BMJ: Wakefield Paper Alleging Link between MMR Vaccine and Autism Fraudulent

BMJ: Wakefield Paper Alleging Link between MMR Vaccine and Autism Fraudulent

January 6, 2011 Anonymous

A January 5, 2011 report in the BMJ investigated the 1998 paper that first alleged a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. The author, Brian Deer, presents evidence that the paper resulted from research fraud. The History of Vaccines blog looks at the history of the paper and how it has profoundly affected research, public health, and the public perception of vaccines over the last 12 years.

In the wake of a paper published in the Lancet in 1998, vaccination rates in Britain plummeted. The lead author of the paper, Andrew Wakefield, rose to prominence as a result of his claims that the combination measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine had caused autism in the 12 children in the study, and frightened parents began to delay or completely refuse vaccination for their children, both in Britain and the United States. Since then, outbreaks of previously eliminated diseases have sickened and killed children in both countries.

Over the next twelve years, the possibility of a link between MMR and autism was studied exhaustively. No reputable, relevant study confirmed Wakefield’s findings; instead, many well-designed studies have found no link between MMR and autism.

In 2004, the Lancet stated that it should not have published Wakefield’s paper, with then-editor Dr. Richard Horton noting that Wakefield had a “fatal conflict of interest” when conducting the research. The majority of the co-authors of the study subsequently retracted the findings in the paper, and in 2010, the Lancet formally retracted the paper itself.

Three months later, in May 2010, Britain’s General Medical Council banned Wakefield from practicing medicine in Britain, stating that he had shown “callous disregard” for children in the course of his research. The council also cited previously uncovered information about Wakefield’s research being partially funded by lawyers hoping to sue vaccine manufacturers on behalf of parents of children with autism.

On Wednesday, January 5, the BMJ published a report by Brian Deer, a British journalist who had previously reported on flaws in Wakefield’s work. For this new report, Deer spoke with parents of children from the retracted study and found evidence that Wakefield committed research fraud by falsifying data about the children’s conditions.

Specifically, Deer reports that while the paper claimed that eight of the study’s 12 children showed either gastrointestinal or autism-like symptoms days after vaccination, records instead show that at most two children experienced these symptoms in this time frame. Additionally, while the paper claimed that all 12 of the children were “previously normal” before vaccination with MMR, at least two had developmental delays that were noted in their records before the vaccination took place.

After examining the records for all 12 children, Deer noted that the statements made in the paper did not match numbers from the records in any category: the children having regressive autism; non-specific colitis; or first symptoms within days after receiving the MMR vaccine. The Lancet paper claimed that six of the children had all three of these conditions; according to the records, not a single child actually did. (See a table that breaks down the comparison between the Lancet numbers and the medical records here.)

In an accompanying editorial, BMJ editor in chief Fiona Godlee and co-authors Jane Smith and Harvey Marcovitch examine the damage to public health caused by a tiny study based on parental recall with no control group – a study that turned out to be almost entirely fraudulent, but whose impact continues to this day.

Although the findings of Wakefield’s paper have long been discredited by scientists, the evidence that the data itself was falsified makes this report by the BMJ a landmark moment in the history of vaccines. Evidence is strong that this study should not have been published not merely because it was poorly conducted, but instead because it was a product of research fraud. After more than 12 years of panic, fear, and confusion over the possibility of autism being linked to vaccines, this “MMR scare” chapter of vaccine history may finally draw to a close.

In addition to the BMJ's report and accompanying editorial, news outlets worldwide have devoted time to coverage of this story. Links to some of this coverage are provided below.

Brian Deer’s report at the British Medical Journal, “How the case against the MMR vaccine was fixed” -- http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.c5347.full

Accompanying editorial by Fiona Godlee, Jane Smith, and Harvey Marcovitch, “Wakefield’s article linking MMR vaccine and autism was fraudulent” -- http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.c7452.full

MedPage Today’s coverage of the BMJ report by John Gever, “BMJ Lifts Curtain on MMR-Autism Fraud” -- http://www.medpagetoday.com/Pediatrics/Autism/24203

CNN’s coverage via Anderson Cooper 360:

ABC News:

Comments

Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The role of the lawyers in helping should not be ignored here.Their actions deserve to be called into question. Read the article...

http://marketsandculture.blogspot.com/2011/01/mmr-vaccine-autism-andrew-wakefield-and.html

..it is astonishing how many millions of public money were wasted by their actions.

