Posted by: notdeaddinosaur | March 8, 2013

Selective Science

Hypocrisy drives me crazy, even if it’s inadvertent. The topic today is anti-vaccine breastfeeding proponents.

There’s lots of good science behind breastfeeding. So much so that there isn’t really any controversy over it. Nursing is a good thing. There’s still plenty of room for advocacy, of course, but the science is pretty settled. Breastfeeding advocates have no difficulty accessing, interpreting, and applying this science which is readily available from the literature.

If someone were to come up with a rogue study claiming that breastfeeding is dangerous, what do you think their reaction would be? What if they were able to discover that the guy who did the study was so unethical, he eventually had his license to practice medicine revoked and the study rescinded? I’ll bet you dollars to donuts they’d have no trouble using their scientific acumen to call bullshit on such a study, and on anyone with the audacity to use it to say anything negative about breastfeeding.

Why, then, are so many of these same individuals confirmed anti-vaxers?

The science behind vaccines, and the dangers of vaccine-preventable diseases, are just as settled as the advantages of breastfeeding. Yet when I try and point this out to my vaccine-resistant parents, they hide behind the plaintive cry, “But I’m not a scientist.”

News flash, folks: if you are able to do a literature search about lactation and understand it well enough to have a cogent discussion about it — as do the vast majority of nursing proponents  — then you clearly have the intellectual chops to understand the reality-based science behind vaccines. What you need is the integrity to recognize the intellectual dishonesty of the anti-vaccine movement.

Your kids’ health depends as much on vaccines as on breastfeeding.


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