Amanda Peet’s Apology

As we just reported, Amanda Peet was recently interviewed for Cookie Magazine where she voiced her strong opinions on the topic of infant vaccinations. She’s since issued an apology for her specific statement: “parents who don’t vaccinate their children are parasites.” She does not apologize, however, for her stance on the issue and goes on to provide some very interesting points on the highly debated topic.

“Dear Concerned Parents and Friends,

I wanted to address my comment in Cookie magazine that “parents who don’t vaccinate their children are parasites.” I believe in my heart that my use of the word “parasites” was mean and divisive; I completely understand why it offended some parents, and in particular, parents of children with autism who feel that vaccines caused their illness. For this I am truly sorry. Since my mom has Parkinson’s Disease, I know what it feels like to want a concrete cause, and a concrete cure, as soon as possible.

However, I still believe that the decision not to vaccinate our children bodes for a dangerous future. Vast reductions in immunization will lead to a resurgence of deadly viruses. This is as indisputable as global warming. I know a lot of parents who secretly use as a justification, “Well, enough other people are vaccinating, so therefore, we don’t have to.”

In this era of cynicism, it’s hard to believe that any corporation, medical or otherwise, has our best interests at heart. But it’s irresponsible to suggest that virtually the entire medical community, and the CDC, and the American Academy of Pediatrics are behind a massive cover-up about vaccine safety. Fourteen studies have been conducted (both here in the US and abroad), and these tests are reproducible; no matter where they are administered, or who is funding them, the conclusion is the same: there is no association between autism and vaccines. How many more studies do we need to conduct on vaccines, before we start re-channeling our efforts and money towards research on autism?

The real question is why the media and journalists are still presenting vaccine safety as a controversy. There are a few fringe medical groups and parent advocacy groups who claim that vaccines cause autism, or that they have too many “toxins,” or “viral challenges” for our tiny babies’ bodies to handle. In fact, although there are many more vaccine doses given today, the entire vaccine schedule contains far fewer antigens—components of viruses or bacteria—than vaccines of the past. (In other words, it’s more shots, but less vaccine.) Why doesn’t anyone talk about this? There are still fringe scientists who claim that HIV is a government conspiracy, but these people do not get a lot of media coverage, as it’s accepted that this theory has no medical/biological plausibility.

My concern is for our children and their futures. In the fifties, vaccines were recognized as life-saving. My mom had polio and was quarantined when she was 6 years old. It’s so hard to appreciate vaccines now that so few children are dying from preventable diseases today, but that could all change if we’re not vigilant. There are currently multiple measles outbreaks in the United States. Hopefully children do not have to die before people start to realize the cost of withholding vaccines.

My best wishes to you and your families,

Amanda (and Frankie)”

I feel her apology was sincere and her points were excellent. What do you think?

Source: Cookie

Photo: Cookie

Filed under: Amanda Peet

  • Tracy

    I did think the word ‘parasites’ was a little extreme, but sometimes when you feel so passionately about something, you go a little overboard. It’s fine that she apologized for just that, and still held true to her view point.
    I agree with her 100%, and I, for one, would not want to be the reason my child contracts a deadly disease.

  • blahblahblah

    two words…damage control.

  • Emma

    Her words were a bit harsh but I can see why she chose the word “parasite” because those who don’t vaccinate their children have to rely on the fact that most people DO vaccinate their children. If everyone stopped vaccinating children then we would be in a terrible situation.

    So far, there has been no conclusive evidence stating that vaccinations are related to autism. In my opinion, the benefits of vaccinating children outweighs the risks involved.

    I totally agree with Amanda Peet. When I have children, I will definitely listen to my doctor and have my children vaccinated.

  • Anonymous

    “Measles outbreaks in several states have led to more than 70 cases so far this year, the worst in six years, health officials said Thursday.

    Most of the cases …are mainly in children who were not vaccinated for religious or other reasons or were too young, according to the Centers for Disease control and Prevention. Since measles vaccinations began in the early 1960s, cases have dramatically declined in the U.S.”

