Bad Science Bingo, with Jeni Barnett… NOW with added legal chill

February 3rd, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, jeni barnett, LBC, MMR | 138 Comments »

Sorry I had no column in the paper this week, there’s some very good fun stuff coming in the next month if I can pull it together safely. Meanwhile, in case any of you are feeling complacent, I offer you this truly magnificent performance on MMR by Jeni Barnett from LBC Radio on the 7th January 2009. I hope you enjoy this clip as much as I do.


LBC’s lawyers have contacted me to say that posting this clip for discussion here is infringement of copyright. Make of that what you will. Blog post to follow here.

It is my view that in this extended broadcast Jeni exemplifies every single canard ever uttered by the antivaccination movement. “It’s a conspiracy by the pharmaceutical industry.” “Science always changes so you can believe what you like.” “It’s a debate and a controversy.” “Measles was never that bad anyway.” “Immune systems are damaged by being understimulated.” “Immune systems are damaged by being overstimulated.” And so on.

I invite you to document the rest below (the bit about empirical experience is particularly enjoyable) and maybe we can get the full list of canards together for the definitive numbers set of Bad Science Bingo. In fact, if there is an anti-vaxxer canard in existence which is not in this broadcast, I want to know about it, signed copy of some book for the best one.

This scare, as you can see, will never end. Bravo Jeni.

If you like what I do, and you want me to do more, you can: buy my books Bad Science and Bad Pharma, give them to your friends, put them on your reading list, employ me to do a talk, or tweet this article to your friends. Thanks! ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

138 Responses

  1. AntibodyBoy said,

    February 3, 2009 at 12:30 am

    Vaccines cause allergies cos there weren’t any before vaccination got popular, you know, back when we were all in beautiful tribal harmony, with our auras balanced with mother earth n that?

  2. Sally LeRoy said,

    February 3, 2009 at 12:59 am

    Listening to her has the same effects as drinking beer: lower intelligence and a headache. However I like the taste of some kinds of beer and her voice does nothing for me. Conclusion: there are better ways to kill brain cells.

  3. maddiezahatter said,

    February 3, 2009 at 1:08 am

    Gag bloody iPhone. I meant sock, not sick.

  4. rubydeemer said,

    February 3, 2009 at 1:11 am

    I think the impartial observer’s eyebrows may be raised at 4:19
    “Is there anything wrong with having measles?”
    It is a very close run thing though.

  5. hywc said,

    February 3, 2009 at 1:15 am

    This is *incredible*. I never believed someone could be so stridently, unremittingly, arrogantly wrong. Could someone in the know start a mailing list of when these call-in shows are wrong? Listening to that made me want to call in.

  6. ammckie said,

    February 3, 2009 at 1:20 am

    “if, as a human being, you decide that you do not want to give your child a vaccination, you should, in a democracy have the right to say no”

    “whats wrong with people having mumps – most people aren’t that 1 in 15”

    “im not an expert but this is what i have observed”

    “if you scaremonger you don’t know how to make an informed decision”

    “the media and the drug companies would like to make me unusual”

    “i dont like anything to do with allopathic medicine”

    [MMR vaccine causes cancer – but only if you leave your initials]

    “if its viral, and childrens immune systems are strong whats the problem?”

    “The body is a really delicate organism, the tinyest bit of something can make you go weird”

    and finally “stop being so dramatic … the department of health frightens people”

    A catalogue of some of the greatest lolz created by Jeni – i can imagine everytime i laughed at her a little colony of the measles virus laughed along side me.

  7. Jason S said,

    February 3, 2009 at 1:31 am

    Sorry, I couldn’t listen to more than 15 minutes of this drivel.

    Why would anyone want to listen to a radio show where the host shouts at them in that horrible hectoring voice?

    A tip for Jeni, when the people agreeing with you are homoeopaths you need to think about your position.

  8. kooshster said,

    February 3, 2009 at 1:36 am

    I love the way she’s picked up on the idea of “herd immunity”, beaten the crap out of any scientific meaning that it had, and used “the herd” as a symbol for “those who simply follow the crowd” – completely the opposite meaning of what it’s supposed to be.

    Actually, no. I don’t love it. It’s very scary.

  9. tom500 said,

    February 3, 2009 at 1:38 am

    “if you have had the flu jab, how come you have got a cold?”

    Notice how quickly she moves away from this after the dr explains the difference!

  10. le canard noir said,

    February 3, 2009 at 1:51 am

    I have learnt a number of important things this evening:

    1) Filling a sock with salt and sticking it behind my ear cures me of AIDS or something.

    2) Darwin was born a hundred years ago this week and some people thought he was wrong.

    3)A Doctor who wrote a book called ‘Bad Science’ laughs at homeopaths.

    4)Jeni Barnett now believes that reading out anonymous emails that say vaccines give you cancer is irresponsible. She will no longer read out anonymous scare stories. Please give your initials instead.

  11. biggerpills said,

    February 3, 2009 at 2:13 am

    3.30: “we are one of the handful of countries in Britain”

    Brilliant, this is even “better” than George Galloway’s show on talkSPORT.

  12. The Biologista said,

    February 3, 2009 at 2:39 am

    I’ve had a long day arguing with creationists, anti-vax morons and a guy who thinks evidence of embryogenesis is a test from God. Atomic theory is incorrect, see. Part of me wants to listen to this radio bit, but most of me is just really, really tired. And sort of sad.

    It’s been ten years since Wakefield and there’s still no evidence. At what point do we stop trying to show the morons and just go found our own country? Boffinland. Where everyone is a scientist, even if they make coffee for a living.

  13. zeno said,

    February 3, 2009 at 2:56 am

    Jason said: “Why would anyone want to listen to a radio show where the host shouts at them in that horrible hectoring voice?”

    Absolutely. I had to turn the volume down. Right down.

  14. JRich said,

    February 3, 2009 at 3:26 am

    “Darwin’s 100th birthday is this week” …brilliant

  15. Psychology said,

    February 3, 2009 at 3:57 am

    She claims to have “half an ology” I’d like to know what in so have asked her by emailing her via:
    I am new to this site and hope this doesn’t break ‘the rules’ but I would venture to suggest a few, obviously polite, messages about ignorance and irresponsibility might be sent.

  16. mockingbird said,

    February 3, 2009 at 4:48 am

    Woman who emailed in to talk about how her immunised son caught mumps:

    ‘The doctors did not know what to do with the mumps. It had been so long since they’d seen it they had to look it up on the computer, or in their manuals to answer my questions.’

