Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-settings.php on line 520

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-settings.php on line 535

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-settings.php on line 542

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-settings.php on line 578

Deprecated: Function set_magic_quotes_runtime() is deprecated in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-settings.php on line 18

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_PageDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1244

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_CategoryDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1442

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class wpdb in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 306

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Object_Cache in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/cache.php on line 431

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Dependencies in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/class.wp-dependencies.php on line 31

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Http in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/http.php on line 61

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class admin_subpages in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/post-plugin-library/admin-subpages.php on line 22

Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method adsensem::init() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 339

Strict Standards: Non-static method adsensem::setup_is_valid() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/adsense-manager/adsense-manager.php on line 117

Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method adsensem::init_widgets() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 339

Strict Standards: Non-static method adsensem::register_widget() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/adsense-manager/adsense-manager.php on line 152

Strict Standards: Non-static method adsensem::register_widget() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/adsense-manager/adsense-manager.php on line 158

Strict Standards: Non-static method adsensem::register_widget() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/adsense-manager/adsense-manager.php on line 158

Strict Standards: Non-static method adsensem::register_widget() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/adsense-manager/adsense-manager.php on line 158

Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method MP_Admin::roles_and_capabilities() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 339

Strict Standards: Non-static method MP_Admin::capabilities() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/mailpress/mp-includes/class/MP_Admin.class.php on line 54

Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method GoogleSitemapGeneratorLoader::Enable() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 339

Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method cformsRSS::vars() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 166

Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method cformsRSS::outputRSS() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 339
Biophile Magazine -- » Deadly immunity

"We are constantly taking ideas from the spiritual world and forming them into our own conception of the things we desire. Sometimes the finished product does not satisfy or please us. That is because we have taken the idea away from its true parents, wisdom and love." Daily Guru

Deadly immunity

by Robert F. Kennedy Jr

FILED IN: Health and Food · Issue 5


Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method adsensem::filter_ads() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 166

Strict Standards: Non-static method adsensem::filter_ad_callback() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/adsense-manager/adsense-manager.php on line 245

Strict Standards: Non-static method adsensem::filter_ad_callback() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/adsense-manager/adsense-manager.php on line 248

Strict Standards: Non-static method adsensem::filter_ad_callback() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/adsense-manager/adsense-manager.php on line 248

Strict Standards: Non-static method adsensem::filter_ad_callback() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/adsense-manager/adsense-manager.php on line 248

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. investigates the US government cover-up of a mercury/autism scandal; a scandal involving vaccines which are used worldwide, including right here in South Africa.


In June 2000, a group of top government scientists and health officials gathered for a meeting at the isolated Simpsonwood conference center in Norcross, Georgia. Convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the meeting was held at this Methodist retreat center, nestled in wooded farmland next to the Chattahoochee River, to ensure complete secrecy.

The agency had issued no public announcement of the session—only private invitations to fifty-two attendees. There were high-level officials from the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration, the top vaccine specialist from the World Health Organization in Geneva and representatives of every major vaccine manufacturer, including GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Wyeth and Aventis Pasteur. All of the scientific data under discussion, CDC officials repeatedly reminded the participants, was strictly “embargoed.” There would be no making photocopies of documents, no taking papers with them when they left.

The federal officials and industry representatives had assembled to discuss a disturbing new study that raised alarming questions about the safety of a host of common childhood vaccines administered to infants and young children.

According to a CDC epidemiologist named Tom Verstraeten, who had analyzed the agency’s massive database containing the medical records of 100,000 children, a mercury-based preservative in the vaccines—thimerosal—appeared to be responsible for a dramatic increase in autism and a host of other neurological disorders among children. “I was actually stunned by what I saw,” Verstraeten told those assembled at Simpsonwood, citing the staggering number of earlier studies that indicate a link between thimerosal and speech delays, attention-deficit disorder, hyperactivity and autism. Since 1991, when the CDC and the FDA had recommended that three additional vaccines laced with the preservative be given to extremely young infants—in one case, within hours of birth—the estimated number of cases of autism had increased fifteenfold, from one in every 2,500 children to one in 166 children.

Even for scientists and doctors accustomed to confronting issues of life and death, the findings were frightening. “You can play with this all you want,” Dr. Bill Weil, a consultant for the American Academy of Pediatrics, told the group. The results “are statistically significant.” Dr. Richard Johnston, an immunologist and pediatrician from the University of Colorado whose grandson had been born early on the morning of the meeting’s first day, was even more alarmed. “My gut feeling?” he said. “Forgive this personal comment—I do not want my grandson to get a thimerosal-containing vaccine until we know better what is going on.”

