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Denialism

05/25/2012

Page 62 has a good example to use when talking about vaccinations. The UK was set to eliminate measles (which can lead to death and mental retardation) by 2010. Because of Andrew Wakefield’s paper, which was retracted by nearly all the original authors, this did not happen.

Here’s an attempt:

We’ve got a vaccine for measles, which can cause permanent retardation and death in young children. The UK was on it’s way to totally eliminating the measles by 2010, but Andrew Wakefield published a paper linking the vaccine to Autism. The article was retracted, 10 out of 13 original authors withdrawing their support. It was also found that Wakefield had a conflict of interest. He stood to make millions off of an alternative treatment to measles. Still, because of his refuted paper, vaccinations dropped, and we still have measles to this day because Wakefield published some bad science. Children have suffered permanent mental damage and death as a direct result of Wakefield’s actions. If we care about children’s health, we have a responsibility to support vaccinations like the measles vaccine, that have been proven to work.

Chapter 3 covers organic food. Some conclusions include that

  1. Organic food is not healthier
  2. There have never been any health problems associated with GM foods, contrary to aspirin and raw milk, which have both killed many people.
  3. Africa especially suffers from this form of denialism. People die of starvation because of a distrust of GM foods as “poison” or as Western cultural infringement.

Chapter 4 covers integrative supplements, and helps take down Dr. Andrew Weil, who claims to make “evidence” based recommendations, but really just stretches the science. Page 153 concludes with the recommendations of the NIH and points out how Dr. Weil is making unsubstantiated claims. 154-156 surveys different supplements concluding that vitamin supplements have been shown to either harm, or do no good. Seems like a big waste of money.

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