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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Generation Rescue Rebrands

In The Politics of Autism, I look at the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism.  TwitterFacebook, and other social media platforms have helped spread this dangerous myth.

Anna Merlan at Jezebel:
Generation Rescue, the charity whose public face and board president is actor Jenny McCarthy, and which promotes debunked and sometimes dangerous treatments for autistic children, seems to rebranding away from the subject of autism and towards a much more broad set of medical issues. Sometime in May, the Generation Rescue website was taken offline, replaced with a page that reads, simply, “Stay tuned for what’s next.”
Even before the site disappeared, there were signs that McCarthy and Generation Rescue hoped to retool the organization into a “functional medicine” nonprofit, rather than one focused on the controversial and non-scientific autism recovery claims they’ve made for years. The apparent rebrand feels almost Goop-esque, a way for McCarthy and the organization to enter a much broader and less clearly defined “wellness” space, where many more kinds of questionable pseudoscience are possible.

Generation Rescue was founded by a businessman named J.B. Handley, who, like McCarthy, claims that vaccines cause autism. (Both Handley and his wife Lisa, like McCarthy, have claimed that one of their three children developed autism after being vaccinated. Yet another enormous studypublished in March has thoroughly refuted the idea that vaccines cause autism.