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Argumentum ad package insert

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Argumentum ad package insert is an anti-vaccination argument that holds that the contents of the warnings on package inserts of vaccines and diagnostic tests indicates that the vaccine is very dangerous or that the diagnostic test has a high failure rate.

These arguments fail to take into account the actual measured rates of adverse reactions or actual measured false positive rates.

If you're curious, here is an official list of all known vaccine ingredients created by the CDC.

Basic format[edit]

  • Package insert X says medicine Y contains ingredient Z.
  • Ingredient Z is poisonous.
  • Therefore, medicine Y is poisonous.

The above argument, which is what most anti-med cranks default to, conveniently ignores the idea that certain qualities of an element can be cancelled out by another element. This is why sodium chloride (table salt) is safe to ingest.

Another common argument can be:

  • Doctor A wants to give patient B medicine C.
  • Patient B asks if doctor A if they have read the package insert for medicine C.
  • Doctor A says he has not read the full package insert for medicine C.
  • Therefore, doctor A is an idiot for unquestioningly prescribing medicine C.

This argument also conveniently ignores the fact that doctors do read package inserts, as some patients may be allergic to certain ingredients within the medicine.


  • The package insert on the HIV test says that the test can show false positives if you are pregnant. Therefore the HIV test is useless.
  • The package insert on the DTaP vaccine says it contains aluminium. Aluminium is a heavy metal. Therefore we are injecting ourselves with metal.
  • My doctor told me to take (insert prescription medicine here), but he hasn't even read the package insert for the medicine. Therefore, he is a shill for Big Pharma.

See also[edit]