Homeopaths are keeping Andrew Wakefield’s ‘anti-vax’ fantasies alive

The ex-doctor Andrew Wakefield is back in Britain. Why do I call him an ‘ex-doctor’? As was widely reported at the time, Wakefield was struck off the medical register for his fraudulent and now retracted research paper in the Lancet, along with multiple other charges of misconduct in support of the now discredited claim that there was a link between the administration of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, and autism or bowel disease. In January 2010 a tribunal of the GMC found Wakefield guilty of three dozen charges, including four counts of dishonesty and 12 counts involving the abuse of children.

Since then, he has been living in the US and seems to have been earning his living by lecturing chiropractors and homeopaths about his misguided views on childhood immunisations. There is never a shortage of quacks who are only too keen to believe the fantasies of a charlatan, I fear.

But now the disgraced ex-doctor is back to promote and show his anti-vaccination film Vaxxed. Most fittingly, the first viewing of this film took place last week at the Centre for Homeopathic Education (CHE) in London. Not many people have heard of this institution, so let’s have a quick look at this unusual outfit.

On the website of the CHE, an organisation which operates ‘in partnership with’ Middlesex University London, we find more than one surprise. Under the title of ‘Ten Top Homeopathic Remedies For Your First Aid Kit’, for instance, it is stated: ‘We wanted to give you some top tips to put together your own remedy kit to use in first-aid situations for yourself, friends and family.’

The recommended remedies are in the 30c potency. Let me explain: a C30 potency equals a dilution of 1: 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000. This means that a pill would need to have a diameter roughly as large as the distance between the sun and the earth to have a reasonable chance of containing one single molecule of the substance on the label.

Here are a few of these surprising remedies, together with their ‘indications’ as promoted on the CHE’s website:

ACONITE… This remedy is great for shock…
ARNICA… This is the classic remedy for trauma… The typical arnica patient will tell you that they’re fine and avoid attention, but may well still be in shock…
ARSENICUM… This is your go-to remedy for food poisoning…
BELLADONNA …This is a great remedy for fever, sunstroke, and for a skin condition such as boils.
HEPAR SULPH… Very painful and infected wounds and abscesses respond well to this remedy.
RHUS TOX …used to treat skin rashes like chicken pox and shingles.
There are many more remedies to choose from, but hopefully this will give you a good little starter kit. Also it is possible to buy a comprehensive homeopathic first aid kit from any of the reputable homeopathic suppliers. These kits will come with instructions on how to use the remedies too.

The CHE also runs various courses. In fact, it prides itself on being the only British institution that offers a bachelor of science in homeopathy. One recent lecture, for instance, covered subjects like these:

The Cancer Diseases — the cancer disease is an umbrella term for a range of conditions which primarily affects the cells and immune system first. There are many causes of this condition such as emotional shocks, toxins, drugs, trauma, radiation and severe stress, etc. In some cases, the cause is genetic or not known. Ageing is another factor in the development and treatment of the cancer diseases.

Homeopathic remedies: cancer remedies, cancer pains, chemotherapy and radiation side effects, shocks, trauma, sleep, surgery, remedies for prevention and recovery.

Detox therapy: detox principles and methods, heavy metals, chemo drugs, radiation, chemicals, etc. Detox diet, superfoods, herbal tonics and natural remedies.

Do I see this right? The CHE seems to claim that cancer can be caused by emotional shock and that homeopathic cancer remedies are worth trying. In Britain the Cancer Act actually prohibits the advertisement of such claims.

It would be easy to make fun of this, but these statements are not funny at all. It is obvious that some of this advice could potentially kill quite a few emergency patients if the instructions of the homeopathic first aid kit were followed. Moreover, one would most likely hasten the death of many cancer patients.

Why does the Middlesex University agree to be a ‘partner’ in such monstrosities? Presumably it gets some money from the hefty fees the CHE charges. University officials would probably claim that their ‘partnership’ does not amount to an endorsement of such dangerous quackery. It is easy to hide behind weasel words such as patient choice or an open mind. Yet they must also be aware that they are lending credibility to indefensible charlatanry and thereby risking their own reputation as well as public health.

After the viewing of Vaxxed last week, it has been reported that the host university has severed its contract with the CHE. Had they listened to me, officials at the Middlesex University might have saved themselves the embarrassment of being associated with charlatans. Last year, in a blog post about the CHE, I concluded: if I were the vice chancellor of Middlesex, I would quickly sever all links to the Centre for Homeopathic Education and publish an apology for having been involved in such mind-boggling quackery.

We are now only waiting for the apology.

Edzard Ernst, emeritus professor at the University of Exeter, is the author of Homeopathy: The Undiluted Facts and the awardee of the John Maddox Prize 2015 for standing up for science. He blogs at edzardernst.com.

  • UK Homeopathy Regs

    Middlesex University get a non-refundable £700 fee, which is in addition to what CHE charges for the course.

    • Paul M

      Thankfully they’ve now seen the error of their ways and cancelled this ridiculous arrangement.

      • Have they? Have they said something? Or are you confusing Middlesex University with Regents University who have just stopped the CHE from using their premises?

  • Inaba-kun

    It’s always welcome to see evidence based pro-science journalism, especially on a topic as serious as this. Wakefield is an incredibly dangerous person. His fraudulent claims have reduced herd immunity and convinced many people to forgo vacations entirely. He has much blood on his hands.