Covering up damaging data
But instead of taking immediate steps to alert the public and rid the vaccine supply of thimerosal, the officials and executives at Simpsonwood spent most of the next two days discussing how to cover up the damaging data. According to transcripts obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, many at the meeting were concerned about how the damaging revelations about thimerosal would affect the vaccine industry’s bottom line. “We are in a bad position from the standpoint of defending any lawsuits,” said Dr. Robert Brent, a pediatrician at the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Delaware. “This will be a resource to our very busy plaintiff attorneys in this country.”

Dr. Bob Chen, head of vaccine safety for the CDC, expressed relief that “given the sensitivity of the information, we have been able to keep it out of the hands of, let’s say, less responsible hands.” Dr. John Clements, vaccines advisor at the World Health Organization, declared that “perhaps this study should not have been done at all.” He added that “the research results have to be handled,” warning that the study “will be taken by others and will be used in other ways beyond the control of this group.”

In fact, the government has proved to be far more adept at handling the damage than at protecting children’s health. The CDC paid the Institute of Medicine to conduct a new study to whitewash the risks of thimerosal, ordering researchers to “rule out” the chemical’s link to autism. It withheld Verstraeten’s findings, even though they had been slated for immediate publication, and told other scientists that his original data had been “lost” and could not be replicated. And to thwart the Freedom of Information Act, it handed its giant database of vaccine records over to a private company, declaring it off-limits to researchers. By the time Verstraeten finally published his study in 2003, he had gone to work for GlaxoSmithKline and reworked his data to bury the link between thimerosal and autism.

Vaccine manufacturers had already begun to phase thimerosal out of injections given to American infants—but they continued to sell off their mercury-based supplies of vaccines until last year. The CDC and FDA gave them a hand, buying up the tainted vaccines for export to developing countries and allowing drug companies to continue using the preservative in some American vaccines—including several pediatric flu shots as well as tetanus boosters routinely given to eleven-year-olds.

Help from the lawmakers
The drug companies are also getting help from powerful lawmakers in Washington. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who has received $873,000 in contributions from the pharmaceutical industry, has been working to immunize vaccine makers from liability in 4,200 lawsuits that have been filed by the parents of injured children. On five separate occasions, Frist has tried to seal all of the government’s vaccine-related documents—including the Simpsonwood transcripts—and shield Eli Lilly, the developer of thimerosal, from subpoenas.

In 2002, the day after Frist quietly slipped a rider known as the “Eli Lilly Protection Act” into a homeland security bill, the company contributed $10,000 to his campaign and bought 5,000 copies of his book on bioterrorism. The measure was repealed by Congress in 2003—but earlier this year, Frist slipped another provision into an anti-terrorism bill that would deny compensation to children suffering from vaccine-related brain disorders. “The lawsuits are of such magnitude that they could put vaccine producers out of business and limit our capacity to deal with a biological attack by terrorists,” says Dean Rosen, health policy adviser to Frist.

Even many conservatives are shocked by the government’s effort to cover up the dangers of thimerosal. Rep. Dan Burton, a Republican from Indiana, oversaw a three-year investigation of thimerosal after his grandson was diagnosed with autism. “Thimerosal used as a preservative in vaccines is directly related to the autism epidemic,” his House Government Reform Committee concluded in its final report. “This epidemic in all probability may have been prevented or curtailed had the FDA not been asleep at the switch regarding a lack of safety data regarding injected thimerosal, a known neurotoxin.” The FDA and other public-health agencies failed to act, the committee added, out of “institutional malfeasance for self protection” and “misplaced protectionism of the pharmaceutical industry.”

Government collusion
The story of how government health agencies colluded with Big Pharma to hide the risks of thimerosal from the public is a chilling case study of institutional arrogance, power and greed. I was drawn into the controversy only reluctantly. As an attorney and environmentalist who has spent years working on issues of mercury toxicity, I frequently met mothers of autistic children who were absolutely convinced that their kids had been injured by vaccines.

Privately, I was skeptical.
I doubted that autism could be blamed on a single source, and I certainly understood the government’s need to reassure parents that vaccinations are safe; the eradication of deadly childhood diseases depends on it. I tended to agree with skeptics like Rep. Henry Waxman, a Democrat from California, who criticized his colleagues on the House Government Reform Committee for leaping to conclusions about autism and vaccinations. “Why should we scare people about immunization,” Waxman pointed out at one hearing, “until we know the facts?”

