CLEVELAND — A Cleveland Clinic doctor who wrote a column laced with anti-vaccine rhetoric appeared to retract his commentary Sunday, but will face disciplinary action for publishing it without authorization, the health system said.

Dr. Daniel Neides, whose column spouted a widely discredited theory that vaccines are linked to autism — and whose comments sparked an online uproar — issued a brief statement through a Cleveland Clinic spokeswoman.

“I apologize and regret publishing a blog that has caused so much concern and confusion for the public and medical community,” the statement said. “I fully support vaccinations and my concern was meant to be positive around the safety of them.”

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In an accompanying statement, Cleveland Clinic spokeswoman Eileen Sheil said “appropriate disciplinary action will be taken” against Neides. The statement noted that Neides’s column was published without authorization, but did not specify what discipline he might face.

The column was published Friday on a blog on the news site cleveland.com. By Sunday afternoon, it had been removed. The clinic said it had requested the post be taken down on Neides’s behalf.

The clinic has declined to make Neides available for an interview.

In his commentary, Neides, a family doctor and the director and chief operating officer of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, said that preservatives and other ingredients in vaccines are dangerous and are likely behind the increase in diagnosed cases of neurological diseases such as autism — a claim that has long been discredited by researchers.

“Does the vaccine burden — as has been debated for years — cause autism? I don’t know and will not debate that here. What I will stand up and scream is that newborns without intact immune systems and detoxification systems are being over-burdened with PRESERVATIVES AND ADJUVANTS IN THE VACCINES,” he wrote. Adjuvants are added to vaccines to prompt a stronger immune response.

His comments triggered a firestorm on social media, with doctors sharply criticizing Neides for his apparent endorsement of debunked notions that have fueled an anti-vaccination movement based on conspiracy theories and unproven opinions. Some have called on the clinic to act quickly and harshly against Neides, while others have asserted that his comments undermine the clinic’s mission to provide sound, evidence-based medical care to its patient.

In its statement Sunday, the clinic sought to further distance itself from Neides’s comments. “Cleveland Clinic is fully committed to evidence-based medicine,” the statement said. “Harmful myths and untruths about vaccinations have been scientifically debunked in rigorous ways. We completely support vaccinations to protect people, especially children who are particularly vulnerable.”

Neides’s Wellness Institute provides “world-class medical care and quality wellness programs to change unhealthy behaviors and to make healthy life choices,” according to its website. But to the wider medical community, the claims that Neides espoused did not promote “healthy life choices.” Instead, they said, these statements were downright dangerous.

Dr. Benjamin Mazer, a resident physician in pathology at Yale-New Haven Hospital who tweeted that the article was “one of the most vile, false things I have ever read by a doctor,” said in an interview that it wasn’t an isolated event.

“This is really part of a larger movement that distrusts mainstream medicine, distrusts mainstream public health, and really trades in conspiracy theories,” he told STAT. “This article is a really prime example of that. It’s just a shame that it’s a physician spreading these conspiracy theories because people naturally trust physicians.”

  • Jay Kanta is obviously working for some pharmaceutical lobbyists.. OF COURSE VACCINE INJURY IS REAL. There is a tax on every vaccine administered which goes into a federal fund for the vaccine injured, which has paid out over 3 billion dollars as of today. The science behind vaccine safety is a joke. The “scientists” don’t use a true placebo. How can you say it’s real science without a double blind saline placebo being used? OH, BECAUSE IT’S NOT. If the CDC used real science, the truth would get out and people would stop worshipping the very thing that is poisoning and making their kids so sick. Open your eyes people! Some Doctors, like Dr. Neides, are aware of the very real dangers of vaccines and are getting chastised for coming forth with that information. Keep lying to yourself people and telling yourself that they’re safe. We have the sickest children of almost all the developed nations with highest amount of vaccines on the schedule, not to mention highest cases of SIDS. SO SAD.

    • So much false information and anti-vaccine propaganda in this post!

      Kelly, do you realize that the study you’re asking for would be a repeat of the infamous Tuskegee experiments? It would be unethical, dangerous, and illegal. Additionally, it would be pointless because we wouldn’t learn anything new because we have so much data from other studies, some of which are even better than double-blind placebo studies.