    How terrible!

  17. Moganero said,

    February 3, 2009 at 9:01 am

    Sorry, I just could listen to more than 10 minutes of this strident drivel – is she really paid to do this?

  18. Moganero said,

    February 3, 2009 at 9:03 am

    . . . I meant that I couldn’t (it got me so jangled up I couldn’t type)

  19. elfy said,

    February 3, 2009 at 9:07 am

    She’s right though, we *should* just identify the 1-in-15 who’ll die from measles and vaccinate them.

    Then we can identify everyone who’ll die in a car accident and stop them from driving. It’ll be great.

  20. fontwell said,

    February 3, 2009 at 9:23 am

    This is another marvelous case of Ben’s bottom quartile phenomenon – the people with the lowest ability in a field lack the skills to realise just how stupid they are.

  21. Ginger Yellow said,

    February 3, 2009 at 9:44 am

    I couldn’t make it past the “Most people aren’t that 1 in 15′, one of the most despicable sentences I’ve ever heard.

    As for enjoyment, I had to laugh at: “Maybe there all sorts of other figures that have been withheld from us. And I don’t know what they because they’ve been withheld.”

  22. sensecommon said,

    February 3, 2009 at 9:55 am

    I suddenly want to stab myself in the head repeatedly with a spoon while screaming “AT LEAST IT’S BETTER THAN BEING VACCINATED”

  23. thepoisongarden said,

    February 3, 2009 at 10:09 am

    Sometimes I wonder if moving to the Scottish Borders from Greater London was the right move but then I realise it saves me from absolute twaddle.

    It’s amazing that Ofcom would take action if she said ******** but she can talk ******** all day long.

    I’ve just got to the caller who challenged her because every doctor on LBC has always said MMR is safe and her response was ‘So what?’

    I’ve got to the salt in the sock and the drug companies are trying to frighten us. I’m going to have to stop; it’s just too depressing.

  24. TheBoyPaj said,

    February 3, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    I couldn’t listen past the first caller.

    “I went to a course organised by a homeopath…”

    Well, there’s your problem. You’re an idiot.

  25. bernard said,

    February 3, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    I like the way she uses the word ‘expert’ as the ultimate insult.

  26. Majordomobibfortuna said,

    February 3, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    In response to The Biologista, please can I put down my name for “Boffinland”? I am not a scientist (barely got through Physics “A” level) and actually work for a bank – stop booing at the back. I love Ben’s articles and the idea of making people think. I am soooo fed up with what seems to be an exponential growth in nonsense from crystal healing onwards. Just a thought but is there any kind of rough correlation between the decline of organised religion and the increase in “New Age” everything. I seem to recall the quote “A man that doesn’t believe in something will fall for anything”. Now as a lapsed Catholic I’m not about to start defending religion but its as if the general populace always need something mythical to hang onto. Back to Dr Ben’s placebo theories?

    Keep up the good work.

  27. stevesp4644 said,

    February 3, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    The feeling of my brain turning to mud listening to much of that was such a contrast to the feeling of clarity I got from the words of those listeners calling in to talk sense.

    If everyone reacts to this programme in this way it can only be a good thing. The question is: how do they react?

  28. le canard noir said,

    February 3, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Wow. I have just plucked up the courage to listen to the last half and Jeni Barnett is a woman of supreme ignorance and arrogance, and what is more, is totally unafraid of displaying this to the world.

    The GP at the end who rang is a bit of a hero. She had the courage to say that JB was acting totally irresponsibly and did not have a clue what she was talking about.

  29. heng said,

    February 3, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    bugger me. What an idiot.

    “My kids never got a disease, so vaccination is clearly unnecessary”

  30. osipacmeist said,

    February 3, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    I couldn’t listen to it all, although I might now to hear the GP who attempts to tell her some truths about how grossly irresponsible she is being. Anyway, as far as I got I didn’t hear her utter my very favourite marker of the very ignorant & deluded:

    “there are different ways of knowing…”

    an elegant and very revealing phrase much loved by all types of mad people from wiccans to theologians….

    Can I have the signed book please?

  31. Jamie Horder said,

    February 3, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    07:20 “Talk to your children, not to me” – that’s a good idea actually

  32. misterjohn said,

    February 3, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    She writes as badly as she thinks, if this gem on her blog is evidence.

    “The Number 24 bust past me all the way to Hampstead”

    Post modern use of language, methinks.

  33. heng said,

    February 3, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    “I’m a strong willed person, and that’s gonna defeat them dirty diseases better than any toxic vaccination!”

  34. Jamie Horder said,

    February 3, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    14:20 “Ban cars on the road, make them have 6 hours a day PE at school”

  35. John said,

    February 3, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    If only it were true that 99% of all wrongdoers had been vaccinated. It is becoming increasingly less so as jabbophobes rise like scum to brainwash the stupid.

    Brilliant plan to identify the one in 15 and isolate them.

    We have to roll this strategy out to cover all illness. Then we can give Elfy a Nobel Prize.

    Can you imagine the outcry if she had said “well Hitler didn’t kill ALL the Jews, only some of them”

  36. biggerpills said,

    February 3, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    JRich said,
    February 3, 2009 at 3:26 am

    “Darwin’s 100th birthday is this week” …brilliant

    JRich, have you been checking out Theos’s (Templeton Foundation-funded) attempts to derail the Darwin celebrations? One of their polls asked “2009 is the anniversary of the birth of a famous British scientist. Do you know who it is?” About 21% went for “Darwin”, none at all went for “every scientist ever born”. I think they meant “200th anniversary” but adding that little bit of information might have given them the “wrong” result.

  37. liquidcow said,

    February 3, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    One thing I notice in this clip – or what I managed to listen to of it at least – is that there is this strange phenomenon with people like her whereby they simultaneously distrust science, yet at the same time expect it to be able to do anything. I’m referring particularly to the bit where she talks about the 1 in 15 (and I agree with the person above that “most people aren’t that 1 in 15” is perhaps one of the most despicable things I’ve ever heard) and her solution is that we should just concentrate on that 1 in 15 and ‘deal with them’ (or whatever equally vague and meaningless term it was she used). Deal with them how exactly? Oh yeh, by using scientific knowledge and medicine to cure them, at least that’s what I presume she means. Or by somehow using science magic to work out who those 1 in 15 people are and immunise just them. It’s baffling how she can be so skeptical and yet so naively optimistic about science at the same time.

  38. ALondoner said,

    February 3, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    28mins (ish):-

    If the vaccines work, why aren’t we sending them to third world countries for free?

