‘Seriously flawed’ study linking behavioral problems to Gardasil has been retracted - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 86 Old 03-02-2016, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Maybe this was just a much more obvious bad method. Peer review is the best we have, but it's not perfect, and I'm happy to admit some truly awful papers van get published. Usually it's then left to the process to sort that out (ie they never get cited and become obscure). The Internet and antivax moment may distort that by crowing about any vaguely negative vaccination findings. This may be why it was felt this must be retracted quickly, while an equally bad obscure paper (eg one of the many thousands of papers good and I'll admit possibly bad papers which find positive things about vaccines) would simply be left to fade into further obscurity.
Yeah, I agree. Any even vaguely critical study about vaccines (no matter how weak) gets pounced on by anti-vaxers in general so a lot more attention is brought to them. Because this kind of stuff is easy to get out (don't let your kids get the gardasil vaccine! It's been proven to cause behavior problems!) but not so easy to dispel (Eg, the story of the woman who could only walk backwards after the flu shot went viral but the subsequent update that it was all a hoax is not something a lot of people saw or heard about) it's important that bad studies get nipped in the bud as fast as possible.

There are so few studies that actually show problems with vaccines, that when one gets published non vaxxers tend to make a HUGE deal about it even when it's weak, and also make a huge deal when a study is retracted. In other words, we have so much evidence and so many studies that show the measles vaccine is effective that a if a mouse study further looking into the efficacy came out tomorrow showing the same thing was then subsequently retracted for poor methodology, pro-vaxers wouldn't really care because that is such a tiny tiny fish in an ocean of studies that demonstrate the vaccine works. (I am using measles for this example because even most non-vaxers concede that the measles vaccine is very very effective.)

But a mouse study that shows even a potential problem with a vaccine is a pretty big fish in a small pond of evidence against vaccines, so non vaxers tend to get really upset when even those small and not all that conclusive studies are found to be flawed or are retracted.

I'm typing on very little sleep so this may not make much sense. Sorry.

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#32 of 86 Old 03-02-2016, 11:09 AM
 
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@teacozy - exactly the point I was trying to make. Thanks for understanding me.
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#33 of 86 Old 03-02-2016, 11:10 AM
 
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Yeah, I agree. Any even vaguely critical study about vaccines (no matter how weak) gets pounced on by anti-vaxers in general so a lot more attention is brought to them. Because this kind of stuff is easy to get out (don't let your kids get the gardasil vaccine! It's been proven to cause behavior problems!) but not so easy to dispel (Eg, the story of the woman who could only walk backwards after the flu shot went viral but the subsequent update that it was all a hoax is not something a lot of people saw or heard about) it's important that bad studies get nipped in the bud as fast as possible.

There are so few studies that actually show problems with vaccines, that when one gets published non vaxxers tend to make a HUGE deal about it even when it's weak, and also make a huge deal when a study is retracted. In other words, we have so much evidence and so many studies that show the measles vaccine is effective that a if a mouse study further looking into the efficacy came out tomorrow showing the same thing was then subsequently retracted for poor methodology, pro-vaxers wouldn't really care because that is such a tiny tiny fish in an ocean of studies that demonstrate the vaccine works. (I am using measles for this example because even most non-vaxers concede that the measles vaccine is very very effective.)

But a mouse study that shows even a potential problem with a vaccine is a pretty big fish in a small pond of evidence against vaccines, so non vaxers tend to get really upset when even those small and not all that conclusive studies are found to be flawed or are retracted.

I'm typing on very little sleep so this may not make much sense. Sorry.
You like GMO's right?

Imagine that only studies that are support GMO's are quickly retracted, while studies (no matter the issue from fraud, to poor methodology) that are GMO critical are never retracted.

I suspect you would cry foul and bias. You aren't doing so here because of confirmation bias and your love of vaccines.

The bolded is a little scary. How on earth do you expect to tease out issues with vaccine (if there are any) when you are afraid to discuss them, to the point of being supportive of retracting articles that are not "correct" according to current dogma? 1984, anyone...or maybe Fahrenheit 451.

