Tag Archives: Ryerson University

Podcast: March 23, 2011

24 Mar

For whatever reason, someone thought it would be a good idea to put me on the radio. Last Wednesday, Jeff Lagerquist and I hosted our first episode of Headlines and Deadlines – one of the official radio shows of The Eyeopener – on CKLN 88.1 FM.

This Wednesday, we aired our second episode, and decided to start up a podcast for those unable to listen when our show airs.

This week’s topics included meeting Donovan Bailey, my pets’ NCAA brackets, and why I hate Earth Hour.

Headlines and Deadlines Ep. 2 – Hosted by Jeff Lagerquist and Charles Vanegas – March 23, 2011

Headlines and Deadlines (Lagerquist/Vanegas version) airs every Wednesday at 6 a.m. on CKLN 88.1.

You can follow Jeff or me on twitter – send us a note, and we’ll be sure to read it on air.

Jenny McCarthy still believes autism caused by vaccines

17 Feb

Award-winning journalist Brian Deer answers a student's question after speaking to a group at Ryerson University.He says there is no medical evidence to back up Jenny McCarthy's claims about the causes of autism. / Charles Vanegas

Brian Deer, the British journalist who exposed fraudulent research linking the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism, spoke on Wednesday to a group of more than 200 at Ryerson University in Toronto. Deer spoke candidly about the disgraced doctor behind the theory, Andrew Wakefield, and his supporters – specifically actress Jenny McCarthy, who has a child with autism.

“She’s put out her son’s name in the media [linking his autism to vaccines],”said Deer. “She has no medical evidence to back up her claims, so I challenge her to release his records to a panel of doctors –who will keep them confidential – and then she can see the facts.”

In 1998, the Lancet, a medical journal, published the findings of a study conducted by a group led by Andrew Wakefield. Although inconclusive, the study suggested that the MMR vaccine might be linked with autism and intestinal problems, a “new syndrome” that Wakefield later referred to as “autistic enterocolitis.”

After numerous reports from Deer dating back as far as 2004, Wakefield has been exposed for knowingly falsifying study results and having a conflict of interest – he received over £400,000 (about $690,000 CDN) prior to his 1998 study, from solicitors planning to sue vaccine distributors. The Lancet has “fully-retracted the study from the published record”, and ten out of 13 co-authors have retracted the interpretation featured in the study.

In a January 2011 blog, McCarthy referred to Deer’s findings as “one dubious reporter’s allegations”, saying that “I know children regress after vaccination because it happened to my own son”.

In 2008, as a blogger for Oprah.com, she praised a woman who refused to let her 18-month-old son get the MMR vaccine, for “following her mommy instinct.”

In the UK, where Wakefield’s study was done, cases of measles rose from 56 in 1998 to 1,348 in 2008.