Posted by AutismNewsBeat (not verified)

There's what's legal, and then there's what's moral.

Posted by Jackie Fletcher (not verified)

There are a number of mistakes in this piece that do your readers a serious disservice:

1. Dr Wakefield did not claim that the combined MMR vaccine had caused autism in the 12 children in The Lancet case series report. Eight of the 12 parents had suggested the link. Parents were reporting serious adverse reactions to all three versions of MMR from the start of the campaign in 1988 and that is why the JABS group was set up.

2. You stated: 'Since then, outbreaks of previously eliminated diseases have sickened and killed children in both countries...'

Measles, as you should know, has never been eliminated in either the US or the UK and you make no mention of the serious adverse reactions to MMR vaccines that have occurred in both countries that can also sicken and kill children. Both countries have Government run vaccine damage payment schemes. In the UK I know of at least four children whose families have been awarded payments following Government tribunal hearings which accepted that the children's disabilities, which ultimately led to their deaths, had been caused by the MMR vaccines administered to them. You should also know that there is no guarantee of immunity for any child given MMR as the efficacy of the component parts is variable and may wane over time.

3. You stated: '..Over the next twelve years, the possibility of a link between MMR and autism was studied exhaustively....'

In October 1997, four months before The Lancet publication, a meeting was held with the Health Minister and the Chief Medical Officer, Principal Medical Officer and other senior officers. The Health Minister was presented with details of some 1200 children and asked to instigate a clinical investigation into their ill health or death following MMR or MR vaccinations. This was never done. Most of the children had started with symptoms within the incubation period of the vaccines; symptoms that were recognised by the vaccine manufacturers and then they developed long term problems also recognised by the vaccine manufacturers within their product information sheets. The parents had reported that no treating physician had been able to determine any alternative medical explanation for the child's decline. Much money, time and effort has been spent on not studying these children exhaustively. I think that those accusing Dr Wakefield should look long and hard at their own role in protecting government officials who indemnified vaccine manufacturers against any action for serious damage and deaths of children. That is the fraud.

4. You stated: '..The majority of the co-authors of the study subsequently retracted the findings in the paper,...'

Not so! In a letter to The Lancet (a) entitled 'MMR- responding to retraction' three of the co-authors explained:

'...On March 6, 2004, some of our ex-colleagues issued a “retraction of an interpretation”, not a retraction of the factual content of the paper, as widely inferred. Since no interpretation of the possible MMR/autism link was offered in the original 1998 Lancet report, other than to state that the data did not constitute evidence of an association and suggest that further research was required, it is difficult to know quite what has been retracted, particularly in light of Richard Horton's current plea for further research funding for autism, a plea that we welcome wholeheartedly....'

5. With regard to Brian Deer's allegations of 'research fraud' It is important that your readers are made aware that Dr Wakefield has filed a lawsuit against Brian Deer, the BMJ and the BMJ editor Fiona Godlee (b).

6. You stated: '...After more than 12 years of panic, fear, and confusion over the possibility of autism being linked to vaccines, this “MMR scare” chapter of vaccine history may finally draw to a close..'

I would like to remind/inform your readers that the problems with MMR were known about by the UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation at least eight months before they sanctioned its use in the UK. (c)

From the minutes of the JCVI Working Party On The Introduction of Measles, Mumps and Rubella Vaccine (11 February 1988):

'...5. MMR Vaccination In Canada

Members read a report of cases of mumps encephalitis which had been associated with MMR vaccine containing the URABE strain of the mumps virus. The Canadian authorities has suspended the licences of MMR vaccines containing the URABE strain but Dr Salisbury considered that the data on which the decision had been based was slender. It was agreed that North Hertfordshire would use the Jeryl-Lynn vaccine, if it was available from MSD, to obtain comparative data. A statement would be prepared in anticipation of any adverse publicity which might arise.'...

The Government clearly were aware of the risks involved with the URABE containing vaccines (Pluserix and Immravax) before it was introduced and had the audacity to prepare an adverse publicity statement in readiness for what was potentially to come and in fact it did. This is not an "MMR scare" this is an MMR disaster and there is nowhere to hide for those responsible.

