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United Kingdom
599 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2007 :  11:05:36  Show Profile  Visit Joan's Homepage  Reply with Quote

The Court's Web Site

The daily transcripts or audio recordings

They will post the previous day around noon (Eastern) everyday


1379 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2007 :  12:16:33  Show Profile  Visit jabsadmin's Homepage  Reply with Quote
If Parents Win in Vaccine Court, What Do We Tell the World?

by David Kirby
Huffington Post 13 June 2007


Will parents win their case against the government in Vaccine Court by convincing three federal judges that there's enough evidence to support a link between the MMR vaccine, thimerosal and autism spectrum disorders?

I, for one, am not placing any bets. But several thimerosal defenders are now dispatching dire warnings about the looming decline of the nation's public health -- and the pharmaceutical industry's corporate health -- should any of the 4,800 families win their vaccine/autism case in federal court.

"Massive litigation could force companies to leave the vaccine business, threatening the future of one of medicine's greatest achievements," Dr. Paul Offit, chief of infectious diseases at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, wrote in the Boston Globe on June 3rd.

If the claims are successful, Dr. Offit wrote, they "could exhaust the pool of money currently set aside to compensate children who have been hurt by vaccines," and would open the floodgates for private litigation directly against the drug companies, threatening their financial viability and compelling them to abandon the vaccine business. (It should be noted, at this point that, that Vaccine Court claims are awarded in just one third of the cases, and payouts average about $800,000 -- which might cover the proper care, treatment, and special education of an autistic child for maybe a decade. Victory in this particular court does not get you a condo
in Maui, just a little temporary financial relief from endless costs).

Critics of the autism claims also contend that a victory in court by any of the families would drive panicked parents away from immunizing their children at all, resulting in new epidemics of infectious disease and lots of sick and dying youngsters

Maybe that's why Dr. Offit -- who incidentally stands to make some money from the recently approved rotavirus vaccine he co-developed with Merck -- referred to the court as a "circus" in his Boston Globe Op-Ed.

While this gives us insight into one pediatrician's contempt for the
American legal system, it is somewhat puzzling, given that the first "test case" has proceeded with nothing but respect, decorum and a sobering sense of the Herculean task at hand.

It's entirely possible that all 4,800 cases will go down in flames. But what if some of the parents and their attorneys can beat the tough odds, and make a good enough case to convince the judges?

Irrespective of one's views on the merits of these cases, I think everyone needs to stop and think about dealing with the ramifications -- on a worldwide scale -- of any family victory in Vaccine Court.

Yes, some drug companies would likely face some big lawsuits in civil
court. But in the age of Vioxx and Avandia, that almost seems to be a
routine cost of doing business.

And let's face it; neither the American government, nor its people, would stand for the wholesale collapse of the pharmaceutical industry -- which does, after all, keep millions of people alive each year. No, I am reasonably sure that Big Pharma, somehow, would muddle through and survive (possibly with a major assist from you, the taxpayer, so think about that one as you stand in the pharmacy prescription line).

But what about vaccination rates? Wouldn't they tumble?

Not if we start to educate parents now about the thorny issues that could arise with a decision in favor of the plaintiffs.

First of all, it's important to remember that thimerosal has been in the news since 2005, when Don Imus began to not shut up about it. Later that year, I appeared on "Meet the Press" to discuss the controversy, and the subject has been raised in innumerable media outlets ever since.

And what happened? Immunization rates rose to new record levels.

We need to show a little more faith and confidence in young parents. If causation from thimerosal is found, new parents might actually breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that childhood shots now contain only residual amounts of mercury (with the glaring exception of 90% of the flu shot, so they might want to put in their order soon for mercury-free influenza vaccine for the 2007-2008 season).

If the MMR triple-live-virus vaccine, which never contained thimerosal, is implicated, then we as a society might want to consider having those shots administered separately. Even though that would mean two more jabs for the baby, it might also calm a lot of jittery parental nerves, and keep immunization rates robust.

Meanwhile, none of the other vaccines that children receive are on trial here, and parents will almost universally understand that.

I am sure that critics will deride this scenario as being far too rosy, and I hope they are wrong. Nobody wants to see measles, or mumps, or polio sweep the country. But I don't think that will happen.

