The Lancet Finally Withdraws Infamous Autism/Vaccine Paper


Vaccine image

The prestigious British medical journal The Lancet is fully and formally retracting the 1998 study that sparked the autism/vaccine scare. That study allegedly found:

Onset of behavioural symptoms was associated, by the parents, with measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination in eight of the 12 children, … We identified associated gastrointestinal disease and developmental regression in a group of previously normal children, which was generally associated in time with possible environmental triggers.

Since its publication, study after study could find no such correlation between vaccination and the development of autism. The immediate reason for this long overdue retraction is that the U.K.'s General Medical Council just sanctioned lead researcher on that study, Canadian gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield, for acting unethically. The retraction should end this harmful controversy, but I fear that the Wall Street Journal is right when it suggests:

… while the withdrawal supports the scientific evidence that vaccinations don't cause autism, it isn't likely to persuade advocacy groups who still believe in the link.

In fact, the anti-vaccine group SafeMinds has already jumped to the defense of Wakefield, declaring:

SafeMinds is very disappointed by the GMC's [General Medical Council] findings  The false testimony and the ensuing GMC FTP hearing have had the effect of delaying necessary research into cause and treatment for autism, and dissuading scientists from pursuing research relating to vaccines as a cause of chronic disease.