So what does Dr. Offit have to do with autism?
Dr. Offit is an advocate of vaccination, and a staunch opponent of the theory that vaccinations are a major cause of autism. In support of his views on vaccinations, Offit has authored two books, "Autism's False Prophets" and "Deadly Choices: How The Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All." In his books, Offit very specifically attacks those individuals and organizations which associate autism with vaccines. As a result, Offit has attracted dedicated followers and angry detractors - in addition to death threats from people who believe that vaccine manufacturers and the government are intentionally injuring children in exchange for cash.
Several years ago, Dr. Offit became a founding board member of the Autism Science Foundation. The Foundation was founded by Alison Singer, ex-Executive Director of Autism Speaks, the largest autism-related non-profit in America. Alison left Autism Speaks because of the organization's growing interest in vaccine-related research, and founded her organization, in part, on the basis of this mission:Vaccines save lives; they do not cause autism. Numerous studies have failed to show a causal link between vaccines and autism. Vaccine safety research should continue to be conducted by the public health system in order to ensure vaccine safety and maintain confidence in our national vaccine program, but further investment of limited autism research dollars is not warranted at this time.
Dr. Offit has become a major media figure in recent years, appearing on television and radio, and authoring articles, Op-Ed pieces and more. References: