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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 26,567

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This piece covers the issue very well: The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science.


No, it really doesn't.

If you're really going to push the anti-vaccine routine comparing populations in a study that would be unethical, I have nothing more to say, because you're pushing the usual propaganda then. Further, pretending that enormity of the research available is "not rigorous" is simply playing a game that shows that you don't understand the varieties of evidence, and how it's acquired. BTW, it's 107 studies, with links to two other very well regarded institutions and their assessments, also a part of the picture. And I'm only getting started, if I really had to, as you well know.

This is 2014. The evidence against these made up claims grows monthly. Do I really need to point out how much formaldehyde is in a pear compared to a vaccine?

Still, PS: http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2014/01/22/a-vaccinated-vs-unvaccinated-study-and-guess-what-vaccinated-kids-do-better-on-tests/

PSS: http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/03/11/for-the-anti-vaccinationists-out-there-t/

Unfortunately, even at DU, there are people who follow in McCarthy's footsteps.

And those footsteps are awfully out of sync. Vaccines do not cause autism.

Autism and Vaccines

Vaccine Safety: Examine the Evidence

75 studies that show no link between vaccines and autism UPDATED to 107

FFS! This is the science group.

Cut off the conspiracy nonsense. Sheesh.

We've covered all of your parroting of anti-vaccine nonsense for years. You OP was crushed, as usual, and you then try claim some knowledge about something that you clearly don't understand in any way, shape or form.


Autism and Vaccines

Vaccine Safety: Examine the Evidence

75 studies that show no link between vaccines and autism UPDATED to 107

'I Never Told Anyone Not to Vaccinate' by James Hamblin

In a veiled apology this week, Jenny McCarthy again illustrated that health science and culture are inextricable. Vaccination is among the few definitive tenets of disease prevention, but because of rampant misinformation, fear, and scientific illiteracy, rare infections have come back to life. What's to be done about that.


Hazards of Hindsight — Monitoring the Safety of Nutritional Supplements


"pidemiologists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently confirmed what an astute liver-transplant surgeon in Honolulu already suspected: OxyElite Pro, a popular over-the-counter supplement, was responsible for a cluster of cases of severe hepatitis and liver failure.1 Although patients began to develop severe hepatitis in May 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), whose job it is to remove dangerous supplements from store shelves, did not learn of the cases until mid-September, 4 months later. By February 2014, the CDC had linked 97 cases, resulting in 47 hospitalizations, three liver transplantations, and one death, to OxyElite Pro. This dietary supplement was recalled, but nothing has been done to prevent another supplement from causing organ failure or death. Nor have any changes been made to improve the FDA's ability to detect dangerous supplements.

The FDA's delayed response — with its life-threatening consequences — is attributable to our woefully inadequate system for monitoring supplement safety. Americans spend more than $32 billion a year on more than 85,000 different combinations of vitamins, minerals, botanicals, amino acids, probiotics, and other supplement ingredients. Unlike prescription medications, supplements do not require premarketing approval before they reach store shelves. Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, anything labeled as a dietary supplement is assumed to be safe until proven otherwise. The FDA is charged with the unenviable task of identifying and removing dangerous supplements only after they have caused harm.


Sweeping changes would be needed to create an effective surveillance system capable of rapidly detecting supplement-related adverse events in the United States. I believe that accurate information on every supplement sold in this country should be incorporated into databases maintained by both the FDA and poison centers. Appropriate public health responses would be expedited if all key organizations, including the poison centers, the Defense Department, local departments of public health, and manufacturers, shared reports of serious supplement-related adverse events with the FDA in real time. A supplement response team could be created, made up of expert clinicians, toxicologists, pharmacologists, and chemists. The team could be based at the CDC, the FDA, the poison centers, or an academic institution. When consumers or physicians report a serious adverse event, the supplement response team could be alerted immediately. The multidisciplinary team could then offer clinical advice to physicians as they cared for patients, provide detailed reports to the FDA, and analyze patients' unused supplements for labeled and unlabeled ingredients. Supplement manufacturers could be required to provide complete manufacturing details and additional samples as requested. These changes would ensure not only that the FDA received accurate and timely reports, but also that clinicians received expert clinical advice as they cared for affected patients.