7. Problems with MMR began in the opening weeks/months of the new campaign starting in October 1988 as subsequently reported in the UK Daily Mail: 'MMR killed my daughter' 18th May 2004 and the Sunday Express: 'Were all of these children killed by the triple MMR jab? by Lucy Johnston 13/1/02

JABS is a UK support group for parents of vaccine damaged children.

(a) http://www.lancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(04)16017-0/fulltext

(b) http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/jan/05/andrew-wakefield-sues-bmj-mmr

(c) JCVI minutes of meeting February 1988 http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/@dh/@ab/documents/digitalasset/dh_095328.pdf
(d) http://www.jabs.org.uk/pages/home/home.html
(e) http://www.jabs.org.uk/pages/johnston-mmr.asp

Posted by Project Director

Thank you for your comment.
Re your point 1, Wakefield has clearly indicated in many public statements that he believes that MMR vaccine is a causative factor in the syndrome he named. To mention just a few, from a transcript of Wakefield’s video with Twenty Twenty Television (2/4/1998): “That is my feeling, that the, the risk of this particular syndrome developing is related to the combined vaccine, the MMR, rather than the single vaccines.” In this case, the syndrome he is referring to is “autistic enterocolitis.” Also, “Well, the interesting thing is that the damage, the behavioural or developmental change tends to occur quite soon after administration [of MMR vaccine], and this is where, why parents or GPs or paediatricians have been able to make the link, the association with MMR. So if that hasn’t happened then it is extremely unlikely to happen.” Of the 12 children in the study, all are identified as having received MMR vaccine, and all are identified as having a history of PDD.

Re point 2, measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, though cases have occurred since then, largely due to importation from abroad [Fiebelkorn A, et al (Measles in the United States during the postelimination era, 2010) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20929352] Measles was eliminated in England and Wales in the 1990s but is once again endemic [Ramsay et al (The elimination of indigenous measles transmission, 2003) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12721914].

Re point 3, the Institute of Medicine here in the US has analyzed the issue carefully and its findings favor rejection of a causal relationship between MMR vaccine and autism.

Re point 4 and retraction by coauthors, we’d like to note that one of the letter writers you mention was Wakefield himself.

As to your other points, perhaps we will have time later to address them.

Posted by AutismNewsBeat (not verified)

Mr. Wakefield alleged an association with MMR and autism in June, 1997 - six months before his fraudulent research was published in the Lancet. He made the allegation in his patent application for a mono-valent measles vaccine.

Posted by Matt Carey (not verified)

From the patent he wrote:

"It has now also been shown that use of the MMR vaccine (which is taken to include live attentuated measles vaccine virus, measles virus, mumps vaccine virus and rubella vaccine virus, and wild strains of the aforementioned viruses) results in ileal lymphoid nodular hyperplasia, chronic colitis and pervasive developmental disorder including autism (RBD), in some infants."

Doesn't get more clear than that.

This quote is from a few years later, after he published a follow on paper:

"Our new paper is not anti-vaccine. It is about the safest way in which to deliver these vaccines to children in order to protect them against acute infectious disease and against the long-term adverse reactions that I believe we are now seeing"

From his testimony before a congressional hearing:

"So finally, in summary, we have an environmental insult in perhaps a genetically susceptible child. The problem is that if you go to Sweden now, autism
affects over 1.2 percent of the pediatric population. So if there is a genetic background, it is clearly widely distributed within the population. We believe that in many children, clearly, the subset of autistics, it leads to gut infection and damage; that leads to an ingress, an impaired metabolism, degradation of these chemicals from the gut which then get through and impact upon the brain."

The idea that Mr. Wakefield never said that MMR causes autism is clearly and demonstrably false.

Posted by Matt Carey (not verified)

"As to your other points, perhaps we will have time later to address them."

if I may:

Point 5: while there is a defamation lawsuit in the works, it is my opinion that Mr. Deer and the BMJ were correct. This after careful consideration of the evidence available to Mr. Wakefield at the time of writing the Lancet article.

