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Member since: Wed Feb 10, 2010, 12:12 PM
Number of posts: 4,165

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September 15, 2015

Executive Order -- Using Behavioral Science Insights to Better Serve the American People

A growing body of evidence demonstrates that behavioral science insights -- research findings from fields such as behavioral economics and psychology about how people make decisions and act on them -- can be used to design government policies to better serve the American people.

Where Federal policies have been designed to reflect behavioral science insights, they have substantially improved outcomes for the individuals, families, communities, and businesses those policies serve. For example, automatic enrollment and automatic escalation in retirement savings plans have made it easier to save for the future, and have helped Americans accumulate billions of dollars in additional retirement savings. Similarly, streamlining the application process for Federal financial aid has made college more financially accessible for millions of students.

To more fully realize the benefits of behavioral insights and deliver better results at a lower cost for the American people, the Federal Government should design its policies and programs to reflect our best understanding of how people engage with, participate in, use, and respond to those policies and programs. By improving the effectiveness and efficiency of Government, behavioral science insights can support a range of national priorities, including helping workers to find better jobs; enabling Americans to lead longer, healthier lives; improving access to educational opportunities and support for success in school; and accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy.

NOW, THEREFORE, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, I hereby direct the following:



Posted by proverbialwisdom | Tue Sep 22, 2015, 02:55 PM (0 replies)

Remarks in 2014 by Dr Tom Insel, Director of National Institute of Mental Health & head of IACC.


"...the burden of proof is upon anybody who feels that there is NOT a real increase here in the number of kids affected."
- Dr. Thomas Insel, Director of National Institute of Mental Health and head of Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC)

10:02 AM - 27 Mar 2014


“The increase could be a growing number of children with autism or better screening or a combination of both,” said Dr. Coleen Boyle, the CDC’s director of the national center of birth defects and developmental disabilities.

Related: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014766480

MORE: http://www.democraticunderground.com/101697149

Dr Insel joins GOOGLE Life Sciences, September 2015:

Posted by proverbialwisdom | Thu Sep 17, 2015, 03:04 PM (3 replies)

That's a lie, not to mention an ad hominem argument. Is that marketing, PR, advertising or branding?

Posted by proverbialwisdom | Thu Sep 17, 2015, 11:37 AM (1 replies)

Just for you.

Posted by proverbialwisdom | Thu Sep 17, 2015, 02:41 AM (4 replies)

Check it out.

Sunlight Project: http://www.protect.org/sunlight

Four-part series by Grier Weeks:


MORE: https://twitter.com/PROTECT

Posted by proverbialwisdom | Thu Sep 3, 2015, 10:57 AM (0 replies)

Oh, brother.


Paul A. Offit, MD, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia:

Alice Callahan has written a breakthrough book, combining the compassion, warmth, and angst of a mother with the measured reasoning of a scientist. She helps parents not only understand how science works, but how they can access that science to answer their questions. She’s found a way to access the scientist in all of us.


by Alice Callahan on January 11, 2012


For my guest post, I chose to write about how being a scientist helps me to trust other scientists and medical professionals when it comes to my child’s health. When the scientific community overwhelmingly supports a parenting practice – like vaccinating our children – I’m on board. If you read my blog, you know that I question other decisions plenty. When it comes to the decision to vaccinate, I trust the science that it is the best thing for my child and for our community.

An excerpt… check out The Mother Geek to read the rest! (Link to Mamamia post here )

Because I trust scientists and doctors, I didn’t question the CDC’s vaccination schedule. I didn’t pore over vaccine research or agonize about the decision to vaccinate my child. Instead, I trusted that the committees of experts at the CDC and AAP carefully make the best recommendations possible based on the data available. Maybe that is naïve. Maybe I am a lazy mother for not trying to become a vaccine expert before I allowed those first needles to enter my daughter’s thigh. Or maybe not.

What would be naïve is for me to think that I could become an expert on vaccinations. It would be naïve for me to think that I could understand the vaccine field better than the committees of scientists and doctors who have made this their life’s work. I know how much work it took me to become an expert on one or two corners of nutrition and fetal physiology. It took thousands of hours of reading textbooks and journal articles, sitting in lectures, attending conferences, and struggling at the lab bench before I started to feel even a little bit comfortable calling myself an expert in any field. So I think it is naïve for a parent to think that she can become an expert on vaccines by spending some time on the Internet reading questionable sources, almost all of which have some agenda. I accept that I can’t know everything, and I have enough faith in humanity that I trust others who know more than me.


By Martha R. Herbert, PhD, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School
and Pediatric Neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital

This book is aggressively pro-vaccine. Its focus is not on vaccines in any general way, but only on one ingredient, Thimerosal, which contains ethylmercury.