    I would however like to see this pro evidence, pro science stance be reflected across the rest of this publication and journalism in general. Fake health stories are all over the tabloids (the Mail in particular), and climate change deniers can still be found here and on the Telegraph. Delingpole stands out as the most loathsome and ignorant of these anti science, uneducated trolls.

    • barbel

      You are absolutely right. The real villains are the newspaper columnists who effectively waged a war on vaccination. Melanie Phillips of the Daily Vile being the worst. If I’d told millions of parents not to vaccinate their children and seen a measles epidemic follow I’d crawl away in shame. However she is now appearing throughout the media attacking climate science with the venom and ignorance she attacked medical science.
      Your right about Delingpole too. Is it really his fault though or the media who think an old Etonian with a Oxbridge English degree (one of the elite I suppose) is automatically an expert on anything.

      • Mc

        Ultimately it is the editors who are at fault for commissioning rubbish. And that takes one to the nub of why journalism is so despised for its institutionalised lack of integrity.

        • AutismDadd

          Medical/ science journals are 70% junk so lets hear you defend that.

      • AutismDadd

        WOW. A world where no one EVER challenges the status quo. We’d still live in caves if you were in charge. The sky is falling!

    • AutismDadd

      Is the Earth flat too? You are a conspiracy lover and a fool.

      • Inaba-kun

        I have no idea what you are talking about, but it’s clearly idiotic.

        Conspiracy theories, such as vaccines causing autism, are the sole preserve of the mentally unstable.

        • sabelmouse

          it’s a conspiracy story why? because those causing autism, and many other health problems while making money believe it?
          that’s YOUR level of ”scienceyness”?

          • Inaba-kun

            I believe in evidence. There is no evidence now or in the past to link autism with vaccines, Wakefield fabricated his results and was kicked out of medicine as a result. He now survives as a crack pot conspiracy theorist praying on the gullible and the stupid. He is no different to a so called “9/11 truther”, UFO nut, or homeopath.

            If you have no idea how the scientific method works then you should before spouting such uneducated drivel again. You are an idiot.

          • sabelmouse

            no corporate sponsored/denied evidence.
            you go on believing in your religion.
            though you are of course wrong about wakefield.
            luckily people can look this up. so what’s your point posting lies? or do you really believe them?
            you certainly seem mentally stable, not!

          • Inaba-kun

            It’s always surprising to see that people as deluded and foolish as you exist. It’s sad really.

            Fortunately the world is created by those who put evidence before all else, not by fantasists like you. Perhaps someday you’ll realise what a fool you’ve been.

          • sabelmouse

            hahaha to infinity, thank goodness for armrests.

    • sabelmouse

      you sound like a believer/follower of scientism, judging by your comment.

  • David Davies

    What happens to the solutions homeopaths make on the way to making a c30 solution? Are they poured down the sink to be diluted with drain water? The whole water supply must saturated with highly potent discarded homeopathic medicine.

    • That’s a very good question. 29C of a 30C solution must (by homeopathic thinking) be pretty potent. Just don’t ever ask a homeopath about that, though. They generally don’t like questions of any sort but I’ve seen some go ballistic when you ask questions like that…

      • Would love to see that. 🙂 I’ve only ever seen them ignore it.

        But it does raise a good point. The manufacturing facilities are regulated. Do they also regulate the disposal process? I mean, it is just water being flushed down the drain after a certain point, but if they’re claiming medicinal properties they should be treating that appropriately.

        • Ieva Zagante

          I am afraid they will get through like with the overdose. Regulators do not care that, acoording to Homeopathy, one cannot overdose remedies the same way as conventional meds. The same with water: polution kept within the allowed limits, great. Nobody will ban homeopathy just because they cannot offer method to measure the real active ingredient according to the Homeopathy.

    • UK Homeopathy Regs

      They are put through a quantum flux generator and a nano-modulator to de-potentise them.

      • Mc

        Recent research reveals that the only way to safely dispose of homeopathic medical waste is to dump it in a black hole (i.e. of the astronomy kind, like the one at the center of our galaxy).

    • barbel

      Homeopaths don’t say that simply dissolving something so that you need a test tube the size of the solar system to get a molecule in it gives it therapeutic powers.

      That would be silly.

      No, the mixing has to be done properly by a process called, if I recall right, sucusion. This involves tapping the test tubes 10 times against wood and 10 times against leather.

      Responsible homeopathic medicine producers who follow all the evidence use computer controlled robots to do this.

      So you see it all makes perfect sense.

    • Hey! This is homeopathy we’re talking about! You don’t get to bring “reason” to the discussion…

    • AutismDadd

      Pharmaceuticals are doing just that and its documented.

  • Malcolm Stevas

    It’s extraordinary that outrageous quacks such as those boosting homeopathic “medicine” – in the same bracket as Scientology – can escape prosecution for fraud.

    • AutismDadd

      And MERCK’s VIOXX what say you about that?

      • Tetenterre

        Why is it that people like you accept the scientific evidence when it outs the VIOXX cover-up, but reject it when it outs Wakefield as a fraud and the MMR scare as being unfounded?