    Well, needless to say this IS one of things we spend aid on (e.g.

    but, as vaccines aren’t free, we have to pay for it. This is not hard to understand….

    I’ll be sending my complaints to:

    Hopefully, if we all give them a quick run down of some of the inaccuracies, this madness might stop….

  39. stinkychemist said,

    February 3, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    I couldn’t listen to more than a couple of minutes of this idiot’s twaddle. Well done to anyone who put up with all of it, or even enough to make a coherent comment. I listened to the bit at the end and all credit to that GP.

    From ‘Yes, Prime Minister’:
    Minister of Sport: “You can prove anything with statistics, Prime Minister.”
    Jim: “Yes, even the truth.”

    Apologies to the BBC, because it’s probably their copyright.

    Just becaue the Government says something doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It’s enough to make me think of changing my name to become further dissociated from this moron.

    Thank you for listening.

  40. biggerpills said,

    February 3, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    liquidcow- she may have been calling for something like the Mantoux test, used to determine whether or not a person should received the BCG vaccination. I doubt it though, as the Mantoux test still involves injecting CHEMICALS and GERMS into our innocent children.

    I wish the term “measles party” didn’t sound so much more cute than “vaccination”, it’s as if people romanticise deadly diseases to the point where they become an innocent and fun part of childhood. Do any adults honestly have fond memories of mumps or chicken pox, as if they were like a few small grazes from climbing trees, or bruises from falling off the shiny new BMX they got for christmas 1971?

  41. stephenray said,

    February 3, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    I’ve emailed a complaint to LBC. I’ve mentioned that Ben’s book and articles on this site show how the rapacious media interests served to amplify the original concern about MMR to something that is now virtually self-reproducing, and invited them not to be part of that. I was fairly rude about Jeni Barnett, I’m afraid.

    The bit where I really lost it was when one caller said he had a cold, and JB asked if he’d had ‘the flu jab’, and he said yes, and so she asked him how come he’d got flu if he had the jab.

    What I’d like the immunisers to work on next is an anti-stupid jab, so that we can prevent people growing up as dumb as Jeni Barnett and all the ‘it’s wrong to put such horrible things in a lovewy wittew baby’s bodee..’ callers to her programme.

  42. vertigo93 said,

    February 3, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    ““Maybe there all sorts of other figures that have been withheld from us. And I don’t know what they are because they’ve been withheld.”

    God, it’s like Alan Partridge isn’t it?

    ” Well, listen, I’ll tell you what the point is. You have big sheds, but nobody’s allowed in, and inside these big sheds are twenty-foot high chickens. Because of all the chemicals you put in them… And these chickens are scared. They don’t know why they’re so big. They go “oh why am I so massive?” And they’re looking down on all the other little chickens, and they think they’re in an aeroplane because all the other chickens are so small! Do you deny that?”

    [Peter has left]

    “No. His silence, I think, speaks volumes.”

    Back to the *actual* clueles presenter as opposed to the fictional one, she asked for an expert to call in with *evidence* that MMR is *a good thing*.

    Since I couldn’t get past about 4 minutes of the farrago, did anyone actually call in?

  43. gadgeezer said,

    February 3, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    I wish that my mother and aunt had been able to phone in to set her straight about some of her antivax claims. Oh wait, the reason that they couldn’t is that both of them have hearing problems related to having had measles as children (pre-vaccination days).

    And both of them have numerous skin allergies to non-precious metals, some rubber, some shampoo etc. etc. I don’t believe this has any relevance but the 2 aunts who were vaccinated don’t have any hearing problems and don’t have skin allergies.

    But I must be making that up. It didn’t happen to Jeni so it can’t possibly have been any different for my relatives.

  44. Ginger Yellow said,

    February 3, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    “God, it’s like Alan Partridge isn’t it?”

    I was reminded more of Dr Fox’s “There’s no evidence for it, but it’s scientific fact.”

  45. lopoz said,

    February 3, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Personally I loved her rantings on how her (and others like her)opinions are being suppressed. Whilst constantly interrupting and attempting to speak over the callers to her radio show she disagreed with.

  46. TriathNanEilean said,

    February 3, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    I’m trying to cultivate Ben’s attitude of finding this show funny. That’s the right way to deal with the strong feelings it provokes. But it’s difficult to do when every 20 seconds a red mist comes down over your eyes.

    I don’t know how long it will take but I will make myself finish. In six hours I’ve got through the first 5 minutes of the program so wish me luck.

  47. Jo said,

    February 3, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Good grief! There are some prickly people about.

    Did I hear, at 25 seconds, “I have raised a biological child and two logical children”?

    I’ve listened to it three times and I’m sure she says that.

    “mooing with the other cows” :)

    I think Alison Steadman could do a brilliant impression of her.

    She sounds like she might be a difficult person to have a conversation with…


  48. Jo said,

    February 3, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    I lasted 18 minutes in one go. My ears need cleansing (might try sock and salt combo).

  49. michael said,

    February 3, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Afraid she really is a lost cause – look at a previous blog based on ‘Blue Monday’

  50. stephenray said,

    February 3, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    Follow up:

    Got a very quick reply from LBC.

    I do not think I should reveal what it said as it should be, unless and until agreed otherwise, private; however I will say that the reply was reassuring.

  51. stephenray said,

    February 3, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    @ Jo:

    You know, that’s what I thought she said as well? But I concluded I must have mis-heard.

    Perhaps her biological child never grasped logic, perhaps that’s what Jeni means to tell us…

    Or perhaps – like certain washing powder – the other children were merely ‘non-bio’.

    (Well, I made m’self chuckle, anyhoo…)

  52. EleanorC said,

    February 3, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Must be where the other “half an ology” went.

  53. John said,

    February 3, 2009 at 5:15 pm


    Maybe the loon meant that she had virtual children !

    Always the easiest to raise.

    (Except when you forget to feed them and they peg out like a Tamagochi)

  54. The Biologista said,

    February 3, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    I gave in, and started to listen. And now I’ve stopped because it’s 30 seconds in and already she’s made the whole thing pointless.

    “…that 1 in 15 person is the one we should be looking at, and wondering why and dealing with it.”

    That. Is. What. MMR. Is. For.

    Vague rantings about big pharma, processed foods, modern life and asthma… Forget the anti-vaxxer canards, she’s one step short of brining up Big Oil and The Man.

  55. liquidcow said,

    February 3, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    “Did I hear, at 25 seconds, “I have raised a biological child and two logical children”? ”

    I guess one was naturally conceived and the other two were reasoned into being? The way she contorts logic to suit herself I wouldn’t be surprised.

