Sarah Boseley writes in the Guardian:
The Lancet today finally retracted the paper that sparked a crisis in MMR vaccination across the UK, following the General Medical Council’s decision that its lead author, Andrew Wakefield, had been dishonest.
The medical journal’s editor, Richard Horton, told the Guardian today that he realised as soon as he read the GMC findings that the paper, published in February 1998, had to be retracted. “It was utterly clear, without any ambiguity at all, that the statements in the paper were utterly false,” he said. “I feel I was deceived.”
Many in the scientific and medical community have been pressing for the paper, linking the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) jab to bowel disease and autism, to be quashed. But Horton said he did not have the evidence to do so before the end of the GMC investigation last Thursday.
In 2004, when concerns were first raised about the conduct of the study, the Lancet asked the Royal Free hospital, where Wakefield and his fellow authors worked, to investigate. But Professor Humphrey Hodgson, then vice-dean of the Royal Free and University College school of medicine, wrote to the journal to say it had found no problems. “We are entirely satisfied that the investigations performed on children reported in the Lancet paper had been subjected to appropriate and rigorous ethical scrutiny,” he said at that time.
Read More: Guardian