    • Thank you for not telling us about your lack of an education, Kelly.

      For one, the rates of SIDS has dropped dramatically, somewhat due to vaccines:

      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X07002800

      Again, vaccines are 99.999% safe, which is a very very high amount of safety:

      http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2014/06/26/peds.2014-1079

      I’m not an employee of any pharmaceutical, and I never have been. I’m an independent scientist that reviews research, as an expert in research methodologies.

    • That’s ridiculous. Science is always changing and evolving. And to say you wouldn’t want a TRUE study done with a TRUE placebo is ignorant. Why wouldn’t you want to see real results? Why is it threatening to you? I’m not anti vaccination, I’m pro science (the unbiased kind that uses saline placebos) and for safer vaccines.
      That 99% statistic is taken from the current science (which is based on LIES). Hopefully new studies will be done sooner than later, thanks to this new appointment, so we can get some safer vaccines for our children.
      And Jay, thanks for showing just how much of a cyber bully you are.
      -The uneducated, educated Mom.

    • “And to say you wouldn’t want a TRUE study done with a TRUE placebo is ignorant.”

      Again, because you don’t understand the science doesn’t make it wrong.

      Using adjuvant based placebo is an acknowledged practice that doesn’t change the ultimate outcome. That you don’t understand doesn’t make it wrong.

      “That 99% statistic is taken from the current science (which is based on LIES). ”

      I see you have no evidence it is based on lies. That’s because your kind is full of psychological projection and not logic and science. You’re laughably uneducated.

    • Again Kelly, the study you’re asking for would be both dangerous and illegal.

      Why would you disregard all of the other valid studies in preference of a bad one? Why wouldn’t you want to see real results? Why is it threatening to you?

    • Jay, the thing is, I DO understand science. I understand they’re testing the vaccine against something almost identical to the ingredients in that same vaccine, NOT a saline placebo. Keep up your internet trolling on every single comment in this forum… You’re proving how much of a tool you really are. Take care, sweetie, I’m signing off.
      – the uneducated educated Mom

    • The only other ingredient is an aluminum salt, which is approved by real scientists as a valid placebo to rule out local site irritation.

      So no, you don’t know anything about the science. You’ve lied about everything you’ve tried to claim. SIDS rates are lower than ever, and the only reason the US has “higher” rates is due to other factors. You can’t even support your idiotic idea that vaccines are a factor in SIDS.

  • What happened to do no harm. Doctors have no education in vaccines, therefore, should not be allowed to say they are safe. Ask your doctor. Time to go after the lying doctors for not stating there are side effects as stated on the vaccine inserts. You are guilty of not giving patients the whole story on vaccines. If they are safe why is there a government fund for vaccine injury?

    • 99.999% safe, they are low risk. The benefits are far greater than the risks.

      As well, doctors are trained in vaccines. And the inserts do NOT list side effects, they list the adverse events that occurred during the trials of the vaccine that may or may not be caused by the vaccine. Don’t complain about “lying doctors” if you lie about vaccines, yourself.

  • There is more compelling evidence that sasquatch exists than there is that vaccine causes autism.

    • No kidding about compelling evidence being missing when the profiteers attack so viciously any discussion that goes against their personal interest. Who dares to speak up against such censorship. Let there be open discussion and quit trying to shame and discredit truth seekers. Shame on you Toby Cosgrove.

    • There are no side effects listed in inserts and that particular vaccine hasn’t been used in a long time.

      Please stop lying, Jean.

