Most people, when they learn that a study was
a university, assume that it involves the “disinterested search for
untainted by conflict of interest.
But is such an assumption really justified?
While it is unknown exactly how much university
compromised, there are clear signs of concern about widespread
interest. Editors of some of
the most prestigious medical journals are even
the alarm and calling
for tightening controls.
of UCLA is a case in point. Somewhere
along the line he became an advocate for vaccine
manufacturers, using grants and other monies supplied by them, to
rather than independently question and study, vaccine safety.
Because he has had the prestige of a great university behind
would even think to challenge his results.
Once again, however, because of lawsuits,
is available for public scrutiny. From
this testimony, it becomes clear that Dr. Cherry is not a disinterested
of the truth. (At one point the National Vaccine Information
Center even called for his removal
Immunization Practices Advisory Committee.)
In what should have been one of the more
examples of how this conflict can play out, Dr. Cherry wrote a scathing
in which he summarily dismissed concerns about a
connection between the pertussis component of the DPT vaccine and
encephalopathy. Shortly after the
editorial, JAMA issued a
Cherry had failed to disclose his conflicts of interest.
Approximately one year later, the
of Medicine published
its own conclusion that pertussis vaccine appears to cause
encephalopathy ("evidence is consistent with a causal relation"),
research that was available to Dr. Cherry at the time of the editorial,
which he apparently chose to ignore.
Unfortunately, most such conflicts are either
Vaccines are recommended, even mandated, based on
assumption that the research supporting their use is legitimate and
Few parents question the validity of such recommendations and
because they assume they would not be recommended or mandated without
research to back up these policies.
Isn’t it time to start questioning the research?
Isn’t it time to start refusing vaccines until
unless we are satisfied that the research justifying their use is
free from conflicts of interest?
Isn’t it time to begin to let the free market
work, so that only customers satisfied with vaccine research and
use the product?