It was only after reading the Simpsonwood transcripts, studying the leading scientific research and talking with many of the nation’s pre-eminent authorities on mercury that I became convinced that the link between thimerosal and the epidemic of childhood neurological disorders is real. Five of my own children are members of the Thimerosal Generation—those born between 1989 and 2003—who received heavy doses of mercury from vaccines. “The elementary grades are overwhelmed with children who have symptoms of neurological or immune-system damage,” Patti White, a school nurse, told the House Government Reform Committee in 1999. “Vaccines are supposed to be making us healthier; however, in twenty-five years of nursing I have never seen so many damaged, sick kids. Something very, very wrong is happening to our children.”

More than 500,000 kids currently suffer from autism, and pediatricians diagnose more than 40,000 new cases every year. The disease was unknown until 1943, when it was identified and diagnosed among eleven children born in the months after thimerosal was first added to baby vaccines in 1931.
Some skeptics dispute that the rise in autism is caused by thimerosal-tainted vaccinations. They argue that the increase is a result of better diagnosis—a theory that seems questionable at best, given that most of the new cases of autism are clustered within a single generation of children. “If the epidemic is truly an artifact of poor diagnosis,” scoffs Dr. Boyd Haley, one of the world’s authorities on mercury toxicity, “then where are all the twenty-year-old autistics?” Other researchers point out that Americans are exposed to a greater cumulative “load” of mercury than ever before, from contaminated fish to dental fillings, and suggest that thimerosal in vaccines may be only part of a much larger problem. It’s a concern that certainly deserves far more attention than it has received—but it overlooks the fact that the mercury concentrations in vaccines dwarf other sources of exposure to our children.

What is most striking is the lengths to which many of the leading detectives have gone to ignore—and cover up—the evidence against thimerosal. From the very beginning, the scientific case against the mercury additive has been overwhelming. The preservative, which is used to stem fungi and bacterial growth in vaccines, contains ethylmercury, a potent neurotoxin. Truckloads of studies have shown that mercury tends to accumulate in the brains of primates and other animals after they are injected with vaccines—and that the developing brains of infants are particularly susceptible. In 1977, a Russian study found that adults exposed to much lower concentrations of ethylmercury than those given to American children still suffered brain damage years later. Russia banned thimerosal from children’s vaccines twenty years ago, and Denmark, Austria, Japan, Great Britain and all the Scandinavian countries have since followed suit.

Too darn toxic
“You couldn’t even construct a study that shows thimerosal is safe,” says Haley, who heads the chemistry department at the University of Kentucky. “It’s just too darn toxic. If you inject thimerosal into an animal, its brain will sicken. If you apply it to living tissue, the cells die. If you put it in a petri dish, the culture dies. Knowing these things, it would be shocking if one could inject it into an infant without causing damage.”

Internal documents reveal that Eli Lilly, which first developed thimerosal, knew from the start that its product could cause damage—and even death—in both animals and humans. In 1930, the company tested thimerosal by administering it to twenty-two patients with terminal meningitis, all of whom died within weeks of being injected—a fact Lilly didn’t bother to report in its study declaring thimerosal safe. In 1935, researchers at another vaccine manufacturer, Pittman-Moore, warned Lilly that its claims about thimerosal’s safety “did not check with ours.” Half the dogs Pittman injected with thimerosal-based vaccines became sick, leading researchers there to declare the preservative “unsatisfactory as a serum intended for use on dogs.”

The evidence mounts
In the decades that followed, the evidence against thimerosal continued to mount. During the Second World War, when the Department of Defense used the preservative in vaccines on soldiers, it required Lilly to label it “poison.” In 1967, a study in Applied Microbiology found that thimerosal killed mice when added to injected vaccines. Four years later, Lilly’s own studies discerned that thimerosal was “toxic to tissue cells” in concentrations as low as one part per million—100 times weaker than the concentration in a typical vaccine. Even so, the company continued to promote thimerosal as “nontoxic” and also incorporated it into topical disinfectants.

In 1977, ten babies at a Toronto hospital died when an antiseptic preserved with thimerosal was dabbed onto their umbilical cords.
In 1982, the FDA proposed a ban on over-the-counter products that contained thimerosal, and in 1991 the agency considered banning it from animal vaccines. But tragically, that same year, the CDC recommended that infants be injected with a series of mercury-laced vaccines. Newborns would be vaccinated for hepatitis B within twenty-four hours of birth, and two-month-old infants would be immunized for haemophilus influenzae B and diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis.


The drug industry knew the additional vaccines posed a danger. The same year that the CDC approved the new vaccines, Dr. Maurice Hilleman, one of the fathers of Merck’s vaccine programs, warned the company that six-month-olds who were administered the shots would suffer dangerous exposure to mercury. He recommended that thimerosal be discontinued, “especially when used on infants and children,” noting that the industry knew of nontoxic alternatives. “The best way to go,” he added, “is to switch to dispensing the actual vaccines without adding preservatives.”