        • AutismDadd

          Because VIOXX was real, and Wakefield was attacked to save the MMR vaccine. Plus two different countries involved.

      • sabelmouse

        just a fluke, and SCIENCE figured out it was bad and saved millions!!!!

        • AutismDadd

          That’s right, the FDA actually did it job….too late…but it was getting ugly

  • Sarah H

    Vaccine injury is a very real thing. Sadly because the media has portrayed such a biased view of it over such a long period of time people are generally unaware of the issue- until it effects them personally. Please watch the following video- just one story among thousands worldwide. Don’t let it happen to yourself or your child. It’s not just about autism!

    #vaxxed #truth #science


    • Sarah H said:

      “Vaccine injury is a very real thing.”

      Please provide good evidence for what you mean.

      Note: stories and videos do not constitute good evidence.

      • AutismDadd

        There are 19 Vaccine injury compensation programs in the world. That cannot be disputed.

    • Brian

      “Vaxxed” lies and is the work of con men and scam artists.

      • AutismDadd

        Maybe you’d like to swear out a complaint and create a court case where you defend those accusations?

    • UK Homeopathy Regs

      Whilst nothing is totally safe, current day vaccines have been shown to be incredible safe. There is no scandal to be revealed except the one that parents of autistic children do not always receive the financial and practical support that they need. The irony of Donald Trump consorting with anti-vaxxers and yet at the same time wanting to cut support to these parents and children will be lost on some.

      • AutismDadd

        Not on planet earth

      • sabelmouse

        it’s easy to prove their safe when you don’t test them and deny people who say that they’re not.

    • Vaccine injury is a very real thing.

      Yes, it is. However, everything has an element of risk and the risk with vaccines is extremely well known and established as being extremely low. So low the risk/benefit ratio makes it very clear that it’s worth getting the vaccine and risk a side effect rather than risk getting what the vaccine prepares you for and getting that condition.

      But hey, the actual illness is natural, right? Let’s ignore the death toll that comes with that.

      • Herbert West

        “the risk with vaccines is extremely well known and established as being extremely low” You’re either a lying troll or an idiot. Based on your body of work, very likely the 1st option.

        • Show us the evidence that makes my statement false. You are the one claiming that there is a high risk (or at least that there isn’t an extremely low risk). So show us the research that demonstrates that.

          If you won’t your first option applies to you.
          If you can’t your second option applies to you.
          If you concede that you may be wrong neither option apply to you. That’s a kind of progress I guess.

          • Herbert West

            Love it….including the fake profile picture,……produce the evidence that your statement is true. Your claim, your burden. BTW…”us”? You sharing a cubicle with other paid posters? Or is the “us” the other voices in your head? Creepy.

          • 1. That’s me. This isn’t a fake profile. That was taken at Stag Saddle just out of Tekapo, New Zealand. Stag Saddle is the highest point on the Te Araroa which is a train that runs the full length of the country. I’m quite public about who I am and what I do. You on the other hand…

            2. You’re the one making the extraordinary claim that goes against the scientific consensus. It’s actually up to you to present the evidence that counters it. But despite that here’s a start: http://www.cochrane.org/search/site/vaccine%20safety

          • Herbert West

            Another shill/troll oldie but goodie tactic….post links throwing loads of crap on the wall, containing many studies that have no relevance on the conversation being discussed, all in the amateur attempt to look “sciency” and legit. Does this actually work anymore? Funny stuff skippy, and you can keep ignoring the “us” question, don’t blame you, your post was creepy.

          • You’re the one making the extraordinary claim that goes against the scientific consensus. It’s actually up to you to present the evidence that counters it.

            Question about “us” now answered above.

          • AutismDadd

            Scientific Consensus has been abused like peer review. Once agreed upon its what authorities rely on. Its dogma and dogma is hard to alter.

          • Ah! I stand corrected. You have asked about “us”.

            “Us”, in this context, is the pro-science community that hangs out in comment threads like this one. If that wasn’t obvious, I can’t help but wonder at your education.

        • AutismDadd

          I agree. These blanket statements and parroting spewed by these types isn’t credible and shows the brainwashing is working.

        • AutismDadd

          He’s both

    • Ieva Zagante

      Not this one. Howevery vaccine producers are pretty honest that sometimes (very seldom) bad things may happen (google respective summaries of product characteristics. Doctors, at least in my country, offer children with strong allergies or asthma to stay at the hospital overnight (I am asthmatic and know very well that even a common cold can make asthma much worse, and anything stronger means that it will take more time to control asthma again, than to recover from that infection). And then there are careless mommies – like the one who forgot to tell doctors that she is HIV+, so her baby after receiving Tb vaccine, almost died.
      However vaccines causing autism is a BS. Wakefield must have known this, because he used children with existing developmental disorders and parents who ignored this fact (or hoped to get compensation). Parents often lie to themselves and others when they cannot accept that their child was born with health problems.

      • AutismDadd

        What Garbage. Its obvious you haven’t read much or thought much about Wakefield and 12 other medical professionals who were doing their jobs. All you gleaned is from Brian Deer and other media hacks.

        • Ieva Zagante

          Stop this Big Bad Brian attituted and take apart everything he has written if he is so wrong! E.g. for example this informed consent: I had to sign one for doctors to publish case report about me. Without my personal data that would allow my identification (allthough why should be ashamed?).

