Anti-vaccine candidate? Cook-Littman slams GOP attack

Trumbull and Fairfield Republicans are attacking Tara Cook-Littman, a Democrat running for 134th State Representative seat, for her appearance in an independent film Bought  a movie with the tagline: “The Truth Behind Vaccines, Big Pharma and Your Food.”

The Republican Town Committee leadership, in both towns, say Cook-Littman’s participation in a film they describe as “essentially anti-vaccine propaganda” is alarming. Cook-Littman, however, is firing back, calling the attack a distortion, since she supports vaccinations, and was only interviewed on her GMO-labeling advocacy in Connecticut.

Bought, the film, explores the potential link between vaccines and autism, though that isn’t the only topic addressed. It also looks at GMO’s in food and pharmaceutical use in health care.

“In Ms. Cook-Littman’s world, she wants to bring us back to an era where children and adults go unvaccinated and modern medicine and technology are thrown away, which is a frightening image,” said Fairfield Republican Town Committee Chairman James Millington.

“While vaccinations protect individuals from diseases, they have far-reaching impacts that benefit an entire community, and one just has to look at the gravity of the Ebola outbreak to truly understand what happens when the proper vaccines aren’t readily available,” Trumbull GOP Chair Paul Lavoie added. “While Ms. Cook-Littman is entitled to her beliefs and notions about vaccinations, I believe that these are dangerous claims and positions that could have serious implications on our public health and safety.”

Cook-Littman responded to the attack Tuesday, saying it is a total distortion of her interview for the film.

“I was interviewed as a national leader of the GMO labeling movement — A movement that I am proud of and has the support of 94% of the American public,” she said. “I support vaccinations for their obvious public health benefits, and have never said otherwise.

In a clip of the movie, sent to The Times (see above), Cook-Littman is interviewed only about the GMO labeling bill in Connecticut and grassroots effort to get it passed.

“For their record, and I am disgusted that this even needs to be said, all three of my children are vaccinated and are up to date on all of their vaccines,” she said.

Cook Littman said this kind of attack by the GOP is exactly what Connecticut families hate about politics.

“The Republicans are willing to lie, distort and smear, without evidence and without shame,” she said. “ This is why I am running for office. I am tired of politicians saying and doing anything to get elected.”

Cook-Littman said her opponent, Laura Devlin, should call for an apology from members of the GOP party.

“I would never stoop to such baseless partisan attacks,” Cook-Littman said.

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  • Mark Green

    Wow, that kinda backfired, huh, Paul?

  • Viriato77

    I’m just grateful she’s not anti-vax. How is she comfortable even being associated with the film in the first place.

  • Actually, if you ask Americans (or Brits) what labels should be added, only about 4% think of GMOs. This is just another one of her anti-science schemes.

  • Actually, if you ask Americans (or Brits) what labels should be added, only about 4% think of GMOs. This is just another one of her anti-science schemes.

  • Benjamin Edge

    She should express her outrage at those who used her in their anti-vax propaganda film. If she is truly in favor of vaccination, she should not appear in such films. It is not the fault of those who watched the film that come away with the impression that she is against vaccination. Be careful who you associate with, especially if you are running for office.

    • Mark Green

      Yeah, like the State and Local GOP watched the film…

      • Benjamin Edge

        What is your point? It was being talked about on the Internet. I think most of the US has access to that nowadays.

      • Viriato77

        your point? Bought is blatantly promoted as antivaccine and the website lists Tara Cook-Littman as a “notable cast member”. Even if she only speaks to GMO’s she’s associated and promoted with the film, so you have to ask if she, in turn, supports the film.

        • Scott M. Kokosa

          Actually, the movie was billed as a film on vaccines, big pharma, AND FOOD. Enter Tara on the GMO front of the three topic billing. Tara is such a supporter of GMO labeling, and has been recognized nationally for her work in this area, that when you have a chance to put your message out there, you do it. Ignorance, by not watching the film or even reading its full billing, is a horrendously bad excuse for people that are supposed to act with honor and character. Notice that her actual opponent kept his mouth shut on this. This is just people not running for election trying to throw disgusting hail Mary’s. Typical actions of desperate people.

          • Viriato77

            I’m sorry, in science and politics, there is such a thing as bad publicity. She did herself a disservice that she now has to explain away. What would watching the film tell me? I know she speaks to GMOs in the film. I know the film is very much anti-vaccine. The promotion of the film lists her as a notable cast member. Surely she knows of the film? Does she endorse it? Does she support all of it’s positions? These are legitimate questions based on her association with that film. You don’t need to make emotional appeals about this. I have no political party affiliation but I am pretty passionate about science and public policy. I’m relieved to know she came out pro-vaccine, but she also didn’t denounce the film for it’s anti-vaccine rhetoric. Politically it was a dumb move on her part to be associated with the film. It also steals legitimacy from her position on GMO’s, so it was a dumb move all around. If you want to be taken seriously you don’t hang out with crazies.

  • Benjamin Edge

    She should express her outrage at those who used her in their anti-vax propaganda film. If she is truly in favor of vaccination, she should not appear in such films. It is not the fault of those who watched the film that come away with the impression that she is against vaccination. Be careful who you associate with, especially if you are running for office.

  • The problem with “Bought” is that it was bought. It was paid for by anti-vaccinationists and other groups, targeted for funding by the film-maker. Thus, not only is it guilty of precisely the kind of misconduct it purports to expose, but should properly – and ethically – carry a caption throughout its running time:
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