SIR – During the election campaign, when I said that we should revisit claims made linking autism to vaccines, I was accused of ‘putting children at risk.’ It is in response to that serious charge that I requested this right of reply.
In 1998, an article was published in The Lancet Medical Journal, co-authored by Dr Andrew Wakefield and Professor John Walker-Smith, two highly-qualified and highly-regarded gastroenterologists at the Royal Free Hospital in London, questioning a possible link between the MMR vaccine and autism.
They had based their queries on the medical histories of children with autism who had presented with intestinal disease at the hospital. They were met with a barrage of abuse and accused of fraud.
The Lancet retracted the original article and both doctors were subsequently struck off the medical register by the General Medical Council (GMC). Professor Walker-Smith mounted a legal challenge against the allegations of professional misconduct. He won his case and was reinstated. Dr Wakefield was financially unable to pursue a similar legal challenge to clear his name.
For years, governments, Big Pharma and mainstream media have denied the existence of any link between vaccines and autism. However, since 1998, 28 independent medical-scientific studies worldwide confirm the suspicions of Dr Wakefield and Professor Walker Smith.
Parents of autistic children in the States and in Italy have successfully challenged the vaccine in the courts. The verdict conceded that the vaccine caused autism. Dr Wakefield recently presented papers obtained under a freedom of information request (FOI) confirming that the UK and US governments had been made aware by other medical practitioners of the link between autism and vaccination, as far back as 1992, six years prior to the publication of The Lancet article.
Dr Wakefield, who is now resident in the States and is director of the Autism Media Channel, has repeatedly challenged officials to debate publicly with him. No one has accepted the challenge. While government officials remain in hiding the epidemic of autism increases its grip on the world’s population, conservatively estimated to affect one in every 68.
In view of these recent findings, I believe that I am totally justified in calling for a debate and for a full inquiry into the vaccine industry. I am doing so in the best interests of children.
Failure to do so would amount to ‘putting children at risk.’