In case you thought John McCain wasn’t antiscience

By Phil Plait | March 4, 2008 8:00 am

… then I present you with the newest evidence: he says that "there’s stong evidence" that vaccines cause autism.

If you haven’t heard, the idea that vaccines are linked with autism is one of the biggest example of medical antiscientific garbage there is. Vaccinations have been tested over and over again, and no link whatsoever has been found. None. Nothing. Nada.

But why believe me? From the article linked above:

The Centers for Disease Control says “There is no convincing scientific evidence of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in vaccines, except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics says”No scientific data link thimerosal used as a preservative in vaccines with any pediatric neurologic disorder, including autism.”

The Food and Drug Administration conducted a review in 1999 — the year thimerosal was ordered to be removed from most vaccines — and said that it “found no evidence of harm from the use of thimerosal as a vaccine preservative, other than local hypersensitivity reactions.”

The Institute of Medicine’s Immunization Safety Review Committee concluded “that the body of epidemiological evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism.”

And a study of California Department of Developmental Services data published last month indicated that there was “an increase in autism in California despite the removal of thimerosal from most vaccines.”

But, like 9/11 truthers or Moon hoaxers, antivax people still make the same tired claims.

Kinda makes you wonder about McCain a wee bit, doesn’t it? Try reading Respectful Insolence, or Cosmic Variance about him.

McCain used to make sense to me, up until recently when his pandering to the far right wackos turned into a nonstop dizzying spin that seems to be made of him trying to take both sides of every issue imaginable. His garbage stance on evolution was the first time I heard him brown-nosing the antiscience crowd, which was bad enough. But the antivaccination people are on a trajectory to do real harm to people all over the world, and the ones most likely to be hurt first are kids, who need vaccinations. Ironically, they want to help kids — many true believers are, incredibly sadly, parents with autistic children — but in the end, by grasping onto fantasy as opposed to reality, they are achieving the exact opposite.

And John McCain wants to help. Perfect.

Comments (108)

  1. Todd

    Yikes! I’m actually working on a paper, right now, for a grad class, where I’m going to be discussing the apparent controversies over mandatory vaccinations. This is a bit of current info that would be good to include, methinks.

    Todd

  2. Stonez

    It’s comments like that that make me glad I’m ineligible to vote. Clowns to the left of me, morons to the right…

    Where’s Nader? Oh there he is…

    /?

  3. SF Reader

    As the parent of an autistic child, I can’t begin to relate the emotional whiplash going on. Blame this, blame that, anecdote this, research that, it just goes on and on, and nobody even has a good model of what’s broken in the autistic brain! Don’t get me started on the “autistic lifestyle” people…

    Personally, I’m leaning toward a genetic weakness with an environmental trigger (perhaps mercury, perhaps immune system, perhaps …), so none of the single-cause trials ever finds anything. Cold recollection tells us that we certainly saw symptoms well before he got vaccinated, but there was also the typical backsliding shortly thereafter.

    The kinds of trials that might really tell us things are generally unethical.

  4. Greg

    >>But did you not read what I wrote? There are dozens of studies showing that there is no link whatsoever between vaccinations and autism. I even put the quotations directly in the post.<<

    BA – I believe your quotes were about Thimerosal links and autism not Vaccine links and autism. Unless I’m wrong your statement might deserve an edit.

  5. Pat

    Dear Drew: You are a sack. You as well, Hoonser.

    People look for causes; the difference between magical thinking and science is that science doesn’t stop at the emotional argument. It would be easy to finally settle down to “it was this.” Getting a diagnosis is a relief in one sense, unless it’s a broad spectrum disorder like Autism, then we look for causes for the disease.

    They used to blame the parents, now in our culture of victimization, it’s somebody else’s fault.

    All of this is crap, because when it comes down to it none of that matters. The seventeenth time you’ve had to rinse your eight-year-old son’s underwear in the toilet at a friends house before disposing of it, you wonder what went wrong. You’ve become inured to bodily functions that others recoil at. You sigh inwardly when other people’s children of the same age voice the disdain their parents feel, commenting that good boys and girls never do what your child is doing. You thrash anxiously between possibilities and wonder if anything you did or didn’t do contribute to this. What’s going to happen later on if I’m gone. And it builds, so some find release in an imaginary specter of big business gone wrong, or inscrutable science doing something to their children; anything to lash out at.

    But then your child hugs you, if you’re lucky like I am, and tells you he “loves you 100.” He numbers things, because that’s how you measure. Then he goes to play his Wii at a level that makes his cousins jealous and gives a fifteen-year-old boy a run for his money.

    So, everybody drop it. Drop the crap about thimerisol. It’s a dead end born of magical thinking. I don’t care what court documents are there; there’s no link. Kids are still diagnosed autistic. There’s no higher rate of autism among the children of hatters from the thirties, there’s no rash of autism among coastal living populations exposed to mercury from fish. Polio vaccinations did not signal an autism jump, nor did any combination of other vaccinations. It’s a dead issue, and I wish we could just bury it in the corellation-equalling-causation graveyard for good.

  6. Aerimus

    Well, considering that their are thousands of children who receive those vaccines every year, I’m sure that there would have to be more cases of autism if the vaccines alone where the culprit. At the very least, there has to be additional factors in addition to the vaccine or some other cause all together.

  7. Cory

    Off the high horse. I never think it’s bad to worry about what is being injected into a child’s body. Plus, if it’s such a no big deal, why did the big pharm companies agree to reduce and/or eliminate the use of thimerosal in their vaccines as a precautionary measure?
    This isn’t anti-science – there a lots of scientific studies whose data could be used to support the issue of concern about thimerosal and autism. Plus, I kindof thought this was a site about astronomy?

  8. Aerimus

    Weird. I made a post and I couldn’t find it. Turns out, it got timestamped as 8:37 instead of 9:37. So now it’s way up there instead of way down here…

  9. SF Reader– I’m very sorry to hear that, but I am heartened that you are taking the right tack here.

    Cory– Of course people worry what gets injected into peoples’ bodies. But did you not read what I wrote? There are dozens of studies showing that there is no link whatsoever between vaccinations and autism. I even put the quotations directly in the post. And as I recall, the removal of thimerosal from vaccines was due to public pressure, and not from any causal link. Public perception is important when you are making a product, even if that perception is wrong.

  10. Plus, if it’s such a no big deal, why did the big pharm companies agree to reduce and/or eliminate the use of thimerosal in their vaccines as a precautionary measure?

    For the same reason saccharin got banned in Canada. Public pressure due to misinformation.

  11. I remember in my science classes, a certain emphasis was placed on being skeptical about what was presented even as a scientific foundation law or theorem. A healthy amount of skeptic thought keeps ideas from getting stale and too cemented into the science community. When one applies that thought, one moves past the current ideas into the next arena of thought and that is how we got to the MOON and invented teflon and lasers and whatever else is now on the way! If you are in doubt, get a pulsed laser strong enought to bounce off the moon reflectors and prove it to yourself! Be a skeptic. Then, get proof. GH

  12. Greg

    >>But did you not read what I wrote? There are dozens of studies showing that there is no link whatsoever between vaccinations and autsm. I even put the quotations directly in the post.<<

    BA (Phil) – The quotes you cited pertained to Thimerosal in vaccines, so you might consider an edit to the above or include quotes about vaccines without Thimerosal.

  13. The whole “vaccinations cause autism” thing is like the “fluoridated water is used for mind control / causes 239783 different kinds of cancer / yadda yadda” thing. It’s public hysteria whipped up by misinformation made mainstream in the media.

    Scientists need better PR to combat this sort of thing.

  14. Tom Marking

    Boy, this one hits close to home. I have a 5-year old son who is diagnosed with severe autism. I personally have never given much credence to the autism-vaccination link but then again, we never saw any regression in our son’s behavior shortly after being administered a vaccination. Many parents claim to have seen such a thing and are convinced there is a linkage.

    Surprisingly the thimerosal theory of autism is quite widespread among parents of autistic children and even among many national autism organizations (ASA – Autism Society of America comes to mind). I belong to a lot of chat groups and trying to convince these people that their ideas don’t hold water is about as easy as trying to convince creationists that their ideas are wrong. One example is VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) which is an actual system the government has devised to keep track of problems with vaccines. Now one might think that given the epidemic of new autism cases in the last ten years that one would see a drastic increase in the number of adverse vaccine events reported. But if you go to the online database you will find that not to be the case. Anyone can check the data at:

    http://vaers.hhs.gov

    But boy, try bringing that fact up in certain Yahoo groups and you are really persona non grata. You must be a paid government agent or an agent of the pharmaceutical companies. Conspiracy theories abound especially among desperate people. And I know from personal experience, there is no feeling of desperation like the feeling you get when you are told for the first time that your kid is autistic and may never talk EVER.

    So McCain and most of the other politicians (Dan Burton comes to mind) are just shamelessly pandering to this group of desperate people. And I used to have the greatest respect for the man due to his experience of torture in the Hanoi Hilton. But no more.

  15. Hoonser

    That’s upsetting.

    From what I’ve heard the ‘big pharm’ companies, reduced thimerosal in their vaccines because of the amount of people Bad word deleted about their retarded children and how they thought vaccines made them that way. They didn’t actually need to do it, but there’s something called PR.
    And the way it’s going now, if enough morons pressure the ‘big pharm’ companies they would just very well stop making vaccines all together.
    I mean at LEAST then parents will actually have a legitimate case against ‘big pharm’ the lack of their vaccines gave their children small pox.

    I imagine if people started claiming that Blue M&M’s caused car crashes they could eventually get the M&M’s people to pull the colour despite the lack of evidence supporting the claim.

  16. Todd

    @Cory

    I agree with what the BA said regarding public pressure. The whole thimerosal-autism link broke into the public after a study by a UK researcher, Andrew Wakefield. His initial study was published in the Lancet, but subsequently, his coauthors and the Lancet withdrew support for the article. It was found that he stood to make significant profits if the link was shown to be true.

    However, the firestorm that created led to a huge impact on the vaccination rates in the UK, and here in the U.S., there was a lot of pressure put on the FDA to deal with thimerosal, even though the science hadn’t conclusively proven a link. Thimerosal was deemed unnecessary as a preservative in single use vaccines, and so FDA ordered the industry to stop using it for such. However, preservatives are still required for multiple use vaccines, to prevent contamination, which could lead to serious illness and injury. Thimerosal is still used in such multiple-dose vaccines, which includes the flu vaccine.

    Regarding the thimerosal-MMR-autism link, Skeptical Inquirer had a feature issue on it several months ago. In one of the main articles, several epidemiological studies were cited showing no correlation between autism rates and vaccines (whether containing thimerosal or not). The conclusion is that the jump in autism diagnoses since the 1990s (which is when the vaccine schedule was also increased) is more likely due to the broadening of the definition of autism into autism spectrum disorders (a wider umbrella of disorders and symptoms), as well as improvements in diagnostic techniques.

    I sympathize with SF Reader and have seen first-hand the devastation of autism. I can also understand the need to know what is causing it, to find something to blame. It helps to understand and cope with the situation. Unfortunately, the scientific and medical communities just have not been able to pinpoint the cause(s) of the disorders, though there is some promising research pointing toward genetic causes.

    The downside of all this is that reductions in vaccination rates means that a lot of these diseases which are all but eradicated in the U.S. can gain a new foothold. Yes, vaccines have side effects, just like any medicine. Yes, some of them are serious, but they are rare enough to warrant the use of the vaccines in the greater population. But vaccines remain our best current defense against epidemics of serious diseases that are preventable through immunization.

    Todd

  17. Aerimus

    My wife and I have a friend with a six month old who is one of those people that thinks that the link is there despite the lack of evidence. But then, she calls the pediatrician anytime the child acts out of the ordinary. It’s kind of sad to think of some of the things that that child might get exposed to because she won’t get him vaccines if she has the option.

    As for McCain, he’s got a unique problem. Usually, you get to spend the whole primary pandering to the base and then moving to the center when you clinch the nomination. Clinton and Obama are doing this now. But he was already considered in the center, and now has to move to the right in order to just secure his base. He’s got a fine line to walk to appease the conservative Republican base without alienating his own more moderate base. This is part of politics, and in the end, you know he won’t uphold all these promises to the conservative base. That’s going to wind up being the case with whoever gets elected – especially since those promises are almost always partially or wholly dependent on Congress, since they are the ones who make the legislation.

    Sign, I miss being young and idealistic, dreaming of one day voting for the person I thought was most fit to be president. I guess I should slink back into my cave and try to figure out which one of these people I hate more so I can vote for the other guy…

  18. Cory

    “People who actually believes that something like VACCINES could actually cause autism are, as Phil said it, a textbook example of antiscience around the world.”

