Sunday, February 07, 2010

Time to think about my vegetables

I am planning a potted vegetable garden. Last year I had deep purple eggplants, and I am going to have them again this year. I have the pots already. All I need is some good soil and the plants. I am not very successful with seeds. So I buy my plants. I am glad to be planning for that. It keeps me from screaming out loud about the most recent campaign to discredit Dr. Andrew Wakefield.

They call him a fraud now. The Lancet has withdrawn a 12-year-old paper about a vaccine that might or might not cause autism. Just the fact that the Lancet is throwing Wakefield to the wolves is not enough. After all the article will always be in the Lancet of that date, and retracting it now makes me suspect that there really is an ulterior motive to malign him, to make him look more and more like a fraud now.

The vaccine/autism connection may or may not be a connection; but Dr. Wakefield tried to make sense of the epidemic that has been raging for nearly 20 years now. So why is it that this man's possibly questionable study is again in the news after so many years? Trying to find an answer stirs up my natural sense of suspicion.

Why now? Why didn't the Lancet do a better job in the first place? Why did the editors wait as long as they did? I tell you why. It is because an article that was just published with Wakefield’s name on it does find a connection between certain types of essential survival reflexes in newborn rhesus macaques and the mercury vaccine preservative Thimerosal. Is Dr. Wakefield a threat to the scientific community? Is he getting too close to the truth?

My guess is as good as yours. But still I wonder. I shall plant my eggplants and I shall maybe grow some lettuce as a distraction, but to me my question is still a good question. My question to the scientific community is: Why "protesteth thou" too much against a man who would not have had much credence if the media had not spread his name around to begin with? I smell fish-manure in my vegetable garden.


Post a Comment

<< Home