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Member since: Wed Feb 10, 2010, 01:12 PM
Number of posts: 4,959

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Stop, I will, after reposting this essential update which you appear to have missed.

FYI, Professor John Walker-Smith is widely regarded as the co-founder of pediatric gastroenterology as an independent field with Dr. Allan Walker of Harvard Medical School.


MMR doctor wins High Court appeal

Press Association, Tuesday March 6 2012

Professor John Walker-Smith appealed against the General Medical Council's (GMC) determination that he was guilty of serious professional misconduct. His fight for his reputation was supported by the parents of many children with autism and bowel disease seen by him at the Royal Free Hospital, north London, up to his retirement in 2001.

Mr Justice Mitting, sitting at London's High Court, ruled the GMC decision "cannot stand". He quashed the finding of professional misconduct and the striking-off.

Calling for changes in the way GMC fitness to practise panel hearings are conducted in the future, the judge said of the flawed handling of Prof Walker-Smith's case: "It would be a misfortune if this were to happen again."


In a written ruling, the judge made it clear the judgment was the end of the case, and the GMC did not intend to appeal.


Senior Author of MMR Paper, John Walker-Smith, Wins Appeal

Written by The Canary Party
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 16:13

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s co-author on controversial Lancet “MMR paper” completely exonerated of all charges of professional misconduct

World renowned pediatric gastroenterologist Prof. John Walker-Smith won his appeal today against the United Kingdom’s General Medical Council regulatory board that had ruled against both him and Andrew Wakefield for their roles in the 1998 Lancet MMR paper, which raised questions about a link to autism. The complete victory means that Walker-Smith has been returned to the status of a fully licensed physician in the UK, although he had already retired in 2001 — six years before the GMC trial even began.

Justice John Mitting ruled on the appeal by Walker-Smith, saying that the GMC “panel’s determination cannot stand. I therefore quash it.” He said that its conclusions were based on “inadequate and superficial reasoning and, in a number of instances, a wrong conclusion.” The verdict restores Walker-Smith’s name to the medical register and his reputation to the medical community. This conclusion is not surprising, as the GMC trial had no actual complainants, no harm came to the children who were studied, and parents supported Walker-Smith and Wakefield through the trial, reporting that their children had medically benefited from the treatment they received at the Royal Free Hospital.

While John Walker-Smith received funding to appeal the GMC decision from his insurance carrier, his co-author Andrew Wakefield did not — and was therefore unable to mount an appeal in the high court.


Today, almost 14 years after the paper was published, the high court determined that John Walker-Smith was innocent of the wrongdoing alleged by the GMC. Judge Mitting reported that the GMC, “on the basis of sensible instructions, does not invite me to remit it to a fresh Fitness to Practice panel for redetermination. The end result is that the finding of serious professional misconduct and the sanction of erasure are both quashed.”

More at link.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Tue Oct 29, 2013, 01:35 PM (1 replies)

Memorable snippets of related articles.


Burger King beats forecasts as McDonald's drops Heinz
By Tiffany Hsu
October 28, 2013, 9:01 a.m.

Burger King stock was on the upswing Monday after the fast-food company said its profit surged nearly 33% in the third quarter, beating predictions from Wall Street.
The Miami-based company said its adjusted net income soared to $81.1 million, or 23 cents a share, from $61.1 million, or 17 cents a share, during the same period a year earlier.


Rival McDonald’s was up too, rising less than a percentage point, or 48 cents, to $95.26 a share.

The Oak Brook, Ill.-based quick-serve behemoth confirmed this week that it is ditching its multi-decade arrangement with H.J. Heinz Co. to serve its ketchup.

The rationale: Heinz is now run by Bernardo Hees, current vice chairman and former chief executive of Burger King.

Hees transitioned to the helm of Heinz earlier this year after the company was purchased by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway company and Burger King owner 3G Capital.


