March 1, 2008

ABC's Dr. Tim Johnson Tells A Big Mis Truth on TV

Last week on Good Morning America, ABC's medical expert Dr. Tim Johnson said the following when asked about vaccines and autism:

"Well, it's understandable why parents make that connection because their kids get shots and they get Autism at the same ages.

But I have to tell you, Diane, every good study that looks at this has found no increased risk from vaccines. They look at kids who get vaccinated and kids who don't.


The Institute of Medicine, which I think is an impeccably independent body, has looked at all the evidence an said there's no connection. I think that's the truth."

With in 2 minutes autism message boards were running over with, "Wait... did he just lie on national television... any one got TVIO and can back that up and listen to that again?" messages.

Because us parents know good and well, the only vaccinated v. unvaccinated study ever completed was the Generation Rescue survey last year of "over 9,000 boys in California and Oregon and found that vaccinated boys had a 155% greater chance of having a neurological disorder like ADHD or autism than unvaccinated boys".

And the only other vaxed v. unvaxed study that was begun dropped the unvaxxed kids from the study with in weeks because they found to high of a correlation between vaccination and neurodevelopmental disorders, specifically autism. In one case the risk ran as high as 600%! (You guessed it, the study was done by the CDC who didn't want to publish something that would implicate them in the autism epidemic).

That is the OPPOSITE of what Doc Johnson reported.

Autism mom Monica Bice got the message to ABC news pronto pointing out the misinformation and got back a reply from Audrey Grayson at the ABC News Medical Unit, who clearly has never read the studies that she is quoting.

This was my letter to her today:

Dear Ms. Grayson,

I read your response to Monica Bice's request that Dr. Timothy Johnson's errant comment be retracted by ABC.

I wanted to call your attention to a review I wrote of the Denmark and Verstraten studies two years ago so that you can see that these two studies do nothing to disprove the theory that thimerosal containing vaccines trigger autism. It was originally posted here:

Both of these studies are fatally flawed and Verstraeten cannot be replicated, and parents and advocacy groups demands that they be retracted have fallen on deaf ears for years.

It is unbelievable that these two studies are STILL being proffered to support vaccine safety, because they do no such thing.

Attached is my review of the two studies and why I do not, as a mother and as a mental health professional, believe that they can be used to inform either my decisions to vaccinate my children, or to make decisions on vaccine policy in this country.

Please... take the time to read them in their entirety, and then go back and read the studies again, yourself, to see if I am right or not.

This medical misinformation has been allowed to continue, year after year, because journalists are not reading these studies for themselves, and the criticisms of them, and using their critical thinking skills to check the claims of the medical establishment that are rife with conflicts of interest.

Before you use these studies to support vaccine safety claims again... investigate them.

It is time for those in medical journalism to get back to being real investigative journalists, not just mimmics for the CDC.

I reiterate Ms. Bice's request that Dr. Johnson's statement be retracted. The only vaccinated v. unvaccinated study every completed (by Generation Rescue last year) found a dramatic correlation between vaccines and autism, and the early versions of the Verstraeten study, when he was still including unvaccinated populations, show a dramatic correlation as well.

Ginger Taylor, M.S.

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