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Tuesday, 11 April 2017

BBC News. A statement on vaccine policy.

BBC News covered the Vaccine-Autism link this morning (11th April) on 'its Today' programme, and no doubt thereafter on news bulletins for the rest of the day. It started this morning by an unequivocal statement from Nick Robinson.

               "Doctors in the US say they are worried about the number of families in some communities who are choosing not to vaccinate their children. The World Health Organisation has already warned that measles is spreading through parts of Europe because of falling immunisation rates."

Nothing wrong with that, Robinson was merely informing us about the views of conventional doctors, and the WHO view about falling immunisation rates. But then a 'Global Health Correspondent', Tulip Mazumdar was introduced, and she gave us her views in no uncertain terms, presumably views reflecting the views of the BBC. I am repeating her words in full, but the emphasis highlight the opinions she was allowed to enunciate, completely unchallenged.

               "When Donald Trump was a candidate in the US presidential campaign he wrongly suggested that there was a link between vaccines and autism, a theory that has long been debunked. The American Society of Paediatrics said it is alarmed by suggestions that President Trump is to set up a vaccine safety committee headed by a prominent vaccine skeptic. Vaccination rates across the US are high but there are pockets where rates are well below the 95% recommended to best protect communities against potentially deadly viruses. There are currently large measles outbreaks in Europe (Italy and Rumania) mainly because immunisation coverage there has dropped".

So here we have a BBC correspondent who is not reporting 'news', but giving us her opinion and presenting it as news.
  • Trump was 'wrong' to suggest a link between vaccines and autism? It is not something that should be discussed an debated? The vaccine skeptics are just wrong?
  • The 'theory' linking vaccines and autism has been 'debunked'. Really? Where? And is the BBC not forgetting that they themselves are ignoring key evidence in this debate?
  • Clearly Tulip and the BBC also supports the (absurd?) theory of 'herd immunity', where the vaccinated are not protected by the vaccine - unless 95% of other people are also vaccinated.
  • And they also support the theory that vaccines protect us from 'potentially deadly viruses' when most of them in the modern world are no longer 'deadly'!
None of this was up for discussion. Nor was it discussed in a later piece, where the issues could have been discussed, but instead continued to outline the BBC's full and uncompromising support for the conventional medical establishment. Tulip Mazumdar visited a part of the US, Baffin Island, near Seattle, where vaccination rates "were at their lowest". Two mums were allowed to mention that their objections to vaccination were that, too often, 'profit' is put before health, that it was about 'listening to mums experiences', and that 'there was a huge amount of evidence that vaccines were harmful, even if we weren't able to scientifically prove it'. Tulip immediately sprang to the defence of vaccines.

               "The concerns you raise ..... these things have been looked into, and we know vaccines save lives, not just your own children, but children in the community" (again, my emphasis).

The mum was allowed one more comment, that she did not know whether anyone can trust what has been put into vaccines. This was the end of any discussion, as far as Tulip was concerned.

               "The scientific consensus is clear. They are safe, effective and saved lives. Like any medication they can cause mild, and in a very few cases, serious side effects, but before big vaccination campaigns, measles, for example, killed hundreds of people a year in the US, and unvaccinated communities are still as risk of deadly outbreaks".

Several points to mention about this sentence. The 'scientific consensus' is clear only if evidence to the contrary is ignored. The parents who say that they had normal children until a vaccination... The $millions paid out in compensation to parents of vaccine damaged children by the US Vaccine courts... The fact that science has produced little of no evidence that vaccines are safe...

Tulip's statement stands only if the statistics show that measles has killed any more than a handful of children in the US in recent decades, and that where measles outbreaks have occurred, vaccinated children have been found to  be more at risk of serious infection than unvaccinated children.

The assertion that it was 'big vaccination programmes' that reduced the incidence of measles, or any other infection, can only be made if the evidence is ignored that these infections were reducing, rapidly, long before vaccines were introduced, and that after their introduction, the graph of reduced incidence shows little or no change!

The evidence that Tulip presented this morning as 'fact' exactly mirrors the evidence of the conventional medical establishment, and the propaganda of the pharmaceutical industry. The BBC shows itself regularly to be entirely happy with doing so, to the extent that it will allow no debate on the vaccine-autism issue, or indeed the vaccine-paralysis argument, and every other argument about that harm that vaccines are known to cause. Big Pharma policy is BBC policy!

Immediately, the discussion was moved to two children, twins, receiving their vaccinations, and talking to the children's mother. Nothing wrong with this - balance even! Then a doctor was asked to give his views on 'vaccine hesitancy', which of course, he did in favour of vaccines, emphasising 'the great dangers' we faced without them. Tulip then repeated her charges against those who are skeptical, or opposed to vaccines.

               "Donald Trump has WRONGLY suggested a link between immunisation and autism in the past...."

               "The DEBUNKED THEORY came from a British doctor, Andrew Wakefield, who was struck off after HIS FRAUDULENT STUDY linking the MMR vaccine with autism...."

Yet another conventional doctor was brought in to offer more support for vaccines, and to oppose Donald Trump's proposal to investigate the safety of vaccine. The investigation seemed to be a matter of concern for the BBC, not least because a 'vaccine skeptic' had been asked to lead it. For some reason, this skeptic was not named. It is Robert Kennedy, Jn!