  • seth

    she can say anything – I’m not listening to her – she’s way too hot to listen too (I can’t stop looking! Kid or no kid)

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know enough about her to know whether she is sincere or not. The cynic in me doesn’t think she is very sorry if she uses her apology to discount parents who have valid concerns about the safety of vaccines. Why shouldn’t these questions be asked?

  • Eugene

    “Parasites” was inappropriate, but every other point was dead on. (I’ve got some training in immunology and virology, so I have some idea what I’m talking about).

    Autism is a tragedy, and at this point we have no real idea what causes it. The connection with vaccines is probably because autism tends to get diagnosed at about the same age that vaccination is in progress. However, just because two things happen at about the same time doesn’t necessarily mean that one causes the other.

    I would be the last person to think that everything modern medical science comes up with is beneficial. But if I had to think about what single advance in medicine has saved more death, pain and suffering than anything else (in the past 200 years) — well, vaccines are it. Smallpox has been eradicated globally. Polio is eradicated in the Western Hemisphere. Godawful dieases like measles and german measles and all the misery they caused are now so unusual that many western doctors have never seen an actual case. I would consider that possibly the most beneficial medical/scientific advance ever. Look up those diseases some time and see what it was like to experience them. Think about why probably no one you know ever has had them.

    I’m old enough to remember when measles and other childhood diseases were common, and my parents are old enough to remember polio and smallpox. These diseases didn’t just disappear. They were gotten rid of by a globally co-ordinated effort, something that now is threatened by ignorance and superstition.

  • sara

    Vaccinate! that data has shown that vaccination is the responsible thing to do, both for your child and for other children. There is no similar data supporting that vaccination causes autism, etc.

    I am a new fan of Peet for speaking out. I am so tired and worried by the antics of Jennifer McCarthy. She is not a scientist and frankly, doesn’t know what she is speaking about. It is total Woo — While it is important to consider the safety of all medical interventions, as a society we have a responsibility to work together and THINK.

  • ivy

    i dont think its the antigens in vaccines that parents who dont vaccinate worry about, i think its the mercury and other ingredients they put in them.
    i plan on vaccinating my baby, but im going to delay them and spread them out a little, its a good idea to wait until the baby is 2 when their brain is much more developed and less susceptible to the harmful effects of those ingredients.

  • Trashaddict

    Thank God for a celebrity with some sanity who can express a well-informed opinion so intelligently. I had to watch a young child in our hospital suffer through paroxysms of whooping cough where she literally could not catch her breath, because her mother did not “believe” in vaccinations. Imagine being a young child experiencing the feeling of gasping for air, and you don’t know when the paroxysm will stop. A baby with this condition can literally stop breathing and die without the support of a ventilator. THIS WAS COMPLETELY NEEDLESS and in my mind was tantamount to child abuse, no matter the ignorance or good intentions of the parent.
    Sane and reasoned education is needed. Hopefully with more voices chiming in like this, people will make more intelligent choices.

  • Eugene

    Re: Mercury in vaccines — Some vaccines did formerly contain mercury (albeit in tiny amounts) as an anti-bacterial agent to prevent bacteria from growing in vaccines. This was eliminated in 1999 (in the U.S.), and has been eliminated in Europe. It still exists in vaccine formulations elsewhere in the world.

  • anonymous

    she should be quiet. As far as I’m concerned she is only responsible for the care of her own child. not mine or anyone elses.

    If she thinks the antigens cause concerns in parents who are fearful of the current vaccination schedule then she needs to step back and listen to the other side – its actually about metals. Aluminum, mercury, etc…..the ‘inert’ ingredients. She’s clearly not fully informed no matter how much she thinks she is or believes that she’s right.

    To the poster that plans to delay and divide the shots I commend you that you’ve given this that much thought prior to having a child of your own. Most parents don’t even question the schedule which is far scarier than any information you’ll find on the web about vaccines.

