SOURCE: Center for Medicine in the Public Interest

November 11, 2008 14:32 ET

CMPI Responds to Katie Couric and CBS Evening News' Coverage of Vaccines and Autism Myth

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - November 11, 2008) - Center for Medicine in the Public Interest (CMPI) has released a statement by its Vice President and Director of Programs Dr. Robert Goldberg regarding the recent coverage by CBS Evening News linking vaccines and autism:

"In recent years Katie Couric and the CBS Evening News have gone after vaccine makers and the make-believe link between vaccines and autism, taking up the cause of trial attorneys on the one hand and glossing over the scientific data demonstrating no relationship on the other."

Goldberg points out CBS Evening News has aired six stories over the past two-and-a-half years that included extremist views of vaccines and autism. Specifically, he highlights a CBS Evening News segment that aired on July 15, 2005 that included commentary by environmental extremist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.; another segment that aired on June 11, 2007 that reported on hardships of the parents of an autistic child and their fight to win money from a federal fund for "vaccine damages"; and the most recent segment that aired in June 2008 that attempted to discredit scientists and organizations who support immunization because they receive support from vaccine companies.

Additionally, Goldberg notes CBS Evening News gave little fanfare to a press release distributed by the California Department of Public Health that summarized the findings of a recent report citing the lack of data supporting thimerosal as a cause of autism.

Goldberg contends the arrival of reporter Heather Won Tesoriero to CBS Evening News is another signal the program will continue to air unsubstantiated stories that needlessly scare people about their health. Goldberg notes Heather Won Tesoriero has a "history of covering attacks that were started by big class-action law firms" and in her past work as a Wall Street Journal health reporter she covered health claims that were allegedly the result of environmental conditions and other purported health fraud topics.

Goldberg concludes, "No one should be surprised if she brings the same sources, bias and unbalanced reporting to CBS."

About CMPI:

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a research-based organization that analyzes the value of new medicines and genomic and molecular-based medical innovation from the consumer's perspective. On the Web at http://www.cmpi.org and http://www.drugwonks.com.

More on Vaccines and Autism:

CDC Vaccines and Autism: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/vaccines.htm

AAP FAQ: Immunizing Your Child: http://www.cispimmunize.org/fam/facts/SafetyFAQ.pdf

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Robert Goldberg, PhD
    Vice President The Center for Medicine in the Public Interest
    212-417-9169
    rgoldberg@cmpi.org