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#34 of 86 Old 03-02-2016, 11:11 AM
 
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@teacozy - exactly the point I was trying to make. Thanks for understanding me.
Yes, vaccine critics are to blame for Journals trying to silence vaccine critical articles using weak justification. Got it.
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#35 of 86 Old 03-02-2016, 11:16 AM
 
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Oh, and just to repeat...the retraction means nothing in terms of HPV vaccine decision making. This point seems to be lost. No one made their decision to use or avoid the HPV vaccine on the Tomlijenovic and Shaw study. That is a weak idea.

The issue around this retraction are power/control and censorship.
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#36 of 86 Old 03-02-2016, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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You like GMO's right?

Imagine that only studies that support GMO's are retracted, while studies (no matter the issue from fraud, to poor methodology) that are GMO critical are retracted - often quickly and for shaky grounds (with no clear fraud or errors)?

I suspect you would cry foul and bias. You aren't doing so here because of confirmation bias and your love of vaccines.

The bolded is a little scary. How on earth do you expect to tease out issues with vaccine (if there are any) when you are afraid to discuss them, to the point of being supportive of retracting articles that are not "correct" according to current dogma? 1984, anyone...or maybe Fahrenheit 451.
First of all, the study the thread is about did have clear errors. That is why it was retracted.

Second of all, I am not at all afraid to discuss potential issues with vaccines. Well done studies do and should get attention (rotavirus vaccine study that got it pulled from the market, the study showing an h1n1 vaccine caused narcolepsy, etc). But a flawed mouse study that used the wrong statistical analysis that lots of people in the non/anti vaccine community are going to claim "proves" gardasil causes behavioral problems should be retracted. If there weren't any problems with the study, I absolutely think it should stay up. I actually think the authors should redo the study and republish it. No problem with that at all.

But as I said before, since *so much* attention is brought and so much hoopla is made about even these small and not all that conclusive studies by the non vaccine community, they need to at the very least be well done and not have errors.

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#37 of 86 Old 03-02-2016, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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@teacozy - exactly the point I was trying to make. Thanks for understanding me.
Glad it made sense! The baby is teething so I only got about 2-3 hours of broken sleep last night

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#38 of 86 Old 03-02-2016, 12:03 PM
 
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@teacozy - exactly the point I was trying to make. Thanks for understanding me.
Glad it made sense! The baby is teething so I only got about 2-3 hours of broken sleep last night
Ugh. So happy my two are past that. I actually get to sleep in once in a while now!
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#39 of 86 Old 03-02-2016, 01:06 PM
 
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Alas, I don't think the points we are trying to make are getting through.

Not surprised.

There are actually, at this point, thousands of studies showing problems with vaccines. They aren't "anti-vaccine" studies. They are studies showing a wide range of things going wrong because vaccines do cause problems.

The real difficulty is that it is getting to be very difficult to publish a study showing a serious problem with vaccines. At some point, even valid problems are going to be effectively buried. If the vaccine pushers had been able to bury the narcolepsy problems they would have done so. It was just a little bit too obvious.

The problems with Gardasil and Cervarix are quite horrifying and I can't believe they keep on being denied.

As I've pointed out at least a dozen times, the big Scandinavian study which included Denmark missed over 1,000 cases of girls who became ill after vaccination. It isn't that they looked at the girls and determined that it was irrelevant or coincidental. They just missed all of these problems. That isn't good science or thorough science or methodologically sound science. It is simply efficient burying of the fact that the vaccine might not be safe.

Why would sensible, smart women want to go along with bad science? Confirmation bias seems like a weak explanation.

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#40 of 86 Old 03-02-2016, 01:55 PM
 
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First of all, the study the thread is about did have clear errors. That is why it was retracted.

.
I disagree. What errors did it have? A mathematical error? Used the wrong vial? If there were errors, Orac would have been all over it...he wasn't.

No, the issues (as defined by Orac, we don't have anything else) is that they only autopsied 5 mouse brains, and that they did not do the kind of statistical analysis he thinks they should have. Those are not errors, they are decisions he does not agree with. I assume those who retracted also have some grounds, but they did not really share them. They used the word methodology - not errors.

Eta: Just read Deborahs latest post and whole-heartedly agree with it. We are not getting through.

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#41 of 86 Old 03-02-2016, 02:10 PM
 
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Why would sensible, smart women want to go along with bad science? Confirmation bias seems like a weak explanation.
If you have given your children vaccines, particularly all vaccines and more or less on schedule....you pretty much *have to* be rah-rah about vaccines......no one wants to look at the idea that they did something possibly harmful to their kids.