Point 6:

It is worth noting the logical misconception Ms. Fletcher makes in this statement:

"I would like to remind/inform your readers that the problems with MMR were known about by the UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation at least eight months before they sanctioned its use in the UK. (c)"

The use of "the problems with MMR". The concern about the Urabe strain mumps component has nothing to do with the link between the measles containing vaccines and autism.

Referring to these multiple concerns, one raised in 1988 and one proposed much later, as "the problems with the MMR vaccine" is clearly misleading.

Which would suggest that the idea that the fear and panic will "draw to a close" is probably overly optimistic. It will diminish. But with tactics such as the above, it will not draw to a close.

"This is not an "MMR scare" this is an MMR disaster and there is nowhere to hide for those responsible."

Odd that. They were able to hide behind Mr. Wakefield's inaction for about a decade.

Posted by Erwin Alber (not verified)

When is it going to dawn on all of humanity that vaccination is not a triumph of medical science, but an organised criminal enterprise dressed up as disease prevention by means of junk science?

The entire vaccine industry needs to be shut down to keep us and our children safe from the predatory activities of the medical-pharmaceutical mafia.

Posted by Jackie Fletcher (not verified)

'...Re your point 1, Wakefield has clearly indicated in many public statements that he believes that MMR vaccine is a causative factor in the syndrome he named. To mention just a few, from a transcript of Wakefield’s video with Twenty Twenty Television (2/4/1988): “That is my feeling, that the, the risk of this particular syndrome developing is related to the combined vaccine, the MMR, rather than the single vaccines.” In this case, the syndrome he is referring to is “autistic enterocolitis.” Also, “Well, the interesting thing is that the damage, the behavioural or developmental change tends to occur quite soon after administration [of MMR vaccine], and this is where, why parents or GPs or paediatricians have been able to make the link, the association with MMR. So if that hasn’t happened then it is extremely unlikely to happen.” Of the 12 children in the study, all are identified as having received MMR vaccine, and all are identified as having a history of PDD....'

I repeat, it was the parents who made the original association between MMR vaccine gastro-intestinal problems and autism to the Royal Free doctors. This association was reported by the Royal Free team In The Lancet early report.

This link and other serious neurological illness was already being reported by parents to the JABS group as early as 1994:

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/health-vaccination-do-you-know-the-risks-jan-roberts-meets-parents-who-believe-immunisation-against-measles-mumps-and-rubella-injured-their-children-1369519.html

As you can see, the MMR vaccines were already getting widespread adverse press coverage pre the1998 Lancet study. In my opinion, the pharmaceutical lead scientific/medical community on both sides of the Atlantic can continue hounding Dr Wakefield and the Royal Free team as a diversionary tactic but no one should ignore or rewrite the MMR history as it applies in the UK.

Remember two versions of three MMR vaccines containing URABE strain mumps had been introduced in 1988 and held 85% of the British market, the same type of MMR already suspended in Canada. These vaccines were recommended to UK parents as safe and parents were told they had been used in millions of doses in the US. Not true. They hadn't even been licensed in the US. The use of these vaccines went on to cause major health problems and deaths in UK children for four years before being suspended. Some of these children's cases were accepted by Government tribunals and awards made. Did those responsible for their introduction, already knowing a strong link between encephalitis and these vaccines, take any responsibility, suffer character assassination, get hauled before the GMC or any other court? The answer to that is NO! One more question, why not?

Posted by Project Director

I’m not arguing about whether the parents made the first reports of a possible link between MMR vaccination and autism/GI issues; I don’t think that’s germane to a critique of Wakefield. Regardless of who brought this to the attention of physicians in the UK, Wakefield has continued to imply an association between MMR vaccination and a host of health problems in children since 1998.

As to aseptic meningitis and the Urabe strain of mumps vaccine virus, again it’s not germane to a discussion of Wakefield’s work. But, since you bring it up, I’d like to say that the discussion of the issue is instructive in the mumps chapter of Vaccines (Plotkin, 2008). “…in evaluating the importance of this complication, one has to consider the incidence of meningitis that would occur in natural mumps (…a conservative estimate would be between 1 and 10%...) and the possible differences in efficacy between strains. [Urabe strain is more effective at preventing mumps.]… Assuming a rate of Urabe-associated meningitis of 1 in 11,000 and an incidence of mumps greater than 1% a year, vaccination is better than not vaccinating….Different countries have made different judgments regarding the use of Jeryl Lynn or Urabe strain vaccines for the prevention of mumps, and the WHO considers both to be acceptable. In any case, the risk-benefit ratio is in favor of vaccination despite the occasional case of aseptic meningitis.” And the authors also note, “Fortunately, sequelae to post-vaccine meningitis have been rare or absent. Unpublished follow-up data from France, Canada, and the United Kingdom have not revealed sequelae clearly attributable to the illness, although possible sequelae have been noted in about 3% to 5% of cases.”

