The founder of a British autism charity is an anti-vaccine campaigner with strong links to the discredited former doctor Andrew Wakefield. Polly Tommey, who believes that the MMR vaccine caused her son’s autism, founded the US and UK branches of the Autism Trust and produced a highly controversial film (Vaxxed) directed by Mr Wakefield alleging a link between vaccines and the condition. Scientists and campaigners have expressed concern that Ms Tommey’s role in the charity was in conflict with her views about vaccines. Jon Spiers, chief executive of the charity Autistica, called the film highly irresponsible. (From the Times, 1.2.17)
Anti-vaccination film withdrawn
A screening of the anti-vaccination film Vaxxed directed by the disgraced doctor Andrew Wakefield who sparked the MMR-autism scare has been pulled from a London cinema following an outcry from scientists.
Irish “bishop” convicted for unauthorised supply of ‘miracle’ cure for autism
A leading Co Kildare member of the Genesis II Church was convicted at Naas District Court yesterday for manufacturing a miracle cure which is said to cure autism.
Patrick Merlehan, Newtown House, Newtown, Moone, Co Kildare, was charged with manufacturing a product, not in accordance with the Health Products Regulatory Authority, contrary to 2007 Regulations, on November 6, 2014.
The man who calls himself a “Bishop” of the the Genesis II Church was also charged with placing Miracle Mineral Solution( MMS) on the market, contrary to 2007, control of placing on the market regulations.
The conviction came about after authorities were alerted about the malpractice by skeptical activist Fiona O’Leary, founder of ART Autistic Rights Together. (http://autisticrightstogether.ie/index.php/)
Severe hypercalcaemia in a child due to alternative medicine
Police were called to investigate a naturopath who had advised the family of a 4-year-old boy to give their son a combination of 12 different supplements and ‘natural therapies’ including calcium, vitamin D, camel milk and zinc. The boy had been vomiting and constipated for three weeks and lost 6lb (3kg) in weight before he was taken to accident and emergency and diagnosed with severe hypercalcaemia – very high calcium levels in his blood. Writing in the British Medical Journal’s Case Reports, doctors from Barts Health NHS Trust in London said, “Many families view these therapies as safer ‘natural’ options. But as this case demonstrates, there can be significant adverse effects which may go unrecognised due to lack of monitoring, recognition and experience with these therapies.”
The boy made a full recovery two weeks later.