  56. kooshster said,

    February 3, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    Well, I’ve managed to make it through the whole thing (finally!). One thing that gives me hope is listening to John from Epsom (15:30), who’d actually grasped the right end of the stick and made a valiant attempt to present some evidence instead of meaningless hysterical anecdote. Good on you John! What a pity that Jeni fobbed him off with some placebo effect nonsense which had nothing to do with the argument he was making in the first place.

    A couple of other notable inconsistencies:

    (13:50) “…the fact is that the more we sanitise society… [you cannot] get up in high bludgeon when we don’t put drugs into their body”

    I hope someone will correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t a vaccination in fact do the complete opposite of sanitising (i.e. in many cases it involves the injection of a weakened pathogen, not anything that will actually “clean” anything)? And are vaccines really classed as “drugs”?


    (14:57) “If you scaremonger, people don’t know how to make informed decisions about something.”

    Quite right – though who’s being the scaremonger?

    (15:07) “When I was out in America, about 18 months ago, the only cases of polio that were coming across were the ones of the children that had had the polio vaccine, and most doctors out in the States were not letting their children have it. What does that say to you?”

    (16:59) “…and I’m not unusual, John, but the media and the drug companies would like to make me unusual.”

    Also the exchange with Geraldine (25:45) who rightly asserted that the claim that vaccines contained cancer-causing ingredients was scaremongering nonsense (Jeni seemed to think that this was just a minor problem).


    (12:26) “There are many ways of doing it other than jabbing people!”

    Yet Jeni shows no hysteria about “jabbing people” when she speaks to Dr. Rob, the acupuncture practitioner (who calls at 29:20).


    There are numerous mentions of the drug companies financial interests (16:59, 18:30, 28:20), but does she ever stop to question the financial interests of homeopaths when they pronounce how evil the MMR vaccine is (e.g. Tracy, the first caller)?


    (43:27) [to the GP, in a hysterical voice] “Stop being so dramatic about it!”

  57. thepoisongarden said,

    February 3, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    ‘logical children’

    I haven’t managed to track it down completely (the Google links lead to subscription only papers) but it seems to be (pseudo-)scientific American for ‘adopted children’.

    I’m guessing ‘adopted’ has been deemed to traumatise so ‘logical’ is used to show that the children are every bit the same as their siblings, just not ‘bio’.

    Pass the sickbag.

  58. IMSoP said,

    February 3, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    Maybe “logical children” is what you have if you make your girlfriend “mathematically safe”?

  59. mr-zero said,

    February 3, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    I send an email complaint to LBC and got this nice reply
    “Ancient history – she’s been spoken to since. I’m sorry you were

    Jonathan Richards
    Programme Director LBC News 1152 & LBC 97.3
    Group Head of News Global Radio”

    Now that’s what I call service!

  60. Jo said,

    February 3, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    The googling I’ve managed for ‘logical children’ (which incidentally now includes this page, heh) implies that it’s a term used in computer code to refer to some sort of hierarchy. I couldn’t make head or tail of it to be honest.

    It also does refer to children who are logical… but I didn’t find anything about adoption, even though I desperately wanted further evidence of the lunacy 😉

    Maybe it was a genuine error – it was certainly in good company if it was.

    I might download the mp3, split it into five minute segments and play bits of it just to annoy myself when things are going too well…

  61. campermon said,

    February 3, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    I’ve been a lurker on this site for ages and ages…

    However, I felt compelled to register on account of Jeni’s radio show….

    The stupid…it burns!

    Is this woman for real?

  62. j said,

    February 3, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    “I don’t want my child to be fiddled with”.

    Understandable – but what does Jeni thinks happens when kids are vaccinated nowadays?

  63. campermon said,

    February 3, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Towards the end…

    Big cheers for caller ‘Jasmin’ who really sticks it to Jeni..

    “You’re doing a lot of damage…”


    “You don’t know what you’re talking about….you can’t even tell me what’s in an mmr vaccine..”

    This appeared to fluster the presenter..

    My faith in humanity was restored at this point after listening to far too much of the presenters drivel.

  64. julie oakley said,

    February 3, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    I’ve also made my complaint to
    Although she’s obviously irredeemably stupid, I think that on this particular broadcast Ms Barnett should be complained about so that hopefully the station might broadcast a programme to undo the damage she’s done.

  65. heavens said,

    February 3, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    To kooshster (#60):

    Vaccines are usually considered ‘biologics’ (like blood donations) instead of ‘drugs’ (like aspirin).

  66. trigfa said,

    February 3, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    “You don’t know what you’re talking about….you can’t even tell me what’s in an mmr vaccine..”

    ..ah yes, but she did explain that she could look it up on the Internet.

    Oh well, that’s all right then. The internet is such a reliable source (actually it probably makes her a qualified to be a Nutritionist)

  67. lopoz said,

    February 3, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Google blinkers. I searched for what I wanted to hear and I found a million billion sites.

  68. paulm said,

    February 3, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    This is unbelievably hard to listen to without pulling your own face off. I kind of now know how my missus feels when I’m listening to football phone ins and I promise to stop now.

  69. lopoz said,

    February 3, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    If I remember rightly she also accuses others of finding only what they want to hear. Scientific research is exactly the same as two minutes on google to these people.

  70. DannyTheBruce said,

    February 3, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    ARGH! All the way through this had me shouting out loud at my computer! This woman is unbelievable…

    Jeni: “I’m going to ask you something here, have you had the Flu jab? […] And still you’ve got the cold?”

    The GP caller was clearly taken aback when she revealed that fundamental ignorance!

    GP: “The vaccine protects you from INFLUENZA, it doesn’t protect you from cold…”


  71. willswain said,

    February 3, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    Brilliant. If you wanted to show someone what you meant by bad science, you could sit them in front of her ill informed introductory rant.

    I can only manage the broadcast in bitesize chunks, but the first caller summed it up when they pointed out that everything they knew about vaccinations they learnt from a course run by a homeopath. You couldn’t make it up, and frankly why would you want to.

  72. Ben Goldacre said,

    February 3, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    ah, excitingly it seems that Jeni Barnett has had a bee in her bonnet for quite a while. luckily she can have dinner in the ivy to recover from all those nasty doctors who ring into her show:

    Give us a choice

    Posted by Jeni in LBC | 27 March 2008


    I did not have any pudding at the Ivy!