  • I am a retired RN, gave lots of vaccine and believed what I was told to believe. My 1987 Merck Manual says autism was one of several rare pediatric psycosis, occurring in just 4-5 per 10,000 children. It is now 1 in 58 children per the CDC and what you insist on telling us is you don’t know what causes it, but you know for sure vaccines aren’t. I watched Julie Gerberding , head of the CDC, tell Sanjay Gupta on CNN March 29th, 2008 House Call that Hannah Polling’s 18 month immunization, 9 at one time, caused “symptoms that have characteristics of autism” in combination with a mitochondrial disorder. Studies have shown that same disorder may be present in as many as 1 in 50 children. No one is testing for it before they start giving that 1st vaccine at 12 hours old. We don’t trust you any more because we can’t even ask the logical questions. We know what the published studies are showing, even those presented by the CDC, FDA, and IOM. we see what’s happening to our children, we know that SIDS was so rare before the advent of vaccines that it wasn’t even mentioned as a problem. We know that most of the kids who get the diseases are fully vaccinated. In Dr David Witt’s study of whopping cough outbreak in Cal. some kids had a totalof 6 pertussis shots and still got the disease. And 80% of the kids in the study were fully immunized. Most of the mump cases are in the fully vaccinated. No study has ever been done comparing the health of vaccinated vs unvaccinated and you know as well as I that there are plenty of unvaccinated to study now. We also all know about whistle blower Dr William Thompson. That’s not going away and the longer it is ignored the more we don’t trust you. We also remember the June 7-8 Simpson wood conference where Dr Thomas Verstraeten back in 2000 revealed that there was a link between thimerosal and neurological developmental disorders and then was ordered to make that link go away. We know that there is thimerosal in flu shots and it is recommended for pregnant women. We know that The Johns Hopkins Hospital patient info sheet titled ” care at home for immunocompromised patients says : tell people who have recently had a live vaccine not to visit. No where does it say “stay away from unvaccinated children”. We don’t trust you because instead of welcoming new ideas , you destroy the reputations of those who disagree, just like you are doing to this Doctor. That insurance is paying you bonuses for every completely vaccinated 2 year old doesn’t help your case either. The internet allows us to both research the truth and to spread the word and we won’t stop until everyone knows the truth , including the real history of vaccines and childhood diseases. do your own research before you vaccinate. I trust Dr. Daniel Neides !

    • Exactly. See: Vaccines, adjuvants and autoimmunity, Guimarães, Baker, Perricone, Shoenfeld, Pharmacol Res. 2015 Oct;100:190-209, and related articles and reviews, NCBI

    • I will take on just one point you make, that mitochondrial disorders affect 1 in 50 children. It is really more like 1 in 4,000. Some particular types are very rare. It is my understanding that the S/S that Poling exhibited were triggered by a fever (common reaction with vaccination), so she would probably have gotten a trigger event eventually, from anything causing a fever reaction.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitochondrial_disease#Epidemiology

    • My “ as many as 1 in 50 “quote came from an article
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby/the-next-big-autism-bomb_b_93627.html written about a teleconference conducted by a little known CDC agency called the Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) Network, a consortium of six research centers working on “immunization-associated health risks.”
      The conference call was held between vaccine safety officials at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, several leading experts in vaccine safety research, and executives from America’s Health Insurance Plans, to discuss childhood mitochondrial dysfunction and its potential link to autism and vaccines.
      This statement was made by 1 of the teleconference participants:
      “It’s not in the mitochondrial DNA, and it’s not rare,” one participant confirmed. In fact, he said, many people probably carry the nuclear DNA mutation that confers susceptibility to mitochondrial dysfunction, they just don’t know it.
      1-in-50 GENETIC RISK?
      On the call, speculation on the prevalence of a genetic mutation that could confer mild mitochondrial dysfunction in the general population ranged from about 1-in-400, to a staggering 1-in-50, or 2% of all Americans.

    • Your evidence is a quote from a phone conference that doesn’t even have a bit of research to back it up?

      Nice way to say you’re full of nonsense.

    • Jay Kanta, The participants in the teleconference should have had, to use one of your own quotes, “ the education or knowledge needed to determine credible studies vs. “others” enough to quote statistic such as “the speculation on the prevalence of a genetic mutation that could confer mild mitochondrial dysfunction in the general population ranged from about 1-in-400, to a staggering 1-in-50, or 2% of all Americans.” They call themselves a “CDC agency called the Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) Network, a consortium of six research centers working on “immunization-associated health risks,” in conjunction with the CDC’s Immunization Safety Office”. If we can’t trust those experts for the facts who can we trust?

    • So no, pat, you don’t have any evidence for your claim, so you have to go off of some pretty lame claims. Thanks for admitting it.