Although the conversation surrounding vaccines, as with any medical issue, has many facets (especially when you consider technical issues), many people are aware of only two black-and-white opinions: you are either pro-vaccine, or anti-vaccine. If you are a reader who wishes to absorb and evaluate the information in this book, I ask you to consider that, at minimum, there is a third alternative: you can be pro-vaccine and at the same time seek to improve the vaccine program. (1)

This book advocates one specific step to improve vaccines: removing a known neurotoxin (mercury, in the form of Thimerosal) from the list of ingredients. To make a strong case for taking this step, the book presents voluminous evidence of:

* The toxicity of Thimerosal
* The ineffectiveness of even the bactericidal role it is supposed to play
* Safer alternatives to Thimerosal that are already available
* A history of the calls of scientists and high-level governmental and international agencies around the world to remove Thimerosal entirely from vaccines
* Implementation of this course of action in some other countries

It argues that removing Thimerosal entirely will improve both vaccines themselves and people's trust in them.


(1) Poland GA, Kennedy RB, McKinney BA, Ovsyannikova IG, Lambert ND, Jacobson RM, et al. Vaccinomics, adversomics, and the immune response network theory: individualized vaccinology in the 21st century. Look it up... (first of 27 footnotes in the Introduction, p xvii-xxix).

Posted by proverbialwisdom | Tue Sep 1, 2015, 11:26 PM (2 replies)

Paradigm shifting.

Look who cites Orac: http://www.snopes.com/medical/disease/cdcwhistleblower.asp


"...And, of course, there’s no biologically plausible reason why there would be an effect observed in African-Americans but no other race and, more specifically than that, in African-American males."

Oh, but look at this research by the Mayo Vaccine Research Group, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.


Immune Response to Rubella Vaccine Varies by Race, Ethnicity

February 26, 2014
By Megan Brooks

NEW YORK - A new study finds "consistent" evidence for racial/ethnic differences in humoral immune response to rubella vaccination, say researchers with the Mayo Vaccine Research Group, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Individuals of African descent have significantly higher rubella-specific neutralizing antibody levels relative to individuals of European descent and/or Hispanic ethnicity (p<0.001), Dr. Gregory A. Poland and colleagues reported online February 13 in the journal Vaccine.

In an interview with Reuters Health, Dr. Poland said, "We make (vaccine) policy, of course, at the population level. That's a paradigm that seems right and even self-obvious to us. But as we enter into the era of personalized medicine that paradigm is starting to fade away."

"For example, if you come here to the Mayo Clinic for treatment of resistant hypertension or depression or certain malignancies, your treatment is individualized to you based on your genomics. There are people that carry some genes that if we gave them the standard dose of chemotherapy it would kill them. There are others that carry certain genes that if we don't double the dose it does them no good," he explained.

"Nobody has applied that paradigm to vaccine responses. Our group has been pushing the concept of individualized vaccinology or what we call vaccinomics," Dr. Poland said.


SOURCE: http://bit.ly/1mwLIkQ

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3980440/ (free)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X14001534 (final edited form, fee)

Volume 32, Issue 17, 7 April 2014, Pages 1946–1953

Associations between race, sex and immune response variations to rubella vaccination in two independent cohorts

Iana H. Haralambievaa, b, Hannah M. Salka, Nathaniel D. Lamberta, b, Inna G. Ovsyannikovaa, b, Richard B. Kennedya, b, Nathaniel D. Warnerc, V.Shane Pankratzc, Gregory A. Polanda, b, d, ,

a Mayo Vaccine Research Group, Mayo Vaccine Research Group, Mayo Clinic, Guggenheim 611C, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, United States
b Program in Translational Immunovirology and Biodefense, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, United States
c Division of Biostatistics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, United States
d Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, United States

Received 18 November 2013, Revised 20 January 2014, Accepted 27 January 2014, Available online 13 February 2014

That's not all. Guess what?

Post 138: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10025653679


Regressive Autism Reported Twice as Often among African American Children
Rates of regressive autism also appear elevated among Hispanics; researcher urges further study to understand why
May 06, 2014

Reports of regressive autism – in which young children lose early language and social skills – are twice as common for African American children as for white children, according to new research. The same study found reports of regression 50 percent higher for Hispanic children than for whites.

The findings are the early results of a study made possible by families in the patient registry of the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (AS-ATN).

“This is the first indication of racial differences in reported regression,” says researcher Adiaha Spinks Franklin. “It raises extremely important questions about why we’re seeing these differences.” Dr. Franklin is a developmental behavioral pediatrician at the AS-ATN Center of Excellence at Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston. She presented her findings today at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies, in Vancouver, British Columbia.


These differences warrant urgent investigation, Dr. Franklin says.