    How come? I still don’t get it. People are anti-science because they want to know more about a possible link between vaccines and autism? There are plenty of clinical cases about serious effects of vaccines – today’s biggee is the cervical cancer vaccine.

    Why is it so bad to look into the effects of injecting an organomercurial preservative into a childs bloodstream? To label such as “anti-science” is myopic.

  19. Todd

    @drew terry

    Could you please provide the case # and full case title without redactions so that readers can search for all of the documents related to the case on the Court of Federal Claims web site?

    Thanks,
    Todd

  20. Some dumbass TV show did an episode were someone wins a multi-million dollar judgment against a pharmaceutical company for causing their kid’s autism. The network ran a disclaimer explaining it was a fictional story, but still, how many people bothered to read it? Millions of people were exposed to made-up facts, and that’s all they’re going to remember.

    It’s like the intelligent design thing. People keep hearing about a non-existent “controversy,” and pretty soon they start to believe that there really is a controversy. The very REAL fact that there is no controversy or alternative theory to the origin of life becomes completely irrelevant.

    To paraphrase Descartes: I think it, therefore it is.

  21. Aerimus

    Oh, and SF Reader, I second BA sympathy/support. I’ve never been around an autistic child, but my wife was alot when was a substitute middle school teacher. Some of the stories that she would tell me about her autistic student would break a heart…

  22. MartinM

    Plus, if it’s such a no big deal, why did the big pharm companies agree to reduce and/or eliminate the use of thimerosal in their vaccines as a precautionary measure?

    Oddly enough, even after the removal of thimerosal from most vaccines, autism rates stubbornly refused to decrease. Not quite what you would expect if there were a link.

  23. SLC

    There is also a discussion over at aetiology and a political blog which I will give a link to below.

    http://matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/03/mccain_and_thimerosol.php

  24. Todd

    As an added thought, those who are interested may wish to visit the web site of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, which is currently holding Omnibus Autism Proceedings, examining 9 test cases regarding autism. These are representative of over 4900 cases filed for compensation to the Vaccine Injury Program, and the petitioners are hoping to use them to prove three different theories, 3 cases each: thimerosal+MMR vaccine leads to autism, thimerosal alone causes autism, and MMR vaccine alone causes autism. The first hearings for the first three cases have concluded, and the Court is waiting for/reviewing evidentiary briefs submitted by the petitioners and respondents. A ruling will follow shortly after the review is complete.

  25. drew terry

    You may want to reconsider after reading this decision in which the government concedes liability; it was recently disclosed to the public.

    There is an old and often overlooked maxim about the law: “Let he who would be deceived, be deceived.”

    Does this case below prove anything about vaccines? Nothing except that we can ill afford to make assumptions.

    The first assumption not to make is to assume that ANY governmental agency is telling the public the truth.
    ?IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF FEDERAL CLAIMS?OFFICE OF SPECIAL MASTERS
    CHILD, a minor,
    by her Parents and Natural Guardians,
    Petitioners,
    v.
    SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES,
    Respondent.

    RESPONDENT’S RULE 4(c) REPORT
    In accordance with RCFC, Appendix B, Vaccine Rule 4(c), the Secretary of Health and Human Services submits the following response to the petition for compensation filed in this case.

    FACTS
    CHILD (“CHILD”) was born on December –, 1998, and weighed eight pounds, ten ounces. Petitioners’ Exhibit (“Pet. Ex.”) 54 at 13. The pregnancy was complicated by gestational diabetes. Id. at 13. CHILD received her first Hepatitis B immunization on December 27, 1998. Pet. Ex. 31 at 2. From January 26, 1999 through June 28, 1999, CHILD visited the Pediatric Center, in Catonsville, Maryland, for well-child examinations and minor complaints, including fever and eczema. Pet. Ex. 31 at 5-10, 19. During this time period, she received the following pediatric vaccinations, without incident:

    Vaccine Dates Administered
    Hep B 12/27/98; 1/26/99
    IPV 3/12/99; 4/27/99
    Hib 3/12/99; 4/27/99; 6/28/99
    DTaP 3/12/99; 4/27/99; 6/28/99
    Id. at 2.

    At seven months of age, CHILD was diagnosed with bilateral otitis media. Pet. Ex. 31 at 20. In the subsequent months between July 1999 and January 2000, she had frequent bouts of otitis media, which doctors treated with multiple antibiotics. Pet. Ex. 2 at 4. On December 3,1999, CHILD was seen by Karl Diehn, M.D., at Ear, Nose, and Throat Associates of the Greater Baltimore Medical Center (“ENT Associates”). Pet. Ex. 31 at 44. Dr. Diehn recommend that CHILD receive PE tubes for her “recurrent otitis media and serious otitis.” Id. CHILD received PE tubes in January 2000. Pet. Ex. 24 at 7. Due to CHILD’s otitis media, her mother did not allow CHILD to receive the standard 12 and 15 month childhood immunizations. Pet. Ex. 2 at 4.

    According to the medical records, CHILD consistently met her developmental milestones during the first eighteen months of her life. The record of an October 5, 1999 visit to the Pediatric Center notes that CHILD was mimicking sounds, crawling, and sitting. Pet. Ex. 31 at 9. The record of her 12-month pediatric examination notes that she was using the words “Mom” and “Dad,” pulling herself up, and cruising. Id. at 10.

    At a July 19, 2000 pediatric visit, the pediatrician observed that CHILD “spoke well” and was “alert and active.” Pet. Ex. 31 at 11. CHILD’s mother reported that CHILD had regular bowel movements and slept through the night. Id. At the July 19, 2000 examination, CHILD received five vaccinations – DTaP, Hib, MMR, Varivax, and IPV. Id. at 2, 11.

    According to her mother’s affidavit, CHILD developed a fever of 102.3 degrees two days after her immunizations and was lethargic, irritable, and cried for long periods of time. Pet. Ex. 2 at 6. She exhibited intermittent, high-pitched screaming and a decreased response to stimuli. Id. MOM spoke with the pediatrician, who told her that CHILD was having a normal reaction to her immunizations. Id. According to CHILD’s mother, this behavior continued over the next ten days, and CHILD also began to arch her back when she cried. Id.
    On July 31, 2000, CHILD presented to the Pediatric Center with a 101-102 degree temperature, a diminished appetite, and small red dots on her chest. Pet. Ex. 31 at 28. The nurse practitioner recorded that CHILD was extremely irritable and inconsolable. Id. She was diagnosed with a post-varicella vaccination rash. Id. at 29.

    Two months later, on September 26, 2000, CHILD returned to the Pediatric Center with a temperature of 102 degrees, diarrhea, nasal discharge, a reduced appetite, and pulling at her left ear. Id. at 29. Two days later, on September 28, 2000, CHILD was again seen at the Pediatric Center because her diarrhea continued, she was congested, and her mother reported that CHILD was crying during urination. Id. at 32. On November 1, 2000, CHILD received bilateral PE tubes. Id. at 38. On November 13, 2000, a physician at ENT Associates noted that CHILD was “obviously hearing better” and her audiogram was normal. Id. at 38. On November 27, 2000, CHILD was seen at the Pediatric Center with complaints of diarrhea, vomiting, diminished energy, fever, and a rash on her cheek. Id. at 33. At a follow-up visit, on December 14, 2000, the doctor noted that CHILD had a possible speech delay. Id.

    CHILD was evaluated at the Howard County Infants and Toddlers Program, on November 17, 2000, and November 28, 2000, due to concerns about her language development. Pet. Ex. 19 at 2, 7. The assessment team observed deficits in CHILD’s communication and social development. Id. at 6. CHILD’s mother reported that CHILD had become less responsive to verbal direction in the previous four months and had lost some language skills. Id. At 2.

    On December 21, 2000, CHILD returned to ENT Associates because of an obstruction in her right ear and fussiness. Pet. Ex. 31 at 39. Dr. Grace Matesic identified a middle ear effusion and recorded that CHILD was having some balance issues and not progressing with her speech. Id. On December 27, 2000, CHILD visited ENT Associates, where Dr. Grace Matesic observed that CHILD’s left PE tube was obstructed with crust. Pet. Ex. 14 at 6. The tube was replaced on January 17, 2001. Id.

    Dr. Andrew Zimmerman, a pediatric neurologist, evaluated CHILD at the Kennedy Krieger Children’s Hospital Neurology Clinic (“Krieger Institute”), on February 8, 2001. Pet. Ex. 25 at 1. Dr. Zimmerman reported that after CHILD’s immunizations of July 19, 2000, an “encephalopathy progressed to persistent loss of previously acquired language, eye contact, and relatedness.” Id. He noted a disruption in CHILD’s sleep patterns, persistent screaming and arching, the development of pica to foreign objects, and loose stools. Id.

    Dr. Zimmerman observed that CHILD watched the fluorescent lights repeatedly during the examination and would not make eye contact. Id. He diagnosed CHILD with “regressive encephalopathy with features consistent with an autistic spectrum disorder, following normal development.” Id. At 2. Dr. Zimmerman ordered genetic testing, a magnetic resonance imaging test (“MRI”), and an electroencephalogram (“EEG”). Id.

    Dr. Zimmerman referred CHILD to the Krieger Institute’s Occupational Therapy Clinic and the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (“CARDS”). Pet. Ex. 25 at 40. She was evaluated at the Occupational Therapy Clinic by Stacey Merenstein, OTR/L, on February 23, 2001. Id. The evaluation report summarized that CHILD had deficits in “many areas of sensory processing which decrease[d] her ability to interpret sensory input and influence[d] her motor performance as a result.” Id. at 45. CHILD was evaluated by Alice Kau and Kelley Duff, on May 16, 2001, at CARDS. Pet. Ex. 25 at 17. The clinicians concluded that CHILD was developmentally delayed and demonstrated features of autistic disorder. Id. at 22.

    CHILD returned to Dr. Zimmerman, on May 17, 2001, for a follow-up consultation. Pet. Ex. 25 at 4. An overnight EEG, performed on April 6, 2001, showed no seizure discharges. Id. at 16. An MRI, performed on March 14, 2001, was normal. Pet. Ex. 24 at 16. A G-band test revealed a normal karyotype. Pet. Ex. 25 at 16. Laboratory studies, however, strongly indicated an underlying mitochondrial disorder. Id. at 4.

    Dr. Zimmerman referred CHILD for a neurogenetics consultation to evaluate her abnormal metabolic test results. Pet. Ex. 25 at 8. CHILD met with Dr. Richard Kelley, a specialist in neurogenetics, on May 22, 2001, at the Krieger Institute. Id. In his assessment, Dr. Kelley affirmed that CHILD’s history and lab results were consistent with “an etiologically unexplained metabolic disorder that appear[ed] to be a common cause of developmental regression.” Id. at 7. He continued to note that children with biochemical profiles similar to CHILD’s develop normally until sometime between the first and second year of life when their metabolic pattern becomes apparent, at which time they developmentally regress. Id. Dr. Kelley described this condition as “mitochondrial PPD.” Id.

    On October 4, 2001, Dr. John Schoffner, at Horizon Molecular Medicine in Norcross, Georgia, examined CHILD to assess whether her clinical manifestations were related to a defect in cellular energetics. Pet. Ex. 16 at 26. After reviewing her history, Dr. Schoffner agreed that the previous metabolic testing was “suggestive of a defect in cellular energetics.” Id. Dr. Schoffner recommended a muscle biopsy, genetic testing, metabolic testing, and cell culture based testing. Id. at 36. A CSF organic acids test, on January 8, 2002, displayed an increased lactate to pyruvate ratio of 28,1 which can be seen in disorders of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. Id. at 22. A muscle biopsy test for oxidative phosphorylation disease revealed abnormal results for Type One and Three. Id. at 3. The most prominent findings were scattered atrophic myofibers that were mostly type one oxidative phosphorylation dependent myofibers, mild increase in lipid in selected myofibers, and occasional myofiber with reduced cytochrome c oxidase activity. Id. at 7. After reviewing these laboratory results, Dr. Schoffner diagnosed CHILD with oxidative phosphorylation disease. Id. at 3. In February 2004, a mitochondrial DNA (“mtDNA”) point mutation analysis revealed a single nucleotide change in the 16S ribosomal RNA gene (T2387C). Id. at 11.

    CHILD returned to the Krieger Institute, on July 7, 2004, for a follow-up evaluation with Dr. Zimmerman. Pet. Ex. 57 at 9. He reported CHILD “had done very well” with treatment for a mitochondrial dysfunction. Dr. Zimmerman concluded that CHILD would continue to require services in speech, occupational, physical, and behavioral therapy. Id.