    Clearly the diseases are something to fear but without a known cause for Autism spectrum disorders then one should rightly question EVERYTHING.

  • anonymous

    the misinformation continues.

    all flu vaccines contain mercury. get one and you get the mercury. check your facts.

  • anonymous

    oh – there is a mercury free flu vaccine but you pay for it. $90 last I checked. and most parents don’t check.

  • Tracy

    I’ve never understood the flu shot. Is the flu killing people all of a sudden?

  • Tracy

    And somebody should be saying something. Jenny McCarthy is running off at the mouth spouting her opinions. And that’s exactly what they are-OPINIONS. She’s not a medical researcher. Anyone else is more than welcome to express theirs as well, and fankly, should.

  • Anonymous

    i don’t think she should have to apologize.

  • Smith

    One cannot past judgement on parents who choose not to vaccinate their children. There are so many children with autism and mental illness that cannot be explained. There is something wrong when a child is healthy and after the child has received a certain vaccination, the child develops major problems (autism, mental illness etc.). I am not saying that all vacinations are bad, but I have a concern about the MMR vaccine. When I was a child these shot were given to us individually (not combined all into one shot). Perhaps there is some truth to what all these parents are saying about vaccinations, not just the rich and famous. All these mothers are not paranoid. It is easy to say what parents should do with their children, until you are faced with a crisis with your own child. Show some compassion.

  • lovemykidsKC

    I think it is great that she has at least tried to make an informed decision for HER daughter. All parents should. But I disagree with he conclusions and I hate that she is using her celebrity to mislead people.

    Polio was on the decline before the vaccine was introduced. Even so, I can understand the fear of such a horrific illness and, thus, the desire to vaccinate. But some vaccines are ridiculous. Chickenpox is a fairly mild disease for 99.9% of normally healthy children when caught in early childhood. It is a pointless vaccine, and what’s worse, it wears off when people reach adulthood. It’s adults with chickenpox that can, albeit rarely, die. Same goes for measles and mumps. Both are mild illnesses when caught in early childhood. I really think that vaccine manufactures, along with the govenment, create hysteria over diseases that are no big deal. Seriously. If we are so concerned over mild illnesses, then why aren’t automobiles safer and speed limits lower? Those things kill people. Not chickenpox.

  • mamamel

    After looking into it, I do not believe there is evidence of a link between Autism and vaccinations. However, it is hard to let them give your baby a shot when even a possibility exists.

    The MMR (Measles, Mumps & Rubella) shot gets the most blame and attention for the Autism link. I simply delayed the MMR shot for my three children. Instead of allowing the shot at 12-months, I did it after 18 months, when Autism symptoms usually appear. By delaying 6 months I was able to raise my comfort level with the vaccine. However, I also did not have to place my children in daycare until they were 2 years old. I am blessed to have a retired mom who watches my children when they are little. So the expose to other children is minimal until after they are caught up on vaccines.

    You can also get the three shots individually instead of combined in one shot. But my pediatrician was very resistant to this, so I chose to wait.

  • Eugene

    LovemykidsKC said

    “Polio was on the decline before the vaccine was introduced. ”

    Bullshit! There were horrendous epidemics of polio in the United States in the early twentieth century, right up to the introduction of the Salk vaccine. One of the primary drivers for the development of the vaccine was the fear of said epidemics.

    As I stated previously, these diseases didn’t just disappear. They were eliminated, in one of the most impressive things science and medicine have ever accomplished.

  • Matt

    I must say that it makes me feel good knowing that the modern medical establishment, by making the use of vaccines so widespread, has done so much for modern convenience. I no longer have to wash my hands after taking a dump (in your FACE, polio!), I don’t have to ever use antibiotics, I can take my sick kids anywhere and not have to worry about anyone else’s getting sick, and valuable time which is currently wasted by quarantining of ships when they reach port (as well as people going to other countries) can be saved. And God bless Amanda Peet for making me realize this.

