•Private Eye 19 Oct 2001

MMR: In the last Eye we reported how the two authors of the latest proMMR paper, David Elliman and Helen Bedford, acknowledged that they have received funding from vaccine manufacturers to "conduct research and attend educational meetings". We should also have detailed the links with the pharmaceutical giants of Dr Elizabeth Miller, head of immunisation at the government’s public health laboratory service (PHLS).

She wrote the accompanying favourable commentary to the paper (and was one of the scientists involved in the first trial of MMR in the UK involving 10,000 children, which paved the way for its licence.)

In the latest annual report for the "Medicines Act 1968 Advisory Bodies", she lists five "non-personal" interests — payments which benefit her department rather than herself personally. They are grants from Baxter Healthcare, Wyeth Lederle Vaccines, Chiron Biocine, and SmithKline Beecham and "CMI testing in adolescent sera", courtesy of Aventis Pasteur.

SmithKline and Aventis are both manufacturers of MMR and defendants in the forthcoming high court case of children who claim they were damaged by the jab.

A spokesman for the PHLS said the grants were given to the PHLS "for various research projects. They are listed under Dr Miller’s name simply because she is the member of staff designated by the PHLS as the project lead for these grants." So that’s all right, then.