Anti-vaxers launch a defamation case against Offit, Wallace and Wired

In November 2009, Amy Wallace wrote a pro-vaccination article focusing on Paul Offit for Wired Magazine.  It was a fantastic and well-researched article which highlighted the unscientific claims that anti-vaxers use to instil fear in parents.  When it went live the anti-vaxers were not impressed and “fought” back by trying to discredit Wallace.

Now, one of these anti-vaxers, Barbara Loe Fisher from the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC),  is so offended by how she and her views were portrayed in this article that on December 23rd she filed a defamation case against Offit, Wallace and Wired magazine.  Read about this case over at The Sceptics’ Book of Pooh-Pooh.

Now if the quote by Offit is correct then Fisher may have a case against him for defaming her by saying that she lies, but I think Fisher is really grasping at straws by trying to also sue Wallace and Wired as well.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the US courts and if the judge decides to throw any of it out due to lack of evidence.

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4 responses to “Anti-vaxers launch a defamation case against Offit, Wallace and Wired

  1. I guess the thing with calling her a liar would be that if she truly believes what she is saying then she is not lying as such.

  2. Pingback: Barbara Loe Fisher: “Not a person to be believed” | MNH Kids – Ideas & Advice on Child Autism

  3. Hey, what are your thoughts on something being ‘Scientifically Proven’. I see and hear that phrase everywhere these days. Can something be scientifically proven, or just not scientifically disproven yet?

    • In the strict sense of the term, yes things can be scientifically proven. We have scientifically proven that vaccines work by collecting 20 plus years worth of data that shows that when the majority of the population are vaccinated that disease rates drop and some viruses are even driven to extinction. We can scientifically prove that a drug works by holding a random double blind study where half of the group is given the drug and the other half a sugar pill and it has shown that the group getting a drug show more of an improvement than those who don’t.

      However, the phrase ‘Scientifically proven’ has been corrupted by marketing to the point where it really doesn’t mean anything. Unless the company that promotes a product as being ‘scientifically proven’ provides the references for those case studies, then those words are meaningless. Even then those case studies can be poorly constructed and even fraudulent to achieve the results the company wants. When a product has the words “scientifically proven” screaming at me, I tend to completely disbelieve it, at least until I have had the chance to research it myself. (And yes, I am that much of a nerd that I do).