Amy Wallace.


By Mark Memmott

Writing in Wired magazine that "pseudo-science preys on well-intentioned people" and that parents who believe vaccines can cause autism are rejecting "hard-won knowledge," has brought journalist Amy Wallace more feedback -- some of it threatening -- than she's ever had in more than 25 years of reporting.

Wallace has tweeted about it all -- the threats, profanities and what she says are the larger number of messages thanking her.

This afternoon, she spoke with All Things Considered host Melissa Block.

Among the most vitriolic of Wallace's critics is J.B. Handley, co-founder of Generation Rescue, "Jenny McCarthy's autism research and treatment advocacy organization ... formed by parents to help parents searching for answers about preventing and treating childhood neurological disorders." Handley has written that Wallace simply regurgitated pediatrician Paul Offit's research (fair warning, Handley's language is raw).

Wallace says that while the critics have been passionate, the story has generated more positive than negative responses so far:

That's one reason why, Wallace says, she is gratified the story has started a conversation:

More of Melissa's conversation with Wallace is due on today's ATC. Click here to find an NPR station near you.

The NPR Health Blog follows all sorts of news on such subjects.

categories: Science

3:00 - October 28, 2009