Posted by Cybertiger (not verified)

I may be being pedantic, but accuracy is important: ASEPTIC meningitis is an extremely unpleasant illness, while mumps acquired naturally as a young child is mild and largely inconsequential.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001639/

Natural infection confers life long immunity against mumps. To introduce a vaccine for a largely inconsequential illness that was found to cause an excess of aseptic (mumps) meningitis is unfortunate. To introduce such a vaccine after Canada had withdrawn it for that very reason ... is a disaster.

Posted by Project Director

But natural mumps infection is a cause of aseptic meningitis. "Aseptic meningitis and encephalitis develop in as many as 10% and 0.3% of persons with mumps parotitis respectively."(p 884 in the Mumps chapter of Biller, The Interface of Neurology and Internal Medicine, 2008). (Not to mention the other potentail sequelae of mumps and the discomfort of the disease itself.) So if you are really interested in preventing aseptic meningitis, you are going to vaccinate. And I will leave it to the epidemiologists and public health authorities to do the calculus on which mumps vaccine is more effective and how many cases of aseptic meningitis the different vaccines both cause and prevent.

Posted by Matt Carey (not verified)

"I repeat, it was the parents who made the original association between MMR vaccine gastro-intestinal problems and autism to the Royal Free doctors. "

So Mr. Wakefield can't claim the creativity of having made the connection. He just promoted it. Using fraudulent data.

Posted by Anthony Cox (not verified)

Points of information:

JABS is a UK anti-vaccine network/website that propagates conspiracy theories and bad science about vaccines. http://www.blacktriangle.org/blog/?p=2025 Jackie Fletcher is one of their main media contact points. Her points can be safely ignored, but in any case here are my responses.

1. Wakefield has on numerous occasions made clear his opposition to MMR vaccine and his hypothesis that MMR vaccine was associated with autism.

2. Fletcher suggests that measles was never eliminated from the US and UK. The issue is that since people like Fletcher have contributed to scaring parents about MMR vaccine with false information (via a compliant media) measles cases have undeniably risen. http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/may/27/measles-cases-rise-tenfold
Fletcher passes over this to suggest that the UK government has awarded damages for harms to children from MMR vaccine. The UK Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme does not examine the safety of vaccines, but merely makes judgments on a balance of probabilities individual cases. Indeed Fletcher is aware of this, having been a beneficiary from the scheme (although her son's case has nothing to tell us about the MMR-autism hypothesis) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/7970199/Mother-wins-MMR-payout-after-18-years.html

Fletcher mentions that immunity from MMR vaccine is not guaranteed. This underlines the point that high levels of vaccine are required within a population, rather than supporting her anti-vaccine stance.

3. Fletcher confronts us with 1200 cases that have been allegedly ignored. These cases have nothing to do with the MMR-autism hypothesis. A suggestion is made that not enough research has been undertaken. In fact lots of wasted effort has conclusively proved that the MMR vaccine is not linked to autism, even before the allegations of fraud were made.

4. Fletcher suggests it is difficult to know what has been retracted with regard to the 1998 paper. It is not. The whole paper was retracted in February 2010 http://www.blacktriangle.org/blog/?p=2061

5. Fletcher informs readers of Dr Wakefield's lawsuit against Brian Deer, the BMJ and the BMJ editor Fiona Godlee. Readers may wish to inform themselves of Wakefield's prior attempts to use libel to silence critics, read the judges views of his tactics, and draw their own conclusions http://www.blacktriangle.org/blog/?p=1198

6. The problems associated with the Urabe strain of mumps have nothing to do with the MMR-autism hypothesis. Yet another red herring. In fact, in Japan, a move to single jabs following problems with aseptic meningitis led to increasing levels of autism. http://www.blacktriangle.org/blog/?p=977 This somewhat undermines Fletcher's implied point.

