“A word to the wise ain’t necessary, it’s the stupid ones who need the advice.” Bill Cosby
I don’t believe in conspiracy theories. You may already know this if you read my Haitian/Tsunami/New World Order/Why You Don’t Argue On Facebook post. One of my personal pet peeve conspiracies is the “vaccines cause autism/are a government plot to sterilize my child/caused my kid to grow extra limbs” crap. The biggest one of those, of course, is the supposed link between vaccines and autism. You can read the Wiki page on vaccine related controversies if you want. Or Jenny McCarthy’s Wiki page. She’s used her fame to peddle her moronic, unscientific, unproven ideas all over the place, including Oprah (who should be kicked for giving her a respectable platform.)
What really got the ball rolling on the vaccines-cause-autism debate was a paper published in The Lancet, one of the better medical journals according to the Wiki page. The paper was published by Andrew Wakefield et al. and connected bowel disorders to autism and then suggested there might be a connection between the bowel disorders and the MMR vaccine. A tenuous link at best. Yet crazy conspiracy theorists and people desperately searching for reasons to explain their child’s disorder jumped on this paper.
Now, it’s been redacted.
10 out of 13 of the authors have withdrawn their names from the paper. Wakefield was cited for ethical misconduct with the children involved in the study. And Wakefield was taking money from a group of people who thought their children had been harmed by the MMR vaccine. All of this came out after an investigation by the General Medical Council.
Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carey have attributed this to a “remarkable media campaign engineered by vaccine manufacturers.”