Tulip continued, talking about the "well established science of vaccines", and the threat of "deterring family's from accepting vaccines", all of which is, of course, a statement of opinion not news, and a statement that failed to present the debate about vaccine safety in a fair, balanced and unbiased way. She finishes with an emotionally-charged statement.

               "Communities are best protected against outbreaks of diseases if everyone who can be vaccinated is vaccinated. So, despite their sore arms, the twins have done their bit to keep themselves,  and their communities, from potentially damaging viruses".

Yet the BBC were not finished there. Nick Robinson introduced Professor Adam Finn, Consultant in Paediatric Immunology, to comment on what he had heard. It is what the BBC always does when dealing with health issues. If there is an issue, like vaccine safety, bring in someone from the conventional medical establishment to provide their expertise. Is this, Robinson asked him, the same period of anxiety in the US that Britain went through in the late 1990's? An open invitation for Finn to talk about the 'complacency' and 'misinformation' that existed about vaccines,  and 'more and more vulnerable children', and 'getting to a place when there might be serious outbreaks!

Robinson then presented evidence that 1 in 10 people in the USA felt that vaccines were unsafe. This was not an issue he raised about why so many people felt like this, but whether more attention should not be paid to how the message (that vaccines were effective and safe) was communicated, and "how parents trust was gained"! No chance, then, that the concerns of 10% of the population were genuine, the result of an informed decision or choice. No possibility that the views of the minority, the 10%, might be fairly and impartially presented to us by the BBC!

Finn is then allowed to talk about 'false news' and 'false information' about vaccines, and how to combat it, the implication being that this 'false' information consists of anything that is not being put forward by the conventional medical establishment! Robinson was quite happy about this, and sought to feed him another open goal.

               "You get this anacdotalism, don't you (sic), Donald Trump was quoted on Fox News in 2012, about a child getting a 'monster shot', did you ever see the size of it, he said, its like they are pumping it in, its terrible, he says, and goes on... Somehow you have to counter that with hard facts, don't you, but with an equal emotional appeal to keeping children alive".

Clearly, this is not so much an 'interview' as a party political broadcast on behalf of the conventional medical establishment! Robinson clearly had no questions for Finn that in any way represented the views of the 10%. And certainly, there was no-one, no expert, to put forward the case against vaccines. There was no balance, and no attempt at balance, whatsoever!

I am disappointed with Robinson. I expected better of him, As the former BBC's Economics Editor I always felt he showed good balance in putting forward the views of different sides of an economic issue. Clearly, he is unable or unwilling to provide the same measure of balance to the important vaccine-autism debate - which is alive and growing, and will not go away, regardless of the BBC lack of balance and objectivity.

In 2016 I complained to the BBC about their failure to share the important news that the 2004 'scientific' study (that had 'proven' there was no link between vaccines and autism) was a fraudulent study. I have written about it here.

               Autism IS caused by MMR vaccine. Evidence of 'no connection' was fraudulent medical science

               The MMR Vaccine, Autism, and the silence and culpability of the Political, Medical and Media Establishment

The BBC has continued to ignore this important news story, made by one of the study's lead scientists, namely, that vital evidence, that would have proven the vaccine-autism link, was destroyed. To this day it remains a censored news story. Yet this is fraudulent 'science'. It is the very science that allowed the BBC to say, today, that there is no proven link between vaccines and autism! So let me try to help Robinson, and the BBC!

Perhaps the 10% are aware of the fraudulent activity of the CDC in respect of this vaccine-autism link. Perhaps the 10% are aware of the regular revelations that drug companies have provided false information, or withheld important information, about their drugs and vaccines.  Perhaps the 10% are aware of the heavy fines that pharmaceutical companies have paid in US courts as a result of this. Perhaps the 10% know children who have been damaged by vaccines. Perhaps the 10% even know families who have been compensated by vaccine courts for the damage caused to their children by vaccines.

So there you have it, a clear indication that the BBC is fully supportive of the conventional medical establishment, in everything it does and says, supportive to the extent that it will not even discuss health issues in a way that is fair to the growing number of people who have concerns about the damage done to our health by pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines. If anyone wants to know what conventional medicine thinks, just tune into the BBC.!If anyone wants to hear a balanced debate, one in which the opposing views of an important and growing number of people are represented, we have to look outside our 'public service' broadcaster, and certainly look outside our mainstream media, financed as it is by the pharmaceutical companies. They no longer tell us the whole truth.

There is a bigger problem here. Robinson talked about 'trust' in relation to convincing patients to accept vaccines. Yet surely trust arises from honesty, from fairness in how issues are covered, from informed discussions that involve both sides of an argument. The conventional medical establishment has been proven to be, time and time again, dishonest if not fraudulent, not least in the vaccine-autism controversy. Yet by attaching itself so firmly to conventional medicine the BBC is now associating with their dishonesty and fraud. It is presenting partial, biased news about health. As a result, I no longer believe anything the BBC says about health issues. Lots of my friends and colleagues feel the same way.

And if the BBC cannot tell the truth, or the whole truth about health issues, can it tell the truth about politics, about economics, and about other social issues.