In an editorial for Family Practice News, Dr. Stephen Pelton expressed relief that prominent English medical journal, Lancet, had retracted its 1998 article by Andrew J. Wakefield and associates that postulated that their might be a link between giving the MMR vaccine and developing autism and that it would be safer to separate the shots into individual units. In Japan this recommendation was followed, and the incidence of autism continued to increase. Pelton referred to other studies that have failed to show such a link. The extraordinary step of article retraction was obviously politically motivated. Pelton serves on the Advisory Boards of 3 drug companies. FP News is published by the same company as Lancet. There was no reason to void Wakefield’s article from the urgent debate. There is no one cause for autism. Genetically susceptible kids are stimulated to having their genes expressed by some combination of toxic chemical exposure. The incidence of autism is skyrocketing. We need a massive effort to make our kids safer from this devastating disease. Parents repeatedly link the beginnings of autism to vaccine administration. There is a lot we can do to make vaccine administration safer. Why don’t we focus on that, at least to start with?
See Family Practice News (click here), 3/15/10, p. 9.