But even these ambitious changes would not prevent dangerous supplements from reaching consumers. If consumers and physicians are to have confidence that all supplements are safe, the law regulating supplements must be reformed. Every supplement ingredient should undergo rigorous safety testing before marketing. Until that happens, consumers and physicians cannot be assured that the pills, powders, and potions labeled as dietary supplements are safe for human consumption."


Yes, regulation is needed badly.

Medical Conspiracies: JAMA Internal Medicine Survey Results



They found that 49% of Americans agreed with at least one conspiracy, and 18% agreed with three or more. This is in line with the level of belief in non-medical conspiracies. They did not publish, but I would be interested, in the percentage of people who said they disagreed with all of the conspiracies. Many of the respondents indicated that they did not know if a particular conspiracy were true, likely because they had not heard of it before, but were unwilling to disagree on plausibility grounds alone.


The second part of their study is perhaps more interesting. They found a strong predictive correlation between belief in the above conspiracies and a host of medical behaviors. Conspiracy believers were more likely to use herbal supplements, use alternative medicine, and eat organic food, and less likely to vaccinate, use sunscreen, and have regular physicals.


The medical community would be well-served if they understood the phenomenon of medical conspiracies. In fact, it can be viewed and addressed as a public health issue. Medical institutions can take such beliefs more seriously, rather than just dismissing them as fringe. Efforts to educate the public about critical thinking, scientific methodology, and how the institutions of medicine work and are regulated, might reduce the popularity of such conspiracy theories.

I also think we need to have as much transparency as possible in scientific and regulatory processes. Secrecy or even opaqueness tends to breed paranoia.


An interesting read, especially as a follow up to the political conspiracy theory beliefs survey.

Steven Novella Offers A Better Portrayal Of The Study And Its Conclusions

Messaging and Public Health

Hogwash. This "review" and the propaganda sites pushing it are the smear tacticians.

The "review" piece is a BS smear tactic. The data that is there, and there isn't much, doesn't support the hyperbolic claims.

Yet you continue to defend it. There's no excuse for that.

More on the blatant nonsense that is the "review" in the OP:

Does Roundup cause celiac disease or gluten intolerance?

According to a New Study, Nothing Can Change an Anti-Vaxxer’s Mind


"While some false beliefs, such as astrology, are fairly harmless, parents who believe falsely that vaccination is dangerous or unnecessary for children present a real public health hazard. That's why researchers, publishing in Pediatrics, decided to test four different pro-vaccination messages on a group of parents with children under 18 and with a variety of attitudes about vaccination to see which one was most persuasive in persuading them to vaccinate. As Chris Mooney reports for Mother Jones, the results are utterly demoralizing: Nothing made anti-vaccination parents more amendable to vaccinating their kids. At best, the messages didn't move the needle one way or another, but it seems the harder you try to persuade a vaccination denialist to see the light, the more stubborn they get about not vaccinating their kids.


In other words, learning that they were wrong to believe that vaccines were dangerous to their kids made vaccine-hostile parents more, not less likely to reject vaccination. Mooney calls this the "backfire effect," but feel free to regard it as stubborn, childish defensiveness, if you'd rather. If you produce evidence that vaccination fears about autism are misplaced, anti-vaccination parents don't apologize and slink off to get their kids vaccinated. No, according to this study, they tend to double down.

This reaction, where people become more assured of their stupid opinions when confronted with factual or scientific evidence proving them wrong, has been demonstrated in similar studies time and time again. (This is why arguing with your Facebook friends who watch Fox News will only bring you migraines.) Mooney suggests that state governments should respond by making it harder to opt out of vaccinations. That would be helpful, but there's also some preliminary research from the James Randi Educational Foundation and Women Thinking Inc. that shows that reframing the argument in positive terms can help. When parents were prompted to think of vaccination as one of the steps you take to protect a child, like buckling a seat belt, they were more invested in doing it than if they were reminded that vaccine denialists are spouting misinformation. Hopefully, future research into pro-vaccination messaging, as opposed to just anti-anti-vaccination messaging, will provide further insight."

Ummm. Yeah, that's about all I can offer.

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