsnt” did just that. Rather than leave another comment that would have had to be longer than the original post, I promised to deal with it in my post for this week – so here it is.

    The “vaccines” category for Science-Based Medicine is here

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?cat=36

    I think this article by Orac at Respectful Ignorance has links to all his previous articles debunking RFK jr’s anti-vax crankery.

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2007/06/robert_f_kennedy_jr_has_declared_a_crank_1.php

    but here’s another link

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2006/06/from_the_vaults_rfk_jr_gets_hi.php

    I’ll sure be looking forward to your questioning of RFK jr!

  2. […] called out RFK Jr. for saying that there are “hundreds and hundreds” of studies that link […]


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