(CNN) - A now-retracted British study that linked autism to childhood vaccines is an "elaborate fraud," according to a medical journal - a charge the physician behind the study vigorously denies.
The British medical journal BMJ, which published the results of its investigation, concluded Dr. Andrew Wakefield misrepresented or altered the medical histories of all 12 of the patients whose cases formed the basis of the 1998 study - and that there was "no doubt" Wakefield was responsible. The journalist who wrote the BMJ articles said Thursday he believes Wakefield should face criminal charges.
However, Wakefield said his work has been "grossly distorted." Speaking on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," he said Wednesday he is the target of "a ruthless, pragmatic attempt to crush any attempt to investigate valid vaccine safety concerns."
But what are the implications of this fraudulent study? Why are the number of autism cases still rising? Kiran Chetry talks with Alison Singer, Founder and President of the Autism Science Foundation, and Dr. Bradley Peterson, chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center.