This is a response to a review of Vaxxed by Simon Foster which can be found here (I left a comment more than a week ago but it needs approval by Simon to be published, so far it hasn’t.)
Here are some particular egregious quotes from the review:
To decry his film’s credibility based upon bias is to tar every modern doc with a fatal imbalance.
Films like Vaxxed should be seen so as to kick start discussion, if only for contrary, more informed voices to prove their claims false.
…the combined dosage at a certain point in a child’s growth has caused damage to a large enough percentage of children to warrant investigation
a competently presented piece of investigative filmmaking
Firstly I recommend people get medical advice from reputable places like the World Health Organisation instead of propaganda that promotes disease. There’s bias as the review characterise Vaxxed and then there’s lies, deception and propaganda.
Wakefield has been shown to be a fraud who acted dishonestly, acted for mercenary motives, abused children, acted unprofessionally and dishonestly. He had his papers retracted and perpetrated “the most damaging medical hoax of the last 100 years”. He’s not a credible source of medical information whose disinterested in truth. The film should be seen as what it is – a work of propaganda that is made for Wakefield’s brand rehabilitation through re-writing the past while it construct him as a victim and hero. IT lays the ground work for future work to go further which is exactly what the next film does as well according to reports.
What do credible voices say about the health message in Vaxxed? I’m not qualified enough to judge but Dr Ian Lipkin is. Ian is a professor of epidemiology and director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. He said that Vaxxed “as a documentary it misrepresents what science knows about autism, undermines public confidence in the safety and efficacy of vaccines, and attacks the integrity of legitimate scientists and public-health officials.”
The review says “Vaxxed should be seen so as to kick start discussion, if only for contrary, more informed voices to prove their claims false.” One could ask should the same be said about holocaust denial, climate denial, flat earth, creationism? According to the faulty logic Holocaust denialists need to be given a platform so the questions of the existence of the Holocaust can finally be answered? How many times does a discussions need to be kick started and then corrected? Wakefield had a chance to test his claims by seeing Brian Deer – he failed. What is the threshold for the discussions to be kicked off for a film to be payed? Vaxxed is a film from the US that is readily available on the internet should it take space at a film festival in Australia?
The review accepts propaganda at face value (even after stating that Wakefield is a deregistered gastroenterologist and that the film is ) writing vaccines have “caused damage to a large enough percentage of children to warrant investigation.” There has been study after study done to try and disprove the link to autism The biggest problem with the film is that it ignores the large systematic studies around the world that have have shown that there is no link. In Denmark 2002 , there was a study of 537,000 children, in Finland there were 535,000 both found no link. In 2012 there was study looking at 14,700,000 children that found no link between MMR and autism. This is valuable medical resources being used to disprove a conspiracy theory because it has caused people to not vaccinate with deadly consequences.
I’ve written about this here and here.
Snopes has a thing to here
PS I think the more important discussion needs to be made about urine therapy that MUFF is heroically bringing with the film Urine Aid, a piece of investigative filmmaking which needs to be seen: