Flack over vax for Prof Noakes

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University of Cape Town’s Prof Tim Noakes, already under fire for his claims on the low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet’s role in disease prevention, has been taken to task for ‘jeopardising public confidence’ in the two-dose vaccine for children against measles. Nathan Geffen, formerly of the [b]Treatment Action Campaign[/b] and now editor of [s]GroundUp[/s] points to comments made by Noakes on Twitter: ‘Dishonest science. Proven link between autism and early immunisation covered up?’

Geffen writes that the tweet contained links to two videos, one of them featuring Andrew Wakefield, which claim that the [b]US Centres for Disease Control[/b] is covering up a link between autism and immunisation. Geffen says that in 1998 Andrew Wakefield, a British surgeon, was the first author of a research paper published in a leading medical journal, [s]The Lancet[/s], which purported to show that there was a link between the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. But, he says, not only was Wakefield’s paper ‘fatally flawed both scientifically and ethically,’ it was also, explains the [s]British Medical Journal[/s], ‘an elaborate fraud.

Wakefield was found guilty of several counts of dishonesty in 2010 by the [b]General British Medical Council[/b] and barred from practising medicine. And, he adds, since the Wakefield paper, large, well-conducted studies have not been able to find evidence of a link between vaccines and autism. He says Wakefield’s name is becoming synonymous with dishonesty in science and he is not someone a reputable scientist would wish to be associated with.

Meanwhile [s]RetractionWatch[/s] reports that an article published last month in Translational Neurodegeneration purporting to find that black children are at substantially increased risk for autism after early exposure to the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine has been retracted. The journal stated: ‘This article has been removed … because of serious concerns about the validity of its conclusions.’

Full GroundUp report
Full RetractionWatch report

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