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The C-Word: An Obsession with Corporations is Driving the Left Crazy (From the Top)

Reason 2011, March, 42, 10

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IN EARLY JANUARY, the British medical journal BMJ completed an investigation into one of the most notorious articles in recent history: Andrew Wakefield's 1998 study in The Lancet claiming that the MMR vaccine, designed to prevent measles, mumps, and rubella, causes autism. The Lancet had already retracted the piece in February 2010 (following a partial retraction in 2004), and Wakefield was stripped of his medical license three months later. BMJ concluded that Wakefield consciously distorted the medical histories of each of the 12 patients on which he based his study. "The MMR scare was based not on bad science but on a deliberate fraud," Editor in Chief Fiona Godlee wrote. Such "clear evidence of falsification of data should now close the door on this damaging vaccine scare." Since the original article was published, vaccination rates have tumbled in the U.K. and U.S., while measles rates have shot up. Certainly Wakefield and The Lancet shoulder some responsibility for the damage done to public health. But bad information does not spread and trigger action (or, in this case, inaction) without a willing audience. The vaccine/autism link has been debunked repeatedly since 1998--by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Institute of Medicine, and the British National Health Service, among many others. Yet the myth persisted. Why?

The C-Word: An Obsession with Corporations is Driving the Left Crazy (From the Top)
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  • $5.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Reference
  • Published: Mar 01, 2011
  • Publisher: Reason Foundation
  • Seller: The Gale Group, Inc.
  • Print Length: 5 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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