Breaking News – Biggest Threat To Your Health Is…The Daily Mail
Remember 1998? It was the year of Titanic, it was the year Google was founded and it was the year George Michael was found doing naughty things in a toilet. It was also the year in which The Lancet, one of the world’s most respected medical journals, published an article that seemed to show a link between the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccination and autism. The world went mental. Suddenly the papers were filled with headlines about how your healthy toddler was almost certainly going to develop this disorder the second the needle went in. In 2002 alone, 1257 articles were published about the scare. Thousands of worried parents stopped their children from getting the jag, deeming it to be too great a risk. What happened? By 2008, the country was in the grip of a mumps epidemic and measles was declared endemic in the UK for the first time in 14 years. What must have been a very difficult decision for parents to make could have been made a lot easier by this week’s news. The report was rubbish.
The Flawless Logic Behind the MMR Scare
The Lancet has made a full retraction of the article, the report’s lead researcher, Dr Andrew Wakefield, is facing a General Medical Council tribunal and the newspapers’ ten year run of scare stories has been made to look a bit silly. While the medical community has known for quite some time that there is absolutely no evidence of a link between MMR and autism, the newspaper scare stories kept the fear alive. Why? Because fear sells papers. Never mind the potential damage to people’s lives, the babies killed by measles, the old lady who dies because she’s scared to take her blood pressure tablets – readers are scared of what vital information they could be missing by not buying the paper. Pick up any copy of the Daily Mail or Take a Break and turn to the health section. Every day something different is giving you cancer, a different medication is apparently unnecessary or a new treatment is going to kill you. Its irresponsible reporting and it can damage lives. These articles aren’t written by doctors, they’re written by journalists and cobbled together from hearsay, taken out of context and bent to suit their message. No-one wants to hear about the 19,999,999 people whose lives were saved, let’s hear about the one person whose hair fell out! (and whose life was also saved, but that bit isn’t important) This is what capitalism is about: make money at any cost. Its easy to get taken in by newspapers and magazines pretending to care about your health but they just want you to stay scared enough to keep buying their rag. The whole MMR scare could have been over years ago if it wasn’t for the fact that it sold papers. Check out kill-or-cure.heroku.com for a full list of what the Daily Mail says will either cause or cure cancer and you’ll soon see that either they aren’t to be believed or we’re all going to die pretty soon. And don’t forget that if you ever do worry about biscuits causing cancer, the best person to ask is your doctor or pharmacist. If only That’s Life magazine asked them, some more kids might be alive today.