    On April 14, 2006, CHILD was brought by ambulance to Athens Regional Hospital and developed a tonic seizure en route. Pet. Ex. 10 at 38. An EEG showed diffuse slowing. Id. At 40. She was diagnosed with having experienced a prolonged complex partial seizure and transferred to Scottish Rite Hospital. Id. at 39, 44. She experienced no more seizures while at Scottish Rite Hospital and was discharged on the medications Trileptal and Diastal. Id. at 44. A follow-up MRI of the brain, on June 16, 2006, was normal with evidence of a left mastoiditis manifested by distortion of the air cells. Id. at 36. An EEG, performed on August 15, 2006, showed “rhythmic epileptiform discharges in the right temporal region and then focal slowing during a witnessed clinical seizure.” Id. At 37. CHILD continues to suffer from a seizure disorder.

    ANALYSIS
    Medical personnel at the Division of Vaccine Injury Compensation, Department of Health and Human Services (DVIC) have reviewed the facts of this case, as presented by the petition, medical records, and affidavits.

    After a thorough review, DVIC has concluded that compensation is appropriate in this case.

    In sum, DVIC has concluded that the facts of this case meet the statutory criteria for demonstrating that the vaccinations CHILD received on July 19, 2000, significantly aggravated an underlying mitochondrial disorder, which predisposed her to deficits in cellular energy metabolism, and manifested as a regressive encephalopathy with features of autism spectrum disorder. Therefore, respondent recommends that compensation be awarded to petitioners in accordance with 42 U.S.C. § 300aa-11(c)(1)(C)(ii).

    DVIC has concluded that CHILD’s complex partial seizure disorder, with an onset of almost six years after her July 19, 2000 vaccinations, is not related to a vaccine-injury.

    Respectfully submitted,
    PETER D. KEISLER?Assistant Attorney General
    TIMOTHY P. GARREN?Director?Torts Branch, Civil Division
    MARK W. ROGERS?Deputy Director?Torts Branch, Civil Division
    VINCENT J. MATANOSKI?Assistant Director?Torts Branch, Civil Division
    s/ Linda S. Renzi by s/ Lynn E. Ricciardella?LINDA S. RENZI?Senior Trial Counsel?Torts Branch, Civil Division?U.S. Department of Justice?P.O. Box 146?Benjamin Franklin Station?Washington, D.C. 20044?(202) 616-4133

    DATE: November 9, 2007

  26. I, too, am a parent of an autistic child. In my opinion, these claims of autism being caused by vaccines are nothing short of terrorism. They try to make us scared of these vaccines, and feel guilty for having given them to our children, when there is absolutely no cause to, all to further their own political agenda. Using fear to further a political agenda is the essence of terrorism.

  27. Crux Australis

    To Pat and SF Reader, my son and I both have Asperger Syndrome. I get the feeling that my experiences can’t compare to yours, although I know exactly what you are talking about. I was going to write something, but I couldn’t say it better than you have.

  28. I would greatly appreciate it if people would use a modicum of decorum when posting comments. This is a serious situation, and it’s devastating for the parents of autistic children. I will not tolerate any name-calling here. I’m looking at you, Hoonser.

  29. fos

    I’m old enough to remember diseases such as Polio. One of my cousins was stricken with the disease. He walked with crutches and braces until he passed away. Why would anyone want to do away with vacines? !!!!

    I have never like McCain. He blows in the breeze.

    fos

  30. Tom Marking

    “Part of the reason the rate of diagnosed autism has risen is because State and Federal funding is available for education. In the past, a diagnosis of autism did not get you anything in the way of government assistance (U.S.A.) When the laws were changed the rate of autism diagnoses suddenly increased because funding became available.”

    If you are suggesting that parents are somehow faking their kid’s autism diagnosis so that they can enroll them in the wonderful world of special education, then you are obviously out of touch with reality. Most parents (and I use myself as an example) start out in total denial concerning their child’s autism. Getting “free money” from special education is last thing on their minds. They are usually thinking more along the lines of how the diagnosis is completely wrong in the case of their child and how their child can avoid special education and other “free programs”.

    BTW, the government assistance for autism is a complete joke and no one would fake a diagnosis to receive this trash (i.e., what the government calls special education).

  31. Pat

    Cory: Your concern is misplaced. Consider how many children are abused and neglected, go without health insurance, starve, and die. How many of those misfortunes could be remedied with a lot of help from regular folks, rather than a Quixotic campaign mashing together desperate parents with ideological crusaders goading them on?

    You can foam all you like about mercury in the bloodstream of a child, but it is far more cruel to take medicine and food from the mouth of that same child.

    No link to mercury or vaccinations, ergo emotional argument.

    Thanks for playing the game, but those of us with actual investment in this would prefer working towards some kind of help for our kids rather than shrieking about blame and damning the fates.

  32. Greg

    The Thimerosal issue is old news which has been refuted in studies. The new campaign is about the amount of recommended vaccinations compared to years ago. It is more than double. There was a full page ad about this in either USA Today or The Wall Street Journal within the past week or two. As far as I know there have been no definitive studies as to the effects related to the increase in the number and combination of vaccinations. Is there something to it or is it just a change in tactics by those who are convinced there is a connection? Recently I heard something about a study about a combo vaccine that produces some bad health effects but not if the combo is split into 2 different vacinations. Can’t remember the details though.

    Part of the reason the rate of diagnosed autism has risen is because State and Federal funding is available for education. In the past, a diagnosis of autism did not get you anything in the way of government assistance (U.S.A.) When the laws were changed the rate of autism diagnoses suddenly increased because funding became available.

  33. Yoshi_3up

    This makes me remember about this Paranoid Conspiracy Theorist who believed in EVERY SINGLE theory: Moon Hoax, 9-11, Illuminati, Freemasonry, Reptilians, UFOs, etc. I had a little chat with this guy, to “calmly talk about his theories”. Of course, it wasn’t calm at all.

    He told me something like “DON’T TAKE THE VACCINES-SAY NO TO THE CHIP”.

    People who actually believes that something like VACCINES could actually cause autism are, as Phil said it, a textbook example of antiscience around the world.

  34. Pat

    Crux: I’m almost sad to say I am jealous. I wish I could understand and help my son in some way. My sister’s son is a bit worse off, and I should be glad I know that my son can speak and, to some extent, communicate in a somewhat clear manner. Now we’re working on impulse control, like not removing your pants in public.

    I sometimes wish I had his complete lack of self-awareness. He doesn’t know embarassment.

  35. Todd

    Looks like a lot of posts are getting the wrong timestamp.

  36. themadlolscientist

    An older couple I know have two adult children with autism and firmly believe the whole mercury-vaccine-autism business is a crock, as do most of the people they know who are parents of similar adult children. To them it seems to be primarily younger parents who have been up in arms about a possible connection.

    It’s always something. When I was pregnant with my son, there was a huge flap going on over the morning-sickness medication Bendectin, which a lot of people were pointing to as a cause of autism. It was taken off the market a few months after he was born in spite of there being no real evidence of its being harmful.

    I’m just glad it was still around when I needed it. Even with it, I threw up at least once a day for 6 months. Without it, I couldn’t keep anything down at all and would almost certainly have been in the hospital for malnutrition and dehydration. And my son is just fine, as are the vast majority of other kids whose moms had to take the stuff.

    Then there was the DPT controversy. A lot of parents started insisting that the “P” (pertussis, or whooping cough) part be taken out because they thought that was making their kids sick or retarded.

    The question I always want to ask when the mercury-in-vaccines issue comes up is: If mercury in vaccines is the culprit, then why isn’t everyone from the pre-Bactine generation sitting in a corner rocking back and forth from all the Merthiolate (AKA “red sting-y stuff”) that got slopped all over us every time we skinned our knees?

    [snark] Maybe a major epidemic will come along and wipe out half the non-vaccinators. Then the other half will get scared $#!+less and go flocking to their doctors to get their kids vaccinated against a fate worse than shots. Then we won’t have this problem. [/snark]

    As BA said a few days ago: Feh. Just Feh.

  37. themadlolscientist
  38. Aerimus

    Astronomer

    Hmmm. Word for word the exact same post that you posted in the comments one another post. Can you say troll, boys and girls?

  39. Pat

    Greg:
    I don’t have words to characterize your allegations. The rate might have gone up because doctors are more aware of it, and more mild cases are being caught (“Autism Spectrum Disorder”), but to intimate that I or any parent would deliberately seek to have their child get the “assistance” offered by a separate class that stigmatizes their child as “different,” or desire a special bus that results in parents pointing and saying: “That’s the bus for the retards” (actual quote my wife heard one woman say to her child).

    I suppose rape victims were asking for it, too. You know. Have to blame somebody, don’t we?

  40. Cory

    “Thanks for playing the game, but those of us with actual investment in this would prefer working towards some kind of help for our kids rather than shrieking about blame and damning the fates.”

    ? Wondering about the effects of chemicals in vaccines is shrieking of blame and damning the fates? What the hell are you talking about?

  41. Aerimus

    @Pat

    I can’t speak for Greg, but I think he was talking about schools and such. Schools are now able to get loads of additional funding because of autistic children enrolled in the school, so schools are now more on the look out for this sort of thing.

  42. asknot

    Nonvaccinators will not be likely be wiped out by any epidemic so long as they remain a minority, as they will be protected by the vaccinated majority around them who will not be available as carriers to pass the infection on to them. Infectious diseases need a certain density of susceptible individuals in the population before they can propagate to epidemic proportions.

    As such, getting vaccinated doesn’t just protect you, but also protects everyone around you who might get infected by you if you should contract the disease. (Especially people with medical problems/weakened immune systems who either cannot get vaccinated or in whom the vaccination would not work as effectively)

    Vaccination, like all medical procedures, does have some small but real risks. This of course means that refusing to be vaccinated is a selfish act and a form of social cheating, where you refuse to expose yourself to the risk but derive a benefit from other people around you who do.

  43. Tom Marking

    “The question I always want to ask when the mercury-in-vaccines issue comes up is: If mercury in vaccines is the culprit, then why isn’t everyone from the pre-Bactine generation sitting in a corner rocking back and forth from all the Merthiolate (AKA “red sting-y stuff”) that got slopped all over us every time we skinned our knees?”

    I brought up the same point many times on many different groups. You can’t use logic with some people. The answer coming back was always the same – Well, the systems of our autistic kids just can’t handle the thimerosal/merthiolate and the systems of all those other kids can. So you mean the cause is a genetic difference after all? Oh, no! It’s environmental all the way. LOL.

  44. Pat

    Cory: Animal testing, years of primate research. Already been done. Years of research long before this. Focusing on this tiny aspect of what goes into a child’s development is detremental to the whole, especially when the horse is well dead and rotted yet people continue to beat it. “No flies here, beat it here!”

    This was not a new drug rushed to market. The fellow who did the research that led to this red herring in the first place was roundly shown to be looking to make a buck, and nothing since has even come close to backing up his argument.

    Again, why no autism epidemic among shore living people who eat fish? Why no autism epedemic among hatter’s children? Think before you leap.

  45. Sorry about the timestamp issue. The clock on the server was a little messed up, but I fixed it. Should be good to go now.

  46. Cory

    Geez. All I did was ask why it’s so anti-science to want to know more about vaccines and the possible implications and now we’re on to being non-vaccinators. For a site that touts asking questions, the vehement response to one asking a question is deplorable. Talk about anti-science….

  47. Pat

    Tom: That argument (“kids systems” and the like) comes close to the “natural” vs. “artificial” vitamin C argument, and to homeopathy in general. As if there was something vital or special about a chemical’s point of origin. That’s pretty much when you can write it off as a logical argument; it’s got emotional baggage and investment.

  48. Todd

    @asknot

    Thanks for posting regarding herd immunity. Do you happen to know of any web sites that go into that in a little more detail?

  49. Pat

    Cory:
    It was explained that the thimerisol was an antiscience argument. You continued to press, apparently considering that your position was valid. You are apparently, also, unaware of how many times many of us have had to endure people spouting endlessly about how they /know/ this is the cause, how science and big business or whatever other bogeyman /knew/ that this would happen. I’m tired of debate on a lot of this, and reflexively go for the throat.

    I apologize.

  50. Tom Marking

    “The whole thimerosal-autism link broke into the public after a study by a UK researcher, Andrew Wakefield”

    Wakefield, the number one autism charlatan in the world has now wound up in Austin, Texas at a clinic called Thoughtful House:

    http://www.thoughtfulhouse.org

    Why is it we Texans end up collecting the world’s trash like Wakefield? Isn’t it enough that we already have Barney Maddox? Anyway, according to ASA, Wakefield, Jepson, the late Bernie Rimland, Stepanie Cave, etc., etc. are the new gods. Whatever nonsense that spews from their mouths must be believed in automatically. They have their own organization called DAN! (explanation mark is part of the name) for Defeat Autism Now! (exclamation mark as in NOW!!!!!!!!!!, not YESTERDAY). It is more dangerous IMHO than ten Discovery Institutes put together. Already there have been deaths linked to chelation of autistic kids:

    http://health.dailynewscentral.com/content/view/1561/0

    http://www.casewatch.org/civil/nadama/complaint.shtml

  51. Cory

    Pat – apology accepted. For the record, my kids got all their vaccinations, although I did perform due diligence on researching the data on thimerosal. I don’t think it’s the culprit, but I don’t think taking a hard look at vaccines is anti-science, either. And, I didn’t really take a position. I only questioned the use of the term “anti-science” to relate to the concerns about thimerosal.