Burger King, the Cash Cow
Published: June 22, 2012

Financial engineering with genetically engineered food.....is this a great country, or what?
June 23, 2012 at 11:27 a.m.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Mon Oct 28, 2013, 04:13 PM (0 replies)

Q&A: David Mitchell on autism, expectations and 'The Reason I Jump'

Source: Los Angeles Times article by Carolyn Kellogg

October 28, 2013, 7:09 a.m.

David Mitchell, whose complex novel "Cloud Atlas" was adapted into a film last year, has quietly hit bestseller lists again as one of three authors of “The Reason I Jump.” He shares credit with KA Yoshida and young Japanese writer Naoki Higashida. Higashida has a severe form of autism, but, as a 13-year-old, wrote this book about what it’s like to live inside his head. Mitchell collaborated with his wife, Yoshida, on the translation from the Japanese; as parents of an autistic child, they see the book as a way to break through the speechlessness of autism.


What are some of the misperceptions about autism the book can address?

The problem with received wisdom is you don’t know it’s received wisdom; that’s why it’s somewhat corrosive. I never really noticed that I had assumed that people with autism, to be direct, don’t have imaginations. Or, I never noticed how it had gotten into my head, I can’t pinpoint the moment I started to believe that people with autism are incapable of empathy. There’s a number of occasions in the book Naoki displays a level of empathy that’s unusual in any 13-year-old, let alone an autistic 13-year-old.

He’s asked at one point – he asks himself, the book’s mostly a list of questions and answers – at one point, the question is, what’s the worst thing about being autistic? And his answer is, it’s not actually what you’d think. It’s not the day-to-day hard grind of having a mind that’s editorless, that isn’t under your control. The hardest thing is knowing you’re making massive headaches and stress for everyone around you. That your autism is causing your parents to cry at night when they think you’re asleep. That kind of stuff, you know?

This is what Naoki does routinely in his book: Metaphor. Creating fiction. Imagining a world that isn’t. Which is what every storyteller does, and reporting from that world. A playfulness with language. The manipulation of the reader’s expectation. Pop-pop-pop-pop go falsehoods about autism. We confuse the symptoms and the causes. I’m making him sound like some sort of guru here – he really isn’t, he’s just describing what his life is like, and how his mind works.

We muddle the symptom and the cause. We do that, not him. We do that.

What do you see next for autism?

I look forward to a future that maybe talks more about autisms than autism. We need a revolution in autism. The book’s a little part of that. It offers one ripple of what I hope can turn into a big wave. We need to credit people with autism with much more imagination, intelligence, empathy and human potential – they have so much more than they are given credit for. They need help and understanding to make that intelligence, that potential, manifest but it really is there.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-david-mitchell-on-the-reason-i-jump-20131025,0,5912856.story#axzz2j2nWeMyC
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Mon Oct 28, 2013, 02:58 PM (4 replies)

FYI, the BBC recently linked to Age of Autism as one of two "Related Internet Links."

Yes, that's right. Check it out. Scroll to bottom of page.


13 April 2013 Last updated at 02:34 ET


Related Internet links

Age of Autism: http://www.ageofautism.com
Public Health Wales: http://www.publichealthwales.wales.nhs.uk

This a completely legitimate BBC decision. To see why, do a site search for 'John Stone' at AOA. Stone's detailed reporting is outstanding.

Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sun Oct 27, 2013, 10:06 PM (1 replies)

Please carefully check out the Mumper study in post #2, noting the source.


No matter that, "Private equity has invested billions of dollars in the pharmaceutical industry," according to an article yesterday I decline to cite at http://www.commondreams.org


Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sun Oct 27, 2013, 06:56 PM (0 replies)


Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sun Oct 27, 2013, 12:34 PM (0 replies)

Don't miss this.


Let's Discuss (Again): The GMO Food Debate
ELLE, August 9 2013

Because the issue of the safety of genetic modified food is such a deeply contentious one, when ELLE published Caitlin Shetterly’s story "Bad Seed," we expected that some might object that it unfairly maligned GMOs. And Jon Entine, the author of Scared to Death: How Chemophobia Threatens Public Health, has done that in Slate.

