Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Lancet retracts study linking vaccine to autism / Electromagnetic radiation / Dr. Graham / 'Smart meters' / Residents cry foul / PA Cancer Clusters / Cork bound train

Lancet retracts study linking vaccine to autism News Staff

Date: Tue. Feb. 2 2010 10:01 PM ET

The prestigious medical journal, The Lancet medical journal has formally retracted a flawed paper that drew a link between autism and the childhood vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella.

The decision Tuesday comes 12 years after British doctor Andrew Wakefield suggested in the sensational study that the combined vaccine, dubbed MMR, appeared linked to autism and bowel disease.

The finding has since been widely discredited, and last week, the General Medical Council, the body that licenses doctors in the U.K., ruled that Wakefield and two researchers acted unethically in conducting their study.

The Lancet said Tuesday in its short statement that, in light of the GMC ruling: "It has become clear that several elements of the 1998 paper by Wakefield et al are incorrect... Therefore we fully retract this paper from the published record."

After Wakefield's study appeared, many in the medical community criticized the research, noting that the study looked at only 12 children, a sample size too small to assess statistical significance. They also worried about "selection bias" and noted the study did not include a control group.

But the paper caused a huge sensation and led to thousands of parents refusing to give the vaccine to their children. That has been followed in recent years by a worrying rise in measles cases and childhood vaccine refusal rates in the United Kingdom.

Doctors say the study damaged parents' faith in vaccines.

"This has damaged the culture of vaccination for children, which is one of the greatest health advances in the last century," Dr. Evdokia Anagnostou of Bloorview Kids Rehab told CTV News.

While health experts say 95 per cent of children need to receive the MMR vaccine to confer "herd immunity," take-up rates in the UK stand have not budged past 82 per cent in recent years. In 2006, a 13-year-old boy who had not had the vaccine, died from measles, the first measles death in the U.K. in 14 years.

The Lancet issued a partial retraction of the paper in 2004, accusing Wakefield of a "fatal conflict of interest." The journal said it didn't know at the time of publication that Wakefield was being paid as a consultant to lawyers who wanted evidence to sue MMR vaccine manufacturers on behalf of the parents of children with autism.

Wakefield was reportedly working with lawyers on the lawsuit two years before journal published his paper.

Around the same time, 10 of the study's 13 authors renounced its conclusions and dissociated themselves from the paper.

Tuesday's full retraction from The Lancet goes further, noting that the research was fundamentally flawed. It noted there was a lack of ethical approval and fundamental problems with the way the children's illnesses were presented.

The General Medical Council launched an investigation into Wakefield's study practices in 2007. Last week, in a 143-page ruling, it decided that Wakefield had broken research rules and acted unethically in his study method.

It noted Wakefield and his team had subjected some of the children to invasive tests such as lumbar punctures and colonoscopies that they did not need, without ethical approval. The disciplinary panel ruled Wakefield's team had shown a "callous disregard" for the suffering of children and had brought the medical profession "into disrepute."

Wakefield, a gastroenterologist who has lived and worked in the U.S. since 2001, and two of his former colleagues – Prof. John Walker-Smith and Prof. Simon Murch – now face being stripped of their right to practise medicine in Britain.

Wakefield continues to defend his work and now works at Thoughtful House, a treatment centre for children with developmental disorders, in Austin, Texas.

"The allegations against me and against my colleagues are both unfounded and unjust, and I invite anyone to examine the contents of these proceedings and come to their own conclusion," Wakefield said in a statement provided by Thoughtful House.





Wednesday, February 3, 2010

More weird thoughts -- electromagnetic radiation
In the car this evening, I heard a piece on NPR about some Toyota cars that apparently are experiencing spontaneous acceleration. Some professor was speculating that electromagnetic interference was causing problems with the throttle. I didn't want to, but I couldn't help but remember ... didn't I read somewhere some "crazy" theory about wireless devices and autism? and aren't there some researchers at Harvard using some form of electromagnetic radiation to help people with autism? Now, I'm not saying ... you know. but it is kind of weird, don't you think?


Anonymous said...

I don't know what took you so long!

Just read some of the scientific evidence presented in the Bio Initiative Report -





Graham / Stetzer Microsurge Meter

Dr. Graham has written the following about the meter, that he would like folks to be aware of.  One point to note is that the frequency band covered by the GS Microsurge Meter is about 10 kHz to 100 kHz.  

It was designed to meter dirty electricity frequencies created by electronics, not communcations frequencies such as those produced by radio-broadcasting utility meters.

Shivani Arjuna

"The GS Microsurge Meter measures the current in a 800 picofarad
capacitor connected across the terminals of the outlet into which it is

One GS unit is .02 micro amperes. A meter reading of 50 would indicate a
current of one microampere

A human having a low impedance to one of the terminals of the outlet
(the grounded wire ) and a capacitive coupling of 800 picofafads to
wireing connected to the other terminal of the outlet (the hot wire)
would have a current flowing through them indicated by the GS Microsurge

The capacitance of two parallel metal plates that are one meter by one
meter and separated by one centimeter is about 800 picofarads.