          • AutismDadd

            I have no clue what that means.

    • Vaxxed gives two mutually incompatible narratives on vaccine injury.

      One is a study by the CDC that shows an association between MMR and autism in African-American boys vaccinated early, but not for any other group. One is a fraudulent study claimed to show a link between MMR and autism in Caucasian children, though this link is actually not in the data.

      The Wakefield narrative and the Thompson narrative are mutually exclusive, but the film portrays them as confirming each other.

      Why do you think they did that?

      And why do you think the Thompson association disappeared when fuller records were obtained? And how do you think Hooker published his risible (and now retracted) analysis of the Thompson data if it was destroyed or hidden, as the film-makers claim?

      It’s odd that these rather obvious errors are never explored by the Vaxxed fan club. I’d want to know, if I were one of them.

      • AutismDadd

        Speculation isn’t evidence.

  • ReallyGoodMedicine

    It’s so easy to see that drug companies control the UK media. Vaccines are the foundation of their wealth.

    • barbel

      and the foundation of your health

    • Are Murdoch, Desmond, the Barclay brothers, etc controlled by the drug companies of do they own the drug companies? You weren’t clear.

      • AutismDadd

        James Murdoch sat on the Board of GlaxoSmithKline. He was appointed not long after a former reporter he knew (Brian Deer) assassinated Dr Andrew Wakefield for being critical of the MMR. GSK makes an MMR. Come to your own conclusion.

    • It’s so easy to see that drug companies control the UK media.

      If it’s so easy please provide convincing documentation to prove your claim.

      • But the drug companies’ control doesn’t seem to extend to the depths of the comments section of a UK magazine… Or youtube.

    • Ieva Zagante

      Yes, let’s prevent child from complications of the childhood infections, like organ failure (requiring different medications) and Big Pharma will become filthy rich.

    • That explains all the uncritical stories on bullshit quack cures, then. Oh, wait…

  • Laurie J. Willberg

    Watch “Vaxxed” for yourself and come to your own conclusions. Comments made by paediatricians are showing that they’re shocked by the facts revealed in the film they were never made aware of. The vaccine industry is so terrified by the factual info. in the film they’ve gone out of their way to hire hit-pieces like this against it.

    • So, are you saying that Ernst was hired by ‘the vaccine industry’ to write this piece? Do clarify… with evidence, of course. You do have evidence… don’t you?

    • Watch “Vaxxed” for yourself and come to your own conclusions.

      And also read the concerns that people have about it. Remove the FUD from the anti-vax rhetoric and look at the claims that are left over. Compare those claims with those that are arguing against them. Check the qualifications of the people making the claims. Are they experts in the fields they’re talking about? Discard those that aren’t. Check the data. Is it an anecdote? An unverified and unverifiable story? Or actual legitimate research?

      The numbers that fall out the end of that process speak for themselves.

    • I did. It presents two mutually exclusive arguments as if they were confirmatory. It was clearly made by idiots who are promoting an agenda and are not in the least bit interested in facts.

      • AutismDadd

        What kind of an idiot rejects evidence and offers nothing but a closed mind?

        • sabelmouse

          pro vaxxers!?

          • AutismDadd

            We have a winner!

  • rosross

    It must frustrate the good Professor exceedingly that Homeopathy is the second most used medical modality in the world and remains popular throughout Europe, with the Swiss ranking it equal with Allopathic medicine.

    One can only ask, if it is the fraud Ernst claims then how is it possible that it can be taught in universities and medical schools, practised in hospitals and by MD’s and included in State medical systems?

    • edzard ernst

      Ad hominem attacks are signs of victories of reason over unreason

      • rosross

        Ad hominem attacks the individual not the argument. It is the course of the prejudiced and those lacking a substantive case.

        • Quit PRATT-ing. Your stock box is so familiar. You badly need some new material.

        • Ad hominem attacks the individual not the argument. It is the course of the prejudiced and those lacking a substantive case.

          Actually, Ad hominem dismisses a claim because of the individual making it. The claim may still be wrong, but the nature of the given reason for dismissing it is flawed.

          • As a friend Mojo once said:

            “Ad hom: “You’re wrong because you’re a fecking eejit.”
            Not ad hom: “You’re wrong and you’re a fecking eejit”
            Also not ad hom: “You’re a fecking eejit because you’re wrong.””

    • Tetenterre

      Rosross, you wrote: “Homeopathy is the second most used medical modality in the world”

      Thing is, homeopathy is not a medical modality; it’s a marketing modality. For snake oil.

      “and remains popular throughout Europe, with the Swiss ranking it equal with Allopathic medicine.”

      Ah, the good old argumentum ad populum that the touts for this particular (and most, if not all, other) species of pseudomedicine like to trot out as an alternative to evidence of efficacy.

      “how is it possible that it can be taught in universities and medical schools, practised in hospitals and by MD’s and included in State medical systems?”

      Because human beings are – well – human, and sometimes get things wrong?

      • “and remains popular throughout Europe, with the Swiss ranking it equal with Allopathic medicine.”

        Ah, the good old argumentum ad populum that the touts for this particular (and most, if not all, other) species of pseudomedicine like to trot out as an alternative to evidence of efficacy.