    • By the way, Pat, no one has ever substantiated Dr. William Thompson’s claims, at all. The data is all there, it was re-evaluated by experts like myself and we found nothing untoward about the results and reporting done by the team that completed the study. The statistical strength of African American boys with autism was so incredibly low that it could NOT have been reported with anything other than massive warnings about how useless the result was.

      Stop with the paranoia.

  • They go after him for the wrong reason: censorship. Didn’t they bother to ascertain he was a quack before employing him? Who is to blame for that?

  • Historically, trends in medicine have come and gone, and the indiscriminate use of vaccines and other drugs without regard to genetic and constitutional susceptibilities of patients, will take its place among practices which have fallen into great disrepute and discarded. Those attacking Dr. Neides and other medical doctors raising questions about the safety of vaccine adjuvants, should (a) read the NCBI abstracts of scholarly studies drug-induced autoimmune syndromes as well as abstracts pertaining to studies of vaccine adjuvants and autoimmune disorders; and (b) stop mistaking for Continuing Medical Education, the infomercials from drug companies and their attacks on people who question the safety and efficacy of their products.

    • You cite a man that admitted he fabricated his research! How embarrassing for you to be defending such an asinine opinion.

  • There is a compelling link between vaccines and autism. These medical elitists refuse to connect these relationships because they do not meet their standards of “evidence based medicine” as if everything outside of their sacred touch is suspect. Let me tell you doctors, that there is little scientific evidence -based data to support your claims that these vaccines are safe and effective. Your arrogant and indignant attitudes won’t go very far as the bodies continue to pile up while more and more infants and children suffer the consequences.

  • Physicians have no one to blame but themselves for a movement that distrusts them. Patients feel bullied and coerced. Despite spending lots of money on health insurance and medical interventions, people are noticing their health going downhill, with cancer and chronic disease becoming so common.

    • Not only has cancer been gradually declining but heart disease has dropped dramatically. Medicine deserves little credit for either improvement. In fact, medicine is now a top killer, and things will only get worse as the impact of antibiotic overprescribing becomes more widespread. Pharma deserves much credit for the vast benefits of vaccines, which can just as easily be provided by druggists as by doctors. Vaccines are an obvious exception, but medicine fares poorly on a cost-benefit basis.

  • This is what happens when you hire quacks and fake doctors to ply their snake oil in your hospital. The response from the Cleveland Clinic and Neides is wholly inadequate.

    First, Neides dug in when called out on his crazy anti-vaccine claims.

    There must be an independent investigation that leads to the shut down of the quack clinics they market under the terms “integrative”, “functional”, “holistic”, and “wellness”. Dan Neides, Mark Hyman, and all the fake doctors (including acupuncturists and reiki therapists) must be fired.

    Here is a quote from their “fact sheet” on Reiki: “The reiki practitioner is the conduit between the patient and the source of the universal life force energy; the energy ows through the practitioner’s energy eld and through her hands to the patient. (the energy does not come from the practitioner; rather it comes through the practitioner from the universal source. there is no energy drain on the practitioner.)”

    Here is a quote from their “fact sheet” on Trim-Life, their dubious weight loss program: “Our TRIM-LIFE practitioners use hypnosis, or hypnotherapy, to help you shrink your stomach to its normal size.”

    Here is a quote from their “fact sheet” on acupuncture: “When we experience good health, [qi] energy flows unobstructed along pathways in the body called meridians. Each meridian is believed to be connected to a specific organ system, and when an energy flow is disrupted by a disease or an injury, illness or pain occurs. Acupuncture is then used to balance the flow of Qi and stimulate our body’s natural ability to heal.”

    The Clinic also advertises untested Chinese herbs for myriad conditions including for those who have cancer. So they’re defrauding cancer patients? Direct quote: “Chinese herbal therapy can also be a valuable additional therapy following cancer treatment to aid the body’s recovery from the after-effects of chemotherapy and/or radiation. Chinese herbs are useful in rehabilitation for other chronic diseases too.”

    The Cleveland Clinic has been warned for years. Now it’s time to clean house.