The capacitance of a human to the hot wires will usually be less than
800 picofarads and the current through the human will be proportionatly
lower. The current flow through the human will also depend on how the
capacitance of the human to the wire is distributed over the human.

This is important since it is the current flowing inside the body and
where it is flowing that determines the effect it will have on the human.

The frequency band covered by the GS Microsurge Meter is about 10 kHz
to 100 kHz. A graph of the sensitivity is shown."/*

Since one GS unit is equal to .02 micro amperes 900 GS units would be
equal to 18 micro amperes. This totally supports the cancer research
paper that Sam Milham published along with other research by Kavet and
the NIEHS. (See quote below)

* "In addition to these relative aspects of dose, the*

*absolute (as well as modest) level of contact current*

*modeled (18 **m**A) produces average electric ®elds in*

*tissue along its path that exceed 1 mV/m. At and above*

*this level, the NIEHS Working Group [1998] accepts*

*that biological effects relevant to cancer have been*

*reported in ``numerous well-programmed studies''.*

*The effects the Working Group cites are ``increased*

*cell proliferation, disruption of signal transduction*

*pathways, and inhibition of differentiation''. The*

*NIEHS endorses this conclusion in its ®nal EMF*

*RAPID report [1999]."*

Milham's study reports the chances of getting cancer increases by 15% if
the numbers are above 1,000 GS units and 25% when the numbers are above
2,000 GS units. It also supports the published research done by Magda
Havas, Stephen Genuis, and Maxim Trushin, with the other change that
takes place in the human body.

(end of quote of Dr. Graham)



Sebastopol residents lash out against PG&E plan for 'smart meters'

Published: Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 10:13 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 10:36 a.m.

PG&E's plan to install wireless meters on area homes has some Sebastopol residents calling for city leaders to reject the plan because they fear the meters could impact their health.

Click to enlarge
A gas meter on a southwest Santa Rosa residence outfitted with a PG&E SmartMeter transponder. The transponder has not yet been activated.

Called SmartMeter, the plan calls for the utility company to bring automated meters to Sonoma County customers, with plans to begin placing them on residences this month in Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park and Petaluma.

But dozens of Sebastopol residents complained to city councilmembers this week claiming that radiation from the meters' electromagnetic fields could cause a range of negative health issues, including cancer.

 "I want the city of Sebastopol to be the first city to say 'hell no,'" to the utility meter program, said Madison Baker of Sebastopol.

PG&E officials, who have also been underfire for increases in energy bills after the meters are installed, reject the notion that the meters are unsafe.

 "We don't believe there are health hazards associated with the Smart meters," said Katie Romans, PG&E spokeswoman who attended Tuesday's hearing. "But we do want to address the community's concerns fully. We'll be taking those concerns back to our experts," she said with a plan to return to Sebastopol to further address the issue.

Andrew Tang, also of PG&E, said studies conducted in 2005 and 2008 show the rates of radiation from the electromagnetic fields fall within standards and levels set by the FCC and the new meters will be a benefit to both the utility and its customers.

PG&E says the new wireless grid promises to pinpoint power failures faster, would eliminate meter readers on private property and give consumers access to data in near real time.

With the new meters, customers will be able to go online and see how much energy they're using, giving them options on how to save money.

"Who is this good for?" asked Elizabeth Fuller, a Sebastopol resident not satisfied by the explanations offered by PG&E.

"Will I send tweets to my refrigerator?" She scoffed at the notion of savings, wondering if the suggested benefits would appear as a suggestion to cook dinner at 3 a.m.

Sebastopol resident Nancy Hubert said the issue "is a matter of choice. ... I think this is pretty outrageous actually."

The meters have already been installed of some areas of California and have generated a class action lawsuit in Bakersfield over higher-than-expected bills.

PG&E staff said any concerns should be directed to the company but also to the California Public Utilities Commission, which oversees the utility company's actions and has jurisdiction on the issue.

Mayor Sarah Gurney said options for the council at its Feb. 16 meeting include scheduling a town hall meeting, getting state legislators involved and possibly a lobbying effort to the utilities commission should the council see the need for future action.

Concerns in Sebastopol over electromagnetic fields are not new.

 An effort to get free wireless Internet service in the city in 2008 first was approved, then failed when the council rescinded its approval after hearing from many critics of Wi-Fi. The critics believed the radiation emitted by wireless equipment, cell phones and similar devices could cause adverse health effects.

That decision brought international attention to the town and when local high school students took up the issue in favor of the service, the council said it would bring the issue back for reconsideration.

So far no additional action has been taken.




As residents cry foul, whose backyard will end up with tower? [Connecticut ...
They cited studies of a higher risk of cancer and other health issues due to the electromagnetic radiation from cell towers. ...




Video : Study Reveals Eastern PA Cancer Clusters
Study Reveals Eastern PA Cancer Clusters. Thursday, Jan 21st @ 5:19pm EST. Pennsylvania has the highest rate of thyroid cancer in the entire country. ...

Radiation suspected of causing thyroid cancer.
News from Ireland
For information - good news;

One of my sisters travelled on a Cork bound train yesterday

and observed a notice on the carriage window; - "Quiet Zone"

Mobiles not to be used in this carriage or words to that effect.

Small mercies!