    Today the programme was really grown up. We discussed the MMR jab and a doctor called in who was so rude, calling anything that wasn’t scientific ‘witchcraft’. Thankfully another doctor called in to apologise on behalf of other scientifically minded medics. The conclusion was that we should be given the choice of single jabs – something that the Government fail to recognise. There’s a fiscal incentive for doctors to give the triple jab – aint that cynical? Always bad decision making when there is personal profit to be had.

    Then we discussed HYPER-PARENTING, with an incredibly lovely author called CARL HONORE, a Canadian father who just happens to have a way with a pen. We are not doing well with our parenting skills, all over the globe, it seems. Most of us are too demanding. too scared, too controlling, too in the face of our youngsters. In Finland, one of the happiest places on earth, they dont even go to school until the age of seven and then no exams until they leave. Now that’s what learning is about, fun and games.

    Then we discussed computer games and why oh why do men always have to fight?

    I am in a pink dressing gown now, off out to a jazz gig in Covent Garden, so I had a little nap when I came in from the studio.

    It’s getting lighter and lighter the evenings. Now that really does make for fun and games.

    My last day in London tomorrow, then its off to the cottage for the weekend. Makes me sigh with contentment. cuthen

    1. At March 30, 2008 8:29 AM rhianon wrote:

    Yup, we live in a real nanny state, Jen. Judging by the constant lewd ‘revelations’ in the newspapers politicians haven’t yet mastered their own lives, and we are told the government and Whitehall knows whats best for us. God help us all. So why do politicians have the right to tell me how to live my life?

    They can give us the information we need and let us decide for ourselves. I would have happily carried on eating rib of beef when that ban was on, as I’m fortunate enough to know the source of the meat I eat. I have enough sense to know smokings bad for me, so I don’t. If I decide to smoke I’d like that to be my choice. I’m not so stupid that I drink to excess and fall over. Again, my choice. But the way these laws and regulations are surrounding and smothering us all we’ll soon have a generation of Britons unable to do anything for themselves. Why make a decison when Whitehall can direct me? Or was that Mr Orwells point all along?

    2. At March 30, 2008 11:00 AM Jay [manchester] wrote:

    hi Jeni, i heard that Dr refer to everything else as witchcraft. I was so tempted to call in but thought i didn’t want u taken off the air for the language i would have used. Its Drs like that who sent the petition to the BBC that has resulted in most of the complimentary therapy stuff being taken off their website. She is probably the type of person who thinks humanity can overcome nature, look how wrong they have been proved over the last few yrs with the Mother showing her unruly children who is still in charge.

    3. At April 1, 2008 7:10 PM mrs jones wrote:

    I went to The Ivy once – thought the food was decidedly average! However, I did meet Diana Rigg in the toilet! Nowadays, when I go to meet the Old Man on Friday after a long hard week in the classroom, we prefer The Wolseley! If someone is going to take me to a “good” restaurant on a Friday or Saturday, then I insist on a pudding – otherwise why go?

  73. The Biologista said,

    February 3, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    Oh that Nanny State. Always trying to make us immune to diseases. Just like Big Pharma. Always trying to make us immune to diseases.

  74. lopoz said,

    February 3, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    “Then we discussed computer games and why oh why do men always have to fight?”

    My girlfriend said the same thing yesterday walking in on a gears of war 2 horde session. Its a co-operative game, but try explaining that when you’re chainsawing the spine out of alien scum.

  75. Ben Goldacre said,

    February 3, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    not had a chance to listen to this yet but it certainly looks promising, if anybody wants to use audacity and edit down to just the mmr bits then do please ping me a smaller file:

  76. banshee said,

    February 3, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    There is so much to mine here –

    “we live in the 21st century…” well, I do, maybe a load of others do but you’re still stuck somewhere pre-enlightenment, Jen!

  77. Riffler said,

    February 4, 2009 at 12:28 am

    I know this is probably the least of her sins, and she’s definitely not alone in it – but are vaccination and inoculation now officially the same thing? I can’t remember the last time I heard the correct distinction made between the two terms.

  78. Riffler said,

    February 4, 2009 at 12:35 am

    And I do love people who use the word “fiscal” without knowing what it means. It saves me listening to anything else they say before classifying them as pretentious idiots.

  79. MRWAGER said,

    February 4, 2009 at 1:53 am

    “I am an individual indipendant human being, I have raised a biological child and two logical children…….”

    what is she talking about???

    what other type of children are their? robot ones? that might be made out of metal, which wouldn’t get a virus anyway, just a bit of rust.

    “two logical children…”

    so they wont have a clue what you’re talking about ether?

  80. DannyTheBruce said,

    February 4, 2009 at 2:32 am

    @ 43 mins 14 secs:

    Barnett: “The reason I’m able not to inoculate is because I have a BRILLIANT homeopath […] that and acupuncture, and I feel safe…”

    Well, with sugar pills and aligned ‘energy fields’ on your side, bring it on!

    @ 46 mins 49 secs:

    Barnett: “I take my health very responsibly…”

    Of course you do Jeni! Of course you do!

  81. biggerpills said,

    February 4, 2009 at 2:35 am

    MRWAGER, You can’t talk about ether, that’s a MAN-MADE CHEMICAL! I know because Sarah Beeny told me.

    If Jeni Barnett has two logical children, the logic allele must be recessive.

  82. Moganero said,

    February 4, 2009 at 8:44 am

    Does the operation to remove the birth trauma require a local or general anaesthetic? Neither I imagine would be good for a newborn, unless of course the birth trauma was life threatening.
    How can someone so stupid get a well paid job talking to millions?

  83. Dudley said,

    February 4, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Does she mention mercury, aluminium or thiomersal? If not, that’s yer extra anti-vaxxer canard right there.

  84. Lemonade Lily said,

    February 4, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Geeeeesusssss…..I only managed a few minutes but have a valium somewhere in the house I have been saving for emergencies…then I might make it through to sane GP.

    I have a fistful of incentives give her a triple jab (on the nose) – ain’t that cynical?

  85. vertigo93 said,

    February 4, 2009 at 11:42 am

    I’ve heard Ben be extremely polite (yet emphatic) on the radio with homeopaths, nutritionists and other quacks (cf, that detox diet woman on Radio 4) – surely a call into Barnett’s show wouldn’t go amiss? She might even listen to him rather than us proles.

    Or would she just test his patience to the limit?

