Talk:2000 Simpsonwood CDC conference

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WP:NPOV tag[edit]

The last edit to this article is over one month old and the last related to a POV issue is much older, so I removed the NPOV flag.FRS 17:11, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Attempts at censorship[edit]

Thanks to efforts among a partisan group of people, virtually no articles link to this one anymore. This will change. --Leifern 23:30, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Er, it's linked from the articles about individuals who presented at the conference (Thomas Verstraeten so far; as others get their own articles, I imagine they will be linked). It's linked from thimerosal and vaccine controversy, which both make good sense. It's linked from lists of articles about related topics, including List of vaccine topics and List of autism-related topics.
Where it is no longer linked is from a laundry list of 'See also' links that were placed at the bottom of every remotely vaccine-related topic. This strikes me as sensible, and means it is still a 'once-removed' link via the topic lists mentioned above. (That's the whole purpose of having lists of articles on specific topics—we avoid creating long, cumbersome 'See also' lists on multiple articles. The topic lists are also much easier to maintain than long lists on every article.) TenOfAllTrades(talk) 15:38, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Non neutral point of view here?[edit]

The section titled "Aftermath" and the subsection titled "Criticism [isn't criticism in itself a loaded term?] of report delay" (and, to a lesser extent, the article as a whole) can hardly be considered Neutral point of view. In fact, that's as close to a conspiracy theory as it can be without being overtly non-npov. Also, the only reference provided is from Safeminds, which is overtly anti-vaccination. Think about it... 20:39, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't agree with the tone of the anonymous poster above, but I think there is an issue here. I have looked through the transcripts and I think much of this article needs to be reworked:

  • The question of results from the evidence presented looks a lot more complicated than Kennedy or his skeptics have stated, so I don't think the statements alleging that a definite link was shown are valid.
  • The information presented was declared "embargoed" until the June release.
  • The aftermath statements about subsequent actions of the CDC (lying to scientists, hiding data) should be referenceable, if someone can track down that information.
  • An independent expert summation of the proceedings would be very handy.

Otherwise this does seem to be just an article written to summarize Kennedy's. - KellyLogan 21:02, 16 January 2007 (UTC)


The facts shown on the subject page are shown in 2000 Simpsonwood CDC conference transcript. Read it for yourself. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:00, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--JeffGBot (talk) 05:49, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

Dead link 2[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--JeffGBot (talk) 05:49, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

Violation of Wikipedia policies[edit]

The latest reversion of edits violated WP:AGF, WP:NPOV, WP:Harassment, WP:edit warring and WP:Advocacy. This is Wikipedia, not the CDC website. Realskeptic (talk) 03:13, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

You are very close to being blocked/banned from Wikipedia. jps (talk) 03:14, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Let's see how Congress thinks of all this when they subpoena Wikipedia editors like you for assisting CDC in denying vaccine dangers. Realskeptic (talk) 03:24, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
WP:CRYSTAL. Until then, stick to the talkpages. jps (talk) 03:25, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Never said it was a crystal ball, you removed sources that are WP:Verifiable. What for? Realskeptic (talk) 04:00, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Not everything that is verifiable demands inclusion. It must also be reliable and in the interests of neutrality and not pushing a fringe point-of-view disproportionally relative to the weight the idea receives in the best available sources on the subject. The best available sources on the subject clearly do not include not RFK Jr.'s book. If you find that objectionable, you probably want to go change the consensus in society rather than using Wikipedia to right great wrongs. jps (talk) 04:03, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
It is a violation of WP:NPOV and WP:NOR to say the Senate report addressed Kennedy's allegations when it didn't even reference his article, or to say that Verstraeten denied Kennedy's allegations in a letter published one year before his piece. The same goes for saying the corrections in Kennedy's piece culminated in its retraction, even though his piece had been fully corrected for over five years at the time of its deletion. It should also make clear that Rolling Stone stood by the story as well as include criticisms from Kennedy and Talbot re WP:RSUW, not support Salon's decision. Finally, use of "anti-vaccination" is a clear violation of WP:NPOV. Anyone who reads this article will think the page was written from the point of view of someone who attended Simpsonwood. Whatever your opinion is of thimerosal, this article still breaks Wiki policies.Realskeptic (talk) 07:34, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
I should also add that this is a violation of WP:BLP issues as well. Realskeptic (talk) 17:11, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Rife with BLP issues[edit]