  52. Todd

    @Cory

    I think, at this point, it’s been pretty well-established that thimerosal is not a likely candidate. The authoritative voices that continue to say that it is, despite the evidence, are being anti-science. I’m not blaming the families who believe that it is the culprit, as they desperately need to believe that the cause has been found, rather, it’s the scientists and doctors who should know better. Nothing wrong with examining the claims, but there comes a time when one needs to listen to the evidence.

  53. Cory Meyer

    I have Asperger Syndrome and so this issue is quite personal to me, and am always deeply offended by perpetuations of the vaccine myth. I’m understanding of caring parents and I certainly have struggled to find answers in my own life, but vaccines are not the culprit. There certainly is a medical vaccuum of unanswered questions and it’s easy to left abandoned by medicine. Antiscientific quackery feels warm and fuzzy but cold hard science is where to place one’s inquiry. For anyone with an initiative, head over to Quackwatch.com (or scour through Skeptic mag’s newsletter archive) for articles on why the vaccine myth is not a viable answer.

    (I’m not to be confused with the other Cory)

  54. Pat

    Oh for crying- chelation therapy? That jackass cure-all crap that’s best reserved for people who need it? Man, tell people a ten foot fall cures the urge to walk and you’d have people trying to cure cancer by dropping “patients” out of windows.

  55. Tom Marking

    “Schools are now able to get loads of additional funding because of autistic children enrolled in the school, so schools are now more on the look out for this sort of thing.”

    Total B.S. I know of many parents who came in with a medical diagnosis of ASD from a developmental pediatrician and they had to fight to get their child admitted into Special Ed. The schools have limited budgets and therefore tend to exclude children from special ed programs especially if the programs are already at capacity.

  56. Aerimus

    @Tom Marking:

    I was basing my statement on something I could have sworn that I have read at one time and on reading Greg’s response earlier. Considering that I can’t find the item that I thought I had read, and that, after rereading Greg post, I see I was completely off base on understanding what he was saying. I could have sworn that I read that somewhere, like a couple of years ago (back when I was a new father), but everything I’m finding is counter to that, so apparently I was mistaken.

    Actually, talking with my wife, who was a substitute in special ed classes, you are absolutely correct. I just got a good, stern talking to…

    I still think that Pat misinterpreted Greg’s comments, just as I did. Perhaps Greg can clarify for himself, but rereading it (and actually reading it this time), I think he means that funding has been poured into educating people so that they spot autism, not that parents of autistic children are trying to benefit from their child. That would be consistent with the stuff that I’ve read just a few minutes ago. But maybe I’m wrong again. Lessoned Learned: quick talking on behalf of others.

  57. themadlolscientist

    The “herd immunity” principle works well for the population at large, but I think it might not work as well among tightly-knit groups of non-vaccinators. For instance, a number of religious splinter groups don’t believe in vaccination, and some don’t believe in conventional medicine at all. If a nasty virus – especialy one that’s highly contagious before it causes noticeable symptoms – ever got loose in one of those, it could possibly spread through that group and the results could be pretty scary.

    I will concede that it’s not likely as long as those groups do keep themselves isolated and the rest of keep getting our shots. But conceivably, a couple of door-to-door Jehovah’s Witlesses getting coughed on by the wrong people could start an outbreak in that community.

    And I was being snarky before, BTW. :-)

  58. Christian X Burnham

    It’s not just McCain, or people on the right of the political spectrum who are nuts on this one. Robert Kennedy is also convinced of a big bad Pharma vaccine cover up. (Google has the details. Google is your friend. Google wants you to know that it loves you very much.)

  59. revmonkeyboy

    @ Cory,

    Asking questions and being skeptical is by no means anti-science. But, be prepared for the fight to start. Science works this way. It works well. All arguments are subject to arguments. If you write a paper, prepare for the fallout. If you say something that is not considered to be true, prepare for serious argument. The vaccine cause for autism has been thoroughly researched, it has no merit. Vaccines are about the ONLY thing we are sure does not cause autism. I would lean towards genetics with environmental trigger as stated before. Those causes are difficult to find. Only better and more thorough research will solve this issue, not the opposite.

    Do not take it hard that many jumped in with criticism. It should be expected. It is how things work in science. Get a thick skin, and be sure of your argument. Criticism should be expected, learning should be the result.

  60. Tom Marking

    “Actually, talking with my wife, who was a substitute in special ed classes, you are absolutely correct. I just got a good, stern talking to…”

    Aerimus, since apparently you got your tail chewed out by your local expert, you are forgiven this time. :)

    But what Greg had to say which was this:

    “When the laws were changed the rate of autism diagnoses suddenly increased because funding became available.”

    is just factually incorrect and easily seen to be. Go to:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidemiology_of_autism

    and look at the first chart you see with the orange bars. It’s obvious from the data presented that the incidence of autism has seen a steady exponential growth from 1996 to 2006. The special ed laws were not changing all those years so they could not be responsible for the increase. In fact, the only two significant changes in special ed law were the original IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) of 1975 and amendments which were passed to it in 2004:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Individuals_with_Disabilities_Education_Act

  61. drew terry

    Belief in logic and reason is ultimately an emotional argument for the superiority of logic and reason; emotional due to argument.

    Rational belief in the superiority of logic and reason defies argument; to truly believe means indifference to alternate interpretations.

    It seems irrational to exclude the very real possibility that deception is involved, hence the controversy.

    Without first-hand knowledge we are relying on the integrity of the results. Is anyone here arguing with first-hand knowledge of test results?

  62. Tom Marking

    Someone brought up http://www.quackwatch.com as a good resource for this topic. There are several excellent articles on that web site that you should read if you want to understand the numerous instances of flim-flammery that have been going on in the autism field for decades:

    http://www.quackwatch.org/03HealthPromotion/immu/autism.html

    http://www.quackwatch.org/04ConsumerEducation/News/secretin.html

    http://www.quackwatch.org/03HealthPromotion/immu/mmrcase.html

    http://www.quackwatch.org/03HealthPromotion/immu/thimerosal.html

    http://www.quackwatch.org/04ConsumerEducation/nonrecorg.html

    http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/sid.html

    http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/mentserv.html

    http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/autism.html

    And there are many more articles about what to avoid if you are the parent of an autistic child.

  63. Tom Marking

    “Without first-hand knowledge we are relying on the integrity of the results. Is anyone here arguing with first-hand knowledge of test results?”

    What test results are you talking about? Are you sure you commented in the right thread?

  64. Christian X Burnham
  65. This is a really interesting article about a girl who has autism and, after years of therapy with people who believed in her, was able to learn how to effectively use a laptop to communicate to people.

    Not entirely relevant to the whole autism-vaccine issue, but cool nonetheless. Regarding the autism-vaccine thing, I also say feh.

    It amazes me how some myths, no matter how many times they are rebutted, remain in the flow of society and can even influence policy. McCain frightened me before, now he’s simply absolutely terrifying. I do not think he is in any way, shape or form qualified to be President of this country. (I have similar thoughts about Bush).

  66. Jeffersonian

    Thimerosol may not be linked to autism, but that doesn’t make it a preferable preservative. Ask anyone who used to have allergic reactions to the old Thimerosol-preserved products. It’s not good stuff; that’s not why it was used for so long. It was cheaper and tons were manufactured.

    BTW, having help raised my autistic nephew, I’m in the camp that the trait is genetic; that it’s the diagnosis and recognition that have changed. Those of us middle age (or older!) remember autistic kids in grade school who were nowhere near being diagnosed as such. My sister never bought any of the woo-woo links after investigating dead ends for two decades, but then, she’s a pharma scientist.(She, too, had years of fighting to receive special education – it all depends on which state you’re in followed by which district.

    My girlfriend just leaned over to see what I was doing and she thought she saw “vaccine causes athiesm” go by when I scrolled. (Being the opposite of the fig in the garden of eden).

  67. themadlolscientist

    @ River: The son of the couple I mentioned above also uses a laptop to communicate. His parents worked with him for quite a few years using facilitated communication – admittedly a controversial practice, but they’re not about to argue with what worked.

    Suddenly he started using his letterboard without help, and his parents realized he could say just about anything he wanted. (The big breakthrough: He told his dad he wanted to listen to Bach’s B Minor Mass.) Then, his parents say, he started “talking” nonstop, and they found out what a smart kid had been cooped up in there for 30 years. That’s when they bought him the laptop. He carries it with him everywhere and has even taken some college-level writing courses. He still needs help to focus sometimes – but not when he’s writing.

  68. Pat

    Facilitated Communication falls into the magical thinking category, unfortunately. It’s made up more of the wishful thinking of the facilitator rather than the child’s actual response.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/programs/transcripts/1202.html

    From my understanding, many mildly to moderately autistic individuals pass a threshold where they begin to communicate, but with severely autistic children there does not appear to be a similar advancement. What advancement there is appears to occur regardless of what treatments the parents or child are put through. In other words, patience and time are the only real “treatments.”

    Serotonin and its reduction and transport has been implicated anew as a possible mechanism in autism.

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-03/vumc-sbp030408.php

  69. Yes, Tom, I am know whereof I comment, thank you.

    Let me be blunt: people lie.

    All the time, and more so (it seems to me) now than ever before.

    If I recall, autistic kids do not understand deception.

    None of us are exempt; we all lie to ourselves about something.

    When we argue with other people, we are really trying to convince ourselves; by convincing the other person, we convince our self.

    Another way to look at it is by negative identification, or by the hierarchy of beliefs in question.

    For instance, we may claim to believe in the validity of test results when in reality it may be discovered later that the test results were bogus. We may have known the results were bogus; however, the integrity of the lab may be more important to our beliefs (say the lab recently verified results of a new theory, and without those results verified the entire hypothesis must be declared corrupted, 10 years worth of work – or something like that).

    The point being that people lie most often when they are unaware of it, either because they were given false/misleading information, or they misperceive and misinterpret in ways that appear to them unbiased but in reality are completely biased and blind to the source of the bias itself.

    I feel too often people get caught up defending this or promoting that when they have not asked themselves “why do I believe what I believe?”

    Unless we argue first-hand knowledge, we are always subject to the integrity of someone else.

  70. Christian – thanks for the link.

    It was interesting, but not what I thought I wrote.

    Of course, what I wrote is what I meant at the time.

    Thanks for the opportunity to clarify; I always stand by what I meant to say.

  71. Todd

    @drew terry

    Could you provide the case # and/or the full case title without removing the names of the people involved? I can’t seem to find the case on the Court of Federal Claims web site and would like some more details to help me find it.

    Thanks.

  72. Todd – Sorry, it is reprinted verbatim.

    Search google and you should find it on the Huffington Post – I think I searched for ‘autism federal liability’ or something like that.

  73. Dee

    Probably most of the people involved in this discussion have already moved on, but…

    I am also the parent of a young adult with autism, like others who responded. My daughter is nearly 21, very mildly affected by autism, but with moderate retardation, severe speech-language disorders, and poor short-term memory. If it weren’t for the other issues, she’d probably fit into the Asperger’s Syndrome range, in terms of autism– she has very good social skills. We also realized some years back that my husband would most likely have been diagnosed with Asperger’s, if he’d been born today.

    My own feeling is that autism does not have a single cause, but rather is a group of symptoms, much like trembling in the legs could be due to just plain old physical exhaustion, or something much more serious such as a stroke, arthritis, or cerebral palsy. In our case, we have reason to believe that our daughter suffered oxygen deprivation before birth, as a fetal monitor the day she was born (by emergency C-section) recorded her heartrate over 200. Since she was nearly 2 weeks late, who knows whether this had happened several times, or just the once?

    I was very active in the local chapter of the Autism Society of America for several years, and saw a great number of my friends try one “fix” after another (various therapies, facilitated communication, etc.)– all with limited or, more often, no success. My heart goes out to all of you who are affected by autism, and I hope that the election of a new president (obviously, McCain is NOT my choice!) will bring an end to the anti-science bent this country has been taking.

