Recently at Reason.tv: Do Vaccines Cause Autism?

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It's not surprising that so many parents are so worried about autism. After all, the disorder strikes about one out of every 115 kids, its prevalence seems to be growing, and its cause or causes remain mysterious.

A 1998 article published in the British medical journal The Lancet generated enormous impact by proposing a link between autism and childhood vaccines.  Since then, celebrity activists like Jenny McCarthy have argued that common shots like the measles, mumps, and rubellla vaccine (MMR) trigger autism. Countless media stories have covered the alleged link.

Some parents take to the streets to protest the federal government's vaccine policy and thousands more take the issue to court. Many others, like Kelly Green, who runs AutismHwy and is the mother of an autistic child, feel overwhelmed by the information flooding in from both sides of the debate. Jim Moody, of the think tank Safe Minds, blames the federal government for not being honest about the threat and failing to provide reliable information on the matter. But researchers like UC Santa Barbara's Lynn Koegel say the evidence is overwhelming that vaccines do not cause autism.

Recently, the debate took another turn when The Lancet retracted the 1998 article that did so much to spark the controversy. Will the retraction finally allay parents' worries or will some continue to resist vaccinations?

"Do Vaccines Cause Autism?" is written and produced by Ted Balaker, who also hosts. Producer: Hawk Jensen; Associate Producer: Paul Detrick; Camera: Dan Hayes, Hawk Jensen, and Alex Manning. Approximately 5.50 minutes.

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  1. I’m still not convinced. Maybe if you post this a couple more times I’ll watch the video.

  2. Yes, MMR vaccine causes autism. Next question?

  3. I am convinced. I just feel that they do, that’s why. Autism happens around the time of vaccines, so that means the vaccines cause it. Jenny McCarthy say so too.

    1. What kind of an idiot believes Jenny McCarthy over boatloads of scientific evidence to the contrary? Me, I believe vaccines cause autism because Jim Carrey says so.

      1. I was being Sarcastic.

      2. Your a fool, look up the CDC researcher Paul Thorsen MD. CDC studies should not relie on data from Denmark, where the vaccine scedule is 10, in the US it’s 36. See what happens to a 10 pound infant when they recieve more than four shots in one sitting. How many shots are considered toxic for a infant? CDC, FDA doesn’t study muliple shots, and their initial study groups were based on 10 year olds that weighed 90-100 pounds. A 300 billion dollar a year Pharma system feed special intrest money to politicians and media moguls to hide the truth.

  4. Parents want to find something to blame when their kids develop autism. Vaccines provide something to blame. It’s pretty much as simple as that. And since blaming vaccines fills an important emotional need, it won’t be going away no matter how much science disproves it. Cf. creationism.

  5. Free Minds, Free Markets, Free… Vaccines? Why do I care?

    1. “Why do I care?”

      I think that is a question only you can answer.

  6. Why do I care?

    Because if you’ve been vaccinated… YOU MAY ALREADY BE AUTISTIC!!!!!111111!!one!

  7. Autistic people are way more fun to talk to than regular people. Just tell them lots of details about roller coasters or something, they’ll eat it up.

  8. democrats cause autism.
    All these anti-vaccine groups say the sharp rise in autism rates happened when Congress was controlled by Democrats.
    And Bill Gates wants everybody to be vaccinated – an Obama supporter!
    The evidence is overwheming people!!!!

    Now, I need to go get some more Reynolds wrap to fortify my outside tinfoil hat. (I need less tinfoil indoors caused the walls are all lined with Reynolds wrap – btw, people make a big mistake by forgetting to line their toliet bowls).

  9. I though fluoridation of the water supply caused autism.

  10. Just tell them lots of details about roller coasters or something, they’ll eat it up.

    It’s how we keep Epi calm.

  11. I actually researched this for a law firm where I work and no substantial link has been shown between autism and MMR vaccine. This is a case of discredited science that has caught momentum as a news story.

    1. *COUGH* AGW/AGCC *COUGH*

  12. We waited until our kids were past the onset age for autism, then began vaccination. Even if the risk is phantom, every parent should have this option. The public health sense of risk isn’t properly concerned w my child; that’s my job.

  13. What clown inserted a jab at creationism here? Oh, so sorry people believe we came from God, instead of slime. And does anyone ever think about where exactly the first two humans met and got down? Obviously, two people, a man and woman had to be in the same place at around same time to get “together”. and then start breeding. or was it just a magical pop up of people as the non creation group would have us believe? Notice how those who oppose God creating us NEVER have an explanation to where the first two humans could’ve connected. Adam and Eve makes sense. Autism? It’s just a genetic mutation in a fallen world. God’s in control. Yep, it sucks, but this is what we all brought on ourselves.

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