Professor Arie Zuckerman
See: Prof Denis McDevitt Brian Deer MEDICOLEGAL INVESTIGATIONS LIMITED Dr Richard Horton Brian Deer DAVID HULL
See: Wakefield GMC Hearing 2007
[2010 April. Video] Dr Andrew Wakefield - In His own words
[2010 Jan] False Testimony Denies Lancet Doctors a Fair Hearing
I decided that I was going to review all of the safety studies about measles and measles containing vaccines because if I was going to get into a fight, I needed to know what I was talking about. If I was going to challenge the status quo and say things that might have an adverse effect on vaccine uptake, I had to know what I was talking about. So I read all the papers and I was appalled. I was absolutely appalled that the quality of the safety studies of the single and combined MMR vaccine in particular and then I wrote to my colleagues in advance of the paper coming out and I said this is going attract a lot of attention in the media and I have to tell you, that I have now read all these studies. I have written a 250-page report which I'm willing you, I'm very happy for you to read and I cannot support the continued use of the MMR vaccine. I will continue vigorously to support the use of the single vaccine but I cannot support the use of the MMR.
Now at that stage, the dean of the medical school Arie Zuckerman had decided that he was going to have a press briefing, a press conference. Get people together, tell them about the findings of the study. And, I wrote to him, I copied this letter to him so he had an opportunity at this stage to say no press briefing. We don't want to get into the vaccine issue. Wakefield doesn't attend the press briefing or if the question is raised at the press briefing, it doesn't go to Wakefield. He had three opportunities to diffuse this, he didn't. As soon as the question came up at the press briefing which inevitably it was going to do, he directed it straight to me. And I responded in exactly the same way that I said I would respond in advance of that press briefing.
Now, it wasn''t based upon the observations in 12 children, it was based upon reading all of the safety studies and producing a 250-page safety report on those studies which I'd offered to my colleagues to read. And that was the basis for my recommendation that parents be allowed to use the option of the single vaccines.[2010 April] Andrew Wakefield Interview by Dr Mercola
What he disclosed, interestingly, to me during that period was that
he had written to the ethics committee of the British Medial Association (BMA),
to take their advice, how to deal with this perplexing issue that was causing
him concern about conflicts of interest that has was really unable to articulate
to me. So he wrote to Dr Armstrong at the BMA ethics committee to ask
their opinion, and in it unbeknown to me at the time, he had said he had been
contacted by the Department of Health who said to him that the government stood
to be sued by the parents of children affected by MMR or apparently affected by
MMR vaccine, and that this to him was a conflict of interest. That
government was going to be sued.
Do you understand, I came into this with the lawyers believing the case was against the vaccine manufacturers, the government didn't even come into it, but he was clearly under the impression that the government were going to be sued. He also said that this may be embarrassing for the medical school. Now, we were never party to the ultimate response of Dr Armstrong of the BMA. We were never told about it. All we did when he wrote back to me is to say you will know that I have taken advice on this matter from the BMA and leave it that, as though the BMA had ruled completely against it.
When in fact we got the documents, as we did do as part of the disclosure for the GMC, there it was, the letter from Dr Armstrong, not only endorsing the fact this study could and should be done because it was morally and ethically proper that it should be done, but that not to do it because it was embarrassing to an institute or because it meant the government might be sued was not a sound moral argument. His words.
So in other words the BMA ethics committee said this is fine. It said actions of this kind or research of this kind is often funded by a group with a particular interest. Of course they are, the Multiple Sclerosis Society funds research for MS in the hope that it can make patients better. So here we have another group of people with a vested interest funding a piece of research. As long as it is ethical, and as long as it is conducted in a way that it is published, whether it is positive or negative, then that is fine.
Nonetheless Prof Zuckerman did not get the answer he wanted. He never disclosed that to us, he just kept beating us over the head with the certain knowledge that he had contacted the BMA and they had given him an opinion. [2010 April. Video] Dr Andrew Wakefield - In His own words
Interestingly, the Dean of the medical school, Prof Ari Zuckerman,
world renowned virologist, expert in Hepatitis B, worked very closely with the
WHO, was deeply involved with hepatitis B vaccination, a great advocate of
hepatitis B vaccination, different story, but nonetheless, there he was in the
general apparatchik of the vaccine advocates. And he said to me that he
had been contacted by the
Department of Health and a
certain members of the Royal College of Child Health
who had made him aware of this funding, and I said yes, this is a grantw e got
from them and perfectly respectable, and we are conducting the science, and he
said there was a conflict of interest, a clear conflict of interest, and I
couldn't understand it, why?