  74. Tom Marking

    “For instance, we may claim to believe in the validity of test results when in reality it may be discovered later that the test results were bogus. We may have known the results were bogus”

    O.K. So you’re posting in the right place. So let me ask you again, what test results are you talking about? You should be aware that there is no medical test for autism. It is diagnosed primarily by observing behavior and parental questionnaires so two different medical practitioners may come up with radically different diagnoses for the same child because they observe different things and ask different questions. There are no medical test results involved in the diagnosis.

    (There is a genetic test for Fragile X but only about five percent of autistic people have Fragile X. I’m not sure if that’s what you’re referring to.)

  75. Tom Marking

    “she thought she saw “vaccine causes atheism” go by when I scrolled”

    That reminds me about the joke about the dyslexic atheist. He doesn’t believe in Dog. :)

  76. Tom Marking

    “I was very active in the local chapter of the Autism Society of America for several years”

    The ASA is the most powerful autism organization in the United States with over 200 chapters throughout the country. It was founded by Bernard Rimland in 1965.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autism_Society_of_America

    Rimland was the debunker of Bruno Bettelheim who maintained the idea that parents cause their children’s autism (i.e., the “refrigerator mother” syndrome) which was accepted as orthodoxy by the medical establishment throughout the 1950′s and 1960′s. So the parents of autistic children owe Rimland immense gratitude for knocking off Betterlheim’s pseudoscientific B.S.

    Unfortunately, in knocking off one pseudoscientific fallacy Rimland seems to have replaced it with another equally bad. It was Rimland who first gave credibility to the vaccination theory of autism. He is the founder of DAN! (Defeat Autism Now!). He has also championed other treatments such as Vitamin B6 which have not panned out in subsequent research.

    So ASA has a mixed legacy. They support worthwhile programs (I am attending an ASA sponsored event for WrightsLaw at my local chapter tomorrow), but on the other hand I attended a resource fair sponsored by ASA last year in which every pseudoscientific quackery imaginable was on sale from hyperbaric therapy to weighted vests to classical music therapy (and believe me these quack treatments are not cheap, they usually cost thousands of dollars). So you have to pick and choose wisely with anything related to ASA.

  77. Todd

    @drew terry

    Thanks for the reference. It would be nice to find the actual copy from the Court. When I see redactions like that that make finding the official version difficult, it makes me wonder. It’s odd that they removed the names, since court decisions and most related documents are public information, unless they are sealed by court order.

  78. KC

    It’s probably too late to comment, but . . .

    Something that really worries me is using the acceptance of a set of facts as a litmus test of whether someone supports are opposes science. A person who believes all the accepted wisdom of the day can be just as anti-science as a person up to his eyeballs in woo-wooism. That’s because science is a method, not a collection of facts. All of the scientific method can be distilled into one question: How do we know that this is so. The scientific method strives to answer this question through systematic investigation, through questions, through repeatable observations and results, and through verifiable explain that matches known facts. Science is not the tacit acceptance of these facts.

    That is why this worries me. Someone who accepts a pronouncement by a scientist simply because it comes from a scientist has merely exchanged a scientist for priest or holy man or witch doctor. That is dogma, not science, and strikes at the root of what science is all about. This is perhaps more corrosive to science than the rankest woo-wooism because if the public abandons the scientific method, then it looses its means to differentiate fact from wishful thinking.

    Obviously no one here has said we must blindly accept the pronouncement of a scientist. But I fear that we’re concentrating more at the facts than on how those facts were discovered (come to think of it, that’s probably why I like Asimov’s science essays – but I digress). In the end we have a public who is unable to differentiate between science, pseudo-science, and woo-wooism.

    I don’t know if McCain is anti-science or not. Maybe he is. Or maybe he’s unaware that evidence has repeatedly shown no link between vaccine preservatives and autism. Maybe he’s not convinced that evolution as it’s now understood is entirely accurate. That’s no more anti-science than scientists questioning the validity of a study. What’s important is how someone forms their opinion on questions of science. Someone who questions a study from doubts that the facts support the researcher’s argument isn’t anti-science; someone who questions a study because they regard all science with suspicion is.

  79. Cory

    KC -

    Excellent post! That’s what I was trying to say.

  80. Tom Marking

    Hillary Clinton is also deep in autism woo:

    http://autisticbfh.blogspot.com/2007/11/more-bogus-autism-promises-from-hillary.html

    Monday, November 26, 2007
    More Bogus Autism Promises from Hillary Clinton

    Hillary Clinton is up to her old tricks, shamelessly making conflicting promises to all of the cure groups, while ignoring the views of autistic people entirely. While campaigning in Iowa on Saturday, she characterized autism as an environmentally caused health crisis:

    “I believe there are environmental triggers,” she said.

    Clinton said people are exposed to thousands of chemicals. “They are in the carpets. They are in the paints. They are in the clothes we wear,” she said.

    If you’ve been wondering what sort of political experience the second-term junior Senator from New York has been touting when she goes around claiming to have 35 years of experience, well, I’ll have to admit that her skills at equivocation and triangulation are right up there with the best of Washington’s career liars. It’s not easy to pander to the biomed crowd and the behaviorists at the same time, while also sucking up to Autism Speaks and advocating eugenic “prevention,” but she manages it:

    Clinton’s plan would include a task force, that would include people from the autism community, that would be charged with identifying gaps in evidence-based biomedical research, behavioral treatments, and services for children and adults with autism.

    It’s all too obvious that her idea of “people from the autism community” does not include any actual autistic people. Looks like she still hasn’t noticed that there are over one million autistic Americans who are of voting age. Or perhaps she thinks that we have so little money and influence that we can be ignored, marginalized, and eugenically exterminated without any political cost to her.

  81. TheBlackCat

    @ KC:

    Someone who steadfastly refuses to accept the evidence no matter much evidence is provided is antiscience. That is the definition of one of the two main classes of antiscience, denialism.

    At a certain point so much evidence has been accumulated for a certain scientific principle that you simply cannot reject that principle without rejecting science along with it. Evolution has been at that point for decades. You simply cannot reject evolution without rejecting scientific methodology in general. The same could be said for vaccines causing autism. There is no causal mechanism, there is no epidemiological link, there is no change based on population-wide changes in vaccine usage. The only way to continue to accept it is to reject all the evidence. When all the scientific evidence opposes your view, and there is a lot of really good scientific evidence, then the only way to continue to hold that view is to reject the evidence. And the only way to reject the evidence is to reject the scientific methodology that was used to arrive at that evidence. That is fine if the evidence is poor or inconclusive, but when the evidence is strong and very conclusive your only choice is to reject the scientific method in general.

  82. Cat

    I’ve never had vaccines. Not one. Ever. And I’m totally fine; always have been. So who gives a bad word deleted if people think it may cause autism? Not getting them because of a fear doesn’t harm people. Just because no link has been proven does not mean the theory has been disproved. And it’s sure as hell not proof that McCain is anti-science…perhaps the opposite, in fact. At least he’s taken an active interest in the possibility.

  83. Tom Marking

    According to

    http://scienceblogs.com/purepedantry/2008/03/mccain_cites_strong_evidence_t.php

    McCain’s actual words were:

    “It’s indisputable that (autism) is on the rise amongst children, the question is what’s causing it. And we go back and forth and there’s strong evidence that indicates that it’s got to do with a preservative in vaccines.”

    Anti-science or not, doesn’t McCain owe the American public an explanation of what this “strong evidence” is? Is he so ignorant on the subject as not to know that thimerosal has been removed from the overwhelming majority of childhood vaccines and yet the autism rate continues to go up?

    Look at the data, McCain, you cretin!

    http://www.fda.gov/cber/vaccine/thimerosal.htm#t1

    DTaP: 2 out of 3 manufacturers have zero thimerosal (one has less than 0.3 micrograms)

    DTaP-HepB-IPV: zero thimerosal

    Pneumococcal Conjugate: zero thimerosal

    Inactivated Polio Virus: zero thimerosal

    Varicella (chicken pox): zero thimerosal

    MMR: zero thimerosal

    Hepatitus B: zero thimerosal

    Hib: zero thimerosal

    Hib/Hepatitus B: zero thimerosal

    The only significant thimerosal remaining in vaccines is for flu shots. My son has never received one and yet he’s still autistic. Grow up!, McCain.

  84. TheBlackCat

    Cat, as people have already explained herd immunity protects people who don’t get the vaccine (assuming the number of unvaccinated people stays low). If everyone around you is immune to the disease, it cannot spread very easily and thus the chance of people without the vaccine drops. The people who aren’t getting the vaccine are taking advantage of the people who are, getting most of the benefits of the vaccine without the associated (minor) risks. But if nobody got the vaccine, or even if a significant number didn’t get it, then the herd immunity would drop. This is happening in parts of Europe right now where fears regarding vaccines has led to a reduction in vaccination rates and mups outbreaks are now occurring for the first time in decades.

  85. Tom wrote: “. . . doesn’t McCain owe the American public an explanation of what this “strong evidence” is? (1) Is he so ignorant on the subject as not to know . . .” (2)

    1. Only if you need evidence.

    Personally, I am indifferent.

    2. No. He is lying.

    They are all liars.

    They are politicians. And lawyers.

    Lawyers are well paid to lie, well.

  86. Tom Marking

    “I’ve never had vaccines. Not one. Ever. And I’m totally fine; always have been.”

    May I suggest that you never leave the United States. If you ever had to take a trip to a third world country you would be dead meat in a matter of days.

  87. “I’ve never had vaccines. Not one. Ever. And I’m totally fine.”

    I never wear my seatbelt. Not once. Ever. And I’m totally fine.

    Just because you are healthy, does not make it good policy.

  88. Narc, you win. That was perfect. Short, succinct, and makes the point perfectly.

  89. CarlosF

    Hey Todd, great comments in general, but just one more comment. Maybe I didn’t read it but anyway. Except for Wakefield, all the authors, as well as The Lancet, retracted from the conclusions of the article, because of poor statistical design and poor conclusions (as we say: garbage in, garbage out…). And this should not surprise anyone: Wakefield had a conflict of interest that was not disclosed at the time of the publication. (He was on retainer from lawyers suing for vaccine damages).

  90. Todd

    @CarlosF

    Thanks for adding in the details. I thought I had mentioned that the Lancet and the coauthors backed out from the paper, but I know I didn’t mention their reasons, other than the COI bit involving Wakefield.

  91. Buzz Parsec

    Hoonser -

    You’re right, blue M&M’s do cause car crashes. Just the other day, I was eating some M&M’s while driving down the road, and I almost accidently ate a blue one. I spit it out just in time (or so I thought), but too much of it must have melted in my mouth, because just a minute later, while I was still sorting through the bag separating out the blue ones, I crashed right over a ginourmous cliff. HiRise got a great picture of the resulting explosion as I plummeted to my death!

  92. Johan

    This is sort of interesting:

    Government health officials have conceded that childhood vaccines worsened a rare, underlying disorder that ultimately led to autism-like symptoms in a Georgia girl, and that she should be paid from a federal vaccine-injury fund.

    Medical and legal experts say the narrow wording and circumstances probably make the case an exception — not a precedent for thousands of other pending claims.

    The government “has not conceded that vaccines cause autism,” said Linda Renzi, the lawyer representing federal officials, who have consistently maintained that childhood shots are safe.

    However, parents and advocates for autistic children see the case as a victory that may help certain others. Although the science on this is very limited, the girl’s disorder may be more common in autistic children than in healthy ones.

    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jPIMulfcbi1seZqbdrRmkoVP20IgD8V7I5FO0

  93. Tom Marking

    “Government health officials have conceded that childhood vaccines worsened a rare, underlying disorder that ultimately led to autism-like symptoms in a Georgia girl, and that she should be paid from a federal vaccine-injury fund.”

    Adverse vaccine events are reported to VAERS everyday. There is nothing new here. And there is nothing new in the compensation program for these events. The government set this system up a long time ago. And it does not mean that thimerosal is linked to autism. And it does not mean that John McCain is right.

  94. allen champagne

    I have Aspberger’s Syndrome- a form of Autism- and I don’t appreciate McCain’s pandering to junk science about my condition.

    Go Obama!