In our piece, Shetterly recounts how she and her allergist came to believe that genetically altered corn was the probable cause of the debilitating, allergic illness that afflicted her, one marked by a profusion of a kind of white blood cells called eosinophils. Her point of view was clear, but at the same time she—and ELLE—were committed to airing both sides of the GMO debate.

Entine, however, ignored passages in the piece that didn’t fit his thesis that so-called “lifestyle magazines” like ELLE “credulously stoke conspiratorial fears” about GMOs. For example, Shetterly included the perspective of Amal Assa’ad, MD, a professor at the University of Cincinnati medical school, who dismisses Shetterly’s anxiety over GMO’s safety “as almost magical thinking.” The story continues: “What’s wrong with chemicals?” [Assa’ad] asked. “We’re so afraid of chemicals because they are man-made, right? A lot of chemicals have helped us—a lot of medications are chemicals.” If anything, GMO foods have been a boon to mankind, Assa’ad said. GMO seeds “produce better crops that have increased production, that are resistant to pesticides—crops that can feed the rest of the world.”

Entine also communicated with Shetterly’s sources, some of whom took issue with how their opinions were portrayed. After reviewing the work of Shetterly and ELLE’s fact-checker, who examined the transcripts of interviews with each source and/or confirmed their statements via email or by phone—we stand by our story.


In the course of reporting the piece, Shetterly spoke with a number of researchers and medical professionals who told her they couldn’t go on the record about their doubts about GMOs because they feared being sued by a biotech or agriculture company, or losing grant money provided by the private sector. Von Tiehl, who also told Entine that ELLE’s article wrongly suggested that he thinks “there is something scary or obviously wrong or concerning about GMO foods”, was one of those who worried about his legal exposure.


Here is an excerpt from the taped, transcribed interview between Shetterly and von Tiehl:

CS: Do you read labels and see all those hidden places where GMO corn is like xanthan gum, citric acid, ascorbic acid, natural flavorings? [GMO corn is used to make all those substances.] Would you not buy those things?

KVT: I can’t answer that question for legal reasons.

CS: Really?...

KVT: I can’t tell you how I have personally changed my diet.

CS: Because you’re afraid of being sued?

KVT: Because I’m afraid of being sued by big agribusiness.


Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sat Oct 26, 2013, 04:43 PM (2 replies)

Please see http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2000-09-03/xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx-NEW-PROTEINS

Best and saddest expert analysis I have encountered on GMOs ever and not a word since. New proteins = potential allergens.


"Genetically Altered Foods: We Are Being Exposed to One of the Largest Uncontrolled Experiments in History"

Martha Herbert
Chicago Tribune

September 3, 2000

BOSTON - Today the vast majority of foods in supermarkets contain genetically modified substances whose effects on our health are unknown. As a medical doctor, I can assure you that no one in the medical profession would attempt to perform experiments on human subjects without their consent. Such conduct is illegal and unethical. Yet manufacturers of genetically altered foods are exposing us to one of the largest uncontrolled experiments in modern history.

In less than five years these companies have flooded the marketplace with thousands of untested and unlabeled products containing foreign genetic material. These genetically modified foods pose several very real dangers because they have been engineered to create novel proteins that retard spoilage, produce their own pesticides against insects, or allow plants to tolerate larger and larger doses of weed killers. Despite claims that these food products are based on "sound science," in truth, neither manufacturers nor the government has studied the effects of these genetically altered organisms or their new proteins on people-especially babies, the elderly, and the sick. Can these products be toxic? Can they cause immune system problems? Can they damage an infant's developing nervous system? We need answers to these questions, and until then genetically altered ingredients should be removed from the food we eat.

