By Dr. Mercola
The video above, “Hear the Silence,” first aired on British television in 2003, then disappeared for nearly a decade before recently resurfacing on YouTube.
It tells the story of British gastroenterologist Dr. Andrew Wakefield, whose 1998 research published in The Lancet suggested there may be a link between the MMR vaccine, chronic bowel disease and autism.
Ever since the article's publication, it has remained one of the most cited yet most controversial studies on the topic of vaccine safety. The film provides a moving portrayal of Dr. Wakefield’s research and a mother’s journey in trying to find out the truth about what caused her child’s autism.
Is Dr. Wakefield a Fraud?
If you’ve followed Dr. Wakefield’s story at all, this may be one of the first questions that comes to your mind – especially if you’ve been following the story on mainstream media.
Dr. Wakefield's 1998 study involved a retrospective case series analysis, which essentially reviews the clinical histories of a group of patients with a constellation of signs and symptoms that link them together and create a recurring pattern.
In this case, it was a group of autistic children with gastrointestinal problems, which led to the discovery of a novel bowel disease that Wakefield and his colleagues at the Royal Free Hospital in London first described.
But the clinical story didn't end with bowel disease; it also included symptoms of regressive autism after receiving the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine... and many began to question the safety of the vaccine after this news was made public.
So rather than celebrating the discovery of a tangible, treatable and potentially preventable serious health problem that could help those suffering with similar health issues, Wakefield's discovery became a hotly debated controversy in which Dr. Wakefield's personal and professional reputation was badly smeared.
No Fraud Committed in Wakefield Study
At the heart of the Wakefield controversy has been whether or not the children in the study were, in fact, diagnosed with non-specific colitis, or if that information had been fabricated -- allegations that were largely initiated by investigative journalist Brian Deer, just months after “Hear the Silence” originally aired.1
Over the course of a 15-year nightmare journey, Dr. Wakefield lost his career and his medical license, which culminated in a series of articles published by the BMJ in January 20112 alleging that he falsified data, rendering the original Lancet article fraudulent.
But later that year, research microbiologist David Lewis of the National Whistleblowers Center explained that he reviewed histopathological grading sheets by two of Dr. Wakefield's coauthors, pathologists Amar Dhillon and Andrew Anthony, and concluded there was no fraud committed.3
It’s interesting to note, too, that in the years following his 1998 finding Dr. Wakefield published another 19 papers on the vaccine-induced bowel disorder. All were peer reviewed, and none have been retracted. However, none of these 19 papers are ever discussed in the media. In an interview I conducted with Dr. Wakefield in 2010, it’s revealed that numerous other studies also support Dr. Wakefield's controversial 1998 findings.
Do Some Cases of Autism Stem from Vaccine-Induced Gastrointestinal Inflammation?
As one example of many, at the 2006 International Meeting for Autism Research, Stephen J. Walker, Ph.D. shared preliminary research findings that confirmed Dr. Wakefield's contested findings.
A research team from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina had examined children with regressive autism and bowel disease, and of the 82 tested at the time of his presentation, 70 were positive for the vaccine strain of the measles virus (as opposed to the wild strain of measles). What this proved was that a majority of children diagnosed with regressive autism had the vaccine strain of measles in their gastrointestinal tract, which is exactly what Dr. Wakefield had found back in 1998.
This doesn't automatically prove the vaccine was the cause of the autism, but it does at the very least suggest a link between these three factors — the presence of MMR vaccine strain of measles in the digestive tract, chronic bowel inflammation, and symptoms of regressive autism.
This is precisely what Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride's work centers around, and her Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) nutritional plan is designed to reestablish proper gut flora in order to heal and seal your gut – thereby reversing and eliminating ailments running the gamut from autism, ADD/ADHD, learning disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, just to name a few possibilities.
The Gut-Brain Connection Every Parent Should Know About
According to Dr. Campbell-McBride, children who are born with severely damaged gut flora are at a significantly increased risk of vaccine damage, which may help explain why some children develop symptoms of autism after receiving one or more childhood vaccinations, such as the MMR vaccine, while others do not. In a previous interview, she explained the chain of events that is typical for many, if not most, autistic children:
"What happens in these children [is that] they do not develop normal gut flora from birth… As a result, their digestive system — instead of being a source of nourishment for these children — becomes a major source of toxicity. These pathogenic microbes inside their digestive tract damage the integrity of the gut wall. So all sort of toxins and microbes flood into the bloodstream of the child, and get into the brain of the child.
That usually happens in the second year of life in children who were breast fed because breastfeeding provides a protection against this abnormal gut flora. In children who were not breastfed, I see the symptoms of autism developing in the first year of life. So breastfeeding is crucial to protect these children."
If a child with abnormal gut flora and damaged digestive tract receives a vaccine, the added toxic burden may prove too great to bear. Keep in mind that this toxic burden is NOT necessarily limited to thimerosal (mercury-based preservative) or aluminum-based adjuvants found in some vaccines. The MMR vaccine, for example, does not contain thimerosal or aluminum. Instead, it appears the measles virus in the vaccine may contribute to chronic inflammation of the bowel, thereby unleashing a cascade of harmful effects on the brain. Dr. Campbell-McBride explains:
"...If the child's brain is clogged with toxicity, the child misses that window of opportunity of learning and starts developing autism depending on the mixture of toxins, depending on how severe the whole condition is, and how severely abnormal the gut flora is in the child."
Why Isn’t Vaccine Safety Being Openly Discussed?
The fact that “Hear the Silence” disappeared for so long only to resurface not on a mainstream media outlet but on YouTube is apropos, as people are largely kept in the dark regarding potential vaccine risks.
Most people accept the recommendation to vaccinate from the media, public health agencies and their physicians without question. But there are major conflicts of interest between the vaccine industry and government health agencies, which virtually makes it impossible to receive objective advice from them. It is crucial to investigate the other side of the vaccine story and evaluate the risks of vaccines before you make your decision.
We need to conduct comparison studies to evaluate the health outcomes of vaccinated versus unvaccinated children, yet such studies are not done. An oft-cited reason for that is that it would be unethical to not vaccinate certain children... But this is not really a reasonable excuse today, as many parents want to opt out of one or more vaccines for their children. Deciding whether or not to vaccinate your child is a VITAL decision with very high stakes. I implore you to avoid exclusively relying on the advice of public health officials and the media, which are clearly biased and influenced by vaccine industry money.
For instance, did you know that In 2009, the US District Court of Claims, also known as the "Vaccine Court," ruled in favor of awarding federal vaccine injury compensation to a young boy who developed Pervasive Developmental Delay (PDD), a constellation of symptoms of brain dysfunction that includes autism and other learning disorders?
The case of Hannah Poling is another important case to ponder when discussing potential vaccine damage. In her case, it was found that vaccines "significantly aggravated an underlying mitochondrial disorder," resulting in a brain disorder "with features of autism spectrum disorder."
Do Your Vaccine Research
The bottom line is, smear campaigns like those waged against Dr. Wakefield simply distract the public from the very real health risks that vaccinations have already been linked to … and take precious time away that could be devoted to conducting long-overdue safety and efficacy studies.
Remember it’s your health and your child, so do your research before making up your mind about vaccinations. One good place to start is NVIC.org, as they have been providing accurate and balanced vaccine information and insights to parents on this topic for the last 30 years.