For Merck and other drug companies, however, the obstacle was money. Thimerosal enables the pharmaceutical industry to package vaccines in vials that contain multiple doses, which require additional protection because they are more easily contaminated by multiple needle entries. The larger vials cost half as much to produce as smaller, single-dose vials, making it cheaper for international agencies to distribute them to impoverished regions at risk of epidemics. Faced with this “cost consideration,” Merck ignored Hilleman’s warnings, and government officials continued to push more and more thimerosal-based vaccines for children. Before 1989, American preschoolers received eleven vaccinations—for polio, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis and measles-mumps-rubella. A decade later, thanks to federal recommendations, children were receiving a total of twenty-two immunizations by the time they reached first grade.

Autism explodes
As the number of vaccines increased, the rate of autism among children exploded. During the 1990s, 40 million children were injected with thimerosal-based vaccines, receiving unprecedented levels of mercury during a period critical for brain development. Despite the well-documented dangers of thimerosal, it appears that no one bothered to add up the cumulative dose of mercury that children would receive from the mandated vaccines. “What took the FDA so long to do the calculations?” Peter Patriarca, director of viral products for the agency, asked in an e-mail to the CDC in 1999. “Why didn’t CDC and the advisory bodies do these calculations when they rapidly expanded the childhood immunization schedule?”

But by that time, the damage was done. At two months, when the infant brain is still at a critical stage of development, infants routinely received three inoculations that contained a total of 62.5 micrograms of ethylmercury—a level 99 times greater than the EPA’s limit for daily exposure to methylmercury, a related neurotoxin. Although the vaccine industry insists that ethylmercury poses little danger because it breaks down rapidly and is removed by the body, several studies—including one published in April by the National Institutes of Health—suggest that ethylmercury is actually more toxic to developing brains and stays in the brain longer than methylmercury.

Officials responsible for childhood immunizations insist that the additional vaccines were necessary to protect infants from disease and that thimerosal is still essential in developing nations, which, they often claim, cannot afford the single-dose vials that don’t require a preservative. Dr. Paul Offit, one of CDC’s top vaccine advisers, told me, “I think if we really have an influenza pandemic—and certainly we will in the next twenty years, because we always do—there’s no way on God’s earth that we immunize 280 million people with single-dose vials. There has to be multidose vials.”

But while public-health officials may have been well-intentioned, many of those on the CDC advisory committee who backed the additional vaccines had close ties to the industry. Dr. Sam Katz, the committee’s chair, was a paid consultant for most of the major vaccine makers and was part of a team that developed the measles vaccine and brought it to licensure in 1963. Dr. Neal Halsey, another committee member, worked as a researcher for the vaccine companies and received honoraria from Abbott Labs for his research on the hepatitis B vaccine.

A tight circle of scientists
Indeed, in the tight circle of scientists who work on vaccines, such conflicts of interest are common. Rep. Burton says that the CDC “routinely allows scientists with blatant conflicts of interest to serve on intellectual advisory committees that make recommendations on new vaccines,” even though they have “interests in the products and companies for which they are supposed to be providing unbiased oversight.” The House Government Reform Committee discovered that four of the eight CDC advisers who approved guidelines for a rotavirus vaccine “had financial ties to the pharmaceutical companies that were developing different versions of the vaccine.”

Offit, who shares a patent on one of the vaccines, acknowledged to me that he “would make money” if his vote eventually leads to a marketable product. But he dismissed my suggestion that a scientist’s direct financial stake in CDC approval might bias his judgment. “It provides no conflict for me,” he insists. “I have simply been informed by the process, not corrupted by it. When I sat around that table, my sole intent was trying to make recommendations that best benefited the children in this country. It’s offensive to say that physicians and public-health people are in the pocket of industry and thus are making decisions that they know are unsafe for children. It’s just not the way it works.”

Other vaccine scientists and regulators gave me similar assurances. Like Offit, they view themselves as enlightened guardians of children’s health, proud of their “partnerships” with pharmaceutical companies, immune to the seductions of personal profit, besieged by irrational activists whose anti-vaccine campaigns are endangering children’s health. They are often resentful of questioning. “Science,” says Offit, “is best left to scientists.”

Still, some government officials were alarmed by the apparent conflicts of interest. In his e-mail to CDC administrators in 1999, Paul Patriarca of the FDA blasted federal regulators for failing to adequately scrutinize the danger posed by the added baby vaccines. “I’m not sure there will be an easy way out of the potential perception that the FDA, CDC and immunization-policy bodies may have been asleep at the switch re: thimerosal until now,” Patriarca wrote. The close ties between regulatory officials and the pharmaceutical industry, he added, “will also raise questions about various advisory bodies regarding aggressive recommendations for use” of thimerosal in child vaccines.

