A retraction from The Lancet that is very weak and way too late
February 03, 2010
Finally, many years after they should have, The Lancet—the once prestigious British medical journal—officially retracted Dr. Andrew Wakefield's 1998 report linking the MMR vaccine to autism following last Monday's judgment of the UK General Medical Council's Fitness to Practise Panel that the study was "dishonest and irresponsible."
The folks from the American Council on Science and Health were all over this...
"They (The Lancet) issued a miserably short retraction, and they didn't even do it on their own," says Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, president. "They did it following the council's ruling. It's shameful. After all the destruction that has been done by that article, all the panic about vaccines and autism that caused so many kids to contract measles and other serious, preventable diseases, this is too little, too late."
"I don't understand what took them twelve years to do this," adds Dr. Gil Ross, Medical/Executive Director. "The Medical Council's opinion shouldn't be the determining factor. Eleven of the paper's thirteen authors withdrew years ago. This retraction is revolting and pusillanimous, and of course at no point do they acknowledge The Lancet's role in this farce, this child-killing travesty."
Regrettably, it will probably take another twelve years for this vaccine/autism nonsense to be excised from the public consciousness. It is noted that the retraction by The Lancet comes a day after a competing medical journal, BMJ, issued an embargoed commentary calling for The Lancet to formally retract the study.
Furthermore, no scientist not associated with Andrew Wakefield has ever been able to replicate his work. Second, as was exposed by U.K. reporter Brian Deer, not only was Wakefield paid big bucks by trial lawyers seeking to sue vaccine manufacturers for "vaccine injury" to do his studies on autistic children, a conflict of interest he never revealed and that had to be exposed through Deer’s investigations, but months before he published his Lancet paper Wakefield had applied for a patent on a an allegedly safer single measles vaccine that could succeed best if the safety of the MMR were called into doubt.
The BMJ commentary said once the study by British surgeon and medical researcher Andrew Wakefield and his colleagues appeared in 1998 in The Lancet, "the arguments were considered by many to be proven and the ghastly social drama of the demon vaccine took on a life of its own."
I sometimes write a post that collates blog responses, both positive and negative, to a given issue.
I'm keeping one now on responses to the Lancet retraction of the Wakefield's paper.
I've added your post to the list.
The post is at
Posted by: Liz Ditz | February 03, 2010 at 01:49 PM
Posted by: Michael Shaw | February 03, 2010 at 03:50 PM
May be slightly off topic but I am beginning to really lose all faith and credibility in the FDA. It seems to me that instead of focusing their efforts on protecting the general public they are in-turn being influenced by corporate agenda and special interest. I take everything they say with a grain of salt.
Posted by: e cigarette | February 11, 2010 at 06:30 PM
Sadly, the FDA is not free from political influence, and there are surely certain matters in which it could do better. For example, its attitude toward e-cigarettes! Still, given its mission and resources, the FDA does a pretty good job.
Posted by: Michael Shaw | February 11, 2010 at 07:02 PM