    I’m going to go have unprotected sex with a homeless person to celebrate, knowing that there’s no way I’ll get HPV.

  • Jen

    I don’t even know where to start on this debate. I am a mother of four boys, one with autism. I would be lying if I didn’t say I was a bit concerned with everything going on with the link between autism and vaccines. Do I think vaccines caused autism in my son? Honestly, no. Do I think they could be responsible in other cases of autism? Yes. My opinion for this, is not that the vaccines, themselves, are harmful but it might be a reaction for certain children that causes the autism. Almost like an allergy. This probably makes no sense and I’m just rambling on lol I don’t pretend to know everything there is to know about either, vaccines or autism.

    As for vaccines with my children, I am all for it. I never hesitated with my three oldest but with all this debate and questioning as of late, I have chose to spread out the vaccines with my baby. I talked it over with my child’s doctor and we worked out a schedule that I’m happy with. He will be up to date by the time he is ready for preschool.

  • katrina sampson

    Yes, she is only responsible for her own child, fair point. I just wonder why anyone feels that she should apologise for stating her opinion. Are we not all entitled to our own opinion? Why should she feel like she needs damage control for speaking her mind about something she feels strongly about? Using her celebrity?? It seems to me that her celebrity has worked against her here and that is sad!

    She made some very good points and I am impressed that she only felt the need to back down regarding the use of an innappropriate word.

    Even most of the doctors who initially made this claim many years ago have since come forward and said there is no link. This started in my local hospital here in the UK and is seems to have just gained momentum over the years through the help of the media.

    How sad is it that we can be so close to a life-threatening epidemic in the year 2008, based entirely on what people see on the news? Countless medical professionals and scientists have come forward claiming there is absolutely no link, but if Barb and Steve on the 10pm news says it is true…then people eat it with a spoon.

    No one does any research or reads any of the real facts. Mercury still in vaccines??? It has been years since they have used TINY amounts of mercury! This is just one example of the baseless, factless hysteria that is completely false. AND Polio on the decline….where on earth did you read that?? Polio was never on the decline until the vaccination!

    These are nasty diseases! Rubella is extremely dangerous to unborn babies and can cause miscarriage if the mother comes in contact with the virus. Babies are not given the MMR until they are a year old, so for 12 months they are extremely susceptible to infection. If more and more children are not immune, it is these babies who may suffer the effects! Maybe Amanda just wants to ensure that Francis wont be one of those children.

  • ivy

    Eugene- these diseases have not been eliminated…if they were then we wouldn’t need vaccines at all.

    and YES there is still mercury in vaccines….please do a little research before you post.

  • Dawn

    My infant and I were injured by vaccines last year. I am done vaccinating my family. I took Amanda’s comments very personally. I will never watch another one of her movies or support her career in any other way, shape or form.

  • Dawn

    Amanda Peet is an uneducated person. She derived her info from a drug manufacturer, Paul Offit. Below is a letter that I recently sent to a school nurse who recent spoke out about the benefits of vaccinating and herd immunity.

    Dear Ms. Lovell:

    I am the mother of 2 boys, ages 14 and 1 year. I am emailing you with the hope of educating you on vaccine damage. My hearing was damaged by one vaccine last year – the rubella. Imagine my surprise when I learned that the CDC reported 14 cases of Congenital Rubella Syndrome in 1968 – one year before the vaccine came on the market in 1969. There were even less cases in the previous years, again before the vaccine came out. (This is true with every vaccine/disease). Bogus, over-inflated claims set forth to scare parents into vaccinating their precious babies with harmful vaccines.

    My infant last year suffered from high-pitched screaming, convulsions, developmental delays, and regression in milestones from his HIB, IPV, and DTaP vaccines. According to Easter Seals (who evaluated him), no child should lose any acquired skills (despite what my ignorant pediatrician states), and developmental delays are usually an indicator of future problems – learning disabilties.