  95. joe harris

    Dr. Engley set the record straight just before he died these are his words Dr. Engley was reported as saying on an KOMU article that “if they had followed through on our 82 report the vaccines would have been freed of thimerosal and all this autism they tell me would not have occurred” A man that passed with a clear conscience and did what he could to stop the mass poisoning of our children, can you say the same? this was written to a Dr. Post Dr. Post this is proof they knew that the preservative was not effective as a antimicrobial and very toxic also. Please note Dr. Engleys vast amount credentials. Dr. Post I wrote this to a reporter I am forwarding it to you Please note, I know my letter writing is not very good, but I do get the point across please read all the way to the bottom. How can you not act as a journalist with information this damming, the children suffer from the lack of integrity in journalist and researchers on this very important issue. I will not apologize for writing this to you because you have a duty to the American children and also to my son who deserves respect, and burying your head in the sand on this issue is not going to get the job done. Sincerely Joe Harris Dad of a very severely mercury poisoned child with labs to prove it. From (( lab core )) The problem that exist with mercury will not go away until mercury is no longer used in the manufacturing process, machine cleaning and in some vaccines at the full 25 micrograms including the flu shot which over half of pregnant women and children 6 months and over receive. This is the man and his credentials who the CDC says we are supposed to ignore It was mentioned earlier that Dr. Frank Engley studied thimerosal as far back as 1942. Dr. Engley is responsible for the 4 year School of Medicine at the University of Missouri. He has consulted for the CDC, IOM, NASA, FDA, EPA, CIA, AAMI, USP, Armed Forces Epidemiological boards, Army, Navy, Air Force as well as Director of research grants and training grants for NIH. Engley Served on the Council of the NIH Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and a consultant on many Epidemiological Boards too many to list. Dr. Engley has been a visiting Professor in over 40 foreign countries medical schools. He has produced films, written text books, Laboratory Manuals, over 100 publications, served on editorial boards for numerous scientific journals and periodicals, including four American, two British and one German. Engley is certified by the American Board of Micro Biology and served as the Chair of the Laboratory of American Public Health Association. He has been listed in American Men and Women of Science, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Education, Who’s Who among Consultants and Who’s Who in the World. His toxicity studies of mercurials in human tissue culture revealed the mercurials were extremely toxic for human cells and the Thimerosal — the most active, toxic down to the nanogram. The amounts of mercury have gone down but vaccines still have 100 times that amount when they are in preservative free and reduced thimerosal vaccines. Something I wrote responding to an article They knew that Thimerosal was neither efficacious nor safe in 1948Dr. Morton of the Department of Bacteriology, University of
    Pennsylvania
    School of Medicine, Dr. North of the Philadelphia General Hospital,
    and Mr.
    Engley of Camp Detrick under a grant from the Council of Pharmacy and
    Chemistry, American Medical Association have published an article in
    the Journal of the American Medical Association.This was when drugs came in little white boxes, no hype no pay offs
    and Dr’s, Scientist, senators and Congressman’s, journalist had impeccable integrity.See today’s headlines on Merck ! and ghost written research signed off by crooked well known physicians. Seems every month we hear of a drug
    that’s killing or maiming Americans that was OK ed ! by the FDA. and we are worried about our financial agency’s, Senators and Congressman calling
    for their dismantling. Where are they in this important issue Oh! I know
    most are in the pockets of pharma. you see if it’s a campaign contribution
    it can’t be a bribe, so they think. Remember the flu shots that were bad, thimerosal did not work then and
    that was the easiest bacterial contaminant to kill, it could not even do the job. And looking at this, we now know why ,as there research was
    showing us it was worthless and dangerous. “It is clear from this research supported by a grant from the American
    Medical Association that Thimerosal is neither efficacious nor safe,
    and
    should be removed as a preservative in prescription biologics and
    pharmaceutical products, as well as from topical over-the-counter
    products
    such as Butt-Balm that have Thimerosal present in their formulations
    as an
    active ingredient.” There was an interim plan in the 80′s to get rid of thimerosal this came out at Congressman Burtons hearing on thimerosal. Dr. Engley was reported as saying on an KOMU article that “If they had followed through on our 82 report the vaccines would have been freed of thimerosal and all this autism they tell me would not have occurred” THEY DESTROYED OUR CHILDREN FOR NO BENEFIT NOT TO MENTION BEING WARNED BY
    Dr. Engley and other Scientist with integrity. This is their findings of toxicity “We found thimerosal is toxic down to a level that is almost unbelievable. Down to 1.10, maybe 100 nanograms…a millionth of a gram and that is about as toxic as you can get,” he said.” But the FDA, and the CDC did not listen. 200 PPB is liquid toxic waste the children from the 90′s, some received 32,500 Parts Per Billion at one setting on one day. And you wonder what happened to the kids. “Dr. Frank Engley is a retired chairman and professor of Microbiology at the University of Missouri. He served on various committees and panels and has consulted for the CDC, NASA, the FDA, and EPA. He did some of the first research on the toxicity of thimerosal.** It should be noted that this article was published in the January
    1948 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association
    ## It should be noted that this article was published in 1950 in the
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences I would like to thank you for your statement, of your concern of your patients sincerely Joe Harris Dad of a very sick in body, child we will end this only when we take this out of the hands of the psychologist and put it in the hands of Dr’s who are better able to treat the body of these very sick children THANK YOU VERY MUCH !!for calling me back it’s a start in the right direction for all of us.

  96. joe harris

    This was written in 1953, and carried out and finished in 2008

    Russell being quoted as saying we would put mercury in vaccines, and other compounds to produce a partial lobotomized state, My thought “this was done to control the masses.” another thought is they did not anticipate the mercury from other sources AKA as coal fired plants and mothers body burden
    In the next statement that Russell makes, keep in mind the every child by two organization. And we wonder what happened to the kids. “Russell who advocated the use of vaccines to induce partial chemical lobotomies and create a servile zombie population,”Diet, injections, and injunctions will combine, from a very early age, to produce the sort of character and the sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable, and any serious criticism of the powers that be will become psychologically impossible.” – Bertrand Russell, “The Impact of Science on Society”, 1953, pg 49-50 1953. Bertrand Russell, The Impact of Science on Society: “…the subject which will be of most importance politically is Mass Psychology…. The populace will not be allowed to know how its convictions were generated. When the technique has been perfected, every government that has been in charge of education for a generation will be able to control its subjects securely without the need of armies or policemen. As yet there is only one country which has succeeded in creating this politician’s paradise.”11 I wrote this minister because a family was not able to go to church any more because the child was banned, because he was spitting and hitting other people basically acting like an animal. Just like my child and many more hundreds of thousands around the U.S. while the CDC says it’s just better Diag. and greater awareness as our schools go broke, by the way my son was just Diag 3 yr’s ago he is now 18 yr’s old, one of the signs of metal toxicity is excessive saliva and agression. I am not saying that most of the main stream medical community believed in this mind set of a step ford society but someone must have, because they ignored many warnings of toxicity and inefficacy and we find in 2008 they did exactly what he said they would do This was written in 1953 and the current main stream medical community has followed it like a recipe. The people who wanted a kind of step-ford society did not anticipate the mothers body burden of mercury or coal powered plants emitting mercury. This caused a toxic tipping point and 1 in 6 kids having a neurological learning disorder 1 – 150 children with autism 1 in 92 being boys. In MN the numbers are worse 1 – 82 children 1 – 20 something boys interestingly a 4 – 1 ratio boys to girls guess what shares a 4 – 1 ratio also mercury poisoning. As of recent a report came out saying that girls are leading boys in higher math and science and can you guess at what Ratio 4 – 1 sound familar mercury poisoning 4 – 1 Ratio boys to girls and If you cannot figure out this is truth! and what they the FDA CDC did, then it is very possible you have gotten to much mercury too.

    We cannot change the fact, that the book was written, and he said it and they did it sincerely Joe Harris Dad of a very sick in body, child.

  97. joe harris

    Tom I am fixing to tear apart you little world that there is no scientific studies linking Thimerosal to autism just think of mitochondria dysfunction
    disorder google it and find that the very cause is toxins such as in vaccines “Vaccinations contain at least four neuro-toxins: mercury, formaldehyde, MSG and aluminum hydroxide. Researchers at the University of British Columbia have been looking at the possible effects of the fourth item in this list. They injected mice with anthrax vaccine containing aluminum hydroxide. After 20 weeks studying the mice, the team found statistically significant increases in anxiety (38 percent); memory deficits (41 times more errors than the sample group); and allergic skin reaction (20 percent). On autopsy, brain tissue samples showed that 35 percent of the cells were in the process of destroying themselves. According to Chris Shaw, lead researcher for the project, his research shows a link between aluminum hydroxide and symptoms of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease. “No one in my lab wants to get vaccinated,” he said. “This totally creeped us out. We weren’t out there to poke holes in vaccines. But all of a sudden, oh my God–we’ve got neuron death!” (www.straight.com/content/cfm?id=16717).
    According to Chris Shaw; lead researcher, his research shows a link between aluminum hydroxide and symptoms of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease. “No one in my lab wants to get vaccinated. Just a thought, we could learn from this statement. From scientist’s that know, and not just those spouting CDC propaganda as most are. Who try to defend putting toxic chemicals in our children’s vaccines. Thimerosal turns into
    ethyl mercury then it enters the brain of the child and it metabolizes into inorganic mercury and research has shown that the most damaging to the mitochondria that depletes the glutathione is inorganic mercury monosodium glutamate (MSG, added to many Asian foods) I will bet MSG in children’s vaccines is far worse than indicated MSG may also exacerbate a mitochondrial disorder. So Tom it seems that we may have stumbled upon what autism really is and maybe the much worshipped FLU vaccine is causing the symptoms of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease. And I would be willing to bet that’s where chronic fatigue syndrome is coming from for you see we have always had a subset group that cannot dump heavy metals just do a google on Pinks disease it was one in five hundred children that contracted the disease Pinks which turned out to be mercury poisoning through teething powders
    the next statements are from history and you could exchange the word pinks for autism and you would have today’s headlines but these are from history
    pink was affecting one in five hundred children. It seems we had as the CDC puts it, a subset group that was vulnerable even back then. It seems we are repeating history. But unlike those children who got better and recovered,after the doctor.s reported the drug of choice was ch elating. Today our children aren’t given the same chance to get better. The cure that was once used is now conveniently called anecdotal evidence. If it worked then, it will work now. If it was not dangerous then, it’s not dangerous now. Please look at this historical document entitled “The rise and fall of Pink Disease”. And please keep in mind that pink disease was contracted through oral ingestion of Mercury. Where as our children today are injected with Mercury. Oral ingestion travels through the bodies organs that filters out Mercury. And injected Mercury by-passes those filtering organs. It seems the opponents and sceptics that grew old and disappeared from the scene are back and repeating history . . .

    In the article below just remove the word Pinks and insert the word Autism
    and you will have today’s disaster in a man made disease just like Pinks
    was and today it is a very well accepted as to the origin of the disease is being mercury poisoning

    Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, London.

    This paper explores the social and medical history and context of pink
    disease (acrodynia), a serious disease of infants and young children
    that baffled the medical world during the first half of the twentieth
    century until it was shown to be caused by mercury poisoning. In the
    English-speaking world the commonest source of the mercury was teething
    powders, which were widely available and advertised with increasing
    sophistication. Efforts to control them (such as the BMJ’s campaign against
    ‘Secret Remedies’) were as yet unsuccessful. The article discusses the
    social conditions that influenced the existence and recognition of pink
    disease, the delay in finding its cause, the way in which it was
    explained as a virus infection or nutritional deficiency and why it seldom
    occurred outside the teething period. It discusses both professional and
    lay attitudes to health and diseases during the early twentieth century.
    and provides a model of how the disease developed in a specific social
    setting and how the medical profession attempted to deal with it within
    the limitations of contemporary professional thought. The resistance
    to the evidence of mercury poisoning is typical of resistance to new
    medical knowledge and declined only when the opponents and sceptics grew
    old and disappeared from the scene. Meanwhile, the cause having been
    identified and accepted, pink disease disappeared, but its consequences
    emerged much later, in an unexpected quarter, as a cause of male
    infertility.

    Publication Types:
    Historical Article

    PMID: 11619497 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE

    Heres proof of the history of chealation working to stop an epidemic
    and the stupidy of the mainstream medical at large back then, It does appear that they have not gotten any brighter or maybe there just as
    greedy.