  86. trigfa said,

    February 4, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    She’d probably just point out that he’s a doctor and therefore he’s paid to scare us (as she did with the GP who phoned in at the end)

    Her level of ignorance (and wilful ignorance at that) is just astounding

  87. michael said,

    February 4, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    been thinking a bit more about this and it draws parallels, to my mind, with the whole Ross/Brand sachsgate ‘affair’ – how about we all complain to ofcom about this program?

  88. Nudibranch said,

    February 4, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    It’s worth listening through to the end, where she gets absolutely schooled by a doctor. Jeni is a profound example of the “incompetent and unaware of it” type of person.

  89. walden said,

    February 4, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    “[Dr. Wakefield] wasn’t really allowed his say was he”

    I think he said more than enough. The caller at the end should be given a medal.

  90. Jo said,

    February 4, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Has anyone pinged over a smaller file? I’m listening to it now in Audacity (it’s two hours long) so can work on a bit of it, but don’t want to duplicate effort. Also I’m only going to work on it my lunchbreak and can do more later 😉

    I’m tempted to keep in the preamble about cranial osteopathy though…

  91. Jo said,

    February 4, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    … according to my paediatric cranial osteopath…

  92. chatsubo said,

    February 4, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    my favourite bit was she was talking about ’empirical wisdom’ (sic) and when then next caller mentioned that all available evidence found that MMR was safe, she instantly dismissed that fact as irrelevant.

    Plus, it amazes me and saddens me in equal measure, that some diligent team of researchers will spend years working on an meta-analysis to make the world a better place, and their results are dismissed out of hand as big pharma propaganda.

    But some half-baked homeopath puts up a website saying vaccines are wrong, and they are immediately accepted as the font of all wisdom.

    Having nothing better to do with my time, I also sent an email complaint to LBC –got a speedy and polite reply saying that she had been ‘given robust feedback for her comment’, but I think we should push for an on-air apology.

    If Jonathan Ross can cause a moral panic for making stupid phone calls, surely we deserve some Daily Mail righteous fury for a woman putting children’s lives at risk.

  93. Jo said,

    February 4, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Unfortunately it crashed my computer just as I had excerpted about 32 minutes of nonsense from it. Quality stuff – she almost threatened an emailer, who referred to her osteopath as a quack, with something akin to legal action for defamation.

    I think we need to create moral outrage by transcripting it. Things look much worse written than spoken 😉

  94. RTomsett said,

    February 4, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    @Jo: I’ve made a shortened file so don’t worry if you have better things to do (I haven’t…) :-)

    I’m quite tempted to edit all the contradictions so they’re heard next to each other, partly for the comedy, partly to illustrate the wrongness completely clearly (apparently it does need to be made bludgeoningly obvious). I should probably get some more hobbies.

  95. Jo said,

    February 4, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Thanks @RTomsett – back to work for me :)

  96. The Biologista said,

    February 4, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    “If Jonathan Ross can cause a moral panic for making stupid phone calls, surely we deserve some Daily Mail righteous fury for a woman putting children’s lives at risk.”

    Quite right Chatsubo. I do wonder what it takes to generate such a response. I suspect fitting the agenda of certain news outlets would be a major part of that.

  97. The Biologista said,

    February 4, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Sadly of course, “leave MMR alone” is certainly not a story the Daily Mail will run any time this century.–bubbly-little-girl-struggles-speak-walk-feed-herself.html

    Note the total lack of comments. Sure.

  98. Ginger Yellow said,

    February 4, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    “Quite right Chatsubo. I do wonder what it takes to generate such a response. ”

    Saying something that the Daily Mail doesn’t agree with wholeheartedly, presumably.

  99. Jeesh42 said,

    February 4, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    The first caller is priceless. “I went on a short course about vaccines… it was run by homeopaths.” Boom, and indeed, boom.

  100. FenKen said,

    February 4, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Reminds me a bit of the Erik von Daniken/Graham Hancock style of archaeological “theorising”. Graham Hancock spent a lot of time talking about how ridiculous Von Daniken’s theories were, as a cover for using the same techniques themselves.

    I love the idea (and I get this at work) that scientific thought can be disproved by debate, rather than by rigorous and systematic study (28 minutes).

    I’m taking her point.

  101. Jeesh42 said,

    February 4, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    Ha! And the second caller is brilliant and lucid. She doesn’t answer any of his questions and goes of on bizzare tangents. First she wants to hear from the experts. The caller tells her what all the experts on her radio station say, and she ain’t having none of it.

  102. rasanki said,

    February 4, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    This is now getting ridiculous – why was this even a topic for a 1 hour long radio show? This was less even-handed than the debates between homeopathy and ‘medicine’, and they were pretty shocking. Now that I’ve heard the broadcast (all in one go – check me out!), I think I might just complain about the appalling information that was given out. I’ve never heard hypocrisy spouted so blatantly on air before.

  103. Blaise Pascal said,

    February 5, 2009 at 2:12 am

    Yesterday I listened to a podcast from in which the hosts were willing to be accepting of Moon Hoax claims (they were willing to accept it as probably true that we landed on the moon) and were OK with the claim by an emailler that he had been possessed by the Egyptian god Horus. I unsubscribed from that podcast as soon as I was able.

    Today I had to check and double-check how Jeni Barnett’s crazy rantings got on my iPod. Who is this person? How did I get this recording? This is on Ben Goldacre’s podcast? And when is this going to be interrupted by Ben tearing her rant apart into tiny little pieces? I couldn’t listen to more than 5 minutes. “Most people are not the 1 in 15” indeed.

    Next time, could you add an intro to the podcast explaining what we are about to hear?

  104. kerledan said,

    February 5, 2009 at 7:14 am

    Over at young Jeni has come out of her corner fighting. What we need here is a debate, you see. Here is here challenge:

    “Posted by Jeni in | 5 February 2009

    Dear All,

    The reaction to the interview about the MMR jab is growing like a fungus.

    I am not a scientist, I would not claim to be a scientist. When tested on the contents of the MMR vaccine I told the truth. I did not have the facts to hand. Was I ill informed? Yes.As a responsible broadcaster I should have been better prepared as a parent, however, I can fight my corner. I don’t know everything that goes into cigarettes but I do know they are harmful.

    As a professional should I have been better prepared – YES – but the discussion took off in a direction I hadn’t expected when I received a vicious phone call from a Nurse I was utterly thrown. I won’t get thrown again.

    I find it interesting that the vitriol that comes out of the pro MMR lobby is precisely why Allopathic medicine is struggling. Most of us who seek alternatives allow others their position but often the ‘others’ have a real problem allowing us ours.

