NIH wakes up

NIH wakes up

NIH wakes up

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Sept. 21 2008 5:25 PM

NIH wakes up

The National Institutes of Health has shut down a study based on antivaccination garbage.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  



The research was looking into chelation, the idea that an amino acid can be pumped into the bloodstream where it will remove some potentially toxic metals. What spurred this? The nonsense that mercury is present in the blood due to childhood vaccines.

Yeah, that crap again. So why was the study stopped by NIH?

The board determined that there was no clear evidence for direct benefit to the children who would participate in the chelation trial and that the study presents more than a minimal risk.

In other words, they looked into chelation, and it doesn't work well enough to risk performing it on children. In fact, it can do substantial harm, and can even be fatal: children have died because they were chelated. Isn't it bad enough that antivaxxers want to see kids suffer through preventable diseases like measles and rubella? Do we have to make people sicker or even kill them to make some antiaxxers happy?

I'm actually happy the NIH saw fit to look into this -- it's always better to investigate and be sure -- and I'm not surprised they found it to be not worth the risk, especially given that it was based on nonsense to start with.