From: "Clifford G. Miller"

Strong Evidence MMR, Thiomersal & Other Vaccines Cause Autism - A Population Level Rechallenge in Japan
The Honda/Rutter Japan Paper

In 2005 a paper by two Japanese researchers, Hideo Honda and Yasuo Shimizu, was published in an English psychiatric journal with psychiatrist Professor Sir Michael Rutter also named as an author.  The paper was claimed to be proof MMR vaccine could not cause autistic spectrum disorders.  However, it seems the authors made invalid claims and those claims were based on inadequate research containing very basic flaws.

When the flaws in the research are identified and corrected, the paper provides what appears an example of one of the strongest proofs known in pharmacology that MMR vaccine is one of the causes of Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD).  And if anyone wants to disagree, at the very least what they cannot disagree with is that it shows the Honda/Rutter paper is deeply flawed.

The corrected paper appears to implicate strongly in particular single measles and rubella vaccines as a cause of ASD, and especially when given at the same time and it implicates the vaccine ingredient and known toxic mercury containing neurotoxin, Thiomersal.  That the practice in Japan was to give the measles and rubella vaccines at the same time was the boast of The British Department of Health.  That was to bolster official claims that whistle blower medical doctor Andrew Wakefield's concerns about the MMR vaccine were wrong.  The Honda/Rutter paper was announced in the usual blaze of publicity.  And as usual, the truth has not been.

The Honda/Rutter paper is:-
"No effect of MMR withdrawal on the incidence of autism: a total population study." Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry (2005).

Professor Rutter has many close associations with the drug industry and particularly with GlaxoSmithKline, having been a paid expert witness on their behalf in the UK MMR vaccine damage litigation.  That was not declared in the Honda/Rutter paper nor were any other potential conflicts of interest or statements of funding (about which see more below).  Professor Rutter is also one of the main prosecution witnesses in the witchhunt in the British General Medical Council against medical doctors Andrew Wakefield, Simon Murch and Professor Walker-Smith.

The Honda/Rutter paper claimed that new cases of autism in Japan fell for children born in 1991-92 (as the confidence of Japanese parents fell in the dangerous Japanese MMR vaccine withdrawn on safety grounds in 1992) but then rose sharply again and especially for children who were born in 1993-94.  Here is the graph from the Honda/Rutter paper:-


The authors summarised their results (my emphasis):-

"The MMR vaccination rate in the city of Yokohama declined significantly in the birth cohorts of years 1988 through 1992, and not a single vaccination was administered in 1993 or thereafter.  In contrast, cumulative incidence of ASD up to age seven increased significantly in the birth cohorts of years 1988 through 1996 and most notably rose dramatically beginning with the birth cohort of 1993."

The authors wrongly claimed this meant it was unlikely MMR vaccine caused autism spectrum disorders.  However, what the authors failed to do and what any scientist would have done would have been to ask "why?".  Why did autism rapidly increase for children born in 1993-94?  The authors were duty bound to consider this before going into print.  This is particularly notable because their data shows they were clearly on notice that withdrawing the dangerous Japanese MMR vaccine was associated with a marked drop in new cases of autism.  Anyone can see that from their graphs.  Autism cases fell for those born in 1991-92 as uptake of the Japanese MMR vaccine fell and was withdrawn in 1992.

What the authors failed to do was to look to a peer refereed paper published only three years earlier in 2002 which set out the Japanese vaccination data: Development of Vaccination Policy in Japan: Current Issues and Policy Directions, Hiroki Nakatani,Tadashi Sanoand Tsutomu Iuchi Jpn J Infect Dis 55 101-111 2002.  That paper showed that in 1995 there was a sharp rise (150%) in single measles and single rubella vaccinations.  Many of the children getting those vaccines in 1995 would have been those born in 1993-4.  This rise was also coupled with a sharp rise in Japanese Encephalitis vaccinations (200%) between 1993 and 1995.  Japanese Encephalitis vaccine was given in three separate vaccinations and each one contained the poisonous mercury  based neurotoxin thiomersal.  So JE vaccine is just like DTP given to children in the USA and UK up until very recently in that it contained that neurotoxin and was given in three jabs to infants or toddlers.

Here is the graph from the earlier paper showing the increases in single measles, rubella and JE vaccine vaccination rates by 1995 in Japan - I have added the vertical blue line and ringed the legend to pick out the measles, rubella and JE vaccine lines of the graph:-



I am grateful to Dr F E Yazbak of Boston Massachusetts, USA for first drawing my attention to this paper and so assisting to identify this population level rechallenge proof of autism causation of the MMR vaccine.

This shows that not only did the authors of the Honda/Rutter paper have before them evidence of a population level dechallenge, they also had evidence of a population level rechallenge.  Just one well documented spontaneous report of a rechallenge is sufficient to prove a drug causes a harmful adverse drug reaction. Here, Honda/Rutter provide us with a large number of examples of rechallenges documented in a peer refereed paper and occurring on the level of an entire sample of the population of Japan.  And here you can read about the power of rechallenge evidence in this peer refereed medico-legal paper by Dr Donald Miller (no relation), professor of surgery at the University of Washington and me and published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons:-
On Evidence, Medical and Legal

So it is appropriate to ask "who is Professor Sir Michael Rutter?", might he at least subconsciously, suffer from author bias and does he have any potentially conflicting interests? It can help to follow the money chain.  In the money connections, you don't get any bigger than Rutter.