But I do wonder about the ramifications overseas.

The US has largely removed thimerosal from the routine shots we give our own kids (out of an "abundance of precaution," we are told), but children in the developing world are afforded no such consideration.

Today, millions of children in Latin America, Asia and Africa are
receiving American-export vaccines that still contain the full battery of ethylmercury -- in amounts that put children dozens of times over US EPA maximum daily limit on vaccination days.

Immunization rates are rising in many developing countries, but so are the reported rates of autism. In Mexico, for instance, vaccine rates are now about 92%, UN figures show, while reported cases of autism are also moving upward (proof of nothing, but interesting and disturbing nonetheless).

Several well-placed sources have told me that the CDC and FDA will never agree to an outright ban on thimerosal in vaccines, due to pressure from the World Health Organization, and because the message this would send to developing nations would be untenable: "Yes, thimerosal can cause autism, but we are going to give it to you anyway, for your own good. Trust us. We're Americans. We know what we're doing."

Talk about driving people away from vaccines in droves. The result could be catastrophic, with rising rates of infectious diseases and child mortality to follow.

In other words, we can probably convince American parents to keep on
vaccinating, because the mercury here has largely been removed. But what do we tell parents in South Korea, or Brazil, or Nigeria?

Thimerosal is not a necessary ingredient in vaccines. We can still ship multi-dose vials -- which require a preservative but are cheaper to buy and administer -- to poor countries, a noble goal indeed. But the preservative does not need to be based on a deadly neurotoxin.

The MMR shot itself is preserved not with thimerosal (which would kill the live viruses) but with a type of phenol. Why can't we do that for all vaccines? I have never been able to get a satisfactory answer to that question.

But even if we could switch to phenol-based preservatives tomorrow, and boost global confidence in vaccines, we might still inherit another, more sinister problem to deal with.

On the very last page of my book, Evidence of Harm, I close with these words: "If thimerosal is one day proven to be a contributing factor to autism, and if U.S.-made vaccines containing the preservative are now being supplied to infants the world over, the scope of this potential tragedy becomes almost unthinkable. The United States, at the dawn of the 21st century, is not exactly the most beloved nation on earth. What if the profitable export of our much vaunted medical technology has led to the poisoning of tens of millions of children? What then?"

We need to prepare for at least the possibility of a parental victory in vaccine court. We need to prepare our own parental population, and we need to think about what we are going to tell the rest of the world.

Vietnam just suspended a certain US-made MMR vaccine after some patients died from it. This could be the tip of the iceberg in terms of social, economic, and physical retribution against the United States.

What do we tell the Chinese and their hundreds of millions of vaccine
consumers? What will we say to people in booming India, or next door in Mexico? Will our immigration policy bar parents of autistic kids from coming to America, even if American shots might have made their kids sick?

And then there is the Middle East.

Osama, for one, has a very extended family. We are exporting thimerosal containing vaccines to many Muslim nations. Some of them contain not only mercury, but products derived from pigs.

I don't need to tell you where I am going with this train of thought. You already know.

I do not think these court cases should be decided on the larger
ramifications. That is just not the way our legal system works. Still, a victory for the families -- justified or not -- will produce endless headaches for the pharmaceutical industry, the US public health establishment, and the WHO.

If just one family wins their case in that Washington courtroom, then we, as a nation, have a lot of explaining to do.

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1379 Posts

Posted - 06/15/2007 :  13:52:55  Show Profile  Visit jabsadmin's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Daily Mail 12 June 2007

Parents sue over MMR link to autism

Thousands of parents who blame the MMR vaccine for their children's autism went to court in the US yesterday to demand multi-million dollar compensation.

They claim their children developed autism as a result of the triple jab, which protects against measles, mumps and German measles.

In particular, they blame thimerosal, a mercury preservative once commonly used in childhood vaccines in the US., for damaging their children's brains.

The families point to the fact that once-healthy children developed autism after being given the jab. But experts stress the link has never been proved.

They say the timing is coincidental, because the children were vaccinated at an age when autism is often first diagnosed.

The case, in Washington, could eventually involve more than 4,800 families.

If they win they could be eligible for a pay-out from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Fund, built up from a special tax on vaccines.

British families say a victory in the US could make it easier to bring a court claim here.

