There is an update on why the federal government searched Bradstreet’s offices. See below.
Originally published on June 24, 2015
Dr. James Jeffrey Bradstreet, who goes by Jeff Bradstreet, an autism researcher who ran a clinic that endorsed pseudoscientific cures on autism patients and others, has died by apparent suicide on June 19. For several days over the weekend there was no word on cause of death. But some anti-vax autism sites were mourning his loss. Age of Autism called him “a stalwart leader in treating autism”.
News appeared that his body had been found in a river. He was 60.
Deputies said the body was found by a fisherman. The body was removed from the river and was identified as James Jeffrey Bradstreet of Braselton, Georgia. Bradstreet had a gunshot wound to the chest, which appeared to be self inflicted, according to deputies.
Within hours of news of his death, the conspiracy theories started: “Prominent anti-vaxxer, and a close family friend, dead of apparent self-inflicted gunshot to chest (chest, my ass)”
Some doctors are reading this tonight and writing me that they find the story suspicious and are concerned. I too am concerned, as my other half is a prominent controversial doctor as well, and not sure what to think. I suspect we’ll know more as the investigation continues.
Here’s a statement on Facebook apparently from the family.
But this request to refrain from gossip hasn’t stopped people from going off on it. There is speculation not only that Bradstreet was murdered but that another alternative practitioners death over the weekend suggests that there is some plot. There is ZERO evidence for this and the paranoia reflects the mentality of the anti-vax crowd who think they are right but everyone is out to get them. Of course the family doesn’t help by saying he gave his life for Autism. How so?
Dozens of studies have shown that the MMR vaccine is not related to autism. The crew of denialists who continue to think it does have been called the “mercury militia”. The vaccine question is no longer a rational debate. Those who continued to pursue it are irrational in that no amount of evidence seems to change their position.
It’s a good bet that this news will spiral and descend even further into crazyland. And it’s also a sure bet that by posting this, we will receive comments from supporters of Bradstreet that will either say “don’t speak ill of the dead” or that we are deluded and foolish for supporting modern science-based medicine. To both sentiments I say the evidence speaks for itself. Bradstreet promoted ideas that had no basis in science. What he faced before his death, we may not ever know.
Great appreciation to Tim Farley for supplying this tip and considerable information for this post.
UPDATE: A federal raid: Controversial autism researcher, Jeff Bradstreet, commits suicide after FDA raid in Buford, authorities say. U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to reveal why agents searched the office of the doctor.
UPDATE (10-July 2015) Emily Willingham of Forbes obtained the warrant that officials used to search Bradstreet’s office prior to his suicide death. She likely obtained it through Freedom of Information request. Bradstreet seems to have been suspected of obtaining an experimental drug for autism by non legal means.
According to the copy of the warrant provided to me by the United States Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Georgia, the search warrant was executed at Bradstreet’s Buford, GA, ‘wellness center’ because authorities were seeking information related to “evidence of a crime and contraband, fruits of crime, or items illegally possessed” associated with violations of interstate commerce statutes covering food, drug, or other products that are “adulterated or misbranded” and with “frauds and swindles” by “wire, radio, or television.” Punishments for those convicted of these crimes can include fines and up to 20 years in prison.
The warrant specifically references GcMAF and any records related to sale, shipping, billing, and delivery of GcMAF.
GcMAF, globulin component macrophage-activating factor, is an experimental substance Bradstreet used on children with autism. The use of it, which Bradstreet was CLEARLY linked to, is problematic since there was little basis in the claims that it was a treatment for everything from autism to cancer. Studies that claimed such have been retracted and the UK government issued a warning about GcMAF “after discovering that one factory producing the protein was using plasma marked, “not to be administered to humans or used in any blood products,” according to the research publication watchdog site Retraction Watch.”
It would appear that the government was cracking down on potential dangerous use of a substance that was not approved for use for autism and was illegal to obtain. One trial is currently recruiting applicants to find out if GcMAF treatment is even safe for humans. The question of efficacy has not even been addressed.
If this raid indicated that Bradstreet would have had to cease use of GcMAF and that he may have been charged with some violation, it would help explain a desperate state of mind. So, this information helps but does not exactly answer all the questions. Meanwhile, conspiratorial ideas continue.
Additions (16-July 2015): This story has hit the Washington Post. It’s clear we aren’t the only ones highly critical of Bradstreet’s methods.
Two raids, five deaths and a suspected suicide as authorities closed in on him.