Why was there a conflict of interest? I had no conflict of interest, I was asked to take this grant to conduct a piece of science and give an answer. That wasn't a conflict of interest. The funding would be disclosed in the paper that wrote up the science, the funding came from the Legal Aid Board, but beyond that where was the conflict? Anyway, I wrote back to him and said your suggestion that there is a conflict of interest has exercised my mind greatly over the last several months and I cannot see where it lies, and i laid out for him the context of my discussions with the lawyers and the work that was to be done, and he wrote back to me and couldn't precisely define what the conflict was, but talked about if a legal action was anticipated, and preliminary discussions had already taken place then there was a conflict, and it didn't really make a lot of sense to me.
I wrote back to him again and reiterated thatw e ahd been asked to do a piece of science that wasn't seeking a particular answer. I wouldn't have got involved in the first place if there was any effort of coercion or demanding that......we own the data, the lawyers didn't own it. We would do what we felt was scientifically appropriate, and I had every faith in the lawyers, they seemed very concerned, genuinely concerned about these children, they weren't in any way ambulance chasers but nonetheless there was some clear problem for the Dean in this, and he ultimately refused to take the money, and I said send it back, we don't want it, if you are not going to let us do this, we won't do it.
Anyway, one of my colleagues said we will put it into an account at the hospital, a charitable account...and see if that is OK. So we did, now, interestingly the Dean has just appeared as a witness on behalf of the prosecution at the GMC. Professor Ari Zuckerman, now 7 years retired and clearly deeply frustrated that he should be dragged out of retirement to have to give his evidence in thsi case, but nonetheless his first foray was to say, yes, when this money was transferred by the accountant of the Royal Free Medical School it was too late, I didn't know about it, it had already happened, I couldn't stop it.
It is interesting that he actually signed the cheque for the transfer. Surprising that, given the fact that it had already happened by the time he knew about it, nonetheless an interval of 11 years can cloud ones mind, memory of things. There we are. But that was the first error he made. [2010 April. Video] Dr Andrew Wakefield - In His own words
Count III alleges that then Dean Zuckerman falsely denied his knowledge that Dr. Wakefield would, if asked at the press conference accompanying publication, recommend the single (monovalent) measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines as a precautionary measure until the safety of MMR could be further examined. Dr. Zuckerman's claim that he was unaware that vaccines would be discussed at a press conference accompanying publication was false because he had specifically instructed Dr. Wakefield to urge continued use of the monovalent measles vaccine as a safer alternative to MMR. Attachment 2 is Dr. Zuckerman’s Jan. 22, 1998 letter instructing Dr. Wakefield to recommend the monovalent vaccines at the post-publication press conference (“It is vital, in your own interest and that of children, that you state clearly your support for monovalent vaccination.”).[2010 Jan] False Testimony Denies Lancet Doctors a Fair Hearing
[A typist typing polyvalent instead of monovalent? Typing error my arse!
Wakefield took all the flack for recommending a single vaccine.]
In cross examination, the defence had previously put it to Professor Zuckerman that he had co-operated with the media committee, and with Dr Wakefield, in their plan to make clear their view of MMR and regressive autism. Professor Zuckerman, who had chaired the media committee which organised the press briefing had, it turned out, been appraised of the intention to propose a return to the single vaccine.
In evidence, Zuckerman had denied this. A letter from him to Dr Wakefield produced in evidence, however, twice stated that in the event of a question being asked, he hoped that Wakefield would push the use of monovalent (single) vaccine. When asked about this letter in cross examination, Zuckerman had said that the twice used word ‘monovalent’ was on both occasions a typing error, and it should, of course, have read that they should push the ‘polyvalent’ (triple) vaccine. This was almost plausible, but if it was not true it hinted at a much deeper conspiracy on the part of the establishment than even I had imagined.
As Miss Smith, heroine of the defence, led Salisbury through his evidence, she presented him with a letter written by Roy Pounder head of Wakefield’s department, to the Department of Health. A letter which Salisbury had seen. The letter, according to the twisted narrative of the prosecution, was supposed to be an example of how the Royal Free research team had constantly tried to blackmail the DoH. In the letter, Pounder had notified the Department of their intention to recommend at the press conference that parents ask for the ‘monovalent’ vaccine. He wrote, Pounder said, making this clear because he did not want the NHS to be caught short when requests for the single vaccine were made. ‘Did they have sufficient stocks?’ he asked. Now, unless monovalent was also a typing error in this letter, a nightmare picture of conspiracy and deceit is beginning to unravel in the GMC hearing. The Utter Irrelevance of Professor Salisbury by Martin Walker
The person who commissioned
was Paul Nuki, Sunday Times' sometime Head of Newsroom investigations and
"Focus" editor. Paul Nuki is son of Professor George Nuki. Professor George Nuki
in 1987 sat on the Committee on Safety of Medicines when the CSM was considering
Glaxo company Smith Kline & French Laboratories' Pluserix MMR vaccine for safety
approval. ......sitting on the CSM with Professor George Nuki was Professor Sir Roy
Meadow and Professor Sir David Hull............it was Professor Sir David Hull in 1998 who, as chairman of the
Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, started the attacks on
As Chairman of the JCVI, Professor Sir David Hull could have taken action to deal with the issues over the MMR and protect British children
In 1998 Professor Sir David Hull wrote (on home headed notepaper) to Dean Zuckerman of The Royal Free, suggesting the Royal Free Hospital's work was unethical research without clinical justification (wrongfully, as the public would have learnt if The Observer had been reporting the current GMC hearings into the Wakefield case)
Despite his attacks on Wakefield's work, two years later in 2000, it was Professor Sir David Hull who rewrote the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health ethical guidelines to permit research on children where there was no clinical benefit (albeit in The Royal Free's case all the investigations were clinically justified) [April 2008] MMR/AUTISM & THE TAMING OF THE BRITISH MEDIA--Clifford Miller
Professor Zuckerman made the point on a number of occasions that in 45
years, he had never come across funding for research which entailed
'lawyers directing the research'. He didn’t have to explain this in any
depth and defence council never put to him the endless evidence that in
much research into workplace illness, in for example, the chemical
industry, not only is the funding supplied by associate industrial
interests but the work is carried out in industry funded establishments
with data provided entirely by the industry in question.