        The Swiss claim isn’t even true. Roslyn will be referring to the Swiss Medical Association adding Homeopathy to an, at the time, already running trial to give complementary medicine a second chance to prove its worth as an insurable health cost[1]. The issue here is that it’s a trial. A second chance may be being given but “efficacy, cost-effectiveness and suitability” still have to be demonstrated.

        This is currently due now. Hopefully, we should hear the results soon.

        It’s interesting, sad, unsurprising and so obviously a point of desperation that the anti-science crowd would claim “the Swiss ranking it equal with Allopathic medicine” when it’s demonstrably not the case. Will Roslyn change her cut’n’paste claims though? Unlikely. She’s had this pointed out many times. She’s not updated her playbook yet.

        [1] http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/alternative-therapies-are-put-to-the-test/29242484

        • rosross

          Quote: The interior ministry has announced plans to give five complementary therapies including homeopathy the same status as conventional medicine.
          Homeopathy, holistic medicine, herbal medicine, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine will acquire the same status as conventional medicine by May 2017 when it comes to health insurance.


          • Tetenterre

            However, “will acquire the same status as conventional medicine by May 2017 when it comes to health insurance” doesn’t equate to “will acquire the same status as conventional medicine by May 2017 when it comes to evidence of efficacy“, does it Roslyn?

          • The interior ministry has announced plans to give five complementary therapies including homeopathy the same status as conventional medicine.

            The same status from the point of view of it being covered by insurance. This is not them saying it works. In fact they specifically state it was “impossible to provide such proof for these disciplines in their entirety”. The response to that:

            They will thus be treated on a par with other medical disciplines, when it comes to health insurance.

            This is literally stupid and I doubt you’ll actually understand why…

      • rosross

        Homeopathic medicine has been around for centuries and the fact that it is used by MD’s and in hospitals, particularly in First World Europe, and taught in universities and some medical schools, and included by Governments in State medical systems – not the word medical – means you are wrong and I am right.

    • Roslyn said:

      “Homeopathy is the second most used medical modality in the world ”

      Is it indeed? Care to provide evidence for that?

      • Hah-ah! Wait for her to repeat herself again, regardless of refutation.

        • All she needs to is provide good evidence for that very simple, but staggering claim…

          • rosross

            Easily found. Off you go.

          • I have nothing to do here: you made the extraordinary claim; you back it up. If you can’t, please just say so.

          • Perhaps you can’t back it up after all.

          • Of course she can’t. Otherwise it would have been added to her usual collection of copy/paste responses so that this part of the conversation didn’t happen on every article she posts to.

          • Do you think she might be referring to something the World Health Organisation has said?

          • I doubt she has any reference at all. Even if that was the case, she could still link to that.

    • But how do you know it works?

  • barbel

    Full marks to the Spectator. A piece on a scientific issue by an expert, a scientist who knows what he is talking about.
    Let’s see more with other issues. Let’s have some climate scientists for example.

  • Did you know that President Trump has Twittered that vaccines are a cause of autism? Google “The Veracity Institute” to see the dangerous nonsense he is spreading. What if his millions of voters are influenced by that? Why has the medical establishment not called him out on it?

    • Mike Stevens

      350 medical organisations and institutes have recently written to Trump, reinforcing the benefits and safety of vaccines.

      • Herbert West

        And beside reinforcing that the medical field is beholden to the pharmaceutical cartel, what exactly does that prove?

        • Well… your response proves that you are susceptible to any conspiracy theory that backs your position. And that you’re an idiot*.

          * It’s been a long day. My ability to hold back my inner arsehole is wearing thin.

          • Herbert West

            What position needs backing…that the medical field is beholden to the pharmaceutical industry? Only a true idiot would try to deny this.

          • You referred to it as the “pharmaceutical cartel” and the way you use “beholden” implies you think desired outcomes are being dictated prior to the research. This implies a much more clandestine organisation manipulating things from behind the scenes. There’s good research into the nature and scale of conspiracies and the sort of thing you hint at is implausible.

          • Herbert West

            You can infer whatever you like from my statement. Are you actually denying the medical profession is not run by the pharmaceutical industry?

          • I’m saying it’s not run by a cartel, which is the word you initially used.

            I also find it hard to believe that the medical profession is run by the pharmaceutical industry.

            You can say that I can infer whatever I like. However, if you want your words to make sense to your audience you need to be clear and give the appropriate context so that they get the message you are actually wanting to put out there.

            Looking at your revised wordage I would think that you believe that there is one overarching shadowy organisation driving the entire industry. The scale of what you are implying points to you thinking that it’s a global organisation too. If you are not meaning that then you need to be clearer because without that you have a decent number of companies in a competitive industry and that’s not conducive to the level of control you suggest.

            The scale of this shadowy organisation prevents it from being a real thing. Or at least it prevents it from being a hidden thing.

            If you are going to make such broad general claims like that you should bring the evidence to demonstrate it. If you don’t you just come across sounding like a conspiracy theorist nutcase.

            You’re not a conspiracy theorist nutcase are you?

            Present your evidence.

          • Herbert West

            “I also find it hard to believe that the medical profession is run by the pharmaceutical industry”

            Stopped reading there. I don’t make a habit of engaging fools.

          • Right. So you didn’t read the explanation for why I believe that to be the case.

