As someone trained in statistics, I know there is no such thing as UNBIASED research. Throw out a few outliers here and there, use a select control group, a different probability function and viola, you get whatever results you want. So long as someone can make money off of a product, they will be able to hire a scientist and a study to “show the benefits of said product”.
This is why, we have research showing everything under the sun today, and of course studies that completely contradict each other. Coconut oil is good for you, unless you read a study by the American Heart Institute that was funded by the canola oil lobby.
What everyone conveniently forgets to mention in all studies, is that it is VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE to prove causation. Sure, correlation is easy, but there are too many variables in the real world to EVER PROVE anything with data.
I take research as a grain of salt, bc it will always be biased – it’s usually more interesting to see who funds a study and the results that are shown.
However, I am interested in “methodology” because this can help us see just how distorted and wrong those biased results are. How is the research actually undertaken?
Let’s look at a few errors in vaccine studies that are enough to throw out any and all results claimed.
The three main errors in every vaccine study are: the lack of a proper control group, omitted variable bias, and extrapolating results of one population to a different population.
First. Vaccine trials lack a proper control group. Ideally in an experiment like a drug trial, one of the groups of recipients do not receive the drug, they receive nothing or a small sugar pellet as a placebo.
And the outcomes of both the group receiving the trial drug and the group not receiving the trial drug are compared to estimate the drugs efficacy and side effects.
This is not the case with vaccine studies.
In vaccine trials, the control group receives a different vaccine. So if they are testing the MMR vaccine, the control group would receive another vaccine like hepatitis B. This has huge mathematical implications because both the MMR vaccine and hep b vaccines contain preservatives like formaldehyde and heavy metals like aluminum. When both the control and trial groups receive these “fillers”, the impacts of those fillers are going to be completely wiped out in the analysis, because mathematically you are subtracting the control group results from the trial group results. In this case, crap – crap = zero mathematically but a bunch of sick kids in reality
Anyone claiming that vaccines are safe and effective is grossly misrepresenting vaccine trials. The only statement an MMR Vaccine study could make would sound something like “The MMR vaccine is x% effective compared to people receiving the hep B vaccine (or whatever their control vaccine is)”. To say the MMR vaccine is “effective” implies the study is done relative to someone NOT receiving any vaccine, which is not the case. Vaccine trials on efficacy and safety are completely meaningless without a proper control group.
This would be like Ford only comparing the Mustang to chevy corvettes because they don’t want to look bad when Its compared to the Ferrari. Or even better, testing a pharmaceutical drug but instead of giving a placebo to the control group, giving them a disguised drug that actually makes the control group sicker, which makes the drug look better. Unfortunately, this is exactly what is happening with vaccine studies because, vaccines weaken everyone’s immune system. This is worse though because those who received the actual vaccine being tested will “weep” or shed for a certain amount of time. This means, they are carriers of the virus after they receive the vaccine and could expose the “control” group when and where the “control” group would not have been exposed at all, had the vaccinations never taken place.
To be clear – you are exposing your “control” group to levels and rates of the virus that would not have existed had you not been vaccinating. This is like walking down the street and having 2 darts thrown at you vs 200. You are a lot more likely to get hit by one of the 200 darts when people are vaccinated and spewing the virus.
The second issue with vaccine trials is called OVB – Omitted variable bias. This occurs when an important variable is left out of the trial. What happens then, is the effect of that variable is lumped in with the effect of interest. The more important the variable, the more biased the result.
For instance, say we wanted to see the effect of sunlight on plant growth in a certain area. We set up multiple pots and start measuring growth. Now pretend that some of the plants were watered every day, some every other day and some once a week. But in our study, we don’t account for the differences in watering at all. We omit the water variable.
In this case, our results will show a much higher rate of growth from sunlight than if we included a variable (also called a control) for water.
Quite literally, our results show the combined effect of water and sunlight and not just the effect of sunlight. This is exactly whats going on in the vaccine trials. Variables vital to the study are omitted- oftentimes even a variable for INCOME and education are not included. Furthermore, the studies have no controls for diet, sugar consumption, processed food consumption, and antibiotic use. Without these variables, the studies suffer from Omitted Variable Bias, even if they are accurately reporting their studies. This means the trials aren’t accounting for things that have a GIANT impact on someone getting sick or not. Sugar, diet and antibiotic consumption have a huge impact on the immune system. Someone who consumes sugar on a daily basis, eats processed foods and takes pharmaceuticals is going to be immunosuppressed…they are going to get sick a lot, and/or be more prone to medical problems. A mother who eats this way and breastfeeds is not going to have as healthy of a child as a breastfeeding mom who avoids all sugar, dairy and gluten.
