March 6, 2013 another CDC study that refutes the vaccine/autism link is published in the Journal of Pediatrics. The CDC gave a press release of this study on Good Friday. The news showed up on March 29 in Medscape Today, and Medpage Today along with other medical electronic publications.
This well timed study was authored by Frank DeStefano, MD, MPH, of the CDC's Immunization Safety Office in Atlanta. I immediately recognized his name because he seems to be the go to guy in producing studies of this nature. He also was on the roll call at the Simpsonwood Retreat Center, Norcross Georgia Jun 7-8, 2000 where they reviewed the finding of Dr. Thomas Verstraeten et al. At this meeting they described a "signal" that is "linear and statically significant" with thimerosal exposure causing a myriad of neurological outcomes. They also talked about this information being "embargoed" and fear that it will be captured by the public. I wrote a complete review of that meeting in 2011. So, DeStefano produces another study even though he is on record for attaining knowledge that vaccines are causal in negative neurological diagnosis.
What are the critiques of this DeStefano study? Brian Hooker PhD, PE and Associate Professor of Biology at Simpson University in Redding California does a good job breaking down the subjects in his review.
1. The data in the DeStefano study is a replay of earlier work produced by the CDC in 2010. This is just a repackaged flawed study made to look new to shape public perception.
2. One of the major glaring flaws in the study was regarding the control group. On one hand the study claims the controls are neuro-typical, then in the the study outlines that;
"Of the remaining 752 controls including in the analysis, 186 had an SCQ (Social Communication Questionnaire) score <16 but had indications of speech delay or language delay, learning disability, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or attention deficit disorder, or tics, or had an individual education plan."
WOW! That certainly does not sound like a neuro-typical control group, but according to the CDC they qualify. Then they took this group and compared it with the vaccinated group and decided there was no difference in neuro-development or autism by comparison.
3. According to the graphical table in the DeStefano study the description of "antigen" is a fuzzy number. The true antigen's amount was never applied, instead they grouped all the quantifiable data into a one count summary. And they never comment on the neurotoxic adjuvants used to strengthen the antigen such as aluminum.
4. Selection Bias... This is interesting, there was a high refusal rate in the subject population. So the groups that were originally studied by the CDC back in 2010 did not wish to participate (65%) in the lasted DeStefano research. That weakens the data and I also question why there was such a high refusal by the subject population. Is there a diminished lack of trust in the CDC's scientific research?
5. Overmatching Statistical Error... This error in statistics occurs when a study is trying to find differences but match out the subjects case-by-case. Dr. Hooker gives a good analogy in his review saying; "This would be akin to analyzing radiation workers that got the same dosage of gamma radiation within cases and control groups to determine the relationship between gamma radiation and cancer incidence."
These are the five main points regarding the flaws from the CDC's latest research. Yet another disappointing publication by those who are documented in knowing there is negative neurological consequence in the CDC's vaccine schedule. It is equally disappointing to see the medical and scientific community headlines regarding this latest publication. It is as if they have not taken the time to review the data or read the study critically. It does appear this is agenda driven, which in no way is beneficial to our pediatric population.