    I have since learned that my baby was given roughly 600 micrograms of aluminum each time he was vaccinated. The FDA feels that aluminum is toxic, humans are roughly exposed to 4-5 micrograms per day through the environment as it is, and they went as far as to put a limit on daily aluminum received through a patient’s IV – 25 micrograms per day!! If an infant receives all of their vaccines at 2 months old, they would receive roughly 1,200 micrograms of it.

    He was also given an ingredient called phenoxyethanol, which according to the FDA is not fit for consumption. In May 2008, the FDA reportedly removed a nursing mother’s nipple cream from the market that contained this ingredient. According to this government agency, it may cause convulsions, respiratory distress, and depression of the central nervous system. Was it this ingredient that caused my infant’s reactions or was it the 300 micrograms of formaldehyde that he was given in his DTaP vaccine alone (three rounds of vaccinations)? Could this ingredient be to blame for SIDS?

    After thoroughly researching vaccine ingredients, I have learned that many ingredients are not safe for consumption according to the FDA, yet this same agency has never set limits that are placed in vaccines. In fact, it is not the FDA’s job to test anything! Who’s job is it then? The drug companies. These same companies that have been in recent news for covering up the deaths of tens of thousands of people with Vioxx, Paxil, and Heparin. I really don’t care what “studies” you have viewed involving vaccines/Autism – they were all conducted by individuals with ties to the drug companies.

    Are you even aware of Julie Gerberding’s recent admission in front of the House of Appropriations Committee in June of 2008? She stated that all of the previous studies done on Autism were “useless”. Are you aware of Bernadine Healy’s recent statement (former director of NIH)? She blasted our government agencies for not studying vaccines in regard to the group of children who later regressed into Autism following their vaccines. In other words….all of the studies that you have viewed were either flawed or not conclusive for many reasons.

    Are you aware that according to the U.S. Dept of Education in 2007, 1 in 67 children nation-wide now have Autism in elementary school? 1 in 150 was in 1994 according to this same agency! Are you aware that schools receive funds for every fully immunized child? This would explain why they have kept their mouths shut about this alarming issue. What will the numbers be 5 years from now as more vaccines are added?

    My 14 year old’s right eye sustained nerve damage after one dose of Hep B. I have pictures before/after for proof. Eye nerve damage is one of the side effects to this vaccine (among many other things). He also suffers from a math disability, a visual processing disorder, and ADHD. You can bet I blame the vaccines for those too.

    Would you like to know why so many children are suffering from food allergies? Maybe it is because eggs are in many vaccines, peanut oil is an ingredient in the HIB vaccine, and so on. I’m sorry, but aren’t we told never to give our children eggs until 1 yr of age? Or peanut butter until 2 years of age?

    Please do your homework on the subject before you speak about something you know nothing about. Please purchase any books on the subject by Neil Z. Miller or Dr. Stephanie Cave.

    I am done vaccinating my family. By the way, if you knew anything about vaccines you would know that herd immunity does not exist. In fact, if you read the vaccine literature (package inserts) for every live-virus vaccine you would see that vaccinated persons pose a threat to pregnant persons, infants, and people with compromised immune systems for up to 6 weeks after vaccination. Not only that, but there is a “small risk” of catching a blood born virus through the vaccine itself. How small is up for debate. Everything is underreported and grossly overinflated. I urge you to research stealth viruses/vaccines – particularly the SV40 virus/Polio contaminate. When you do learn the truth regarding vaccines, please make it your mission to educate others.


    Dawn Crim

  • Rinoa

    Ivy, that article link that you posted is BS. If this is where some of the posters on here are getting their “information” from then no wonder there is so much dispute. Seriously, if you’re going to post links to articles, at least have them be from credible sources; otherwise it just works against the point you’re trying to prove.

  • katrina sampson

    Let us clarify that the autism debate has only ever been associated with the MMR vaccine. Any other attempts to link another vaccine with autism is seriously grasping at straws! The mercury is an entirely separate issue and I can appreciate that I am in another country and the vaccine contents may be different in the US.