    [05/28/2000 1:44:08 AM](In fact, only 1 in 500 children exposed to the teething powders developed
    the disease). In 1950 authoritative British medical opinion was still cautious
    about the mercury hypothesis-an understandable caution, yet responsible, as
    it turned out, for the prolongation of the epidemic, with uncountable cost in
    human and financial terms, for several years later.
    But slowly the evidence was stacking up against mercury. Dimercaprol
    (British anti-Lewisite; BAL) is a chelating agent developed for military use
    against possible gas attacks and in the 1950s was the standard treatment for
    industrial mercury poisoning. Several physicians gave their pink disease
    patients dimercaprol with gratifying cures. (The drug was never tested in a
    proper controlled clinical trial as the disease disappeared before such a trial
    could be organized.)
    Warkany and Hubbard’s reports of an association between mercury
    exposure and the disease was confirmed by several other workers, though
    these later reports also noted that urinary mercury levels were often high in
    healthy children too. In the rare cases of industrial mercury poisoning that
    occurred, astute clinicians noted that in the recovery phase after the acute
    illness, a condition indistinguishable from pink disease could be seen for a few
    weeks. Clearly, if mercury was responsible for the disease, it could not be
    simple poisoning, or all exposed children would suffer in a dose related
    manner; the children who became ill must be excessively sensitive to the
    poison (idiosyncrasy).
    And there the matter rested at impasse between the mercury hypothesis
    and the manufacturers of mercurials. In the absence of decisive evidence,
    Parliament declined repeated calls to ban the products (although several states
    in USA and Australia did so), and the disease remained a chronic and fearful
    curse.
    The impasse was finally broken in 1953 by Dr J G Dathan of
    Stokes-on-Trent. Upset and incensed by the miserable deaths of 2 of his young
    patients and refusing to certify the deaths as due to natural causes, he referred
    the cases to the coroner. The scientific cases for and against the mercury
    hypothesis were arrayed against each other in an English court of law-surely
    an unusual setting for a scientific debate.
    The jury found that the deaths were caused by mercury poisoning from
    Steedman’s teething powder-in one case by frank overdose and in the other
    because of unusual sensitivity of the child-and fearing litigation or
    Parliamentary action the manufacturers immediately removed the mercury
    from their preparations and recalled all old stocks.
    The other manufacturers gradually followed suit. 3 years later, in
    Sheffield, the intake of mercurials and the incidence of pink disease had both
    dropped sharply and by 1966 Warkany, the originator of the mercury
    hypothesis was able to write a final ‘post mortem’ article on pink disease in
    the “American Journal of Diseases of Children”-a rare, but deserved accolade
    for a dedicated (and lucky) medical scientist.
    The story illustrates the difficulty of achieving change when doctors are confronted by powerful commercial interests, and finds an echo in the 1980s
    in the continuing sagas of tobacco and lead. This is specially so when the
    companies can muster 1 or 2 experts who will say that “the evidence is not yet
    decisive”.
    In truth it is still not proven beyond doubt that mercury caused pink
    disease and it is still possible that an epidemic virus, now fortunately passed,
    caused it. Of course, that explanation is very implausible and now that the
    disease is departed no one is sufficiently interested to do more experiments. It
    is also true that had the world had waited for 100% proof of cause and effect,
    our children would probably still be ravaged by this dreadful, but preventable
    disease.
    It would be dishonest to close the pink disease story without one last
    remark, though as scientists we are embarrassed to have to make it. Warkany
    and Hubbard’s original 1948 study on urinary mercury were drawn from
    Warkany’s own practice in Cincinnati where the disease was rare and where
    teething powders were rarely used. Had the control urines been taken from
    the geographical areas where patients came from, mercury would have been
    found in several apparently normal, healthy children, thus making the
    association far less striking. If Warkany and Hubbard had done a
    scientifically impeccable trial, the cause might never have been noticed.

  98. joe harris

    TheBlackCat Says:
    March 5th, 2008 at 11:12 am
    @ KC:

    Someone who steadfastly refuses to accept the evidence no matter much evidence is provided is antiscience. That is the definition of one of the two main classes of antiscience, denialism.

    At a certain point so much evidence has been accumulated for a certain scientific principle that you simply cannot reject that principle without rejecting science along with it.

    Black cat just where do I start tearing your statement apart Maybe if the studies that found no evidence of a link
    had not been faked and the IOM report been out an out fraud I would have to agree with you. Now for the Proof and exposing CDC lies

    If you ever told the IOM looked at this and found no link.
    like Paul Harvey says now for the rest of the story

    This is the proof the CDC bought the IOM but as of recently we have learned that the IOM advised the CDC to seek counsel. This should not be happening in the US. DOES THIS 1ST EXCERPT SOUND LIKE THEY FOUND NO LINK? IN EXCERPT 2 THEY THE CDC IS ORDERING THE IOM NOT TO FIND CAUSATION IGNORE THE FIVE GOOD BIOLOGICAL STUDIESAND PUT ALL THERE CONFIDENCE IN POPULATION BASED STUDIES THAT WE NOW KNOW HAVE BEEN FAKED AND ACCORDING TO CONGRESS AND NEIHS WAS FATE-ALLY FLAWED and recently Dir. of CDC Gerberdine concurred that the CDC main studies are worthless and the population based studies done over seas are worse IN EXCERPT # 3 THEIR MINDS WERE MADE UP BEFORE THEY SAWANY STUDIES NOT TO MENTION THEY WERE ORDERED NOT TO FIND CAUSATION. TO THESE PEOPLE OUR AMERICAN CHILDREN MEAN NOTHING ABSOLUTLY NOTHING. ALL THOUGH IN PRIVATE THEY MAKE STATEMENTS LIKE IT’S A HARD DECISION WE MAKE KNOWING THAT THEIR WILL HAVE TO BE LAMBS SACRIFICED FOR THE GOOD OF THE WHOLE. I WONDER IF THAT HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES GUY THAT MADE THAT STATEMENT KNEW THAT THEY WERE SACRIFICED SO PEOPLE COULD SAVE FIFTY CENTS TO TWO DOLLARS A CHILDAND COST THIS NATION 3.2 TO 5 MILLION $$$FOR THE MAYBE 1 IN 50 WITH A MITOCHONDRIA. ———————————————————————————————————-THIS WAS TAKEN FROM THE IOM MEETING MINUTES. EXCERPT # 1″We’ve got a dragon by the tail here,” states a committee member in the
    transcript. “At the end of the line, what we know is – and I agree -
    that
    the more negative that presentation [the report] is, the less likely
    people
    are to use vaccination, immunization, and we know what the results of
    that
    will be. We are kind of caught in a trap. How we work our way out of
    the
    trap, I think, is the charge.”
    —————————————————————————————————————————-EXCERPT # 2-When byronchild asked CDC spokesperson Curtis Allen for a copy of the
    contract that would detail the agreement between the IOM and the CDC,
    Allen
    stated that the contract would be available only in a heavily
    “redacted” or
    blacked-out format.

    The IOM stated “no comment” to byronchild about the leaked transcript
    or its
    use in the pending civil court case.
    —————————————————————————————————————————-EXCERPT # 3Specifically sited are statements by the IOM’s study director Kathleen
    Stratton, PhD, and committee chair Marie McCormick, MD. These
    statements,
    the law firm says, strongly suggest Stratton and McCormick deliberately
    railroaded their committee into specific outcomes (all in italics
    directly
    from court document):

    Dr. McCormick, for example, in speaking of the CDC, noted that the
    agency
    “wants us to declare, well, these things are pretty safe on a
    population
    basis.” (See Exhibit 1 at page 33).

    “The committee’s bias and predetermination of the causality issues
    presented
    are found at page 74 in a comment from Dr. Stratton:

    Here the CDC Is lying again for just recently the CDC stated that the vaccine schedule has always been flexible this was after they have figured out it might be to many to soon with to many TOXINS causing mito disorders.
    As you can see that is not what this statement of Dr. stratton is conveying notice how she says we would not say compensate and in my sons case they did what she said we would not say compensate so I guess the NVICP is a cruel joke on severely damaged children and their parents by people who seem to be in line for competing with Hitler for the biggest holocaust.
    infact these people at the CDC seem not to have a conscinece or for that matter a soul that has not been sold to Big Pharma they are truley sick people

    Dr. Stratton: “We said this before you got here, and I think we said
    this
    yesterday, the point of no return, the line we will not cross in public
    policy is to pull the vaccine, change the schedule. We could say it is
    time
    to revisit this but we will never recommend that level. Even
    recommending
    research is recommendations for policy. We wouldn’t say compensate, we
    wouldn’t say pull the vaccine, we wouldn’t say stop the program.”

    Similarly, Dr. McCormick, at page 97 in discussing whether autism could
    be
    associated with vaccines, stated that “we are not ever going to come
    down
    that it is a true side effect,” despite the fact that the committee had
    not
    yet considered any evidence on this issue.

    Dir. of the CDC admitting that they have nothing left after the VSD studies and the Denmark and other overseas studies were debunked by the NIEHS a arm of the NIH
    ————————————————————————–
    CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding has delivered a potentially explosive report to the powerful House Appropriations Committee, in which she admits to a startling string of errors in the design and methods used in the CDC’s landmark 2003 study that found no link between mercury in vaccines and autism, ADHD, speech delay or tics.Gerberding was responding to a highly critical 2006 report from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), which concluded that the CDC’s flagship thimerosal safety study was riddled with “several areas of weaknesses” that combined to “reduce the usefulness” of the study.”CDC concurs,” Dr. Gerberding wrote in an undated mea culpa to Congress, (provided to me through a Capital Hill staffer) adding that her agency “does not plan to use” the database in question, the Vaccine Safety Datalink, (VSD) for any future “ecological studies” of autism.In fact, Gerberding’s report said, any continued use of the VSD for similar ecological studies of vaccines and autism “would be uninformative and potentially misleading.”Ecological vaccine studies are large, epidemiological analyses of risks and trends using computerized data from large populations – in this case children enrolled at several big HMOs – without ever examining a single patient in person. CDC officials conducted at least five separate analyses of the data over a four-year period from 1999-2003. The first analysis showed that children exposed to the most thimerosal by one month of age had extremely high relative risks for a number of outcomes, compared with children who got little or no mercury: The relative risk for ADHD was 8.29 times higher, for autism, it was 7.62 times higher, ADD, 6.38 times higher, tics, 5.65 times, and speech and language delays were 2.09 more likely among kids who got the most mercury.Over time, however, all of these risks declined into statistical insignificance, statistical inconsistency or else outright oblivion: The relative risk for autism plummeted from 7.62 in the first analysis, to 2.48 in the second version, to 1.69 in the third round, to 1.52 in the fourth, and down to nothing at all in the fifth, final, and published analysis printed in the Journal Pediatrics in November of 2003.Vaccine officials attributed the steady drop to the elimination of “statistical noise” from the data through due diligence and the endeavor for excellence in governmental statistical analysis.Indeed, the VSD study was the main pillar of a hugely influential 2004 report by the Institute of Medicine, which also concluded that there was no evidence of link between mercury, vaccines and autism. To this day, public health officials routinely point to five “large epidemiological studies” representing the “highest quality science,” none of which found any link to thimerosal.In fact, the American VSD study has long been held up as the best and brightest of them all (the others were in Sweden, the UK, and two in Denmark). And this reputation has stuck in the minds of medicine and the media.Curiously though, even the study’s lead author – Dr. Thomas Verstraeten, an employee of vaccine maker GlaxoSmithKline — protested that the VSD study “found no evidence against an association, as a negative study would. In fact, he said that additional study was needed, which “is the conclusion to which a neutral study must come.” That’s when Congress stepped in. In 2005, a group of Senators and Representatives headed by Sen. Joe Lieberman wrote to the NIEHS (an agency of the National Institutes of Health) saying that many parents no longer trusted the CDC to conduct independent minded studies of its own vaccine program. Lieberman et al asked NIEHS to review the CDC’s work on the vaccine database and report back with critiques and suggestions.The final NIEHS report was a serious and thoughtful critique of where the CDC went wrong in its design, conduct and analysis of the study. The NIEHS panel “identified several serious problems,” with the CDC’s effort, criticism to which the agency had not responded – until now.In her letter to the House Appropriations Committee, the CDC Director responded directly to many – though not all – of the most important criticisms and recommendations contained in the NIEHS panel report.For example, the NIEHS had criticized CDC for failing to account for other mercury exposures, including maternal sources from flu shots and immune globulin, as well as mercury in food and the environment.”CDC acknowledges this concern and recognizes this limitation,” the Gerberding reply says.The NIEHS also took CDC to task for eliminating 25% of the study population for a variety of reasons, even though this represented, “a susceptible population whose removal from the analysis might unintentionally reduce the ability to detect an effect of thimerosal.” This strict entry criteria likely led to an “under-ascertainment” of autism cases, the NIEHS reported.”CDC concurs,” Gerberding wrote, again noting that its study design was “not appropriate for studying this vaccine safety topic. The data are intended for administrative purposes and may not be predictive of the outcomes studied.”Another serious problem was that the HMOs changed the way they tracked and recorded autism diagnoses over time, including during the period when vaccine mercury levels were in decline. Such changes could “affect the observed rate of autism and could confound or distort trends in autism rates,” the NIEHS warned.”CDC concurs,” Dr. Gerberding wrote again, “that conducting an ecologic analysis using VSD administrative data to address potential associations between thimerosal exposure and risk of ASD is not useful.”Read that sentence one more time. The head of the CDC is saying that its most powerful and convincing piece of exonerating evidence for thimerosal is, in effect, “useless.”I hope everyone will read it, including the recommendations to make the VSD better, and the CDC’s agreement with all of the suggestions.As questionable at the US thimerosal study was, “it was an improvement on other studies, including the two in Denmark, both of which had serious weaknesses in their designs,” Dr. Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Professor of Public Health at UC Davis Medical School and Chair of the NIEHS panel, told reporter Dan Olmsted at UPI.That leaves very little for the CDC to go on in terms of proving that thimerosal and autism are not associated in any way. Yes, there is always the study of disability services data from California – which seem to be rising among the youngest cohorts of kids, who presumably received little or no mercury because thimerosal was largely removed from childhood shots.But California is an “ecological study” with problems of its own.”Although (this) information is often used by media and research entities to develop statistics and draw conclusions, some of these findings may misrepresent the quarterly figures,” cautions the website of the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS). “Increases in the number of persons reported from one quarter to the next do not
    necessarily represent persons who are new to the DDS system.”Even the CDC admits that “there are several limitations” with linking a VSD study design with the California data, Gerberding wrote to Congress, because, among other things, California only counts “persons who were referred to and/or voluntarily entered” the disability system.”It will be interesting to see how the House Committee – and the mainstream media – react to this rather breathtaking confession by the CDC, which does seem to want to conduct the best vaccine-autism science possible (see Gerberding’s replies to NIEHS recommendations for improving the VSD: CDC officials are currently conducting in- depth follow up studies with VSD patients).As the waning months of the Bush Administration get underway, I can’t help but wonder if a little housecleaning might be going on at some of our top health agencies.(And on that note, please see my blog about the upcoming HHS/FDA/CDC/ NIH workshop on autism triggers in mitochondrial disorders (ie, Hannah Poling and her five vaccines).

