Good News Week
Following on from the excellent TV broadcast featuring Amanda Baggs earlier this week, two more reports have emerged that offer some counterweight to the usual litany of vaccine-damaged-autism-epidemic scare stories.
On the mercury lists parents are complaining about John Stossel’s piece on vaccines on ABC. This is a refreshing piece of journalism that has looked at the evidence and reported that vaccines are safer than the diseases they prevent and that there is no evidence that they cause autism.Fo this he is being roundly condemned on his message board. Readers may wish to go there and restore some balance.
Last week my attention was drawn to a review of Richard Lathe’s book Autism, Brains and Environment, in the Lancet Neurology. This book argues that we have an epidemic of ‘new phase’ autism caused by environmental toxins. I have criticized the book in an earlier blog. So has Kev Leitch. It was also roundly condemned by Mike Fitzpatrick in the British Medical Journal. So you can imagine my surprize when I discovered that the Lancet review was by Mark Geier!
The Lancet seemed just as surprized. When I emailed them I received this prompt reply.
Many thanks for your email. The review was commissioned by a junior member of the editorial team who was unaware of Geier’s history. We are planning to publish a counterbalancing view in the next issue of the journal and have taken steps to ensure that this does not happen again.
With best wishes
Helen Frankish, PhD
Editor, The Lancet Neurology
I was not the only one who noticed. Ben Goldacre in the Guardian has written a withering account of Geier’s credentials and his quackery. It is published in the Guardian Online and in the badscience blog with the wonderful title, The transgressive medical genius that is Mark Geier. I believe this is the first time that the Geiers’activities have attracted serious newspaper attention. Let us hope that the next time it will not be a science writer, but a crime writer reporting on their transgressions.