7. The fact that the Daily Express and Daily Mail reported problems with a vaccine is hardly indicative of the truth of a safety issue with MMR vaccine, and certainly doesn't tell us anything specific about the risk of autism with MMR vaccine. Since The Daily Mail and The Daily Express were largely responsible for the worst reporting of the MMR vaccine scare, it hardly seems a credible argument to enlist two articles from the height of their poor reporting in defence of a totally discredited hypothesis.

Finally, I would suggest that the History of Vaccines site reviews their comments policy. It is likely that anti-vaccine advocates will descend on this site to post further falsehoods. Unless you have the resources to deal with them, then I suggest they are not allowed to post, and can exercise their free speech rights elsewhere.

Posted by Project Director

Thanks for the information -- it's useful for us to get the UK perspective. And regarding our blog comment policy, it's always under review, and we will change it if we feel it's being abused or if we don't think we can keep up with responding to submitted comments.

Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Regardless of what Andrew Wakefield said, does not change the fact that my previously happy, healthy son became gravely ill and all normal development came to a screeching halt just after his MMR...the same story told by thousands of parents and doctors.

Posted by Project Director

I'm sorry for your son's health difficulties. As stated elsewhere, the US Institute of Medicine has analyzed the studies carefully and is quite clear in its rejection of a causal relationship between MMR vaccine and autism.

Posted by Project Director

I'd like to remind people of our blog commenting policy. I have been unable to approve several comments because they explicitly violate our terms.

Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

My child was not born with autism. He developed it after his 18 month vaccines, Now we are left with thousands of dollars worth of bills trying to recover him. In my opinion Dr Wakefield has had the guts to speak out, something that not everybody is willing to do. And now my son is recovering. It's problably easier to just look the other way.

Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

My son was developing fine (language, motor skills ect) then after his two year old shots he lost everything!!!!!! It took five years of hard work to recover him. Vaccines cumulative impact on a child is huge!!! One day the truth will come out and Big Pharma will be exposed...

Posted by Project Director

All of us hope, as you do, that we will continue to develop our understanding of the causes of autism.

Posted by Annie Goodwin (not verified)

With respect to the issue of attorneys ginning up "vaccine injury" claims in the US, I would direct readers to Kathleens Seidel's excellent site, Neurodiversity.com. A good place to start would be the article, "Commerce in Causation", http://neurodiversity.com/weblog/article/149/.

The shortest version: Clifford Shoemaker and other vaccine-injury lawyers actively solicited clients, marketing the notion that children with mild-to-severe disabilities were always "vaccine injured", and to seek compensation for their children from the US National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

I am not arguing that there are not severe adverse responses to vaccines. There are such responses, but they are vanishingly rare. Autism, even regressive autism, is not "vaccine injury".

Posted by Annie Goodwin (not verified)

Readers may also want to know that the majority of autism parents do not believe in the "autism is vaccine injury" myth. There was an interesting round-table discussion today at Seth Mnookin's blog, addressing just this subject:

http://blogs.plos.org/thepanicvirus/2012/01/25/autism-roundtable-part-i-angry-parents-disability-rights-and-living-in-a-neurotypical-world/

Including a discussion with one autism parent who believed at first in the myth, and in her words, recovered.

Posted by Matt Carey (not verified)

Mr. Wakefield was told by a "whistleblower" about problems with the Urabe strain of MMR and the licensing of this vaccine in 1999.

There is no public mention by him that I can find of the possible issues surrounding the mumps strain until the past couple of years.

Why did he not act on the information he was given? Whey did he not "listen to the parents" in this? Does it have to do with the fact that it is a competing theory to the one he was promoting, involving the measles component?

Ironically, Mr. Wakefield's call for single vaccines (supported by Ms. Fletcher's group JABS) led to the importation of unlicensed vaccines, including Urabe strain mumps vaccine.

It was the government, not Mr. Wakefield, not JABS, who put a stop to that practice.
http://www.ukmicentral.nhs.uk/headline/database/viewnewssearch.asp?offset=4490&NewsID=1434

Posted by Erwin Alber (not verified)

When is it going to dawn on everyone that vaccination is not a triumph of medical science, but an organised criminal enterprise dressed up as disease prevention by means of junk science?

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