    Doesn’t change my mind though. The fact that I decided not to have my child jabbed was my decision alone. And it is a lonely decision. To be singled out and held totally responsible for a measles, mumps or rubella ‘epidemic’ is clearly ludicrous.

    Single jabs on demand? Why is that a problem?

    Injecting tiny babies with substances that may compromise their immune system needs to be looked at not shouted down.

    And I do not accept that my position, as a radio broadcaster, is irresponsible if I should choose to share my own personal dilemma. I would like some of my critics to try and run a three hour programme.

    I am interested in the debate not a witch hunt.

    Should anybody from BAD SCIENCE read this I urge you to continue the debate, and if it gets too heated there is always the option of turning me off.”

  105. madcyclist said,

    February 5, 2009 at 10:43 am

    Hmm informed decision my arse, refusing to have children immunised is just plain wrong. Just as it’s wrong to withhold life saving treatment from a child.

  106. EleanorC said,

    February 5, 2009 at 11:30 am

    It’s a really weird kind of backwardthink, isn’t it – you see exactly the same with creationists – the belief that not only is their ignorance as valid as anyone else’s information (“Was I ill informed? Yes … however, I can fight my corner”), they think it’s actually MORE valid because it’s untainted by knowledge.

  107. thepoisongarden said,

    February 5, 2009 at 11:49 am

    She’s obviously never heard the old saying about stopping digging.

    If she’d put on her blog just ‘As a professional should I have been better prepared – YES’ I’d be happy to leave LBC to decide how to make sure she’s does her job right in future.

    But she just keeps on digging.

    Suggesting that everything was fine until she received ‘a vicious phone call from a Nurse’ doesn’t wash because long before then she’d made her position completely clear, not least by inviting people to phone in as long as they were on her side.

    But, of course, we get to the core of the matter when she posts ‘I would like some of my critics to try and run a three hour programme’.

    It’s very simple. If you can’t do the job, don’t do the job.

  108. RTomsett said,

    February 5, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    “In any case, I think everyone will need to be quite gentle and not too shouty.”

    Yes. She’s obviously very sympathetic with the anti-vaccine camp (even if she does claim to try to be impartial) and so far the more vigorous attempts at explaining why MMR isn’t evil just seem to push her further that way.

  109. njd said,

    February 5, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    That final caller (the GP, or was she in fact a nurse?) really got to her, didn’t she?
    The caller made a serious point about people with weak immune systems (on chemotherapy, for instance) being jeopardised by children whose parents chose not to immunise them, but was pretty much ignored (drowned out) by JB.

    That’s her trouble: she talks too much and doesn’t listen enough.

    She’s an ignorant, rude and stupid woman, because she doesn’t listen.

  110. DS said,

    February 5, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Jeni Barnett: to steal the immortal words of Mike Myers form the Wayne’s World film poster, “You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll hurl”.

    Pretty much the reaction her vapid rambling idiocy provoked in me.

    The worst part is that here audience share in London will be appreciable and that oe people might actually swallow this arschgnoddle (look it up!).

  111. A full time unpaid carer said,

    February 5, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Oh good grief, I often read the comments from you guys before listening to audio clips so I can get a feel for what I’m going into.
    Reading all this feedback = I’m frightened! Someone hold my hand please…and if I fail to return….call…

  112. The Biologista said,

    February 5, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    “That’s her trouble: she talks too much and doesn’t listen enough.

    She’s an ignorant, rude and stupid woman, because she doesn’t listen.”

    She sort of reminds me of Bill O’Reilly. I once watched him interview Dawkins on his show. He quite literally spoke for 75% of the interview, not counting the scoffing interruptions that Dawkins managed to ignore.

  113. gimpyblog said,

    February 5, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    I posted this on her blog, wonder if it will get through
    If you truly want to present a balanced view of the MMR issues then you have to base that view on the best available scientific evidence. Like this Cochrane review that argues:

    1. There is no credible link between the MMR vaccine and any long-term disability, including Crohn’s disease and autism.

    2. MMR is an important vaccine that has prevented diseases that still carry a heavy burden of death and complications where the vaccine is not used consistently.

    3. The lack of confidence in MMR has caused great damage to public health.

    4. People arguing for or against the use of any therapy need to make sure that they base their conclusions on carefully collected evidence, not just on biased opinion, speculation or suspicion.

  114. ammckie said,

    February 5, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    This matter was dealt with at the time. It is an old broadcast.

    Jonathan Richards
    Programme Director LBC News 1152 & LBC 97.3
    Group Head of News Global Radio

    reply i received from my complaint. i had to read it twice for a typo of broadcast with broadcaster

  115. michael said,

    February 5, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    I actually made it through the entire thing yesterday – it really has to be heard to be believed, her tone and attitude is appalling and she’s unbelievably biased – overtly sympathetic to those that share her view, hostile to those who don’t. I think it’s a major editorial failing that she (and her production team) planned to have this discussion without not just getting an informed, balanced opinion from a media-savvy ‘pro-MMR’ representative; worse still, she doesn’t really manage to back her own story up with anything but anecdote and garbage. Not only that but her blog response shows that she clearly doesn’t believe she really did anything wrong.

    Does anyone know the exact broadcast date and time of the show? I strongly believe this show warrants an official Ofcom complaint.

  116. RoyFFP said,

    February 5, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that she also didn’t know the difference between influenza and a cold!

    I just can’t remember when I have been so angry as I was when listening to this programme (via Ben’s podcast)!! And what about the denouement!

  117. j said,

    February 5, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Have blogged Jeni’s very sincere acknowledgement of what she got wrong –

  118. oldbearchris said,

    February 5, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    I just looked her up on wiki:

    “As part of a new Sunday schedule Jeni was given a new 2 hour programme talking about her passion – Food. A further change on 7 January 2008 saw Jeni move to weekday afternoons, 1-4pm, as part of the new weekday line up. The programme is a topical debate featuring aspects of news and views, in which the public are encouraged to call in with their “thoughts”, and on which Jeni causes much hilarity by displaying her ignorance on a range of subjects from the “dangers” of MMR vaccination[2] to pretty much everything.”

    It also has a link to this blog article.

    Excellent piece here, Ben, and I loved your book.

  119. Moganero said,

    February 5, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    I presume that some people still have a recording of the program for their own use. I couldn’t find the podcast of it: what date was it broadcast?
    I’m sure Ben’s publicising it has improved LBC’s ratings.

  120. michael said,

    February 5, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    she’s responded:

    “I thank those of you who have sent me information about sites that may be of use to me.

