|Posted - 10/05/2007 : 23:02:20
Look, I do not think that Cochrane had any basis for saying that MMR was safe. That is a scientific point - it is not even balancing benefits and risks, the reality was that underneath the surface it was saying that we just do not know. They had no evidence: read carefully and absorb. I have made this point now many times but of the five autism studies four were too weak, could have been fraudulent, or had to few controls to tell anything (Cochrane's view). Of the 5th, Madsen, it correctly identified the confused data set, which in fact included amongst the vaccinated non-autistic group (1) infants to young to have been vaccinated (2) children too young to have been diagnosed. There have been various attempts to re-interpret the data, but the most independent was Prof Suissa of McGill who wrote to NEJM suggesting that the vaccinated group were 45% more likely to have autism.
Suissa's letter was not published by NEJM, and can be found here:
Madsen has never deigned to reply to any criticisms. The defence of the Madsen paper in JPandS fell oddly to consultant rheumatologist Matthew Grove, and perhaps rather more blatantly, leading medical ghost writer Adam Jacobs:
I , personally, have had several run-ins with Jacobs and close colleagues: I list a few here which you may find interesting:
I cannot say that I have had pleasant experiences with childhood viruses, but I do not think that fear of them should prevent us doing half way adequate science.