    A close friend of mine is a medical researcher and has worked closely with Dr. Wakeman in the past. In case you are unfamiliar with Dr. Wakeman, he and another doctor were the first to suggest this link. Some people that have worked with him have found this research unsound and have since cut off all ties with him professionally, including the other doctor! I am sure you would like to belive this debate started in America, but it did not. It started in a reasearch lab at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

    MMR vaccination is down over 60% in parts of London and that scares the hell out of me. Though no vaccine can be risk-free, the benfits far outweigh the risks. Some children do have bad effects from vaccines, of course they do because of allergies, etc. But to suggest they are bad and encourage people to skip them is dangerous. Educate yourself on what a vaccine is and how it works and please enlighten the world on how we could be doing it any better!!

    Your comments are very poignant Dawn. Rest assured, I have done “my homework” for many years as I am a member of the medical community. In regards to your hearing, I can only wonder what effects could have happened if you had contracted full-blown Rubella. Do you not realise how horrendous it was to live with these illnesses 100 years ago? Well, thanks to your lack of faith in almost the ENTIRE medical community, we will soon get to see the effects once more!

    You did not mention how the school nurse responded to your letter, but I don’t think you need to. You are obviously more educated than your “ignorant” pediatrician, who spent several years in medical school!! Afterall, you did take the time to read a few books!

    That website posted also made me laugh and goes to further my earlier comments.

  • katrina sampson

    I also don’t necessarily belive that rates of autism have increased.
    First of all, there is a spectrum that health professionals work with that determine varying degrees of autism. The range can be from very mild, to quite severe, with countless of degrees in between.

    Many believe that autism rates have only increased because of the more hands-on parenting styles of recent years. Even as recent as 50 years ago, children with autism were misdiagnosed and spent lifetimes untreated in asylums and children’s homes. The abolishion of these facitlities have meant that more children are treated and can live as normal a life as possible. Years ago, parents were wrongly told their children suffered from mental problems that could not be treated, so they were institutionalised. This was true of many illnesses that are easily treated today.

    If you don’t believe this, do some research. The practice of institutionalising children is still going on in many parts of the under-developed world today.

  • Tracy

    All this talk about the vaccines and the chemicals and contaminents in them and possible cause of autism-maybe someone should mention our food supply and health/beauty products. I don’t know about the vaccines, my kids are pretty much done with them, and I don’t plan on any more kids.

    But, our conventional produce is covered with pesticides and the processed foods you eat are pumped full of chemicals. So if you’re breastfeeding and/or feeding this to your children, they are ingesting it at alarming levels. Maybe some serious focus should be put on that as well.

  • peter

    Good postings on both sides, Dr Cave’s book illustrates the statistical anomaly, that was observed when initially autism was just noted in the population that had health insurance, but after
    the advent of free pubic health vaccinations the incidence of vaccine injury was more equally spread through all demographic groups. … coincidence, I doubt it, I have 2 questions.
    1. Why wont govt/ CDC etc make the data freely accessible to 3rd party researchers.
    2. If the Govt? big pharma have nothing to hide why was the need to covertly insert a rider into the Patriot act legislation Giving the Pharmaceutical industry immunity from vaccine related lawsuits?!!
    Fact SV40 virus (was found in smallpox vaccine) is a known cancer causing virus, causes Mesothelioma in human cells
    The number one cause of death in children

  • MC

    I find it almost comical that Amanda Peet will go to the extreme of only feeding her child organics, does not medicate, and refuses to use sunscreen, but will offer up her child for a hefty dose of Thimerosal every few months. She’s just another B-list star trying to impress the Joneses, imo….

  • Anonymous

    “The Sanctity of human blood Vaccination i$ Not Immunization” By Tim Oshea. Everyone should read this book be informed ! Everything is footnoted with 350 referances from government hearings news articles etc

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