The third and final problem with vaccine studies is that the researchers and policy-makers extrapolate the results of one population to a different population.
You see, many vaccine trials are done in third world countries. To think that any results found in third world populations apply directly to the U.S. population is simply ludicrous. This would be like taking a water sample from Rwanda and expecting Flint, Michigan or Atlanta, GA or any U.S. city to have the same water contaminants and quality. Now, why do I say that? Because there are so many other variables that go into water quality, that go into health, than are covered in the vaccine trial. 3rd world countries have a much lower exposure to heavy metals and chemicals than we do – heavy metal toxicity is cumulative in the body, 3rd world water doesn’t have chlorine and fluoride, plastic and pharmaceutical residue but it has pathogens. The diets of 3rd world countries are very different than the Standard American diet of fast food, processed foods, gmos, sugar wheat and dairy. 3rd world countries often still live in community where family support is more readily available. These are all major factors. And how do they all impact the study and play out when we transpose any effects from one population to another? We don’t know, we have no idea and that’s why a robust scientific study would never try to extrapolate results from one sample to another when the samples are known to be so different.
Any one of these three errors is enough to totally discredit every vaccine study. A quality vaccine study would be performed on the U.S. population, it would use a totally unvaccinated control group (one that has never ever been vaccinated), and it would have controls for income, race, daily sugar consumption, daily wheat consumption, daily GMO consumption, daily dairy consumption, daily pharmaceutical usage and OTC usage, and whether or not meat is consumed past 2pm – for both the mother and the child if breastfed. And if there were no observations in your trial who ate a sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free diet, a quality study would state that, and recognize that their results can say NOTHING about the implications on people with special diets.
The pharmaceutical researchers performing these studies are just as adept at statistics as I am, the question is, why are they using such horrible methodology – methodology that would be laughed off the table in every graduate school around the world?
This is where incentives come in. The vaccine industry is like the type-writer industry after the computer was invented. They are doing everything they can, even false advertising, to get consumers to buy their products. They’ll tell you why “their product is the best” and when that doesn’t work, they try to scare you by telling you how dangerous computers are (because computers are the competition) and when scare tactics don’t work, they lobby the government to FORCE you to buy their product – regulating AWAY better products. And when the industry has enough money, say from selling chemo drugs, to pay off the politics, this is exactly what happens.
Finally, an Economics 101 lesson – good products don’t need regulation – ever. When the computer came along, there was no need to mandate away the typewriter – it just disappeared. And that is exactly what would have happened with vaccines – an inferior technology – when basic sanitation and nutrition were discovered. Superior technology needs no mandate, but the inferior technologies will fight like crazy, lie like crazy, and pay like crazy to make sure you keep choosing them.
Regulation NEVER benefits the consumer, it always benefits a very select group of producers. Always. This happens because the producers get all of the benefits of regulation, whereas the benefits of no regulation are dispersed among millions and millions of consumers and so are relatively small compared to the costs of consumers organizing together.
So, what do you trust? Do you trust the data that the CDC and big pharma have come up with? Do you trust the analysis of a group who cannot be sued for being wrong? Do you trust the few studies that exist that show vaccines – all vaccines – cause harm? Do you trust their data?
Or do you trust and rely on the incentives each group faces, regardless of what they or the media or the government says?
As an economist, I know that incentives (which is just cost-benefit analysis) are unavoidable – it’s like trying to avoid the conservation of matter in physics. So when you change the costs facing big pharma, they are going to react. Big pharma may say they haven’t changed, they may say their research is legit and that they spent a lot of time and money on it but their actions won’t match those words – it would be against the laws of the universe for them to NOT change their behavior. Often we project onto the world how we think things “should be”, economics is one of the great tools to allow us to move past our bias, and see what is. For more on the economics of vaccinations, see my video, “What do car explosions and vaccines have in common?” and “10 Questions to ask your doctor before vaccinating”.
A few sources:
Delong, Gayle. Conflicts of interest in vaccine safety research. Accountability in Research, 19, 65-88.
Delong, Gayle. A positive association found between autism prevalence and childhood vaccination uptake across the U.S. population. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A/Taylor & Francis, 74(14), 903-916.
Link summarizing studies of who doesn’t vaccinate: http://preventdisease.com/news/11/020211_more_educated_less_likely_to_vaccine.shtml
Google doc of 1000 peer-reviewed studies showing vaccines are NOT safe, nor have been properly tested: