In 1990 I founded The National Anxiety Center as a clearinghouse for information about scare campaigns designed to influence public opinion and policies. I have spent the time since then doing what I could to educate the public, but the lesson learned is that old scares often do not die even when debunked, and new ones are always waiting to be sprung.
One organization I came to admire over the years is the American Council on Science and Health. They have done an enormous amount of good, vigorously exposing the scare mongers. They recently published “The Top Ten Unfounded Scares of 2011” and it’s worth visiting a few.
Their number one scare of 2011 was one concerning the HPV vaccine. The enemies of medicine in general and pharmacology in particular are always doing their best to keep people from protecting themselves against illness. Two vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix, protect against human papillomavirus (HPV), a routine vaccination for girls aged 11 or 12. HTP, types 16 and 18, “are responsible for 70 percent of all cervical cancers.” The scare originated with a study published in The lancet that claimed a link to autism. The study has long since been retracted, not to mention proven to be “entirely fraudulent.”