            I don’t believe you. You read it. You just couldn’t challenge the points made.

            You do realise that this is just more evidence that shows you to be of the conspiracy theorist mindset, right?

          • Herbert West

            You disqualified yourself from serious consideration after making certain statements. What you think, or claim to think, or are being paid to post is no concern of mine.

          • You disqualified yourself from serious consideration after making certain statements.

            As did you. At least I took the time to explain why your position is untenable. Your unwillingness to present data to demonstrate why I’m wrong shows you to be closed minded.

            Not unexpected from an alt-med supporter. Typically your crowd would ignore it and just change the topic rather than try to shut it down this way. You must be new.

          • Herbert West

            Skippy, your paid to post material is so transparent its actually entertaining. BTW, you never answered who “us” is…..

          • Show me your evidence that I’m paid for these posts. If you can’t (and I know for a certainty you can’t), then you are little more than a conspiracy theorist.

            You’ve yet to ask about “us”. I can’t answer a question you’ve not asked.

          • Herbert West

            Love it how paid posters never actually flat out deny they are being paid. They always defer to ‘prove it’.

          • Well, I’m not being paid. So there’s your outright statement you’re after.

            You, on the other hand, are convinced I am despite having no proof of it. So yeah, I’m calling you out to back up your untenable position. I know you can’t prove it. You also know you can’t prove it. But you not being able to prove it shows you to be the one making false claims.

            You’re an idiot.

          • Herbert West

            Amateur hour is over sparky, have fun trying to fool other readers.

          • If you have any evidence anyone is paid to comment her, please, please do share.

          • Amateur hour is over sparky, have fun trying to fool other readers.

            Heh. You can tell that by the vast lack of any evidence to back any claim you have presented.

            Actually, just reading back over your comments, You haven’t made a single comment that adds anything to the conversation at all.

          • AutismDadd

            You’re fired!…D Trump. Now get your YUUUGE ass outta here!

          • Mc

            Sounds like ol’ Herbert suffers from the classic logical fallacy that states that denial of an accusation is irrefutable evidence of guilt 😂

          • AutismDadd

            That’s Gold

          • AutismDadd

            Really? I thought your inner arsehole was quite evident.

          • sabelmouse

            never noticed that ability much.

        • AutismDadd

          Its a follow the $$$ thingy!

      • AutismDadd

        Meaningless. Its dogma and status quo and they likely received a memo to do so and it was spontaneous at all. But as usual the REAL ISSUE gets buried in the bullshit. Whatever success vaccines have had, they have side effects. Those harmed are treated poorly so that the public is tricked into believing they suffer from a sore arm or weakness. Reality is death, illness and maiming occur and what parent wants to face that when deciding to vaccinate a newborn?

        • Renè
          • AutismDadd

            I’ve read about it in the past. Serum sickness is another term for reactions to injection. We know vaccines cause anaphylaxis but authorities as expected like to say no and use coincidence their main explanation. But we are expected to trust and respect them, which I no longer can. Anorexia is another one denied even though its listed among adverse events.

          • Renè

            It’s a brilliant lecture make by the man who coined the word “anaphylaxis”.

            He says that any protein injected is capable of sensitization, and has done the experiments to prove it.

            Great read for anyone interested. This was a Nobel Speech so it was well-composed.

          • AutismDadd

            Its recognized science. Its documented. But Big Pharm and CDC don’t care about established science and they put toxic metals and chemicals in vaccines.

          • Renè

            I enjoyed reading it (I’m kind of a science nerd at times).
            There’s probably no coincidence that dairy and eggs are the most allergenic foods. These are the two proteins found in vaccines in the highest amounts.

  • edzard ernst

    Ad hominem attacks are signs of victories of reason over unreason

  • Tetenterre

    Rosross, you wrote: “, a great deal of ongoing scientific research is validating much of Wakefield’s research”

    Isn’t it curious that those who make that claim are unable to actually cite any from reputable primary sources?

    “and since the issue has nothing to do with Homeopathy, one wonders why Ernst associates the two,”

    As long as homeopaths and their trade bodies associate themselves the deceptive anti-vax message, Prof Ernst is entirely justified in noting that association.

    • rosross

      I wrote a truth. Do some research, or does the concept of balanced research frighten you?

      • Tetenterre

        Yet you are still unable to support your claim by citing even one (yes, just one) reputable primary source. Not doing very well, are you, Roslyn?

      • I wrote a truth.

        It should be simple to cite proof of this truth then.

        • Tetenterre

          Unless, of course, it’s one of those ‘alternative fact’ kinds of ‘truth’… 🙂

      • ‘balanced research’ ? What does that mean?

        • AutismDadd

          It means that you need an open mind and relying on the media for science isn’t recommended.

      • I wrote a truth. Do some research, or does the concept of balanced research frighten you?

        You wrote “a truth”? Why did you delete it then?