Psychiatrist Professor Sir Michael Rutter is a former (recent) Deputy Chairman of the immensely wealthy Wellcome Trust (founded by the Wellcome Foundation which is now Glaxo):-

The Wellcome Trust has assets of over £14 billion:-

The Trust hands out millions every year and has far more substantial reserves to enable it to do that.  And it can dictate a great deal of what research is carried out around the world.  See here for details:-

So Rutter is very influential.  You do not get to be in that position if you are not "in favour with pharma".

He is also one of the expert witnesses for Glaxo in the MMR litigation (something he did not declare, for example, in the Honda/Rutter paper denying MMR has any association with autism, but I do not see him before the GMC over that).

Here is a biographical note on him from the Academy of Medical Sciences:-

and it says:-
Professor Sir Michael Rutter is Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College, London.   He has been a consultant psychiatrist at the Maudsley Hospital since 1966, and was Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry from 1973 to 1998.   He set up the Medical Research Council Child Psychiatry Research Unit in 1984 and the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre 10 years later, being honorary director of both until October 1998.   His research has included the genetics of autism; the study of both school and family influences on children’s behaviour; the links between mental disorders in childhood and adult life; epidemiological approaches to test causal hypotheses; and gene-environment interplay.  He was Deputy Chairman of the Wellcome Trust from 1999 to 2004, and has been a Trustee of the Nuffield Foundation since 1992.  He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1987 and an honorary member of the British Academy in 2002.  He was a Founding Fellow of the Academia Europaea and the Academy of Medical Sciences, of which he is currently Clinical Vice-President. He has received numerous international honours and has published some 40 books and over 400 scientific papers and chapters.

Professor Sir Michael Rutter along with a troup of psychistrists now or formerly associated with The Maudesley Hospital and The Institute of Psychiatry at Kings have been working hard at telling the public autism is solely genetic and denying there is a world autism pandemic. 

If a condition is genetic, you also do not suddenly get spontaneous mutation of large numbers of individuals.  That suggestion is counter logical and non science.  Genetics cannot account for the large rise we are seeing in autism since the mid 1980s.  So instead what we see are efforts by Rutter and the King's Institute of Psychiatry other autism denialists to claim there is no real rise in the prevalence of autism.  This claim is unscientific and runs counter to the facts documented in the formal literature.  You can see I have already made this crystal clear to autism denialist and another psychiatrist, Professor Bennett Leventhal:-
World Autism Pandemic
Clifford G Miller - April 2008
The Institute of Psychiatry has been an embarrassing place to be because of this April 2008 news item:-
BBC psychiatrist Tonmoy Sharma is struck off
By Lucy Cockcroft The Telegraph  01 April /2008

A psychiatrist who regularly appeared as an expert on the BBC has been struck off the medical register after he lied about his academic qualifications and performed unethical drugs tests on mentally ill patients.
The Institute of Psychiatry has or is home to more than its fair share of doctors (psychiatrists mostly) who publish papers claiming autism is genetic and denying there is an autism epidemic (the correct word is pandemic - epidemics have far fewer victims).  These doctors include Rutter, Eric Fombonne (now expert witness in the US in the thiomersal/autism litigation when he had previously published nothing about it), Simon Baron Cohen.  It is also home to controversial "Gulf War Syndrome" psychiatrist Simon Wessley, director of the Centre for Military Health Research at King's College London and who had been claiming ME/CFS is not a physical condition but a mental one contrary to the definition used around the world.  Sophia Wilson is an example of an ME/CFS sufferer who died following this approach to diagnosis, albeit not so far as I am aware a patient of any of the psychiatrists or institutions I name here.

Also associated with The Institute of Psychiatry and the Maudesly is Dr Ben Goldacre, who constantly attacks alternative medicine in The Guardian whilst writing the "Badscience" column - yet Goldacre has no scientific qualifications and does not tell everyone that he practises psychiatry - the least successful branch of medicine in history and which has difficulty finding two reliable pieces of science to rub together to support the wacky quacky theories some of its proponents put out. 

Goldacre works with Wesseley. Goldacre and Wessley have close professional and personal connections to King's Mobile Phones Reseach Unit. That is interesting bearing in mind Goldacre's very public attacks, backed by the industry funded lobby group, The Science Media Centre, on Panorama's documentary about mobile phone hazards, which hazards were raised by no less than the head of the Health Protection Agency.   That did not stop Ben Goldacre and The Science Media Centre attacking the programme and its journalists.

Rutter is also a friend of the editor of the journal which printed the Honda/Rutter MMR paper.  Here is his endorsement of the Journal:-
""JCPP is clearly the world's No. 1 child psychology and psychiatry journal.  It integrates clinical and developmental perspectives, it is truly international, and interdisciplinary, and it combines high scientific standards with attention to clinical relevance."
Prof. Sir Michael Rutter"
Editor Charman is a contributor to Rutter's book:-
Rutter's Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Fifth Edition

Rutter was also an expert witness in Malmo, Sweden in an MMR autism case where the key question was whether autism was solely genetic and not environmental.  Rutter's expert evidence was that it was genetic.

And this could go on and on and on ......................
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