Of course, they could say the same thing for us (shrug)...except it does not hold as strong and as fast. Sins of commission are harder to live with than sins of omission.

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#42 of 86 Old 03-02-2016, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I disagree. What errors did it have? A mathematical error? Used the wrong vial? If there were errors, Orac would have been all over it...he wasn't.

No, the issues (as defined by Orac, we don't have anything else) is that they only autopsied 5 mouse brains, and that they did not do the kind of statistical analysis he thinks they should have. Those are not errors, they are decisions he does not agree with. I assume those who retracted also have some grounds, but they did not really share them. They used the word methodology - not errors.

Eta: Just read Deborahs latest post and whole-heartedly agree with it. We are not getting through.
What on earth. Using the wrong statistical analysis for the data gives you inaccurate results, that's the whole reason there is a problem with it.

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#43 of 86 Old 03-02-2016, 06:18 PM
 
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What on earth. Using the wrong statistical analysis for the data gives you inaccurate results, that's the whole reason there is a problem with it.
Weirdly enough, in the Fombonne study, using the WRONG city for an analysis of exposure to thimerosol didn't disturb the pro-vaccine members even a smidgen.

Remarkable double standard.

I suspect that there are mistakes with statistics in scientific studies all the time. Retracting the study wasn't necessary. Pointing out the mistake would have been good, then the authors could have corrected it and moved on. This process would have completely eliminated all the drama around the speed of the process and the charges of harassment, etc.

Yazbak politely pointed out the error in the Fombonne study. He got dumped on in exchange.

Why is it that the vaccine enthusiasts are so darn rude all the time? Even to elderly and distinguished physicians.
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#44 of 86 Old 03-02-2016, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Weirdly enough, in the Fombonne study, using the WRONG city for an analysis of exposure to thimerosol didn't disturb the pro-vaccine members even a smidgen.

Remarkable double standard.

I suspect that there are mistakes with statistics in scientific studies all the time. Retracting the study wasn't necessary. Pointing out the mistake would have been good, then the authors could have corrected it and moved on. This process would have completely eliminated all the drama around the speed of the process and the charges of harassment, etc.

Yazbak politely pointed out the error in the Fombonne study. He got dumped on in exchange.

Why is it that the vaccine enthusiasts are so darn rude all the time? Even to elderly and distinguished physicians.
I feel like we have already discussed that study. That the other city was where the data was kept or something like that. Can't remember exactly.

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#45 of 86 Old 03-02-2016, 06:34 PM
 
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I feel like we have already discussed that study. That the other city was where the data was kept or something like that. Can't remember exactly.
Oh we did. We went over the whole thing exhaustively. Every possible explanation was put forward.

The oddest bit is that Fombonne could have perfectly well just said--hey, Yazbak, you got it wrong, that is the archive for the data. But he didn't. Instead he said, and I paraphrase, Yazbak is an anti-vaxer, therefore I don't need to respond. The journal never offered any explanation, either. Again, if there was an obvious explanation either the author or the journal could have sorted it out in no time at all. But they never have.

The end argument when a problem is brought up in a pro-vaccine article is always this one:

Well, all right, that is a bit screwy, or sloppy or questionable, but it really isn't a problem because there is so much research that confirms the safety and efficacy and wonderfulness of vaccines that one or two weak studies can just be ignored.

Right.

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#46 of 86 Old 03-02-2016, 06:35 PM
 
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I feel like we have already discussed that study. That the other city was where the data was kept or something like that. Can't remember exactly.
There was some confusion about that. Not going to bother looking it up. There were other huge issues in the study. The study only looked at kids in the Lester B Pearson School board. The Lester B Pearson school board is only open to students whose parents attended English school in Quebec (sometimes this extends to the rest of Canada...depends on the year and which political party is in power). No children of French Canadian ancestry. No new or even newish immigrants. A solid 80% of the population in Quebec is not eligible for English language instruction...yet the Fombonne study looked at an English School board.
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#47 of 86 Old 03-02-2016, 06:38 PM
 
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Speaking of peer review, didn't Deer and the BMJ claim that his paper was peer reviewed by external sources and yet that wasn't the case?

One of many, ahem, "errors" in Deer's papers. Shouldn't those be retracted?
It's difficult to decide who is worse orac or Deer. Actually, when I think about it a bit more, Deer is worse.
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#48 of 86 Old 03-02-2016, 06:38 PM
 
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Seriously, the main reason this study was retracted and so quickly, was to make lots of headlines saying: "study critical of HPV vaccine retracted".