The way the article was before is how it should be per WP:BLP. The article is currently so full of contentious and libelous material against a living person, that it could hardly be taken seriously as an encyclopedia page. The motive for it to be this way is POV pushing of an allegedly consensus viewpoint over what is argued to be a fringe viewpoint held by the person discussed. The argument I've seen for that viewpoint being fringe is clearly lacking, but WP:BLP still applies even to people who hold allegedly fringe viewpoints and even where they carry some degree of relevance to the article being edited. The way the article was edited before was out of fairness to the living person discussed, not out of promotion of a particular viewpoint. Fairness to living persons should take precedence over favoring any particular POV per WP:BLP, but that is not how this article is currently edited. Realskeptic (talk) 18:22, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Just to clarify - this article is written from the presumption that the thimerosal-autism connection is pseudoscientific fringe, but WP:FRINGE makes a clear distinction between pseudoscientific and questionable fringe views. At worst, the thimerosal-autism connection would fall into the category of questionable fringe. On questionable fringe views, Wikipedia sets the following rule: "it should not be described as unambiguously pseudoscientific while a reasonable amount of academic debate still exists on this point." Yet any vaccine-autism connection appears to be wrongly described as unambiguously pseudoscientific on Wikipedia. Realskeptic (talk) 19:55, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
There is no "reasonable amount of academic debate still exists on this point." Zero. Only a few fringe people still keep these conspiracy theory and pseudoscientific ideas alive. Those who still listen to Wakefield, Bob Sears, etc., will still believe their lies. -- BullRangifer (talk) 03:34, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
Actually, I take it back - the thimerosal-autism connection is not "fringe" for being different from the "mainstream science" view since the latter fails to meet the standard of mainstream science. Realskeptic (talk) 16:46, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Please identify the libelous content[edit]

Okay, Realskeptic. I've copied out every paragraph from the article which seems to relate to Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

The following text appears in the article lede
  1. A 2005 article by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., published by Rolling Stone and, focused on the Simpsonwood meeting as part of a conspiracy to withhold or falsify vaccine-safety information.
  2. However, Kennedy's article contained numerous major factual errors and, after a number of corrections, was ultimately retracted by[1][2]
  3. Nonetheless, on the basis of Kennedy's claims, the conference gained notoriety in the anti-vaccination movement.
    The following text appears in the article body, in the section titled In the anti-vaccination movement
  4. The June 20, 2005 issue of Rolling Stone contained an article written by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. entitled "Deadly Immunity".
  5. The article, which was also published on, focused on the Simpsonwood conference and alleged that government and private industry had colluded to "thwart the Freedom of Information Act" and "withhold" vaccine-safety findings from the public.[3]
  6. Kennedy claimed that the Simpsonwood data linked thimerosal in vaccines to the rise in autism, but that the lead researcher later "reworked his data to bury the link between thimerosal and autism."[3]
  7. However, Kennedy's article contained numerous significant errors of fact.
  8. The article overstated the amount of ethylmercury in vaccines by several orders of magnitude, erroneously claimed that a researcher held a patent on one of the discussed vaccines, and erroneously claimed that the rotavirus vaccine contained thimerosal, among other errors.[4]
    (new paragraph)
  9. Although later admitted that these errors "went far in undermining Kennedy’s exposé", at the time they chose not to retract the piece in the interest of transparency.[2]
  10. Instead, the magazine corrected Kennedy's article five times due factual errors, ultimately retracting it in January 2011 because the editors felt that criticisms of the article and clear flaws in the science connecting autism and vaccines undermined the value of the article.[2]
    (new paragraph)
  11. By the time the final study results discussed at Simpsonwood were published in 2003, the lead researcher, Thomas Verstraeten, had gone to work for GlaxoSmithKline.[5]
  12. Kennedy contended that the delay in publication gave Verstraeten sufficient time to fix the data around the CDC's alleged objective of obscuring a link between thimerosal and autism.
  13. Verstraeten denied the allegations, and published an account of the matter in the journal Pediatrics.[5]
    (new paragraph)
  14. In September 2007, the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions rejected allegations of impropriety against Verstraeten and the CDC.
  15. Addressing Kennedy's statements, the Committee found that: "Instead of hiding the [Simpsonwood] data or restricting access to it, CDC distributed it, often to individuals who had never seen it before, and solicited outside opinion regarding how to interpret it. The transcript of these discussions was made available to the public."[6]
  1. ^ Offit 2008: pp. 94–95
  2. ^ a b c Lauerman, Kerry (January 1, 2011). "Correcting our record". Retrieved August 3, 2011. At the time, we felt that correcting the piece—and keeping it on the site, in the spirit of transparency—was the best way to operate. But subsequent critics […] further eroded any faith we had in the story's value. We've grown to believe the best reader service is to delete the piece entirely. 
  3. ^ a b Kennedy, Robert (June 20, 2005). "Deadly Immunity". Rolling Stone. 
  4. ^ "Salon: Corrections 2005". 2005. Retrieved August 3, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference Verstraeten_2004 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  6. ^ Enzi MB (September 2007). "Thimerosal and Autism Spectrum Disorders: Alleged Misconduct by Government Agencies and Private Entities" (PDF). U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 27, 2009. Retrieved May 14, 2009. 

