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So quick?

November 9, 2008

Well, I’ve said since beginning my support of Obama that I would call him on any failures of his administration once I’ve voted him in. I did not expect that chance to possibly come so soon.

Anyone who follows science, medicine, or skeptical blogs has heard the name of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has made for himself quite the reputation of an anti-vaccine and conspiracy kook. Since he put his name in the byline on an article for Rolling Stone magazine where he weaves a dark tale of a covert meeting between world government officials, scientists, and pharma heads who discuss the link between autism and a “host of other neurological disorders” and an ingredient used in some vaccines as a preservative. Instead of discussing the veracity of the information, this evil enclave conspires to hide it from the public! Ridiculous, I know, but Mr. Kennedy apparently believes this hokey story, even though studies of the link between vaccines and autism have proven time and again that there is no link. Mr. Kennedy was widely ridiculed by the scientific and medical community for this little flight of fancy.

Mr. Kennedy then misrepresented CDC documents to make it sound like they were discouraging the removal of Thimerosal from vaccines despite the mountain of evidence linking it to autism (that doesn’t exist, btw).

So, why would any rational person believe this anti-vax bullshit and use underhanded tactics to put this pseudoscience forward? Maybe because he stood to make a fat wad of cash from representing litigants in a vaccine injury case.

He has much to say on the environment, too:

A couple of years ago, he put his name to a book entitled Crimes Against Nature, in whose pages we learn, among many similar revelations, that air pollution is a cause of Down’s Syndrome and that “automakers already have the technology” to make SUVs and minivans get the mileage of passenger cars, but don’t do so because, well, because they’re mean. (source)

Now, I can explain to you that Down’s Syndrome is genetic in nature but I don’t have to, because from my comments, I know the majority of my readers have brains in their heads. Someone may want to explain this wild and completely false claim about environmental affects on neurology to Robert Kennedy Jr. though!

So, we have this guy, anti-science bullshit, dirty pulls, bad environmental science, and possible greed. Why does this even matter? Because Mr. Kennedy may be the next head of the EPA under President Barack Obama.

Now, please note, this is a huge maybe. It is likely that the President-elect will take a closer look at this kook and laugh him right out of the public spotlight. I truly hope so. As a candidate that decried the current administration’s war on science, this would be an inauspicious beginning!

Update: Whenever there’s a news item related to medicine and science, you know Science-based Medicine will say it best!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. nhokkanen permalink
    November 10, 2008 11:10 am

    If a tobacco company sourced, funded, guided, and wrote scientific studies to prove cigarettes don’t cause lung cancer, not a single American would give the studies any credibility.

    Yet, our own Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a government agency responsible for administering our National Immunization Program, has done the very same thing by sourcing, funding, guiding, and writing research to try and prove that vaccines, and a mercury preservative used in vaccines, have not fueled an epidemic of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders in our nation’s children.

    Why would the CDC do this? See for yourself, from more than two dozen secret documents and emails in the words of those responsible.

    The longer the CDC denies the true cause of the autism epidemic, the less resources we can dedicate to treating our children today. It’s time to put our children first.

    http://www.putchildrenfirst.org/

  2. November 10, 2008 11:28 am

    The CDC is a governemtn-run institution. It doesn’t make a profit off of immunizations sold, so the comparison to tobacco companies is faulty, and I’m being kind.

    If you really want to put children first, start reading scientific studies and tests on whether or not the mercury in Thimerosal was causing autism. Then, read the studies that showed no slowing in the reported cases of autism spectrum disorders in areas where theimerosal was completely removed from all vaccines. Then read the studies that show that the autism “explosion” is due to a broadening of the criteria that qualifies a neurological disorder to be in the autism spectrum.

    I would link these articles for you, but as you already intimated, you don’t trust the gevernment agency whose mandate it is to keep us healthy! You’ve dug yourself and your children into a dangerous hole. Not only are you leaving your children wide open to many diseases that were all but wiped out due to the boon of vaccines, but you endanger every child who has not yet gotten their vaccinations by making your children potential carriers of disease. All this while you parasitically benefit from herd immuntiy of the vaccinated without aiding the cause of good health.

    Ignorance is understandable, but willful ignorance in the face of overwhelming evidence is absolutely unforgivable. Please, do think of your children and take a more reasoned approach to the issue of vaccination. Put your children first.

  3. MarshallDog permalink
    November 10, 2008 11:55 am

    nhokkanen,

    The CDC is a government agency charged with protecting the public from disease. No one profits from the national immunization program you speak of. Your hypothetical tobacco company is a company that depends on selling dangerous tobacco products to the public for profit. There is good reason for said company to have such research vindicate their products, because it means hundreds of millions more in sales.

    Even if your theory had some validity, and the CDC was a profit driven business, the fact is that studies not done by the CDC show that vaccines are safe and not the cause of autism.

    Thanks for the insightful link…

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