There is a huge push on right now to increase uptake of the HPV vaccines. Merck must really need better cash flow.
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#49 of 86 Old 03-02-2016, 07:31 PM
 
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Merck must really need better cash flow.
This is the bottom line. It is never better public health policy.
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There was some confusion about that. Not going to bother looking it up. There were other huge issues in the study. The study only looked at kids in the Lester B Pearson School board. The Lester B Pearson school board is only open to students whose parents attended English school in Quebec (sometimes this extends to the rest of Canada...depends on the year and which political party is in power). No children of French Canadian ancestry. No new or even newish immigrants. A solid 80% of the population in Quebec is not eligible for English language instruction...yet the Fombonne study looked at an English School board.
All those people in the USA but they depend on studies done in other countries. Preferably in languages other than English.

And the provax don't question it. And journalists don't question it.

I watched a video of Wakefield speaking to a group of reporters. And in 2016 a reporter actually asked him what the MMR was.
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This is the bottom line. It is never better public health policy.
And the new head of the FDA has many pharmaceutical ties.

http://www.salon.com/2016/03/02/5_wa...greed_partner/
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Oh we did. We went over the whole thing exhaustively. Every possible explanation was put forward.

The oddest bit is that Fombonne could have perfectly well just said--hey, Yazbak, you got it wrong, that is the archive for the data. But he didn't. Instead he said, and I paraphrase, Yazbak is an anti-vaxer, therefore I don't need to respond. The journal never offered any explanation, either. Again, if there was an obvious explanation either the author or the journal could have sorted it out in no time at all. But they never have.

The end argument when a problem is brought up in a pro-vaccine article is always this one:

Well, all right, that is a bit screwy, or sloppy or questionable, but it really isn't a problem because there is so much research that confirms the safety and efficacy and wonderfulness of vaccines that one or two weak studies can just be ignored.

Right.
I haven't looked at this, and I'm not planning to. But, as someone who assisted in teaching college statistics I can say that deciding which statistical process to apply is sometimes difficult. It wouldn't be an unusual mistake for a non-statistician to make, or for other non -statisticians to miss during peer reviews.

How much difference it made in results would depend on a lot of things, including sample size and how many variables you were trying to assess.

If the major problem was the statistics, you could resubmit after paying a statistician for about an hour of time. Which, if you are writing a thesis, for example, would be money well spent.
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#53 of 86 Old 03-03-2016, 06:45 AM
 
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And the new head of the FDA has many pharmaceutical ties.

http://www.salon.com/2016/03/02/5_wa...greed_partner/
However, no matter how corrupt the leadership of the FDA might be, vaccines will still be very safe.
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#54 of 86 Old 03-03-2016, 07:06 AM
 
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Fombonne was probably hoping that the Americans wouldn't know the difference between Quebec City and Quebec-the province.

Some quotes from Dr. Yazbak (has the response from Paediatrics which is definitely worth the read if you want to see how they operate when it comes to studies regarding vaccines):

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I found and reported a glaring error in the paper. The rates of autism in Montreal have as much to do with MMR vaccination rates in Quebec City as pollution in Los Angeles with Diesel buses in Chicago.
Quote:
...in order to “estimate the pervasive developmental disorder prevalence in Montreal”, Dr. Fombonne only surveyed children enrolled in one of Montreal’s five school boards.
In 2003-2004, that particular English school board only had 14% of all total school boards enrollments in Montreal. In addition, this board was never representative of the true student demographic profile of the city, whose mother tongue is mostly French (43%), followed by various non-English languages (37%) and then English (22%).
Quote:
Dr. Fombonne only became interested in MMR vaccination in the UK after Andrew Wakefield published his original research on the subject in 1998. It also raises an important question: How did Dr. Fombonne become an “expert witness for vaccine manufacturers” in 2004 when his very first research on Thimerosal was just published in PEDIATRICS on July 6, 2006?

There was also rumours circulating years ago that Fombonne was being investigated for misconduct.