I've numbered each sentence so that there's no confusion about what text we're discussing. Please identify the libelous content. Feel free to copy over any additional sentences if I've missed something. I'm not going to do this for you every time, but I'm giving you a last chance to substantiate your claims rather than blustering about policies you clearly haven't read or don't understand. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 20:11, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

I'm pointing out both libelous and egregiously unbalanced content, since you cited both as reasons for needing to follow WP:BLP:

(2) Factual "errors" made six years before retraction, did not lead to retraction. Must clarify, also must clarify Rolling Stone stood by story and that retraction was criticized by Kennedy and Talbot

(3) Ad hominem attack on people who agree with Kennedy In the anti-vaccination movement does not belong, should be in Deadly Immunity

(7) change significant to "several," not all errors were significant

(8) ethylmercury overstatement caused by and Rolling Stone, not Kennedy - subsequently corrected

(9) Although later claimed that these errors "went far in undermining Kennedy’s exposé", they said that at the time they chose not to retract the piece in the interest of transparency.

(10) Instead, the magazine corrected Kennedy's article five times due factual errors. retracted it in January 2011 because the editors said that criticisms of the article and clear flaws in the science connecting autism and vaccines undermined the value of the article. (rewritten for neutrality, must include Kennedy response and Talbot criticism as well as Rolling Stone opposition to retraction for balance per WP:BLP)

(13) Verstraeten letter 1 year before Kennedy's article, could not have "addressed" it, need to include Kennedy letter to to put his point into proper context about early Verstraeten data associating thimerosal with autism

(15) Addressing **FOIA-obtained transcript and private Simpsonwood attendees** - the report did not even cite his article. It did not even address either issue Kennedy took with the meeting.

I suspect this may all be a waste of time, but hoping to be pleasantly surprised... Realskeptic (talk) 00:11, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Is it correct to say that you are unable to identify any libelous content? TenOfAllTrades(talk) 01:32, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
No, I believe all of this material is libelous. I was just applying your words, although if any bias against Kennedy is okay so long as it does not involve libelous material than your standard of fairness for him is very low. I don't even think this material meets that standard. Realskeptic (talk) 02:57, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
Do you have RS stating that any of those items is libelous? You would have to use RS, not your own OR opinion. Even if they were libelous, if it's properly sourced, we could still include it. We document what RS say, even if it's libelous. There are some situations, especially regarding children, where we don't include such material, but there is nothing even remotely sensitive here. It's only a matter of opinions. -- BullRangifer (talk) 03:42, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
BTW, Wakefield already filed a libel suit against the BMJ, Fiona Godlee, and Brian Deer, and lost. It was his fourth loss. -- BullRangifer (talk) 05:18, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
There is nothing in WP:Libel that says a libelous statement must be identified as such in an WP:RS. Btw, this talk page concerns Kennedy. Realskeptic (talk) 15:49, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
You're right; it would be a waste of time to engage with your further. If you're going to double down on the assertion that all of those things – or many of those things, or most of those things, or really any of those things – constitute libel, you're beyond my help. Your understanding of defamation law is as firm as your grasp of Wikipedia policy. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 04:00, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
You're right, I have a firm grasp of both Wikipedia policy and defamation law compared to you. Since you backtracked and decided that only libelous statements should not go into the article though, I'll take that to mean you at least acknowledge that this article is egregiously unbalanced. So at least this exchange wasn't a complete waste of time. Realskeptic (talk) 15:36, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
To be absolutely clear, I don't think there are egregious balance issues with any statements in the article, including the ones which you have picked out. I was only attempting to establish whether or not you misspoke with your claim of libel, or if it was a position that you genuinely held. Since you have reiterated your ridiculous assertion that the above-noted statements are libelous, I can conclude that you're interested only in continuing to disruptively push your particular fringe point of view regarding Kennedy and vaccinations. It's not a constructive use of my time to engage further with you, and it's probably harmful to the project to encourage you to keep posting by continuing to respond to your increasingly-outlandish claims. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 15:54, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it is quite obvious you and other editors are here to push the POV that a scientific view is a pseudoscientific one. That would define you all as critics pushing your own POV, which is apparently the "project" you're referring to. It is irresponsible to represent the position of an organization derived through unscientific means as "consensus," and to therefore relegate the opposing view to the "fringe" category. If you're so confident that none of this material is libelous than you should explain how - so put up or shut up. Realskeptic (talk) 16:13, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
It is also inherently dishonest of you to pretend to take issues of libel concerning this article seriously only to then cite concern about libel as a reason to bash another editor and end all discussion. Realskeptic (talk) 04:56, 2 December 2015 (UTC)

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