A recent study that “disproves vaccines cause autism” is being passed around social media this month like a donation jar at church. Those who support vaccinations and many who believe in forced vaccinations are using the article as an “end all” point in what’s been a long road of heavily passionate debates.
The problem is, the study isn’t exactly what it might seem. And really, who couldn’t have guessed such?
A new study this week found no link between vaccines and autism. It instantly made headlines on TV news and popular media everywhere. Many billed it as the final word, “once again,” disproving the notion that vaccines could have anything to do with autism.
What you didn’t learn on the news was that the study was from a consulting firm that lists major vaccine makers among its clients: The Lewin Group.
That potential conflict of interest was not disclosed in the paper published in The New England Journal of Medicine; the study authors simply declare “The Lewin Group operates with editorial independence.”
(As an aside, according to OpenSecrets.org, The Lewin Group’s parent company, UnitedHealth Group, is a key government partner in Obamacare. Its subsidiary QSSI was given the contract to build the federal government’s HealthCare.gov website. One of its top executives and his family are top Obama donors.)
Conflicts of interest alone do not invalidate a study. But they serve as important context in the relentless effort by pharmaceutical interests and their government partners to discredit the many scientists and studies that have found possible vaccine-autism links. (source | sharylattkisson)
There are actually many studies which suggest a link between vaccines and autism and many (most) are not funded by any Pharmaceutical companies or health care agencies.
We have a real issue with people being fed a headline and then sharing with a sense of urgency, almost using the rational of sharing the information faster than their other social media acquaintances. The compelling issue here is that facts get lost. Hence, the current diagnostics of this previous study claims to once and for all, end the debate. The article has a financial bias, however, and that assures us that it in no way “ends the debate.” In fact, it makes the debate more relevant than ever.