Is it correlation or causation? Because you know, the first cell phones were commercialised around 1983 – so was it maybe the advent of mobile communications technology that triggered a rise in autism? Or a significant increase in the popularity of balsamic vinegar, sales of which rose enormously after the late 1980s, round about when the National Child Vaccine  Injury Act was passed? Many, many things can be linked to the rise in incidence of autism over the period 1985 to the present. What is needed is a strong causational link, not correlation.

Of course, by linking it to the NCVIA you are only considering the USA, 5% of the world’s population. In Britain, where the link was first written up, the opposite applies, as far as I know, thanks to the Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979 which paid out a lump sum to children injured by vaccines, still does, far as I know.

Is there an increase at all? In South Africa, local experts say there’s a clear increase in diagnoses – because of an improvement in access to both primary medical care and to secondary and tertiary care.

In the States, in a paper published online “in the American Journal of Medical Genetics on July 22, 2015, scientists at Penn State University report their analysis of 11 years of special-education enrollment data on an average of 6.2 million children per year. The researchers found no overall increase in the number of students enrolled in special education. They also found that the increase in students diagnosed with autism was offset by a nearly equal decrease in students diagnosed with other intellectual disabilities that often co-occur with autism. The researchers conclude that the large increase in the prevalence of autism is likely the result of shifting patterns of diagnosis that are complicated by the variability of autism and its overlap with other related disorders.”

That there is no causational link between vaccinations and autism is clear from the zillions of papers Phil has linked. In addition, you might find it interesting to read the work of the original journalist who worked long and hard to reveal the fraud perpetrated by Wakefield, Brian Deer ( ).

Finally, life is full of miniscule risks which we all take in the interests of a generally safe and healthy community. I do so on the roads every day, obeying the agreed rules and stopping at red light, going on green, not knowing if anyone around me has failing brakes or is having a stroke which will send their car crashing into me. I obey the law about safety belts, even though the standard safety belt is not designed for a woman, let alone a short one, and I am therefore likely to be fairly severely injured in an accident. Better than hitting my head on the window, which I’ve done once already.

We do many things that have risk attached in order to secure a general level of safety for all. When you vaccinate your child, it is not only your child you are making safer, it is all the children and people around that child, especially those with compromised health.


Mandi Smallhorne

Freelance science writer


From: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of David Barouh
Sent: 11 March 2019 09:12 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Evidence and science that support vaccine exemptions


So Phil, are you satisfied that the seeming chronological link of rising autism rates and ever more vaccinations is coincidental? And assuming there's really no established link, is this a reason to mandate universal vaccination?


On Mon, Mar 11, 2019, at 2:54 PM, Phil Gasper wrote:

Yes, I believe the studies have been discredited. Like everyone on this list, I'm well aware of the commercial pressures on research, but numerous meta studies conducterd by people with no links to the pharmaceutical industry and involving hundreds of thousands of people convinced me. You always have to look at the actual details.


On Mon, Mar 11, 2019 at 1:43 PM David Barouh <[log in to unmask]> wrote:


I suspect that rising autism rates are at least suggestive of a causal link. There's certainly a chronological link, dating back at least to the time that vaccine makers gained their immunity from liability for people damaged by vaccines and the consequent introduction of vaccines for ever more diseases. Can we really believe that studies establishing such a link have supposedly been "discredited," given the commercial bent of so much science these days, and given the commercial milieu in which all this is happening.


Much like climate science, the basic premise of which I'm not questioning, but which nonetheless has been hopeless politicized to the point that we are getting exact timeframes for disaster that spans a decade or less, and on the other hand, complete denial of its existenceare we sure that climate science really that advanced? I'm reminded of the Friedman Units, where Journalist Thomas Friedman, a big booster of the 2003 invasion of Iraq would every six months or so comment on that war's progress by saying that the US had "six months to get it right." 


