Lancet Retracts Groundbreaking Paper
Today The Lancet retracted a paper published in 1998, which fueled the controversy over the link between vaccines and autism.
The paper, a report on "Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children," by Wakefield AJ, Murch SH, Anthony A, et al, was the result of a study examining 12 children ages 3-10 suffering chronic enterocolitis and regressive developmental disorder after a period of normal development.
The authors concluded the behavioral regression was "generally associated in time with possible environmental triggers," namely, the mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
The Lancet published a statement online stating it fully retracts the paper and will issue a replacement imminently, following judgement from the United Kingdom's General Medical Council's Fitness to Practise Panel, which identified several elements from the paper that are incorrect.
"In particular, the claims in the original paper that children were 'consecutively referred' and that investigations were 'approved' by the local ethics committee have been proven to be false," the statement reads (see it here).