  • Ewout Van-Manen

    Prof Ernst just seems to prove that science is a religion. He is riddled with dogma, unfree thinking and fear. Fear of Dr Wakefield and his supporters. God v the devil. Not very objective in my book.
    There is no doubt that many children have no obvious reaction from vaccinations. But there are also many parents and physicians who have witnessed children having an unexplained neurological reaction within days of having been vaccinated. There could be many reasons for this to do with the child’s genetic make up and with what is actually being injected as the vaccination cocktail. Dr Wakefield is not anti vaccination as such. Few people are.
    Increasingly those physicians who are less fanatic than the likes of Ernst and who look thoroughly into the vaccination controversy are feeling uncomfortable. Please consider this physician’s evidence:

    • edzard ernst

      Ad hominem attacks are signs of victories of reason over unreason

    • Tetenterre

      Ewout Van-Manen, you wrote: “Please consider this physician’s evidence:”

      It is not “evidence”, it is an opinion piece posted in a YouTube video. “Evidence” would be a proper clinical trial and would be published in a reputable refereed medical journal.

    • Prof Ernst just seems to prove that science is a religion. He is riddled with dogma, unfree thinking and fear.

      Do you even read your own posts before you submit them? You’re describing the anti-science crowd you cling to too a tee.

    • Struck off and disgraced former Dr Wakefield is not anti vaccination as such.

      Fixed that for you.

      • Tetenterre

        To be fair to Wakefield, he was in favour of vaccines when he was trying to profit from touting individual vaccines as an alternative to the MMR triple vaccine.

        • Sean Gallagher

          Right? Like being paid by a class-action lawyer to the tune of £435,000+expenses for a study to find any reason to file a lawsuit and he just happened to be awaiting approval on his patent for his own measles vaccine? Blows my mind that people will defend that asshat.

          • Tetenterre

            Bloomin’ ‘eck, Sean, you must be down a deep ocean trench or something for my point (*) to have gone that far over your head. 🙂

            * i.e. that the fraud is also a massive hypocrite!

          • Sean Gallagher

            I was agreeing with you >.<

          • Tetenterre

            Oh. Seems I misread that. Apologies.

          • AutismDadd

            His own Vaccine? You mean the transfer factor? So what ever happened to it? And if it was to replace the MMR, wouldn’t it need to be for more than measles? And if it could replace the MMR isn’t that advancing science AND medicine?

        • AutismDadd

          How would he profit from single vaccines he doesn’t own?

          • Tetenterre

            Why are you pretending that Wakefield didn’t patent a measles vaccine?

          • AutismDadd

            He applied for a patent along with Royal Free Hospital. It was more for treatment and was called transfer factor. It was never made so that advancement in medical science, which may help autistic children never happened. And because it WASN’T Wakefield’s patent he has never sold or pursued it like he could when employed at a research hospital.

        • AutismDadd

          And how can he profit? He doesn’t own individual vaccines and doesn’t inject them. He doesn’t research them or safety test them.

    • Ieva Zagante

      Unexplained or reaction that cannot be explained by physician who had not cared to gather medical history of the child/ physician who had to deal with parent willing to kept certain facts secret?

  • Debs Casey

    Pro vaxxers have you read what’s in vaccines? Aborted feotal cells, mercury and much more. How do those ‘ingrediants’ protect anyone? Homoeopaths thankfully my GP is a qwack and with his help I’ve been able to recover from organ failure, joint damage and instead of having life limitation I am now fitter and healing. Thank you homeopathy 😊

    • I don’t think it’s the ‘pro vaxxers’ who need to read about what is – and isn’t – in vaccines.

    • Pro vaxxers…

      You mean “Pro-science”.

    • Mike Stevens

      Well Debs, there are no more aborted feotal [sic] cells in a vaccine than there are earth worms and tree bark in apple juice, nor mercury in vaccines than there is chlorine gas shaken on your fish and chips.

      • rosross

        Except tree bark and chlorine in salt are not injected into the body of a baby in form and process impossible in nature.

        • Tetenterre

          Are you suggesting that to do something that is “impossible in nature” is inherently wrong?

          Even ignoring the trivial logical objection that humans are part of “nature”, hence their actions are “natural”, the inference is that that which is “possible in nature” is acceptable.

          Presumably, then, you object to insulin produced by genetically engineered bacteria (“impossible in nature”) being injected into diabetics, but OK for children to be poisoned with atropa belladonna (not only “possible in nature” but also, according to the FDA, being perpetrated by a homeopathy manufacturer (typically shoddy manufacturing process?) that refuses to withdraw the product in question).

        • Mike Stevens

          As usual, you miss the point entirely, Ros.

      • Renè

        That was a really stupid comment Mike.


        Weapons-grade stupid, exponentiated to the third power.

        Reminds me of this Hieronymous Bosch painting: http://scienceblogs.com/bioephemera/wp-content/blogs.dir/263/files/2012/04/i-0ab45a4e184e679224f907bc4d2db7bc-boschmadness2.jpg

    • Aaron Oakley

      The toxicity of elements depend greatly on chemical context. Dimethyl mercury is a potent neurotoxin. Yet thiomersal (that –used– to be used as a preservative in vaccines) is non-toxic. People who squeal “mercury” know no chemistry and less toxicology.

      • Debs Casey

        when top NHS consultants refuse to be vaccinated, expressing how dangerous vaccination is… Then no one in the world would ever convince me otherwise…

        • Aaron Oakley

          If “top NHS consultants refuse to be vaccinated” then they are victims of the same fear, ignorance and lies of Anti-Vaxxers.

          • Joffan

            Big “if” though. Just sounds like a lie to me.