As a pediatric neurologist, I especially worry about the safety of modified foods when it comes to children. We know that the human immune system, for example, is not fully developed in infants. Consequently, pediatricians have long been concerned about early introduction of new proteins into the immature gut and developing body of small children. Infants with colic are often switched to soy formula. Yet we have no information on how they might be affected by drinking genetically engineered soy, even though this product may be their sole or major source of nutrition for months. Because these foods are unlabeled, most parents feed their babies genetically altered formula whether they want to or not. Even proteins that are normally part of the human diet may, when introduced too early, lead to auto-immune and hypersensitivity or "allergic" reactions later.

Some studies suggest that the epidemic increase in asthma (it has doubled since 1980) may have links to early dietary exposures. The behavior problems of many children with autism and attention disorders get worse when they are exposed to certain foods. Yet as more unlabeled and untested genetically engineered foods enter the market, there is no one monitoring how the millions of people with immune system vulnerability are reacting to them and the novel proteins and fragments of viruses they can contain. In fact, without labeling, there is no possible way to track such health effects. This is not sound science, and it is not sound public health.


More at link.

So, "...no evidence of GMOs causing allergies." Doubtful, however, assuming that's accurate, perhaps

...because there exists a virtual monopoly on "the technology itself."
...because these companies thwarts science by denying independent scientists permission to test their patent-protected "technology."
...because these companies destroy careers of both scientists and farmers, and threaten legal action against states seeking to provide their citizens with labeling.

You are aware that blanket approval of "the technology itself" when introduced was opposed by the majority of FDA scientists who were then overruled by nonscientist revolving-door government regulators and politicians.

MORE: http://fooddemocracynow.org/blog/2012/may/29/dan_quayle_and_michael_taylors_nightmare_lives_on/
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sat Oct 26, 2013, 04:31 PM (1 replies)

Beyond the Curriculum: Teaching Students About Their Classmates With Special Needs.


Beyond the Curriculum: Teaching Students About Their Classmates With Special Needs

TMR's Sunshine: "I had the privilege of reading this story to the entire school during full school morning meeting a few years ago. My neighbor was kind enough to film the reading for me and the questions that followed. You can see the video here."

Related essay here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/101677094
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sat Oct 26, 2013, 01:58 PM (0 replies)

Beyond the Curriculum: Teaching Students About Their Classmates With Special Needs


Beyond the Curriculum: Teaching Students About Their Classmates With Special Needs

Posted on October 23, 2013
~ Sunshine

Every school year I go into my son’s class to read to the kids. The topic? Autism. When he started elementary school, I hadn’t planned on doing this at all, but early on in his kindergarten year, I witnessed an incident that made me take action.


Fast forward to now. Fourth grade. I was asked by his teachers to come in again and read to the class. I had selected different books in previous years, but this time we had to shift the focus a bit. You see, the kids help Rob a little too much now. They care about him, and want to help him, but independence is always a goal. I went back to the old stand-by and read about the boys that live across from each other and talked about ways that they can help Rob without doing things for him. The kids were amazing. Their suggestions were nothing short of perfect (show how to do things, reminders instead of telling him what to do, asking him to join in) but their questions were even better:

Why does Rob’s brain work differently?

* How do you get autism?
* Was he born this way?
* Can people with autism get better?
* Do you ever wonder what Rob sees and thinks about if he sees the world differently?

Their comments were priceless:

* You know, Rob talks to me a lot more and plays with me sometimes.
* I think we are more the same than different.
* I always look out for Rob to make sure he doesn’t get bullied.
* Are you going to come in and read to us again sometime?

But my favorite . . . the best thing I have ever heard come out of anyone’s mouth is this:

You know what, I think we just need to always believe in our friends. Believe that they can do things.

I am crying a bit just typing that out. Children are just brilliant. They are filled with so much love and compassion, they just need to understand what is going on. The students don’t just need to learn about autism but about all students with special needs. The kids in Rob’s class asked about the students in school that wear hearing aids, what Down’s Syndrome is and about physical disabilities. The more information they have, the better they can understand, relate to and empathize with their peers. If I had left them to come up with conclusions about Rob, who knows where they would have arrived?

Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sat Oct 26, 2013, 01:48 PM (0 replies)
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