ATT clinic, 29A Stafford street, Edinburgh EH3 7BJ
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Re: Becoming Ben.
The MMR “debacle” as Ben Goldacre describes it is far from over. "The blame" does not lie with “hundreds of journalists” etc, it lies fairly and squarely with a highly politicised health system that discourages dissent from within its own ranks, that combined with a greed philosophy that has enveloped a once fine profession. It may be of interest to BMJ readers to learn of some of the glowing descriptive terms used at the ongoing GMC trial of Dr Wakefield et al, with regard to their scientific research: “excellent”, “robust and rigorous”, “revolutionary”, “watertight”, “clinical observation backed up by good science”, etc, etc. I could go on but when I tell you that these quotes are from prosecution witnesses you will realise how far off the mark ‘Becoming’ Ben is in his attacks on the witness of thousands of parents. And that is what the MMR debate has become, a battle between ordinary citizens whose children face 70 years of mental handicap and pain, and people like Goldacre. This is no longer about good science or bad science, the science debate was over when the editor of the Lancet, Richard Horton, recently conceded re Wakefield’s paper, and I quote: 'The essential clinical findings remain unchallenged as far as their accuracy is concerned'. Perhaps Horton can encourage Goldacre “to a deeper understanding of this complex issue”.
Competing interests: Grandfather of an autistic boy.
The Dawn of McScience 10 October 2008
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Re: The Dawn of McScience
The sun has set on honest, independent science whose primary goal is the discovery of truth. I don’t know when the sun went down, but like Richard Horton, I do know that a new era has dawned.
Of course, Dr Horton, present esteemed editor of The Lancet, described the enlightenment of this new dawn in his book on the MMR crisis.  In the third chapter, Horton eloquently describes how, with the colonization of science, the traditional norms of disinterested inquiry and free expression of opinion have been given up to the harvest of huge revenues from the global wellness industry. He tells us that “subtle yet insidious changes to the rules of engagement between science and commerce are causing incalculable injury to society, as well as to science.” And in the description, Horton subtly implies that Andrew Wakefield, apparently burdened with enormous financial conflicts of interest in his researches into the possible causes of autism and childhood bowel disease, was an important marker of this malignant process.
We will all remember that Andrew Wakefield and paediatricians Professors Walker-Smith and Murch are currently being tried by the GMC, a trial that will last nearly two years at a cost to the ordinary doctor of millions of pounds.
Andrew Wakefield, who dared to question the rights of the vaccine- industrial-complex has recently said,
“It is not a question of not vaccinating. I’m not against vaccinations. I don’t know for sure vaccines cause autism but I suspect they do. The opposition just states categorically it does not. But they don’t know either.” 
By apparently invoking the good offices of the new corporate science, Ben Goldacre can sneer “unattractively” at the idea of a possible link between autism, bowel disease and vaccines, particularly the MMR.
 The Dawn of McScience. Richard Horton. 3rd Chapter, MMR Science &Fiction, Exploring the Vaccine Crisis. Granta Books 2004.
 Autism Doc claims government led witch hunt against him. Phil Doherty, Sunday Sun. Sep 28 2008. http://www.sundaysun.co.uk/news/north- east-news/2008/09/28/autism-doc-claims-government-led-witch-hunt-against- him-79310-21915131/
Competing interests: None declared