        • Which “top NHS consultants” refuse to be vaccinated?

          You can backup your, so far, unfounded assertion, right?

          Until you do I don’t think anyone needs to take your claim as anything more than misinformation intended to induce FUD.

        • Tetenterre

          So, Debs Casey, do you smoke tobacco just because a tiny minority of ‘top NHS consultant’ do so?

      • Jonnybones

        Ethyl mercury (in thimerosal) does not show up in the blood, but there is scant evidence that it is eliminated from the body. Most likely it ends up in the nervous system.

        • “Most likely it ends up in the nervous system.”?

          So you don’t know and are making a worst case assumption on a health related biological process that we have a a very good understanding of. You can google, yeah?

          • Jonnybones

            Primate studies show that you actually get more mercury in the brain after exposure to
            ethyl mercury than with methyl mercury — it has an easier time
            crossing the blood-brain barrier.

          • That doesn’t change what you said.

            You are still making assumptions and conjecture with no evidence of any real knowledge base or evidence of an education in the area you are speaking about.

        • Aaron Oakley

          You might want to read up about what the FDA has to say about that…


      • Renè

        Not true. Thimersoal is quite toxic. Saying that it is “non-toxic” is an irresponsible lie. This stuff can kill you in the microgram per kilogram range.


        [two hyphens does not equal an em dash]

    • Sam Gilman

      Do you earn money from homeopathy?

      • Sam Gilman

        And, as if by magic, the account is deleted.

        • LOL! 🙂 Interesting reaction to being asked about your job.

  • Aaron Oakley

    Homeopathy is junk science, based on long-outdated ideas of chemistry.


  • BBF

    Funny how now that the truth is coming out about vaccines, the ridicule gets ratcheted up a notch. Homeopathy is proven (OK, stamp your feet and whine that it isn’t), and it won’t go away because it works. If you are feeble-minded enough not to understand that just because you can’t explain it doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. It’s here to stay.

    • What fallacious nonsense!

      • I suspect Renita lives in the Unites States of Trumpistan. Alternative Facts are as valid as anything else there. We are now in the future and I still don’t have my personal jetpack. Can’t wait for the flying carpets to start coming out of that country…

    • The truth about vaccines is that they are safe and effective.

      The truth about homeopathy is that it’s delusional nonsense.

      • BBF

        You’re an idiot. You have no knowledge about either.

  • BBF

    Alan Henness gets paid to criticize and ridicule homeopathy, just to be clear. He has a vested interest (his paycheck) to say vaccines don’t work. It’s called astroturfing, for those that don’t know.

    • ‘He has a vested interest… to say vaccines don’t work.’

      At least be clear when you try your silly libel.

    • As usual, Renita, you’re wrong on all counts.

    • That is a rather stupid lie. If he was paid, he would be able to devote full time energy to exposing homeopathy, and it would be collapsing twice as fast!

    • Alan Henness gets paid to criticize and ridicule homeopathyact as a consumer advocate, just to be clear. He has a vested interest (his paycheck) to say vaccines don’t workeducate the public about the current scientific consensus. It’s called astroturfingthe intersection of science education and consumer protection, for those that don’t know.

      Renita, fixed your comment for you. It may not be completely accurate still, but from my interactions with Alan, and what he does, it’s a hell of a lot close to reality than what you originally posted.

  • sest

    59 families paid by US Government because MMR vaccine killed a family member. 1 person died from the actual measles virus in the same time period. Vaccines are not always worth the risk, the sooner we stop acting like they are and dig into the real numbers, the sooner we will find middle ground.

    • This is a fundamental misunderstanding of the statistics. One person died because of the low level of measles in the population. Look up the stats for deaths from the measles before there was a vaccination for it. Now increase that to take account of the relative population growth between then and now.

      Compare that number to the 59 deaths attributed to the vaccination. I think you would be hard pressed to not think the very minimal risk is worth it.

      And if you still think it’s not worth it compare it to other forms of death inducing activities. You will never leave your house again.

    • Herbert West

      The measles vaccine does appear to reduce the number of measles cases. That’s great. Or is it? Unfortunately we do not know the real risks associated with the MMR vaccine, because it has never been properly studied. We do know there are risks involved with the MMR, potentially catastrophic, we do not know the incidence. Nor do we know anything about potential long term effects of the MMR. Never studied.

  • Gamer

    But what did you say about researches, showing that homeopathy works? Yes, it is working not in every area homeopaths think – but it still works! Read, for example, this article to see real-life examples – and there are much more!
    What about India, for example, where homeopathy is officially recognized? Act passed by Indian parliament is because they were misguided? Central council of homeopathy is a fake? And those 186 homeopathic colleges in India are fake too? You mean 285000 registered homeopaths, 6000 government dispensaries and hospitals are doing false medical practice that is completely useless? According to you, BHMS and MD degrees awarded by Indian universities are all about fake disciplines? Do you mean those millions of people thronging daily in homeopathic clinics and getting relief for their ailments are idiots attracted to fake practitioners due to belief only?

    • There are only three problems with homeopathy:
      1. There is no reason to suppose it should work;
      2. There is no way it can work;
      3. There is no credible evidence it does work.

      The existence of non-credible evidence, and indeed non-credible non-evidence, is not a rebuttal to this, and that’s where you link falls flat.