    This is a toxicologist Boyd Haley “I would like to make one significant point. I and other scientists like the Geiers, Dr. Deth, Dr. Jill James, etc. and numerous concerned MDs have talked at hundreds of autism conferences attended by hundreds of parents. The parents do not identify thimerosal as the most likely cause of autism based on emotion, they know the science better than the MDs at the CDC and their cohorts. They also read the FOIA material from SafeMinds and know a whitewash and “manufacturing of uncertainty” when they read it. There is NO substantial science behind the CDC’s claim that science is on their side. What is holding up progress on the autism treatments and sensible research is the success of the CDC campaign where parents are pictured as emotional while the CDC parrots are presented as logical, well educated experts. Scientists who have done research are not even mentioned so the deception by the CDC is further publicized by reporters who don’t know the difference. If the CDC represent mainstream science, then science in the USA is heading for rock bottom (like a genetic cause for an epidemic would be laughed at by a conference of scientists). Just calling a physician a scientist because he has his name on a few epidemiological based publications is a joke.” Boyd Haley

    you see it’s things like the next example of the CDC fraudulant studies

    But more importantly, a review of e-mails exchanged between the Danish researchers and the CDC reveals that the statement “From 1991 until 2000 the incidence increased and continued to rise after the removal of thimerosal from vaccines, including increases among children born after the discontinuation of thimerosal” may not have been true.In an e-mail on 11/13/2002 at 09:24, “co-author” Marlene B. Lauritsen informed Drs. Madsen, Thorsen and Schendel of the CDC:
    “But the incidence and prevalence are still decreasing in 2001″.
    The sentences, before and after that unequivocal statement, were blackened with a magic marker before they were released through the Freedom of Information Act. (Exhibit II)

    It does seem they the CDC uses that black marker a lot, here they are at it again. When byronchild asked CDC spokesperson Curtis Allen for a copy of the contract that would detail the agreement between the IOM and the CDC,
    Allen stated that the contract would be available only in a heavily “redacted” or blacked-out format.

    The IOM stated “no comment” to byronchild about the leaked transcript
    or its
    use in the pending civil court case.
    If you still cannot figure out these people have done worse than terrorist then you are the one in denialism

    Just one more thing the CDC is never suppose to hide anything from the public they are suppose to do everything above board in the public eye with
    complete transparency it does appear that they the CDC is acting in self protection mode and that is very dangerous for the public and they have forgotten who they serve for lately it has been exclusively Big Pharma

  99. joe harris

    Dir. of the CDC admitting that they have nothing left after the VSD studies and the Denmark and other overseas studies were debunked by the NIEHS a arm of the NIH
    ————————————————————————–
    CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding has delivered a potentially explosive report to the powerful House Appropriations Committee, in which she admits to a startling string of errors in the design and methods used in the CDC’s landmark 2003 study that found no link between mercury in vaccines and autism, ADHD, speech delay or tics.Gerberding was responding to a highly critical 2006 report from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), which concluded that the CDC’s flagship thimerosal safety study was riddled with “several areas of weaknesses” that combined to “reduce the usefulness” of the study.”CDC concurs,” Dr. Gerberding wrote in an undated mea culpa to Congress, (provided to me through a Capital Hill staffer) adding that her agency “does not plan to use” the database in question, the Vaccine Safety Datalink, (VSD) for any future “ecological studies” of autism.In fact, Gerberding’s report said, any continued use of the VSD for similar ecological studies of vaccines and autism “would be uninformative and potentially misleading.”Ecological vaccine studies are large, epidemiological analyses of risks and trends using computerized data from large populations – in this case children enrolled at several big HMOs – without ever examining a single patient in person. CDC officials conducted at least five separate analyses of the data over a four-year period from 1999-2003. The first analysis showed that children exposed to the most thimerosal by one month of age had extremely high relative risks for a number of outcomes, compared with children who got little or no mercury: The relative risk for ADHD was 8.29 times higher, for autism, it was 7.62 times higher, ADD, 6.38 times higher, tics, 5.65 times, and speech and language delays were 2.09 more likely among kids who got the most mercury.Over time, however, all of these risks declined into statistical insignificance, statistical inconsistency or else outright oblivion: The relative risk for autism plummeted from 7.62 in the first analysis, to 2.48 in the second version, to 1.69 in the third round, to 1.52 in the fourth, and down to nothing at all in the fifth, final, and published analysis printed in the Journal Pediatrics in November of 2003.Vaccine officials attributed the steady drop to the elimination of “statistical noise” from the data through due diligence and the endeavor for excellence in governmental statistical analysis.Indeed, the VSD study was the main pillar of a hugely influential 2004 report by the Institute of Medicine, which also concluded that there was no evidence of link between mercury, vaccines and autism. To this day, public health officials routinely point to five “large epidemiological studies” representing the “highest quality science,” none of which found any link to thimerosal.In fact, the American VSD study has long been held up as the best and brightest of them all (the others were in Sweden, the UK, and two in Denmark). And this reputation has stuck in the minds of medicine and the media.Curiously though, even the study’s lead author – Dr. Thomas Verstraeten, an employee of vaccine maker GlaxoSmithKline — protested that the VSD study “found no evidence against an association, as a negative study would. In fact, he said that additional study was needed, which “is the conclusion to which a neutral study must come.” That’s when Congress stepped in. In 2005, a group of Senators and Representatives headed by Sen. Joe Lieberman wrote to the NIEHS (an agency of the National Institutes of Health) saying that many parents no longer trusted the CDC to conduct independent minded studies of its own vaccine program. Lieberman et al asked NIEHS to review the CDC’s work on the vaccine database and report back with critiques and suggestions.The final NIEHS report was a serious and thoughtful critique of where the CDC went wrong in its design, conduct and analysis of the study. The NIEHS panel “identified several serious problems,” with the CDC’s effort, criticism to which the agency had not responded – until now.In her letter to the House Appropriations Committee, the CDC Director responded directly to many – though not all – of the most important criticisms and recommendations contained in the NIEHS panel report.For example, the NIEHS had criticized CDC for failing to account for other mercury exposures, including maternal sources from flu shots and immune globulin, as well as mercury in food and the environment.”CDC acknowledges this concern and recognizes this limitation,” the Gerberding reply says.The NIEHS also took CDC to task for eliminating 25% of the study population for a variety of reasons, even though this represented, “a susceptible population whose removal from the analysis might unintentionally reduce the ability to detect an effect of thimerosal.” This strict entry criteria likely led to an “under-ascertainment” of autism cases, the NIEHS reported.”CDC concurs,” Gerberding wrote, again noting that its study design was “not appropriate for studying this vaccine safety topic. The data are intended for administrative purposes and may not be predictive of the outcomes studied.”Another serious problem was that the HMOs changed the way they tracked and recorded autism diagnoses over time, including during the period when vaccine mercury levels were in decline. Such changes could “affect the observed rate of autism and could confound or distort trends in autism rates,” the NIEHS warned.”CDC concurs,” Dr. Gerberding wrote again, “that conducting an ecologic analysis using VSD administrative data to address potential associations between thimerosal exposure and risk of ASD is not useful.”Read that sentence one more time. The head of the CDC is saying that its most powerful and convincing piece of exonerating evidence for thimerosal is, in effect, “useless.”I hope everyone will read it, including the recommendations to make the VSD better, and the CDC’s agreement with all of the suggestions.As questionable at the US thimerosal study was, “it was an improvement on other studies, including the two in Denmark, both of which had serious weaknesses in their designs,” Dr. Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Professor of Public Health at UC Davis Medical School and Chair of the NIEHS panel, told reporter Dan Olmsted at UPI.That leaves very little for the CDC to go on in terms of proving that thimerosal and autism are not associated in any way. Yes, there is always the study of disability services data from California – which seem to be rising among the youngest cohorts of kids, who presumably received little or no mercury because thimerosal was largely removed from childhood shots.But California is an “ecological study” with problems of its own.”Although (this) information is often used by media and research entities to develop statistics and draw conclusions, some of these findings may misrepresent the quarterly figures,” cautions the website of the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS). “Increases in the number of persons reported from one quarter to the next do not
    necessarily represent persons who are new to the DDS system.”Even the CDC admits that “there are several limitations” with linking a VSD study design with the California data, Gerberding wrote to Congress, because, among other things, California only counts “persons who were referred to and/or voluntarily entered” the disability system.”It will be interesting to see how the House Committee – and the mainstream media – react to this rather breathtaking confession by the CDC, which does seem to want to conduct the best vaccine-autism science possible (see Gerberding’s replies to NIEHS recommendations for improving the VSD: CDC officials are currently conducting in- depth follow up studies with VSD patients).As the waning months of the Bush Administration get underway, I can’t help but wonder if a little housecleaning might be going on at some of our top health agencies.(And on that note, please see my blog about the upcoming HHS/FDA/CDC/ NIH workshop on autism triggers in mitochondrial disorders (ie, Hannah Poling and her five vaccines).

    This is a toxicologist Boyd Haley “I would like to make one significant point. I and other scientists like the Geiers, Dr. Deth, Dr. Jill James, etc. and numerous concerned MDs have talked at hundreds of autism conferences attended by hundreds of parents. The parents do not identify thimerosal as the most likely cause of autism based on emotion, they know the science better than the MDs at the CDC and their cohorts. They also read the FOIA material from SafeMinds and know a whitewash and “manufacturing of uncertainty” when they read it. There is NO substantial science behind the CDC’s claim that science is on their side. What is holding up progress on the autism treatments and sensible research is the success of the CDC campaign where parents are pictured as emotional while the CDC parrots are presented as logical, well educated experts. Scientists who have done research are not even mentioned so the deception by the CDC is further publicized by reporters who don’t know the difference. If the CDC represent mainstream science, then science in the USA is heading for rock bottom (like a genetic cause for an epidemic would be laughed at by a conference of scientists). Just calling a physician a scientist because he has his name on a few epidemiological based publications is a joke.” Boyd Haley

    you see it’s things like the next example of the CDC fraudulant studies

    But more importantly, a review of e-mails exchanged between the Danish researchers and the CDC reveals that the statement “From 1991 until 2000 the incidence increased and continued to rise after the removal of thimerosal from vaccines, including increases among children born after the discontinuation of thimerosal” may not have been true.In an e-mail on 11/13/2002 at 09:24, “co-author” Marlene B. Lauritsen informed Drs. Madsen, Thorsen and Schendel of the CDC:
    “But the incidence and prevalence are still decreasing in 2001″.
    The sentences, before and after that unequivocal statement, were blackened with a magic marker before they were released through the Freedom of Information Act. (Exhibit II)

    It does seem they the CDC uses that black marker a lot, here they are at it again. When byronchild asked CDC spokesperson Curtis Allen for a copy of the contract that would detail the agreement between the IOM and the CDC,
    Allen stated that the contract would be available only in a heavily “redacted” or blacked-out format.

    The IOM stated “no comment” to byronchild about the leaked transcript
    or its
    use in the pending civil court case.
    If you still cannot figure out these people have done worse than terrorist then you are the one in denialism

    Just one more thing the CDC is never suppose to hide anything from the public they are suppose to do everything above board in the public eye with
    complete transparency it does appear that they the CDC is acting in self protection mode and that is very dangerous for the public and they have forgotten who they serve for lately it has been exclusively Big Pharma

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