It might be that regression among minority children is over-represented in medical records because, on average, it takes more dramatic symptoms – such as regression – for these children to get diagnosed and receive medical care. “We’ve long been aware that Hispanic and African American individuals tend to be diagnosed later and have less access to medical resources for not only autism but also many health conditions,” Dr. Franklin says.

“Certainly, this is another reason why physicians should not be dismissing any parent’s concerns about lost skills,” she adds.

It’s also possible that ethnic groups truly differ in regression rates because of differences in unknown genetic or environmental risk factors for autism. However, research has never indicated any particular risk factor for regressive forms of autism.

“We don’t yet understand why children regress in the first place,” Dr. Franklin says. “We certainly need more research to understand why there might be ethnic differences.”


NOTE THAT 10 YEARS SEPARATE THESE 2 STUDIES. Dr. William W Thompson finds it unacceptable that the "signal" detected in the 2004 study was discarded prior to publication and therefore not pursued by follow-up investigations. Orac says what?
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Tue Aug 25, 2015, 01:07 AM (1 replies)

The Vaccine Injury Compensation Prog has paid out > $3 billion, as Rep Posey stated. Fact, not woo.

OVERVIEW OP-ED: http://www.pressherald.com/2014/09/02/maine-voices-breakdown-in-accountability-at-heart-of-decline-in-vaccinations/


NOTHING to consider here, no, perhaps not for you. Fortunately, not everyone agrees that more is necessarily better. Science, not woo.

eg. http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2015/06/acip-endorses-individual-choice-meningitis-b-vaccine
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Thu Jul 30, 2015, 02:12 AM (1 replies)

"Germany, UK, Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain & others have all abolished compulsory vaccination."

Jawdropping establishment journalism (3/27/15):

“Europeans are turning away from vaccines, amid rising distrust of immunization for infectious diseases,” begins an article earlier this year in EurActiv, the journal of record for the European Community, published in over a dozen languages and widely read by journalists as a go-to-source for emerging policy debates in Europe...


Distrust of vaccinations on the rise across EU
Published: 27/03/2015 - 07:55 | Updated: 27/03/2015 - 07:56


For recommendation, against obligation

If there is one domain within the sector that tends to keep its nose clean, says Selon Serge Rader, it is vaccination. In Europe, France is the only country to maintain the policy of compulsory vaccination against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis.

Portugal has kept compulsory vaccination for diphtheria and polio, and Belgium just for polio. Elsewhere in Europe, Germany, the United Kingdon, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain and others have all abolished compulsory vaccination.



EurActiv Media Network

The EurActiv Network of both independent and integrated offices provides free localised EU policy news in 12 languages, reaching more than 667.494 readers across Europe and beyond, every month.

The co-branded partner publications produce editorial content in Brussels (Belgium), Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain and Turkey – reaching over 80% of our readers in their mother tongue.

The Network partners complement the ‘Brussels perspective’ on EU news and policy debates with national angles and localise the coverage to the interests and needs of our readers.

Posted by proverbialwisdom | Mon Jun 8, 2015, 08:18 PM (0 replies)

British Medical Journal: "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: protecting the private good?"


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: protecting the private good?
by Jeanne Lenzer, associate editor, The BMJ, USA

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h2362 (Published 15 May 2015)
Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h2362

After revelations that the CDC is receiving some funding from industry, Jeanne Lenzer investigates how it might have affected the organisation’s decisions

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) includes the following disclaimer with its recommendations: “CDC, our planners, and our content experts wish to disclose they have no financial interests or other relationships with the manufacturers of commercial products . . . CDC does not accept commercial support.”1

The CDC’s image as an independent watchdog over the public health has given it enormous prestige, and its recommendations are occasionally enforced by law.

Despite the agency’s disclaimer, the CDC does receive millions of dollars in industry gifts and funding, both directly and indirectly, and several recent CDC actions and recommendations have raised questions about the science it cites, the clinical guidelines it promotes, and the money it is taking.

Marcia Angell, former editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, told The BMJ, “The CDC has enormous credibility among physicians, in no small part because the agency is generally thought to be free of industry bias. Financial dealings with biopharmaceutical companies threaten that reputation.”2

Industry funding of the CDC has taken many doctors, even some who worked for CDC, by surprise. Philip Lederer, an infectious diseases fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, and a former CDC epidemic intelligence service officer, told The BMJ he was “saddened” to learn of industry funding.

The CDC’s director, Tom Frieden, did not respond to a question about the disclaimer. He told The BMJ by email, “Public-private partnerships allow CDC to do more, faster. The agency’s core values of accountability, respect, and integrity guide the way CDC spends the funds entrusted to it. When possible conflicts of interests arise, we take a hard, close look to ensure that proper policies and guidelines are followed before accepting outside donations.”


Oh, snap.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Mon Jun 1, 2015, 07:20 PM (2 replies)
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