If federal regulators and government scientists failed to grasp the potential risks of thimerosal over the years, no one could claim ignorance after the secret meeting at Simpsonwood. But rather than conduct more studies to test the link to autism and other forms of brain damage, the CDC placed politics over science. The agency turned its database on childhood vaccines—which had been developed largely at taxpayer expense—over to a private agency, America’s Health Insurance Plans, ensuring that it could not be used for additional research. It also instructed the Institute of Medicine, an advisory organization that is part of the National Academy of Sciences, to produce a study debunking the link between thimerosal and brain disorders.

The CDC “wants us to declare, well, that these things are pretty safe,” Dr. Marie McCormick, who chaired the IOM’s Immunization Safety Review Committee, told her fellow researchers when they first met in January 2001. “We are not ever going to come down that [autism] is a true side effect” of thimerosal exposure. According to transcripts of the meeting, the committee’s chief staffer, Kathleen Stratton, predicted that the IOM would conclude that the evidence was “inadequate to accept or reject a causal relation” between thimerosal and autism. That, she added, was the result “Walt wants”—a reference to Dr. Walter Orenstein, director of the National Immunization Program for the CDC.

A dragon by the tail
For those who had devoted their lives to promoting vaccination, the revelations about thimerosal threatened to undermine everything they had worked for. “We’ve got a dragon by the tail here,” said Dr. Michael Kaback, another committee member. “The more negative that [our] presentation 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.”
Even in public, federal officials made it clear that their primary goal in studying thimerosal was to dispel doubts about vaccines. “Four current studies are taking place to rule out the proposed link between autism and thimerosal,” Dr. Gordon Douglas, then-director of strategic planning for vaccine research at the National Institutes of Health, assured a Princeton University gathering in May 2001. “In order to undo the harmful effects of research claiming to link the [measles] vaccine to an elevated risk of autism, we need to conduct and publicize additional studies to assure parents of safety.” Douglas formerly served as president of vaccinations for Merck, where he ignored warnings about thimerosal’s risks.

In May of last year, the Institute of Medicine issued its final report. Its conclusion: There is no proven link between autism and thimerosal in vaccines. Rather than reviewing the large body of literature describing the toxicity of thimerosal, the report relied on four disastrously flawed epidemiological studies examining European countries, where children received much smaller doses of thimerosal than American kids. It also cited a new version of the Verstraeten study, published in the journal Pediatrics, that had been reworked to reduce the link between thimerosal and autism. The new study included children too young to have been diagnosed with autism and overlooked others who showed signs of the disease. The IOM declared the case closed and—in a startling position for a scientific body—recommended that no further research be conducted.

The report may have satisfied the CDC, but it convinced no one. Rep. David Weldon, a Republican physician from Florida who serves on the House Government Reform Committee, attacked the Institute of Medicine, saying it relied on a handful of studies that were “fatally flawed” by “poor design” and failed to represent “all the available scientific and medical research.” CDC officials are not interested in an honest search for the truth, Weldon told me, because “an association between vaccines and autism would force them to admit that their policies irreparably damaged thousands of children. Who would want to make that conclusion about themselves?”

Under pressure from Congress and parents, the Institute of Medicine convened another panel to address continuing concerns about the Vaccine Safety Datalink Data Sharing program. In February, the new panel, composed of different scientists, criticized the way the VSD had been used in the Verstraeten study, and urged the CDC to make its vaccine database available to the public.
So far, though, only two scientists have managed to gain access. Dr. Mark Geier, president of the Genetics Center of America, and his son, David, spent a year battling to obtain the medical records from the CDC.

Since August 2002, when members of Congress pressured the agency to turn over the data, the Geiers have completed six studies that demonstrate a powerful correlation between thimerosal and neurological damage in children. One study, which compares the cumulative dose of mercury received by children born between 1981 and 1985 with those born between 1990 and 1996, found a “very significant relationship” between autism and vaccines. Another study of educational performance found that kids who received higher doses of thimerosal in vaccines were nearly three times as likely to be diagnosed with autism and more than three times as likely to suffer from speech disorders and mental retardation. Another soon-to-be published study shows that autism rates are in decline following the recent elimination of thimerosal from most vaccines.