Thimerosal was never part of the MMR jabs used in Britain, however, and attempts by 1,400 families here to sue vaccine manufacturers have foundered due to lack of legal aid.

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United Kingdom
1367 Posts

Posted - 06/16/2007 :  20:46:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A shortened version of the story so far....

DAY 1 - The Hearing begins.

Opening statements by Mr. Thomas Powers, Petitioners' Steering Committee and Ms. Chin-Caplan, Attorney for the Cedillo family:

Petitioners' First Witness, Dr. Vasken Aposhian: scientific background as an environmental toxicologist and expert on heavy metals.
Petitioners' Second Witness, Theresa Cedillo, Michelle Cedillo's Mother.


DAY 2 - Michelle's condition.

Direct examination of Michelle's mother.
Petitioners' Third Witness, Dr. Arthur Krigsman, Gastroenterologist:


DAY 3 - Science

Dr Karin Hepner - Molecular Biologist
Dr. Ronald Kennedy - Immunologist:


DAY 4 - More Science

Petitioners’ Fifth Witness, Dr. Vera Byers
Dr. Byers said that for the last 15 years she has worked largely as a medical consultant, including to attorneys looking at whether large populations have been exposed to toxic chemicals.

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United Kingdom
599 Posts

Posted - 06/19/2007 :  01:08:27  Show Profile  Visit Joan's Homepage  Reply with Quote

I have been reading day 2 today after I read Dr Kennedy’s cross examination day 3 what an amazing strong willed young girl Michelle is. I can’t remember her age but my heart goes out to her and what she has been true and still suffering. Her Mum Theresa what a great lady, she was so together in court don’t you think. She should be really proud of herself. It sure is riveting stuff.

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United Kingdom
1367 Posts

Posted - 06/19/2007 :  10:07:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes Joan - knowing the eyes of the world are watching they sure are courageous. I think Michelle is 12.

DAY 5 - Conclusion of petitioner's case.

Petitioners’ Sixth and Final Witness,
Dr. Marcel Kinsbourne, M.D., Pediatric Neurologist:

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United Kingdom
1367 Posts

Posted - 06/19/2007 :  10:21:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Some common sense from David Kirby.

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United Kingdom
1367 Posts

Posted - 06/20/2007 :  14:58:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
DAY 6 - The Start of Respondent’s Case

Special Master George Hastings: Special Master Hastings noted that there had been a change in the Respondent’s schedule and that Dr. Zimmerman, Dr. Fujinami and Dr. Gershon would not be testifying for the government as previously planned.

Direct Examination

Mr. Vincent Matanoski, Attorney for the U.S. Respondent.

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United Kingdom
1367 Posts

Posted - 06/21/2007 :  23:32:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
DAY 7 - Respondent's case continues.

Respondent's Third Witness,
Dr. Max Wiznitzer, Pediatric Neurologist

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United Kingdom
1367 Posts

Posted - 06/21/2007 :  23:34:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
DAY 8 - Respondent's Case Continues.

Measles and Lab Tests

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United Kingdom
1367 Posts

Posted - 06/22/2007 :  23:03:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Day 9: Respondent's Case Continues:

Michelle's Gut and Immune System.

Respondent’s Sixth Witness,
Dr. Hanauer, Gastroenterologist:

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United Kingdom
1367 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2007 :  12:06:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
DAY 10 - Respondent's Case Continued:

Dr. Wakefield and Thimerosal

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United Kingdom
1367 Posts

Posted - 06/26/2007 :  21:57:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Day 11 – Respondent's Case Continued:

Epidemiology and the Measles Virus

Dr. Fombonne, Epidemiologist:
Direct Examination.

Respondent’s Tenth Witness,
Dr. Griffen, Virologist.


Edited by - Seonaid on 06/26/2007 21:57:53
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United Kingdom
1367 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2007 :  20:53:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Petitioners’ Rebuttal and Closing Statements:

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United Kingdom
1367 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2007 :  21:00:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

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1379 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2007 :  15:04:44  Show Profile  Visit jabsadmin's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The Expert and Decorum
F. Edward Yazbak, MD, FAAP

It is not clear why the attorneys for the Department of Justice waited so long to call Stephen A. Bustin PhD as an expert witness in Cedillo v. Secretary of HHS and why his reports were filed so late.
It was certainly well known that Michelle Cedillo had evidence of measles virus genomic RNA in the gut and that her PCR test had been performed at Dr. John O’Leary’s laboratory.