Quote:
...Secondly this departure is more than likelly related to a internal investigation
by the McGill Committee of investigation for research miscounduct in August 2009
..This action was instigated by the Research ethic officer Dr.MacKenzie .
Thirdly from a letter date January 15 2010 , From the President of the Review
Committee of McGill University Health Center , this document announces that that
this formal investigation resulted in recommendation , that where forwarded to
the McGill disciplinary Comittee .
http://www.remedyspot.com/content/to...ll-university/

And yet not much made the news. And apparently McGill never answered FOI requests. And he seems to have fallen off the map since then.
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#55 of 86 Old 03-03-2016, 07:21 AM
 
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Fombonne's study continues to turn up on lists of studies exonerating vaccines from any connection to autism. And there has never been an official statement explaining the confusion over the vaccination rates and the two cities. As I've pointed out several times, it would be easy to settle if Yazbak were wrong. Just get a statement from an official in the right office in Canada.
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#56 of 86 Old 03-03-2016, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, found my response to the Fombonne study from another thread where we already discussed this. Here is the main part:

I asked a scientist friend of mine if he had ever read the study (he had) and asked what he thought about some of the criticisms. I haven't had time to thoroughly look at the study myself, but I'll just post what he said.

Quote:
I am not sure the person writing this understood what the authors were saying. When I read their paper (long ago), the fact that they got the MMR coverage data from Quebec city just indicated where the records were kept. N. Bouliane was the director of public health at the time, so he would be in charge of all the provincial records. I assumed that they were getting records FOR the Montreal area - they were just getting them FROM the director of public health (a provincial post), who operated out of Quebec city.
Sounds reasonable to me.

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Indeed, look at this other study from Canada. It did the same thing: Obtained vaccine information for people in Montreal from Quebec.

"Vaccination data
Vaccination data were recorded at the point of care throughout the campaign and subsequently entered into a central registry, which was established in 2009 for the sole purpose of collecting pandemic influenza vaccination data in Quebec. We obtained records of vaccination from the National Public Health Institute of Quebec for all persons vaccinated on the Island of Montreal. "

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662406/

Looks like yet another manufactroversy. Next.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by teacozy View Post

Looks like yet another manufactroversy. Next.

Not next. Even if you are correct - that the document were simply held in Quebec City, the studies tried to make claims about vaccine and autism in highly diverse Montreal (population 3 million) by looking at a school board in Montreal that excludes French Canadians, immigrants, and depending on the year, English Canadians from other provinces.
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#59 of 86 Old 03-03-2016, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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@kathymuggle , oh come on. Read the above posts. The idea that he used vaccine rates from the wrong city is brought up ALL time time as evidence of "shoddy" research.

Deborah said upthread

Quote:
Weirdly enough, in the Fombonne study, using the WRONG city for an analysis of exposure to thimerosol didn't disturb the pro-vaccine members even a smidgen.

Remarkable double standard.


@Deborah 's "source" from the thread you linked in your other post brought it up as a huge problem in the study as well. He said, I quote :

Quote:
MMR coverage data was taken from the city of Quebec, rather than from Montreal, where the PDD data was gathered. MMR data ―were available through N. Bouliane, of the Direction de Santé Publique de la Capitale Nationale,‖ the authors wrote. But the ―Capitale Nationale‖ refers to Quebec City, not Montreal, some 265 kilometers away.

I found and reported a glaring error in the paper. The rates of autism in Montreal have as much to do with MMR vaccination rates in Quebec City as pollution in Los Angeles with Diesel buses in Chicago. The lead author refused to respond to my criticism concerning that simple geographic fact and the editor was unable to force him to do so.
So are you guys going to concede the point that my expert friend was right that vaccine data for Montreal is kept in National Public Health Institute of Quebec and that this is not a "glaring error" of the study like Dr. Yazbak suggested? It really is frustrating when people won't concede points. I listed examples just in the last month where I conceded points. That is part of having productive debates and discussions.

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Last edited by teacozy; 03-03-2016 at 09:13 AM.
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#60 of 86 Old 03-03-2016, 01:32 PM
 
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Why on earth would I concede the point on wrong city without evidence?

I looked at the study, but all I have is the abstract...and it is not helpful. The full study is behind a paywall. We also have the opinion of some anonymous person (your scientist friend). Do you have the study? If you can post it and it clearly shows the info was just housed in Quebec City, I will concede the point.

I also think that this is hardly the only issue with the study, as explained above.

study:
http://pediatrics.aappublications.or...18/1/e139.long
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