Our readers respond to our previous magazine issue:
I really liked the vaccine articles. Our two-year-old daughter never had vaccinations and we are not planning to get them in the future. At the same time, we have a responsibility to protect her from ‘what if’. Reading this article helped us believe we made a right decision. This article needs to be shared. I also liked the review of LUSH products. I am not sure if you have been to a LUSH store before. I can’t stay more than 30 seconds because of the STRONG artificial fragrance that they use.
“Thank you Dr. Tim O’Shea for your article, Vaccine Injury Awareness. I really enjoyed this article and went to your website immediately after reading it. I found a plethora of great information that you have available for free.” – Blair
OLM’s stance on vaccinations is sad. Your articles are full of opinions with no scientific studies to back them up. I have unsubscribed. Too bad. I was really enjoying Organic Lifestyle Magazine.
“I thought Raymond Francis’s article What About Vaccinations was great! The article has evidence, and statistics, and he helped us to make our decision in regards to our children. Thank you OLM.” – New Mom & Dad
Ok, seriously, don’t you guys know they don’t put mercury in vaccinations anymore? Why don’t you do some homework before reprinting old articles?” – Jason
Actually, they do. Keep reading.
It was fantastic to see how you guys reviewed Lush cosmetics and The Morocco Method Hair Care! It’s nice to find a magazine that is not just here for its advertisers. When I read about Terressentials I thought that all of the product reviews you did were just paid advertising masquerading as actual reviews. Now I see that you guys really are reviewing these products and putting your honest opinion out there.”
“I have doneaA little bit of research on vaccinations and decided not to vaccinate our son, but I was concerned that I had not made the right decision. It was a constant fear for me, as I’m sure any mom can imagine. After rewarding your articles in the last issue I felt some relief. I then checked out Mike Adam’s, Dr. Tim O’Shea’s, and Raymond Francis’s websites. I was really excited to see so much free and easily accessible information. I just wanted to personally thank you, OLM, as well as these three health advocates for their wisdom.” – Tera
I was disheartened to read the rather ironically titled article, “The Psychology of Vaccine Injury Awareness”, published in the December 2008/January 2009 issue of your magazine. Dr. O’Shea’s article was a misleading assemblage of opinion stated as fact, unsupported assertions, and outright untruths.
“First, Dr. O’Shea casually mentions mercury toxicity without also mentioning that childhood vaccines in the U.S. no longer use the mercury containing preservative thimerosal, what was previously the target of the outrage of the anti-vaccine movement. Nor did he mention that in the 7 years since the preservative was removed, childhood autism rates have continued to rise. The debate as to whether mercury in vaccines is causing the autism epidemic is dead.
“Second, Dr. O’Shea’s assertion that the increase in autism seen in this unnamed “backwoods” community is “very likely the textbook example of hot lot damage” is simply ludicrous. Even if one takes at face value his dubious assertion that this community has a vastly elevated rate of autism, a claim that is uncited and unverifiable in the absence of a place name, his indictment of vaccines as the obvious culprit cannot be supported. There is no reason to think that a vaccine “hot lot” would result in any geographic clustering. As he stated, vaccine lots can include anywhere from 20,000 to millions of doses of vaccine. These doses are distributed nationally and internationally. Therefore deleterious effect from any alleged “hot lot” would be geographically dispersed, not clustered in a single small town. Furthermore, it has been shown that 90% of vaccine from a given lot are used within 5-9 months of distribution. If this increased rate of autism were caused by a single lot of vaccine, the cases would all have occurred in a terribly short time span in children of the same age cohort. But Dr. O’Shea has done nothing to show that this is the case.
“Third, he states that “there is overwhelming scientific evidence of their [vaccines] potential for permanent neurological and developmental damage”, backing this statement up only with a tantalizing reference to his own book, the contents of which the reader would conveniently have to purchase in order to verify. This statement, however, is patently false. There has been no single article published in a reputable peer reviewed journal establishing a link between vaccines and neurological damage; a fact that Dr. O’Shea would no doubt chalk up to the vast conspiracy that hides such abominable evidence. The simple truth is that the few studies that have been done that have drawn the conclusions he alludes to, most of which were conducted by Dr. Geier, who is also quoted in his text, were not published by reputable journals because they suffered from poor methodology, weak analysis, and far too strong conclusions drawn from limited results.
“Fourth, he mentions the 1700% increase in autism across the U.S. without mentioning that an unknown, but substantial proportion of that increase is likely the result of expanding diagnostic criteria and a vast increase in awareness among both mental health practitioners and the population in general. While it is likely that there has been a real increase in autism over this period, baldly stating the increase statistics without also mentioning the known caveats is alarmist and irresponsible.
“Fifth, his reference to the “shocking increase in the number of vaccines since 9/11” is laughable. No such shocking increase has occurred for the ages during which autism typically develops. There has been a single added series, a three dose schedule against rotavirus, plus a booster dose of MMR and varicella added over this time period. These changes clearly do not represent a precipitous increase in the vaccine burden. Furthermore, there were no changes made to the recommended childhood immunization schedule as a result of the events of 9/11. Slyly linking vaccines to those events only serves as a naked attempt to tap into people’s fears and paranoias.
“Sixth, Dr. O’Shea vaguely links childhood vaccines to “the sharp increase in childhood cancer and diabetes”, with no supporting evidence or even discussion. The fact is, we know that the cause of the diabetes epidemic is the corresponding childhood obesity epidemic resulting from sedentary lives fed by junk food and soda. Mentioning childhood diabetes in the same breath as vaccines is completely absurd.
“This kind of pabulum is a slap in the face to the epidemiologists who study this and other important health issues, obsessing over every decimal point, and painstakingly and ever so carefully drawing conclusions in the causal relationships they study. But far more importantly, it undermines the good public policy that is supported by their findings, endangering the public health by feeding a movement embedded in misplaced anger, misinformation, bad science, and paranoia. I suggest you do some more research before publishing articles with such far reaching public health implications.” – Andrew Horvath
Marin County, California
We sent this final letter to Dr. Tim O’Shea. His response is on the next page. OLM