Re­port clears U of T course that uses anti-vac­ci­na­tion ma­te­ri­als


TORONTO - A Univer­sity of Toronto in­ves­ti­ga­tion into a course that taught anti-vac­ci­na­tion ma­te­ri­als has con­cluded the in­struc­tor’s ap­proach did not war­rant con­cern. But the three-page re­port, by the for­mer head of Public Health On­tario, ac­knowl­edges the course could have been stronger if it re­lied more on sci­en­tific stud­ies. Dr. Vivek Goel, who is now the univer­sity’s vice-pres­i­dent for re­search and in­no­va­tion, was asked to look into the course af­ter a num­ber of ex­pert groups as well as pro­fes­sors at the univer­sity com­plained about it. Al­ter­na­tive Health: Prac­tice and The­ory was a fourth year course in a health stud­ies pro­gram of­fered at the univer­sity’s Scar­bor­ough cam­pus. The course was taught by home­opath Beth Lan­dau-Halpern, who is also the wife of the Scar­bor­ough cam­pus dean Rick Halpern. Lan­dau-Halpern es­pouses the use of nosodes, con­tro­ver­sial prod­ucts some­times called home­o­pathic vac­cines. Lan­dau-Halpern’s re­quired read­ing and view­ing list for her class in­cluded an in­ter­view with An­drew Wake­field, the dis­cred­ited Bri­tish physi­cian who claimed the measles, mumps and rubella vac­cine was linked to de­vel­op­ment of autism. Wake­field’s study was even­tu­ally stricken from the sci­en­tific literature and he lost his li­cence to prac­tise medicine.

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