AutismOne is part of a large and very wealthy network of anti-vaccine activists. Until this year, the AutismOne conference was called AutismOne/Focus For Health, but this year they have dropped Focus For Health from the name, despite Focus for Health being their primary source of funding. Both AutismOne and Focus for Health have significant financial ties to other anti-vaccination powerhouses such as the NVIC and Generation Rescue, Jenny McCarthy’s organization, although the affiliation with Generation Rescue was dropped in 2014.
A 2015 report from CNN outlined the financial connections between these organizations. Much of the anti-vaccine propaganda can be traced back to a few sources who have used their wealth to make it appear as if there is a large group of independent scientists supporting this movement. However, these are not independent organizations funding independent scientists. The few families and individuals responsible for funding the organizations are arguably financially responsible for the entire anti-vaccination, anti-autism movement.
A comment on the CNN story from the Left Brain Right Brain blog can be found here.
Harpocrates Speaks discusses the issues of funding in anti-vaccination research here.
…there are very, very wealthy individuals and groups behind the anti-vaccine movement. They have the resources to gin up studies that appear to support them, fund PR campaigns to spread their misinformation and lobbying legislators. I only highlighted two. There are plenty of others, like Barry Segal, Gary Kampothecras, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., businessman and founder of Generation Rescue J.B. Handley.
More info on the financial links between Generation Rescue and Andrew Wakefield’s Strategic Autism Initiative: here.
A few highlights about the finances of Andrew Wakefield’s non-profit, Strategic Autism Initiative (more details in the linked posts):
- Only 13% of money in 2010-2012 went to grants and these grants went to some questionable studies, including studies carried out by the Geiers
- More than half of the donations go to paying salary for Wakefield and Terry Arranga of AutismOne
- They have done little to actually benefit autistic people or further research