The link to autism
As the federal government worked to prevent scientists from studying vaccines, others have stepped in to study the link to autism. In April, reporter Dan Olmsted of UPI undertook one of the more interesting studies himself. Searching for children who had not been exposed to mercury in vaccines—the kind of population that scientists typically use as a “control” in experiments—Olmsted scoured the Amish of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, who refuse to immunize their infants. Given the national rate of autism, Olmsted calculated that there should be 130 autistics among the Amish. He found only four. One had been exposed to high levels of mercury from a power plant. The other three—including one child adopted from outside the Amish community—had received their vaccines.

At the state level, many officials have also conducted in-depth reviews of thimerosal. While the Institute of Medicine was busy whitewashing the risks, the Iowa legislature was carefully combing through all of the available scientific and biological data. “After three years of review, I became convinced there was sufficient credible research to show a link between mercury and the increased incidences in autism,” says state Sen. Ken Veenstra, a Republican who oversaw the investigation. “The fact that Iowa’s 700 percent increase in autism began in the 1990s, right after more and more vaccines were added to the children’s vaccine schedules, is solid evidence alone.” Last year, Iowa became the first state to ban mercury in vaccines, followed by California. Similar bans are now under consideration in thirty-two other states.

But instead of following suit, the FDA continues to allow manufacturers to include thimerosal in scores of over-the-counter medications as well as steroids and injected collagen. Even more alarming, the government continues to ship vaccines preserved with thimerosal to developing countries—some of which are now experiencing a sudden explosion in autism rates. In China, where the disease was virtually unknown prior to the introduction of thimerosal by U.S. drug manufacturers in 1999, news reports indicate that there are now more than 1.8 million autistics. Although reliable numbers are hard to come by, autistic disorders also appear to be soaring in India, Argentina, Nicaragua and other developing countries that are now using thimerosal-laced vaccines. The World Health Organization continues to insist thimerosal is safe, but it promises to keep the possibility that it is linked to neurological disorders “under review.”

I devoted time to study this issue because I believe that this is a moral crisis that must be addressed. If, as the evidence suggests, our public-health authorities knowingly allowed the pharmaceutical industry to poison an entire generation of American children, their actions arguably constitute one of the biggest scandals in the annals of American medicine. “The CDC is guilty of incompetence and gross negligence,” says Mark Blaxill, vice president of Safe Minds, a nonprofit organization concerned about the role of mercury in medicines. “The damage caused by vaccine exposure is massive. It’s bigger than asbestos, bigger than tobacco, bigger than anything you’ve ever seen.”

It’s hard to calculate the damage to our country—and to the international efforts to eradicate epidemic diseases—if Third World nations come to believe that America’s most heralded foreign-aid initiative is poisoning their children. It’s not difficult to predict how this scenario will be interpreted by America’s enemies abroad.

The scientists and researchers—many of them sincere, even idealistic—who are participating in efforts to hide the science on thimerosal claim that they are trying to advance the lofty goal of protecting children in developing nations from disease pandemics.
They are badly misguided. Their failure to come clean on thimerosal will come back horribly to haunt our country and the world’s poorest populations.

SIMILAR ARTICLES


Strict Standards: Non-static method SimilarPosts::execute() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/similar-posts/similar-posts.php on line 34

Strict Standards: Non-static method SimilarPosts::check_post_plugin_library() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/similar-posts/similar-posts.php on line 57

Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method adsensem::filter_ads() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 166

Strict Standards: Non-static method adsensem::filter_ad_callback() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/adsense-manager/adsense-manager.php on line 245

Strict Standards: Non-static method adsensem::filter_ad_callback() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/adsense-manager/adsense-manager.php on line 248

Strict Standards: Non-static method adsensem::filter_ad_callback() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/adsense-manager/adsense-manager.php on line 248

Strict Standards: Non-static method adsensem::filter_ad_callback() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/adsense-manager/adsense-manager.php on line 248

Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method adsensem::filter_ads() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 166

Strict Standards: Non-static method adsensem::filter_ad_callback() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/adsense-manager/adsense-manager.php on line 245

Strict Standards: Non-static method adsensem::filter_ad_callback() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/adsense-manager/adsense-manager.php on line 248

Strict Standards: Non-static method adsensem::filter_ad_callback() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/adsense-manager/adsense-manager.php on line 248

Strict Standards: Non-static method adsensem::filter_ad_callback() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/adsense-manager/adsense-manager.php on line 248

Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method adsensem::filter_ads() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 166

Strict Standards: Non-static method adsensem::filter_ad_callback() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/adsense-manager/adsense-manager.php on line 245

Strict Standards: Non-static method adsensem::filter_ad_callback() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/adsense-manager/adsense-manager.php on line 248

Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method adsensem::filter_ads() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 166

Strict Standards: Non-static method adsensem::filter_ad_callback() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/adsense-manager/adsense-manager.php on line 245