    I thank the Bad Scientist for being just that. Sarcasm doesn’t shift peoples opinions. Making another person feel small because they don’t have a Bad Science degree and then nit-picking over semantics is not the answer either.

    I care about humanity my way, and you Bad Scientist yours.

    To all of you Bad scientists, who are SO angry with me, good luck with your research. Should you fall ill I will attend you as best I can with my motherly love. Should I fall ill, as a non paid up member of your club, will you administer to me? And should I refuse your drugs then what?”

    Which kind of speaks for itself.

    Interesting to note that Andrew Wakefield appears to have commented to her previous article, offering to send her information. At least this might actually result in her doing (some) research.

  121. zeno said,

    February 5, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    Damn! I wish I had a crystal ball and had downloaded her show before they forced you to remove it.

  122. EleanorC said,

    February 5, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    Oh dear. Not only dim and shrill, litigious too. I expect she’ll go far.

  123. kerledan said,

    February 6, 2009 at 7:07 am

    Rise in measles:

    There’s been a considerable increase in measles cases.


    Oh dear.

    (still trying to be gentle, but firm, and non-shouty…..trying…lol)

  124. Cathryn said,

    February 6, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    Complaints to LBC and Ofcom. It’s quite dangerous, perhaps close to child abuse, to advocate taking unimmunised children to visit ones who’ve got diseases like mumps or measles.

    The reply from LBC says they think its a pity there is so much focus on this debate. That’ll teach them to mess with my favourite Doctor / columnist!

  125. gildedtumbril said,

    February 8, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    If only 50% takeup of MMR in London how come all the wee kiddiewinkies are no dropping deed?
    I have long believed that the FLU Jab is a handy way of ‘assisting’
    the dispatch of around 40,000
    pensioners a year from ‘Cold related illnesses’ Thus facilitating a huge annual cull of pensions.
    Of course the FLU jab might need some assistance from the water supply via stratopheric climate tampering. It is happening on a daily, and secret basis.

  126. pseudomonas said,

    February 8, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    gildedtumbril: it’s the lizard people organizing it, right? If you’ve long believed it, it must be true :)

  127. mikewhit said,

    February 9, 2009 at 12:17 am

    I think a confusing factor lending credibility to the anti-vaccine anecdotes is the possibility of vaccine side-effects, as mentioned e.g. here:

    I’m sure Ben can come up with some data on PubMed on this.

    The CDC item includes frequency of side-effects for the various vaccines.

    However, none of the side-effects include the issues mentioned by Jeni and her supporters.

    But just because a child has an allergic reaction does not then imply a subsequent condition was a result of the vaccine.

    It does behove the ‘establishment’ to properly investigate any apparently post-vaccine conditions to correctly identify allergies and unrelated but contemporary conditions.

    Additionally it might be of benefit to better understand what contributes to side-effects in those typically 1-in-100,000 cases – for example, environmental factors, sensitisation by earlier infections, genotype, breast/bottle feeding (!) …

  128. mikewhit said,

    February 9, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Mention of the LBC lawyers stifling the BS website on this morning’s R4 Start The Week !

  129. mikewhit said,

    February 9, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    And as a riposte to those seeing the vx side-effects stats and saying, “Told you so” I would just add that the “side-effects” of catching one of the ‘real’ bugs such as measles occur 100% of the time and make you poorly, sometimes _very_.

    Official bloke on Today programme estimated death rate had been 1 per 1000 cases in the unimmunised, IIRC.

  130. mikewhit said,

    February 9, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Incidentally, why don’t we have people complaining about the polio vaccine, since they complain about MMR ?

    Or is it “needle – bad, sugar-lump – good” ?

  131. mikewhit said,

    February 9, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Homoeopaths say, “vaccinate”:

  132. mikewhit said,

    February 10, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Everyone gone next door ?

  133. mikewhit said,

    February 10, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    mandrill said (next door),

    February 10, 2009 at 3:01 am

    This kind of magical thinking cannot be tolerated in the media of the 21st century. Jeni Barnett should be pilloried and shown up as the ignoramus that she is.

    Don’t think that attitude is very constructive … IMHO.

  134. K-Dog said,

    February 10, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    I am so grateful Yasmin was the last caller. She made listening to the rest of that drivel (with the exception of one or two others) at least tolerable.

    Jeni is one smug, arrogant and ill-informed customer isn’t she?

  135. Bernadette Lynn said,

    February 11, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    I don’t know why people would bother with the MMR anyway when there’s a cure for measles and every other ailment known to man – probably even autism and ignorance.

    Of course, the research hasn’t been peer-reviewed or duplicated or anything but it would have been if it weren’t for the power of the big evil corporations.

    Maybe Jeni Barnett is the perfect crusading loner to publicise this wonderful product.

  136. Pro-reason said,

    February 15, 2009 at 9:25 am

    I’ve finally actually listened to the broadcast.

    I think Ben and the rest of you are too harsh. She really isn’t that bad. She wasn’t that strident or shrill, and seemed quite open to discussion. She doesn’t know how to correctly use all the fancy technical lingo that we sciency types like, but she makes no claim to.

    A more softly-softly approach with her might have been more productive.

  137. rustum said,

    April 15, 2009 at 7:42 am

    This is for Ben Goldacre on homeopathy

    Please look up Rustum Roy PhD Penn Univ. and you will find some interesting news regarding the memory of water, and other novelties.

    he also quotes ANwhitehead British famous mathematician and philosopher as follows:

    Nothing is more curious than the self satisfied dogmatism with which manking cherishes the delusion of its existing modes of knowledge…

    Skeptics and believers are all alike. At this moment scientists and skeptics are the leading dogmatists.
    Advance in detail is admitted, fundamental novelty is banned.

    Ben, you seem agile and clever, I hope in the future ou will use it judiciously for your offspring.

    about MMR – babies in the US have been videod before and after the vaccinations and the videos showed the utter and complete diminished normal reactions after the shots. The parents sued and were paid millions, but what are millions for Merck or any other company – peanuts, you should know.

    I have seven grandchildren none but one were jabbed or orrally given any vaccinations. You should see the difference betweenthem and the jabbed kids in regard to conduct and qualifications. The one kid that was jabbed, suffered for two years from respiratory diseases, luckily treated with homeopathy only. otherwise he would have become asmathic today (he is 10 yers old) a very creative child, brainy, good footballer and a protective brother to his siblings.

    Look into Roy Rustum PhD ask him about the memory of water and let us know! Truthful Science at last!

  138. wayscj said,

    November 21, 2009 at 6:15 am

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