    • No one in any side of the vaccine debate has ever advocated against immunity to dread diseases. Beware the obstruction of public and scientific inquiry perpetrated by drug companies in their vitriol and vilification as “fringe,” “quacks,” &c., directed against doctors who even raise questions concerning the safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical products, in the name of “public safety” (and all that is holy, of course). See “Big Pharma, Big Fines,” “Dollars for Docs,” and articles describing the paying of brokers to contract with medical scientists to conduct drug studies, write falsified reports, publish such reports in respected medical journals, and arrange conferences for doctors, to promote the use of drugs. ALL pharmaceutical products, including but not limited to vaccines, should be tested and regulated by an impartial, disinterested, scientific organization. It is outrageous that the self-reports of pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers about the safety and efficacy of drugs, should have ever, at any time in history, been accepted as credible by either the FDA or by the medical profession. The absurdity and extreme danger of this is evidenced by the deaths and injuries caused by these products and the extensive list of tragically belated FDA recalls of these products.

    • It needs to be pointed out that Ms. Gorenfield is not a medical professional in any capacity and brings no evidence.

  • I distrust mainstream medicine for a reason. My son is living proof of a vaccine injury. Hate to tell you folks– vaccine damage is not a conspiracy theory. #vaxxed

    • And yet that isn’t true is it? We have 120 + and counting peer reviewed research articles by actual scientists and researchers that tell us in no uncertain terms that there is No ( ZERO) link between vaccines and autism.
      Here they are all neatly cited in this blog for convenience.

      http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/yes-autism-rate-rising-vaccines-caused-vaccines/

      Autism has been around as long as humans with the first record of someone thought of to be autistic based on the diagnostic criteria as early as the 1600-1700’s. Autism is Neurodevelopmental. It is not an illness, it is not a disease. “Gastrointestinal issues” are NOT a part of autism but most likely a direct result of the anxiety/stress the autistic child/person deals with on a daily, minute by minute basis. Autistic think and perceive the world differently to neurotypicals so how does that automatically equate to “disease”? Any medical issues the autistic child/person is dealing with is just that, medical. It is not a part of autism. Learning disability, though often coexisting with autism is Not a part of autism. They do not make up the diagnostic criteria. The diagnostic criteria is based on years of research and we are learning more things every day and we have so much more to learn about autism.

      So tell me, who are you to say that you know “better” or more than YEARS of research?
      Do you think your child doesn’t know how you feel? Maybe even how you feel About the autism that is very much a part of them? About them consequentially?

      As for “vaccine injury”

      http://www.who.int/features/qa/84/en/

      Unless your child was one of the very few actually truly vaccine injured then you should be informing the CDC. Have you? Is your child one of the cases? The few that state “autism like symptoms” – consequentially not Autism At All? If not then it is not “vaccine injury” and because autism is a neurodevelopmental “condition” it does coincidentally “appear” to many at the same time of the vaccinations. But with deeper research like the others, children diagnosed autistic showed signs of autism before the age of 2 and were not considered ” severe” or missed completely. Even the ones that “supposedly” and few who do “regress”.
      That is the fact. So please. Spare the pseudoscientific woo. Anecdotal “evidence” is not scientific.

    • Hate to tell you– the film vaxxed is a debunked conspiracy theory. Its assertions were proven wrong long ago.

    • Have you filed a claim with the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program? The standard of proof is much lower for plaintiffs than civil court, and your attorney fees are covered win or lose.

    • I also am a mother to a vaccine accident! And yes, a confirmed one. Levels of ‘unvaccinated’ kids that have autism are not the same as those that have been vaccinated. There is no clear link to the MMR. But loads of kids didn’t have MMR yet got all the other vaccines. My son was born healthy, got his vaccines at 6 months of age and immediately had spastic cerebral palsy due to aluminum poisoning and the vaccines causing inflammation to his CNS. I bet the reason he took down his valid comments is because the pharma lobby knocked on his door.

    • Cerebral palsy has never been diagnosed as a “vaccine injury”. Please don’t lie about vaccines. Also, “aluminum poisoning” has also never been caused by vaccines, that’s another lie.

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