Strict Standards: Non-static method adsensem::filter_ad_callback() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/adsense-manager/adsense-manager.php on line 248

Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method adsensem::filter_ads() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 166

Strict Standards: Non-static method adsensem::filter_ad_callback() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/adsense-manager/adsense-manager.php on line 245

Strict Standards: Non-static method adsensem::filter_ad_callback() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/adsense-manager/adsense-manager.php on line 248

Strict Standards: Non-static method adsensem::filter_ad_callback() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/adsense-manager/adsense-manager.php on line 248

Strict Standards: Non-static method adsensem::filter_ad_callback() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/adsense-manager/adsense-manager.php on line 248

Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method adsensem::filter_ads() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 166

Strict Standards: Non-static method adsensem::filter_ad_callback() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/adsense-manager/adsense-manager.php on line 245

Strict Standards: Non-static method adsensem::filter_ad_callback() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/adsense-manager/adsense-manager.php on line 248

Strict Standards: Non-static method adsensem::filter_ad_callback() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/adsense-manager/adsense-manager.php on line 248

Strict Standards: Non-static method adsensem::filter_ad_callback() should not be called statically in /home/biophile/public_html/wp-content/plugins/adsense-manager/adsense-manager.php on line 248
  • 5 toxic metals to avoid Are you feeling tired or irritable? Is your head foggy or are you suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, depression or anemia? You may be suffering from...
  • MSG: Nicotine for food For the last fifty years, the medical community has been baffled by the rise in cases of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and autism. These...
  • Poisonous Vaccines The 1950’s race to be the first with a polio vaccine was led by Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin. Both designed polio vaccines intended to...
  • Children and Teens Should Stay Away From Cell Phones Toronto’s department of public health has advised teenagers and young children to limit their use of cell phones, in order to avoid potential health risks....
  • Essential Fatty acids The Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) — Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9 —found in seed oils play a vital role in cell to cell...
  • Vaccinations: Weapons of Mass Destruction The basic truth that served as the foundation for the mountain of lies known as vaccinations was the observation that mammals which recover from infection...

5 Comments »

  1. I was born in 1942 so I remember what life was like before the polio vaccine. Parents were terrified. Every summer there were waves of polio cases. Kids died. Or worse, they were condemned to iron lungs “for life.”
    Swimming pools were closed. Picnics were cancelled. No one knew what caused it or how to avoid it.
    I lived less than half a mile from the famous Sister Kenny Hospital where the severest cases went. It was a busy place.
    Then the Salk and then Sabin vaccine arrived and in a matter of a few years, Sister Kenny’s hospital had no patients amd it closed.
    I just wish these anti-vaccination idiots could visit 1950 for a month. Or maybe they could drop in on hospitals in the 1920s when there were 100,000 to 200,000 cases of diphtheria every year in the United States, causing 13,000 to 15,000 deaths, most of them children.
    Or maybe they could witness a case of tetanus.

    I am infuriated by these smug ignoramuses who are clearly willing to let these horrible diseases stalk their own children, and by extension, everyone. What do they thibnk will happen if we all stop getting vaccinations?? We’ll be able to stave off yellow fever and tetanus with a homeopathic pill?
    A resurgence of these plagues will be on their heads! (Not that it will be any comfort to the rest of us.)

    Comment by Alex Swan

  2. I’d like to point out that both Salk and Sabin said that the polio vaccine had nothing to do with the disappearance of the disease, it had simply run it’s course like all epidemics do. Further, the junk science supporting vaccines is supported by fear based propaganda with very little real evidence indicated. If vaccines work so well, why does anyone care if a few people don’t get them? What threat is it to those of you who do? Won’t you be protected from the diseases?

    I love when people say that those who don’t get vaccinated are a threat to those who do, it proves that people don’t really believe in the vaccines. Has everyone in the medical community forgotten that we have immune systems and the reason that so many of us have weakened immune systems is because we keep plunging our bodies into vats of chemicals? Thimerisol is not the only problem with vaccines; the spread of other diseases through them, the vast amounts of other chemicals, the fact that the diseases in them don’t pass through our immune system in any way that it recognizes, the list goes on and on ending with they simply don’t work.

    These aren’t rogue scientists saying it, they are from Harvard, Merck, U of C and many other esteemed places. Today we have better nutrition, clean water, sanitary conditions and if you think those things don’t make a difference you are completely mistaken and need to expand your research.

    Comment by Digger

  3. Actually, Digger, the clean water and sanitary conditions made it so that polio attacked when children were older. Babies usually had lesser symptoms, but older folks suffered more.