The issue is of the government mandating vaccination, i.e. forcing people to undergo a medical procedure violating several of the body's natural defenses, which seems to be a violation of the Fourth, Fifth and probably the Eighth and Ninth, Amendments guaranteeing that people are "secure in their persons," not "deprived of life or liberty," do not have "cruel and unusual punishments inflicted," and are not denied rights "not specifically enumerated." Can anyone deny that vaccines have harmed at least some people? Which means that some people can be harmed, so that forcing people to partake in a sort of Russian Roulette simply cannot be legal or constitutional.




On Mon, Mar 11, 2019, at 1:18 PM, Mitchel Cohen wrote:

I guess it depends, David, on how one defines "robust".  :-)




At 11:26 AM 3/11/2019, you wrote:


Mitchel makes a good point with the example of fluoridation, but is there really robust evidence of a causal link between some vaccines and autism?


On Mon, Mar 11, 2019 at 11:23 AM Mitchel Cohen < [log in to unmask]> wrote:


Thanks for these important clarifications as to the AAPS, to Steve and Sigrid. And thanks to Maggie for fraising this issue. Steve and Sigrid rightly critique only one of Maggie Zhou's links. And even there, there is indeed a causal relationship between SOME vaccines, containing particular adjuvants, to autism -- there are of course other so-called "environmental" (meaning pollutant) causes of autism as well.

Just because the proponent of an issue may be a rightwing organization does not make them wrong about the issue -- although it's usually for the wrong reasons that they're right. Take for instance the John Birch Society's longstanding opposition to fluoride in drinking water -- which has been exposed by some independent researchers as a waste product of the aluminum industry in the late 1940s and 1950s, not something the John Birch Society would touch in their explanations. (The JBS saw fluoridation as a "Communist plot" by the government, and not as an effluent of the very capitalism that they were endorsing.)




At 08:45 AM 3/11/2019, Steve Nadel wrote:


Thanks Sigrid.  Many people will have my initial reaction to the name, that it is a "professional" society, i.e. science based,   Here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia entry on AAPS which further elaborates Sigrid's points

The association is generally recognized as politically conservative or ultra-conservative, and its publication advocates a range of scientifically discredited hypotheses, including the belief that HIV does not cause AIDS, that being gay reduces life expectancy, that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer, and that there is a causal relationship between vaccines and autism.


They oppose aboriton, medicare/medicaid and all forms  of governmental health assistance. Here is a link to the Wikipedia article


On Mar 11, 2019, at 2:44 AM, Sigrid Schmalzer <[log in to unmask] > wrote:

Hi. The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons also opposes the Affordable Care Act and socialized medicine more generally. My sense is that the anti-vaxx movement is leaping on this endorsement because the AAPS because it has the appearance of medical authority. Let's be more critical.


On 3/10/19 7:41 PM, Maggie Zhou wrote:


There was a congressional hearing last week on the use of force to vaccinate (taking away exemptions).

Two medical associations have come out with statements against mandatory vaccinations in the past few days, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, and Physicians for Informed Consent.

Here's a well referenced and concise white paper on the evidence & science that support vaccine exemptions.  For those who think vaccination is supported by science, this is a must read.  (I've also sent other links to evidence before, so this adds to that.)

Meanwhile, governments are doubling down on forced vaccinations.

ABC News is promoting that teens should defy their anti-vaxxer parents' judgement and choose to vaccinate themselves.

"in at least 7 states a relatively new legal concept called the mature minor doctrine allows teens to petition to make their own medical decision."

Australian government decided to reduce welfare payments for unvaccinated children, to force poor families to vaccinate:



Sigrid Schmalzer

Professor, History Department

University of Massachusetts Amherst


Proud member of the Massachusetts Society of Professors (MSP/MTA/NEA), the union representing faculty and librarians at UMass Amherst, and supporting public education and labor movements everywhere:



Moth and Wasp, Soil and Ocean: Remembering Chinese Scientist Pu Zhelong's Work for Sustainable Farming (Tilbury House, 2018) -- picture book

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