More vaccine blogging

As you can see by scrolling down this page, I posted a rather lengthy article yesterday about anti-vaccination "skepticism" on The Huffington Post. Coincidentally, Skeptico also posted a nice article on the very same day about Mercury in vaccines and chelation therapy. Through this article, I found a rather interesting blog, Autism Diva. It's a lovely counterpoint to most of the stuff on the Internet about autism in that it approaches the subject from a skeptical viewpoint and doesn't push all sorts of unproven altie therapies for autism. There's one post on the blog that gives an idea how much pseudoscientific quackery like chelation therapy for autism can cost the unfortunate parents of autistic children and another nice withering piece about the uselessness of chelation therapy for autism:
Autism Diva believes the whole chelation "cult" appears to be in some kind of trance wherein everyone agrees that chelation cures the kids, any improvement they make is always attributed to chelation. If it is a cultlike atmosphere, ones who don't see improvement will be afraid or too ashamed to speak up and say it isn't working for fear of being marked as apostates. Everyone in the "cult" sees the emperor fully clothed.

She also has a nicely snarky piece on the Autism One conference in Chicago (which starts today), which features talks claiming that fermented foods can cure autism and that you can use "vibrational medicine" to treat autism, among other claims. The fact that David Kirby, author of Evidence of Harm, is the keynote speaker probably should tell you all you need to know about this conference. If that's not enough, Mark and David Geier are featured speakers, as is Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the investigator whose study claiming to find a link between MMR and autism was renounced by 10 its other co-authors as not showing any such link. If that doesn't convince you, then look at the list of abstracts. There are a couple of abstracts that look as though they might be legitimate science, but the vast majority do not. There's a whole lot of abstracts on mercury causing autism, treating autism with zinc, lowering your "toxic load" (a favorite altie term), etc.

I'm going to add the Autism Diva to my blogroll this weekend when I do a little spring cleaning of the list this holiday weekend.


  1. Yeah (said ponderously)....I don't think you want to call this a scientific conference. I knows they just listed speakers alphabetically, but when the first credentials you see are BA, MFA, it should add to the feeling of "maybe there could have been more hard science here".

  2. Precisely why I never put the words "scientific" and "conference" together!


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