It was also well known that Dr. Bustin had spent an enormous amount of time at a significant cost to the MMR vaccine makers attempting to discredit Dr. O’Leary’s results.

At the trial, Dr. Bustin was repeatedly seen talking with a British journalist whose sole purpose in life has been to attack and discredit Dr. Andrew J. Wakefield, the British physician who first suggested the need to research the role of MMR vaccination in regressive autism.

A recent interview by Dr. Bustin may have been timed to influence upcoming GMC hearings in London.

What effect it will have on the U.S. Autism Litigation is hard to predict.

According to his web site [http://www.sabustin.org/], Stephen A Bustin PhD is Professor of Molecular Science, Institute of Cell and Molecular Science Barts and the London, University of London and Visiting Professor of Molecular Biology School of Health and Social Sciences, Middlesex University.

The web site features a portrait of a smiling Dr. Bustin wearing a gold and red academic gown. Below the portrait and under “Latest News” is a link to “Expert witness evidence at MMR vaccine trial Washington, DC, 20th June 2007”

Just under Dr. Bustin’s address and telephone number is the statement “I am grateful to Quantace for sponsorship of this web site” and a white rectangle with the name Quantace and a leaning halo. [www.quantace.com]

On the evening of Friday July 6, 2007, I was visitor # 5990 and there was a note to the effect that the site had been updated on June 15, 2007.

The transcript of the June 20 session (Day 8) became available on line on June 22.

The web site was re-updated on July 12, 2007


It may be advisable at this point to access [ftp://autism.uscfc.uscourts.gov/autism/transcripts/day08.pdf] and go to the Afternoon Session starting on page 1930 for Dr. Bustin’s testimony.

The first three pages are worth reading as they are relevant to this report.

The ruling on the Bustin testimony that Special Master Hastings mentioned at the top of page 1932 (Order 61107, filed June 11, 2007) is reproduced below and available at [http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/OSM/Autism/Order61107.pdf]

It clearly states: “For the purposes of the Omnibus Autism Proceedings (“OAP”) and for the reasons indicated in the ruling issued on June 8, 2007, in Cedillo v. Sec’y of HHS, the undersigned special masters will defer deciding whether we will rely on the reports of Dr. Bustin (Respondent’s Exhibits WW and XX) as evidence in the OAP. However the parties may question Dr. Bustin or any other expert witness concerning the contents of these two reports at the proceedings commencing on June 11, 2007.” The order was signed by Special Masters Denise K. Vowel, Patricia Campbell-Smith and Georges L. Hastings Jr.

The last paragraph on page 1932 contains the following statement by Special Master Hastings on lines 23-24 “I will decide later on whether to give those reports any weight…”

In her cross-examination of Dr. Bustin, plaintiff’s attorney Sylvia Chin-Caplan inquired about his web site (p. 2047) and its sponsor, Quantace.

She then asked Dr. Bustin about his work relative to the now defunct United Kingdom MMR litigation “I think you indicated that you spent roughly 1,500 hours at 150 pounds sterling” and he answered “Yes, that is correct” (p. 2050). When further questioned, Dr. Bustin stated that he received his checks from the solicitors but that the funds actually came from Merck, Aventis and GSK. (p. 2053)

Ms. Chin-Caplan went on to ask the witness about what he was being paid to come and testify in the U.S. and he answered “It’s $250 an hour while I am here and $125 an hour while I’m traveling and nothing while I’m sleeping I think. And also my airfare and hotel are being paid for. (p. 2053)

In a curious exchange with plaintiff’s attorney, Dr. Bustin stated that his salary was 60,000 pounds, roughly $120,000 (p. 2052). If this is per annum, and if Dr. Bustin works 40 hour weeks, then it appears that at his full time job, he is making less than 29 pounds sterling an hour.

At the Washington, DC trial, Dr. Bustin was seen speaking repeatedly and at length with a British journalist named Brian Deer, who has long been obsessed with Andrew Wakefield and his research. Deer’s vitriolic attacks on Wakefield may have influenced the General Medical Council (GMC) to initiate the upcoming hearings into the scientific activities of Dr. Wakefield and distinguished Professors John Walker-Smith and Simon Murch.


