Black helicopters — a symbol for conspiracy theorists and, for lack of a better term, wackos. Sadly, the U.S. has become a wellspring of goofy claims and theories and one of the more prevalent ones hit Sioux Falls this week.
Evidently, about 200 people showed up Thursday night to hear a Canadian physician, Dr. Andrew Moulden, warn about the dangers of vaccines. Of course, the media has been filled for a year or more with Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey talking about vaccines and autism. But there’s one flaw in all this: VACCINES DO NOT CAUSE AUTISM. While there are potential side effects, the risks of not vaccinating children are far greater.
Here’s a few things I bet people at this meeting didn’t hear. It turns out the study that began the whole controversy by claiming the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine causes autism is based on altered data. Earlier this year, the so-called Vaccine Court ruled in three different cases — the strongest of the ones before it — that there is no causal connection between vaccines and autism. Not only do most studies show there is no link between vaccines and autism, within the last two weeks, a major study determined a tiny genetic variation on a particular chromosome was present in over 65 percent of autism cases.
Black helicopters may well be a good comparison to this presentation as it looks like Dr. Moulden also believes in them. He is a leader of something called the Canadian Action Party. In his 2008 “Leader’s Message” he made it a point to warn people that the “new world order” is on the way, promoted by elitist groups. You know, the Bilderbergs, the Trilateral Commission and their fellow travelers. The CAP also supports a more recent conspiracy fixation, the so-called 9/11 “truth movement”.
Believing in and advocating conspiracy theories is one thing. But it goes beyond the pale when it amounts to endangering the health of children. And it isn’t just the one unvaccinated child who is in danger. As the number of such individuals grow, there is greater risk to those who may not have been vaccinated for legitimate reasons.
The risk is easily seen. Since the MMR-autism scare began, there has been an unpredented increase in measles in the U.K. while incidences of mumps have increased 700 percent. In the U.S., there have been marked increases in diseases such as pertussis (“whooping cough”) and the number of measles cases in 2008 was the highest in more than a decade. More than two-thirds of those measles cases involved unvaccinated individuals and half of all the measles cases in 2005 were traceable to one unvaccinated person.
So let me repeat: VACCINATIONS DO NOT CAUSE AUTISM. Refusing to vaccinate children, however, can not only make them sick, they — and others — can die. It is the anti-vaccination movement, not vaccines, that put children’s health at risk.
The great irony of vaccine success is that parents today are unfamiliar with the diseases they prevent.
Denise Fields and Dr. Ari Brown, Baby 411