Hmm was there a major outcry by people who knew **** all about vaccines regarding MMR and the unfounded notion that it might cause Autism? We had a large outbreak of Measles in the UK recently because people had stopped getting their kids vaccinated. Perhaps the same thing happened on your side of the pond.
Yes. Basically there are 3 major health issues involving children that seem (more on that later) to have just exploded in the last 20 years and medical science have no answers as to why. They are:
1) Peanut allergies.
As an American, I can only give my personal experience, but if you ask anyone over the age of 40 if as a child they ever knew anybody with a peanut allergy, you'll hear "No". I suppose someone might be the exception, but this was just simply unheard of anywhere when I was a child. Peanuts were ubiquitous as was peanut butter.
For many decades now, Americans have been struggling to determine why their kids are messed up. Each decade comes up with a different answer. In the 1990s and maybe early 2000s, the easy answer was to declare any problem to be the result of ADHD. Even things that were just normal life events (ie. a kid doesn't pay attention in class because he is bored) were chalked up to ADHD. This just became the medical world's and parents' answer to any problem at all. Junior threw a fit because you wouldn't give him $10? Well, it's not his fault. He's got ADHD. Every school room in America had multiple kids diagnosed as ADHD. Now I'm not saying it doesn't exist, but I don't believe for a minute it exists in the numbers claimed.
Then there was an explosion in autism. Just this week I read that 1 in 55 kids is autistic to some extent. That is just a staggering number. It raises questions that we have no answers for at this time. Are those diagnoses correct? Is something causing autism to be more prevalent today than in the past? Was autism around in the past in the same numbers but we just weren't very good at detecting it? Nobody knows. So now there are all these seriously messed up kids in numbers seemingly never detected before and parents want to know why. So that UK doctor kook came out with his paper showing that vaccinations were to blame because they all used mercury. People generally don't like getting injections, so that was all they needed to hear that those vaccines must be causing it. Plus the fact that they were effective meant that since nobody knew anybody who actually had the diseases, the idea came out that we were risking health of the children for nothing. Finally, due to poor science teaching in the US, it became a general belief among the stupider parts of the US that vaccines were black magic anyway and nobody knew why they worked or if they worked and the whole thing wasn't any more scientific than being told to drink stump water under the light of a full moon. So all that has combined to create a climate in which significant numbers of people actually believe that vaccines are harmful and it's so obvious that they do much more harm than good that only crazy people would give them to their kids.