On Wednesday July 4, 2007, Spiked Online circulated an interesting article by scientific writer Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick in the United Kingdom and worldwide.
‘The MMR-autism theory? There’s nothing in it’

Michael Fitzpatrick talks to Stephen Bustin, whose devastating testimony in a US court demolished the last shred of evidence against vaccines.

According to Dr. Fitzpatrick “Testimony in a US court last week by London-based molecular biologist Stephen Bustin comprehensively exposed the unreliability of O’Leary’s findings, based on an investigation of his laboratory carried out in early 2004. ‘It has been incredibly frustrating’, Professor Bustin told me on his
return from the USA. ‘For three years we have been unable [for legal
reasons] to reveal our findings. Now I want to get the message out about the O’Leary/Wakefield research: there’s nothing in it’.

Bustin’s revelations follow a series of studies, using the most rigorous techniques, which have failed to replicate O’Leary’s results, while other researchers have disputed the existence of ‘autistic enterocolitis’ as a distinctive disease entity (see footnotes 1-3). All these results are reassuring to parents of autistic children, whose anxieties have been needlessly provoked by the Wakefield campaign. Parents facing decisions about immunisation can also be reassured that the MMR-autism scare has been shown to have no basis in science.”

Dr. Fitzpatrick went on to the real purpose of his article and its interesting timing just before the upcoming GMC hearings in London
“…the testimony of Bustin and other expert witnesses was yet another blow for the anti-vaccine campaigners as Andrew Wakefield returns to London next week from his new base in a private clinic in Texas to face charges of professional misconduct at the General Medical Council.”

A little later, Dr. Fitzpatrick stated “Bustin’s report on the O’Leary lab was key to the collapse of the anti-MMR litigation in the UK. When the lawyers at the Legal Services Commission discovered this authoritative investigation concluding that O’Leary’s findings were unreliable they realised that, putting this together with the
wider evidence against the MMR-autism thesis, the litigation had no chance of succeeding. Yet the lawyers leading the campaign refused to acknowledge openly that the scientific case against the MMR-autism link was overwhelming and advise their clients to conclude the action. Instead, they continued to pursue the case, allowing it to drag on for a small number of families, acting without legal aid funding, for a further three years.”


There will be evidently procedural and legal questions about all this.

The Bustin statement “For three years we have been unable [for legal reasons] to reveal our findings. Now I want to get the message out about the O’Leary/Wakefield research: there’s nothing in it” will certainly be taken very seriously by Special Masters Hastings, Vowel and Campbell-Smith.

According to Special Master Hastings and as clearly stated above, a decision has not yet been made to admit or not admit the Bustin reports as evidence in the Court proceedings. For Dr. Bustin to discuss them with a medical journalist as a fait accompli in such a personally-biased statement is at least presumptuous if not totally out of order. If the expert witness thought that he was forcing the hands of the U.S. judges with his statement to Dr. Fitzpatrick, he could be in for a surprise.

This indiscretion should also be a concern to the General Medical Council.

There is obviously an important question that needs to be asked: Why is it suddenly acceptable for Dr. Bustin to reveal his “findings” in England NOW - when he was unable to do so in the past three years?

In addition, there are two questions that Attorneys Matanoski and Babcock of the United States Department of Justice need to answer:
1. When were they informed about the Fitzpatrick interview?
2. Did they explain to Dr. Bustin explicitly what he could or could not discuss with the press before the end of the trial?

It was evident from Mr. Matanoski’s remarks on Day 6 of the trial that he is not a fan of Dr. Wakefield. (p. 1224-1228).
But even he should be very concerned about the Spiked Online article.

We sincerely hope that Special Masters Hastings, Vowel and Campbell-Smith will agree that Michelle Cedillo’s rights were gravely compromised by Dr. Bustin’s interview and refuse to admit his reports as evidence. Whether Dr. Bustin is allowed to ever testify again in the United States Court of Federal Claims is up to them. Whether he deserves to be compensated for his services at the Cedillo hearings is up to Mr. Matanoski.

F. Edward Yazbak, MD, FAAP
Falmouth, Massachusetts

July 12, 2007


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