X-Files Star Amanda Peet Speaks Out Against Anti-Vaccine Autism Groups
X-Files: I Want to Believe star Amanda Peet has spoken out against the “fringe medical groups and parent advocacy groups who claim that vaccines cause autism, or that they have too many “toxins,” or “viral challenges” for our tiny babies’ bodies to handle.” In an article in Cookie Magazine, Peet is quoted saying “Frankly, I feel that parents who don’t vaccinate their children are parasites.”
Peet’s comments are consistent with the medical community’s growing concern that parents will not vaccinate their children out of a false fear that such vaccinations could cause Autism. Scientific studies have repeatedly found no link between vaccines and Autism and parents’ fears to vaccinate their children are leading to outbreaks in the United States. Thiomersal, which contains mercury, was largely removed from vaccines a couple of years ago and the rate of autism diagnoses has continued to increase.
Read on for more information and links.
Peet’s comments are significant because she is one of the first celebrities to speak out against the pseudoscientific approach taken by a number of autism organizations. Much like the Scientology cult, these anti-vaccine fringe groups heavily rely on celebrity endorsements to convince individuals to get on board. ‘Stars’ such as Jenny McCarthy are responsible for much of the press coverage given to these fringe autism groups.
Peet responded to an organized campaign of letter writing spurred by a blog sympathetic to the anti-vaccine movement. She apologized for using the term parasite, although she did not back down from her denouncement of anti-vaccine groups’ pseudoscientific claims. In her response, Peet states that “it’s irresponsible to suggest that virtually the entire medical community, and the CDC, and the American Academy of Pediatrics are behind a massive cover-up about vaccine safety.”
Peet points out that due to fears of vaccines, there have been outbreaks of deadly diseases such as measles in the United States. How many outbreaks will it take before these fringe groups realize exactly the extent to which their campaigns of fear are irresponsible and dangerous to public safety?
Hopefully more celebrities will speak out in defense of public health before enough people begin dying from cured diseases that the public realizes just how dangerous it is not to vaccinate our children.
Update: I found Salon article covering the incident.
Autistic blogger Alex Plank owns, runs, and develops WrongPlanet.net, the online resource and community for Autism.