[back] Professor Sir Michael Rutter
Michael Rutter & The Drug Industry Connections
It is appropriate to ask:
- "who is Professor Sir Michael Rutter?";
It can help to follow the money chain. In the money connections, you
don't get any bigger than Rutter.
- might he at least subconsciously suffer from author bias; and,
does he have any potentially conflicting interests?
Psychiatrist Professor Sir Michael Rutter is a former (recent) Deputy
Chairman of the immensely wealthy Wellcome Trust (founded by the Wellcome
Foundation which is now Glaxo). For confirmation of his status, see the 4th
page of :-
The Wellcome Trust has assets of over £14 billion:-
The Trust hands out millions every year and has far more substantial
reserves to enable it to do that. And it can dictate a great deal of what
research is carried out around the world. See here for details:-
So Rutter is very influential. You do not get to be in that position if you
are not "in favour with pharma".
He is also one of the expert witnesses for Glaxo in the MMR litigation
(something he did not declare, for example, in the Honda/Rutter paper
denying MMR has any association with autism, but I do not see him before the
GMC over that). Professor Rutter is also one of the main prosecution
witnesses in the
witchhunt in the British General Medical Council against medical doctors
Andrew Wakefield, Simon Murch and Professor Walker-Smith.
Here is a
biographical note on Professor Sir Michael Rutter from the
Academy of Medical
Sciences which says:-
Professor Sir Michael Rutter is Professor of Developmental
Psychopathology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College, London.
He has been a consultant psychiatrist at the Maudsley Hospital since
1966, and was Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Institute of
Psychiatry from 1973 to 1998. He set up the Medical Research Council
Child Psychiatry Research Unit in 1984 and the Social, Genetic and
Developmental Psychiatry Centre 10 years later, being honorary director
of both until October 1998. His research has included the genetics of
autism; the study of both school and family influences on children’s
behaviour; the links between mental disorders in childhood and adult
life; epidemiological approaches to test causal hypotheses; and
gene-environment interplay. He was Deputy Chairman of the Wellcome
Trust from 1999 to 2004, and has been a Trustee of the Nuffield
Foundation since 1992. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in
1987 and an honorary member of the British Academy in 2002. He was a
Founding Fellow of the Academia Europaea and the Academy of Medical
Sciences, of which he is currently Clinical Vice-President. He has
received numerous international honours and has published some 40 books
and over 400 scientific papers and chapters.
Professor Sir Michael Rutter along with a troupe of psychiatrists now
or formerly associated with The Maudsley Hospital and The Institute of
Psychiatry at Kings have been working hard at telling the public autism is
solely genetic and denying there is a
world autism pandemic.
If a condition is genetic, you also do not suddenly get spontaneous mutation
of large numbers of individuals. That suggestion is counter logical and non
science. Genetics cannot account for the large rise we are seeing in autism
since the mid 1980s. So instead what we see are efforts by Rutter and the
King's Institute of Psychiatry other autism denialists to claim there is no
real rise in the prevalence of autism. This claim is unscientific and runs
counter to the facts documented in the formal literature. You can see I
have already made this crystal clear to autism denialist and another
psychiatrist, Professor Bennett Leventhal:-
The Institute of Psychiatry has been an embarrassing place to be
because of this April 2008 news item:-
The Institute of Psychiatry has or is home to more than its fair share
of doctors (psychiatrists mostly) who publish papers claiming autism is
genetic and denying there is an autism epidemic (the correct word is
pandemic - epidemics have far fewer victims). These doctors include Rutter,
Eric Fombonne (now expert witness in the US in the thiomersal/autism
litigation when he had previously published nothing about it), Simon Baron
Cohen. It is also home to controversial "Gulf War Syndrome" psychiatrist
Simon Wessley, director of the Centre for Military Health Research at King's
College London and who had been claiming ME/CFS is not a physical condition
but a mental one contrary to the definition used around the world.
Sophia Wilson is
an example of an ME/CFS sufferer who died following this approach to
diagnosis, albeit not so far as I am aware a patient of any of the
psychiatrists or institutions I name here.
BBC psychiatrist Tonmoy Sharma is struck off
By Lucy Cockcroft The Telegraph 01 April /2008
A psychiatrist who regularly
appeared as an expert on the BBC has been struck off the medical
register after he lied about his academic qualifications and
performed unethical drugs tests on mentally ill patients.
Also associated with The Institute of Psychiatry and the Maudsley is Dr Ben
Goldacre, who constantly attacks alternative medicine in The Guardian whilst
writing the "Badscience" column - yet Goldacre has no scientific
qualifications and does not tell everyone that he practises psychiatry - the
least successful branch of medicine in history and which has difficulty
finding two reliable pieces of science to rub together to support the wacky
quacky theories some of its proponents put out.
Goldacre works with Wessley. Goldacre and Wessley have close professional
and personal connections to King's Mobile Phones Research Unit. That is
interesting bearing in mind Goldacre's very public attacks, backed by the
industry funded lobby group, The
Science Media Centre, on Panorama's documentary about mobile phone
hazards, which hazards were raised by no less than the head of the Health
Protection Agency. That did not stop Ben Goldacre and The
Science Media Centre attacking the programme and its journalists.
Rutter is also a friend of the editor of the journal which printed the
Honda/Rutter MMR paper. Here is his endorsement of the Journal:-
""JCPP is clearly the world's No. 1 child psychology and
psychiatry journal. It integrates clinical and developmental
perspectives, it is truly international, and interdisciplinary, and it
combines high scientific standards with attention to clinical
Editor Charman is a contributor to Rutter's book:-
Prof. Sir Michael Rutter"
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Fifth Edition"
Rutter was also an expert witness in Malmo, Sweden in an MMR autism
case where the key question was whether autism was solely genetic and not
environmental. Rutter's expert evidence was that it was genetic.
And this could go on and on and on ......................
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