It was a bombshell, to say the least. Recently, research that linked childhood vaccines with autism was labeled a lie.
The British journalist who uncovered the conspiracy will talk about his investigation at Lafayette College in Easton on Friday.
London Sunday Times Journalist Brian Deer said it all started with a routine assignment for him to examine the controversy surrounding the MMR, or Measles, Mumps, and Rubella combination vaccine in the United Kingdom.
It turned into a seven-year investigation.
"It emerged very quickly," said Deer. "The author of this research, which started what has become a global panic really in many ways over vaccine safety, was being paid to produce his results by a firm of lawyers and that the patients that were taking part in his research who were children were in fact solicited for him by lawyers and anti vaccine campaign groups."
It was a conspiracy that Deer said worked.
The bogus findings were widely publicized and caused parents around the world to think twice about the MMR.
Once the conspiracy was brought to light, Deer said the researcher sued him. But the courts dismissed the claim.
The bogus study was retracted as an elaborate fraud.
Deer said he's thinking about writing a book and has been approached about doing a movie. But he said, right now, he's focusing on getting back to his work.
Deer said he doesn't know what his next project will be, but is glad to have been assigned to this one.
"I think that group of parents that blame themselves wrongly thinking it was their own fault for vaccinating their child," said Deer. "Their child has some kind of problem and I think those people are kind of desperatly volunarble and If I could do something the helps their situation, then I think I have done a good job."
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