STATS ARTICLES 2007

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CBS Softballs Doctor Promoting Dangerous Therapy for Autism
Maia Szalavitz, April 17, 2007
Chelation? Mercury in vaccines? Quack, quack! Have CBS producers heard of the Centers for Disease Control, Google?

CBS This Morning today promoted a new book by Dr. Kenneth Bock, titled Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies: The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A Disorders, with an author interview. On its website, the segment was headlined “Autism: More Treatable Than Thought? Expert: It Is, Along With ADHD, Asthma, Allergies.”

But anchor Harry Smith failed to even mention that Bock supports the idea that autism is caused by mercury in vaccines – a connection which is not supported by scientific evidence, despite repeated studies of the issue. Smith didn’t even ask about it. 

Worse, he didn’t question Bock about his use of chelation to treat autism, a method of removing heavy metals from the blood that has already killed at least one autistic child, and is completely unproven as a treatment for autism.

Smith asked one non-softball question: Whether anything more than anecdotes supported Bock’s treatment approach. But he allowed Bock to claim some published research backs it and studies are planned without asking for more specifics.

It’s one thing to cover a controversial new medical book by exploring both sides of the issue and by letting the audience know that the author’s ideas are contentious. It’s quite another to claim extraordinary results without requiring evidence and fail to even inform viewers that some treatments promoted by the book’s author have resulted in death and are far outside the medical mainstream.


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