Conspiracy Theories: ‘Vaccines Cause Autism’ Believed By Many Americans

Conspiracy theories involving medicine and health are actually some of the most believed by Americans. Chief among them is the idea that autism, MMR vaccine, and other medical maladies are linked, with about 20 percent believing there is a problem.

In a related report by The Inquisitr, actress Kristin Cavallari refuses to have her children vaccinated due to alleged autism risks.

The vaccine conspiracy theories started way back in 1996 when Dr. Andrew Wakefield released a paper declaring stomach disorders, autism, and MMR vaccines to be linked. Years later, lawsuits related to autism and the MMR vaccine conspiracy theories led to pharmaceutical companies paying out massive monetary awards, totaling in the millions, to the victims in an attempt to compensate for alleged damages.

Belief in medical conspiracy theories is not limited to just vaccines. More than a third of Americans say the FDA is purposefully hiding a cancer cure due to corporate lobbying. Another 12 percent all believe the CIA infected Africa with HIV, water fluoride is used to cover up pollution problems, and that GMO foods are a conspiracy theory to reduce the world’s population. Out of all these different conspiracy theories, an amazing 80 percent of Americans supposedly believe at least one of them.

Eric Oliver, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago, says “public mistrust is understandable” since the issues involved are complicated and companies are out there trying to make a buck… sometimes will breaking government regulations. But the biggest factor is that people are distrustful of big medicine and the corporate structure of hospitals:

“One of the things that struck us is that people who embrace these beliefs are not less health conscious. They’re just less likely to embrace traditional medicine.”

Non-traditional doctors are more likely to prescribe giving vaccines one at a time over a longer period in order to avoid any potential risk. But the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims the link between vaccines and autism is false:

“The CDC noted that the current childhood vaccination schedule lists more vaccines than the 1990s schedule. However, because of more targeted drug design, children today are exposed to only 315 antigens by the age of two, compared to the thousands of antigens that they would have been exposed to during the time period of the 1990s children in the study. Yet, even with that high exposure to the antigens, the children showed no link between getting the vaccines and having an autism spectrum disorder.”

A 2004 review of epidemiological studies by the US Institute of Medicine found no evidence MMR vaccines caused autism. Because of these studies, some say Dr. Wakefield’s anti-vaccination campaign should be blamed for a measles outbreaks. Others say the beliefs surrounding the conspiracy theories may have caused the number of measles cases in the Untied States to double since 2011.

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