By Nicholas Regush
(Reproduced with permission from the Health News Analyzer #85)
This is what I dug up on the BBC News website today. I almost wish that I hadn’t looked. The weather is extremely hot in Montreal with smog and I didn’t need any additional aggravation.
You can find the BBC story at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/2192611.stm
(If you can’t click on the above link, you can cut and paste it into your browser.)
This trashy story is an excellent example of how information viruses get launched that make it more difficult for reasonable people to raise questions about vital health issues.
The story has to do with the “upsurge in autism cases diagnosed in the Silicon Valley area of California.” The lead paragraph tells us that it “may be due to genes more common in its high-tech workers.” At least this is what is attributed to “experts.”
There is “also some evidence that a similar situation is developing in the ‘Silicon Fen’ of high-tech industry surrounding Cambridge in the UK.”
Please read the piece and marvel at the lack of scientific evidence and the flurry of speculation, including the notion that “some doctors now think that workers who have the complex analytical skills needed to succeed in high-tech industry, and who are perhaps slightly awkward socially – the classic profile of the ‘computer geek’ – may, while not fully autistic themselves, at least be carrying at least a few of the genes that contribute to it.”
Extraordinary! Where did this come from? Mars?
Was this a BBC joke? I mentioned it to my wife and she thought it was a joke.
Unfortunately not. This is modern medical journalism in full frontal assault on a complex issue. Anyone researching autism seriously should be appalled, not to mention anyone who is pursuing valuable clues about the possible links between autism disorders and vaccines.
Here’s another amazing bullet which is highlighted on the BBC page. It comes to us from Dr. Robin Hansen (a pediatrician), of the Mind Institute in Sacramento:
“If your father has four genes and is a computer whiz, and your mother has three genes, you might get all seven and get full-blown autism.” And he unfortunately disgraces himself further by adding:
“Clearly, there’s a sort of mating where you don’t like change and you are a little bit awkward socially and you meet a person who is a little bit awkward socially too.”
Did Hansen actually say these things?
If so, methinks he should be pulled in front of a medical review board and get stripped of his license for life.
On the other hand, consider the reporter who put this unbelievable, misleading, speculative, nonsensical jumble of a story together. In fact, I still cannot imagine anyone publishing something so incompetent.
It is also a huge insult to any parent with a child diagnosed with an autism disorder.
Ah well, it’s hot in Montreal and I’d better cool down a bit.
However, I’d like to give you the opportunity to take this Health News Analyzer and send it out to as many people as you want – I’m breaking my rule here about distributing it for this one time – but this kind of garbage on the BBC page needs immediate and widespread reaction.
planetc1.com-news @ 7:44 am | Article ID: 1029422662