MMR letter in Telegraph

February 15th, 2006 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, MMR, telegraph | 4 Comments »

After an article on MMR appeared in the Telegraph I wrote a letter, and they printed it: recognition at last. I’m putting it here because to be honest, this blog is kind of my scrapbook…

Their article was ‘Why I am terrified of trusting MMR’ By Beezy Marsh 12/02/2006

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/02/12/nmmr112.xml

Sensitive figures

Your report on the MMR vaccination controversy (News, February 12) says “population-based studies are not sensitive enough to pick up problems that may affect a tiny minority of children”. The figures do not support this assertion: autism has increased from one child in 2,500 to one in 250, an increase the anti-MMR lobby ascribes to the vaccine. A tenfold increase is not a “tiny minority”,and figures this large present no problem for the sensitivity of population studies.

The purpose of vaccination is to reduce the prevalence of viruses throughout the population – and ultimately eradicate them – not to protect an individual child. For example, there has been an increase in mumps, from only 200 cases a year to 40,000 since the anti-MMR campaign began, but the increase has been mostly among teenagers, not un-vaccinated babies.

(Dr) Ben Goldacre, London NW5


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4 Responses



  1. Just A Theory » Daily Mail reports GCSE pupils “brainwashed” over MMR said,

    May 10, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    [...] This “controversy” over the exam is actually a complete fabrication by the Daily Mail. Their story tells us the Goverment has been accused of using the exam paper as indoctrination, but fails to mention who’s doing the accusing. It seems quite possible that the story’s author, Beezy Marsh, is also its subject. She is a well known opponent of MMR, as documented by Ben Goldacre. [...]

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  3. JonathonCowley said,

    November 16, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    I can’t help but think that she’s already done immeasurable harm to her poor son by naming him Idris.

  4. JonathonCowley said,

    November 16, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Of course, her parents named her Beezy, so if that’s not a cycle of abuse then I don’t know what is.