.......Zuckerman clearly detested Wakefield. He poured sugary flattery on both Professor Murch and Professor Walker-Smith. Answering cross examination from Dr Wakefield’s counsel, he was completely defensive. Obviously feeling trapped and threatened, he was always on the brink of leaving his chair and the hearing.
.....But the most intriguing question of all related to the press briefing shortly before the publication of the Lancet paper. Zuckerman had helped organise the ‘conference’ and he seemed happy to chair it. He had a preview of its structure and the questions it would address. However, when a journalist at the end of the briefing, asked what approach parents should now have to the MMR combination vaccine, Zuckerman directed the question to Dr Wakefield. This was despite the fact that he knew Wakefield to have had concerns about the polyvalent vaccine for many years. Despite the fact Zuckerman was at that time in receipt of a letter from Dr Wakefield in which it was explicitly stated that, if asked at the press briefing, Wakefield would make clear those concerns.
As soon as Dr Wakefield had made the statement which apparently ended his career at the Royal Free, suggesting that it might be better to suspend use of MMR until research had proved its safety or otherwise, Zuckerman re-directed the question to Professor Murch. Murch quickly expressed his complete support for the vaccine. Why, one might ask, had Zuckerman directed the question to Wakefield?
Slowly with steady articulation, Mr Koonan put it to Professor Zuckerman that he had alleged Dr Wakefield was implacably opposed to any attempts at replication of his work, although, in fact, replication did take place. 'It’s as simple as that', Mr Koonan blandly ended the statement. There were signs, then, that Zuckerman was about to lose it.
Koonan’s next set of questions dealt with the press briefing. He suggested to Professor Zuckerman that Zuckerman was not displeased to have the paper published by Dr Wakefield and other researchers from the Royal Free. That he thought the work reflected well on the medical school. He was even, Mr Koonan suggested, pleased to chair the briefing.
At this, Professor Zuckerman lost his footing and began to slide down the cliff face, his terse venomous responses coming almost automatically. 'I absolutely reject this. I absolutely reject this. I absolutely reject this' he said in triplicate at one point.
At the end of Zuckerman’s evidence one was left with the impression that he had performed cleverly, expressing his personal detestation of Dr Wakefield, defending his professional interests and managing to avoid answering the most damaging exchanges with Mr Koonan by utilising a display of histrionics. [July 30th to August 6th] Prosecuting For The Defence by Martin J Walker
Inside the hearing where charges and evidence really matter, Wakefield
was able, for the first time, to give his rebuttal evidence against Professor
Zuckerman and Dr Richard Horton. It had always been clear that
Zuckerman was protecting his back when he gave evidence and Dr Wakefield was
able to present evidence that showed not only that Professor Zuckerman had
arranged the press briefing for the Lancet paper about which he so
bitterly complained, but that he also supported Wakefield in his position that
the government should revert to monovalent, that is single vaccines, until
research at the Royal Free was concluded.
Kieran Coonan introduced a part of a DVD made by the University during the press briefing; the sound was so bad that only a practiced lip-reader could gain anything from it. (I have to say that this was actually indicative of a downhill pattern in relation to sound in the hearing. I am slightly sceptical about a public hearing that the public cannot hear because the participants speak in an exactly opposite direction to their microphones). Fortunately the panel were provided with a partial transcript of the press briefing. Watching the reportage, we saw Dr Wakefield suggesting in the most reasonable manner that to avoid a possible continuing public health crisis, it might be better to return to the single vaccines for a period. Professor Zuckerman seemed to support this position. Last Day of Reckoning by Martin Walker MA