    Here is an explanation that you should understand:
    http://www.scq.ubc.ca/polio.pdf

    Also, how does the sanitary condition explanation work for Japan? In the early 1990s they made the measles vaccine voluntary. Then during the next few years the cases of measles increased to the point that several college campuses were closed to stop the spread of measles.

    Did Japan have a sudden change in sanitary conditions? Or was there a change in vaccine coverage? What is the most logical explanation for the levels of measles to go from a low of less than 900 to over 30000:
    http://www.who.int/immunization_monitoring/en/globalsummary/timeseries/TSincidenceByCountry.cfm?country=Japan

    Comment by Alex Swan

  4. PLEASE HAVE YOUR CHILDREN VACCINATED.
    After reading an intellectually dishonest article such as the one on this page, please, before you make up your mind, read the other side of the story:

    “Ever since there have been vaccines, there has been an antivaccination movement. It began shortly after Edward Jenner discovered how to use the weaker cowpox virus to induce long-lasting immunity to smallpox, there has been resistance to the concept of vaccination, a resistance that continues to this very day. Reasons for this resistance have ranged from religious, to fear of injecting foreign substances, to simple resistance to the government telling people what to do. Some fear even the infitessimally small risk that vaccines pose for the benefit of resistance to disease far more than they fear the diseases themselves, a result of the very success of modern vaccines. Of course, vaccines, like any other medical intervention, are not without risks, making it easy for them to jump on any hint of harm done by vaccines, whether real or imagined, even though vaccines are among the very safest of treatments.”

    Read the whole article here: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=9

    Comment by Polio Victim

  5. Not sure if anyone will ever read this, but hey, you never know.

    What I got from this article is that thimerosal, the preservative used in the vaccines is dangerous, and unless I’m wrong (only read the article one), this article did not once say that you shouldn’t get vaccinated. It says that studies and information show that autism cases increased hugely at the same time that thimerosal was introduced, and when the quantity of vaccinations was increased. Are you openly refuting that the connection is totally unrelated, or even false. Are you saying that exposure to mercury (which I’m sure is a very poisonous substance, unless my 7th grade science teacher was lying)is by no way or how harmful to humans. The article is saying that Pharmaceutical companies refuse to admit that they mistakenly caused the autism epidemic, yes it is an epidemic. 500000 cases is an epidemic.

    The polio vaccine is necessary, so people don’t get polio. Just like the measles vaccine is necessary, so that people don’t get measles. People who say that these vaccines are only harmful, don’t benefit anyone and that we shouldn’t take them are not right. Although the vaccines are obviously not perfect, they are still necessary until we work out another way to build up our bodies to deal with it. Lets say vaccines are the lesser of two evils.

    The main pieces of usable information that I got from this article is:
    1 It is highly possible that vaccines with thimerosal are dangerous, and that one needs to be cautious with is application.

    2 That there is possibly a cover-up of some sort, that information is being withheld, and that money hungry organizations are trying to protect themselves to the detriment of everyone else. (not like that has ever happened before!!)

    3 That thimerosal is not necessary for the effective use of the vaccines, and that it is only used to maximize profits. Worse that there are possibly other options that might not have terrible side affects.

    Not one of the comments given by other readers above mentioned any of these facts. They didn’t say anything about thimerosal at all. They just reverted to the age old fight, vaccines/no vaccines, usually only fought by overzealous extremists.

    All i can say is that when I get around to having a child one day, I want the option of having a single dose, no preservatives added, vaccine, so that I know that to the best of my ability, I have done everything I can to ensure a healthy, complication free life. Even if I had to work harder to afford the higher cost. It is possibly worth it.

    Alex Swan. The cartoon was cute. We know polio is not something we want to catch. Thanks for the recap. The stats for Japan show that maybe dropping the measles vac wasn’t such a good idea, live and learn. But it didn’t say anything about thimerosal. That’s because the stats are not really relevant to this article, except to say that we need our vaccinations, which is most probably true.

    Polio Victim. I agree with your heading ‘PLEASE HAVE YOUR CHILDREN VACCINATED’. It would be silly for someone to read this article and then not get their children vaccinated. What someone should do after reading this is, group up with like minded people and force the pharmaceutical companies to produce vaccines with less harmful preservatives, do unbiased and relevant research on the affects of the vaccines on a continuous basic, and do what ever changes are necessary to the vaccines to ensure that they are not harmful. Oh, and if they make such a huge mistake like they have done, do what ever is necessary to rectify it as quickly as possible with out worrying about saving face. We are talking about real life people. Not just statistics on a page. People that you may even know. Im sure that you want all of the above just as much as the anti-vac activists. Hey maybe Ive found a little common ground there. We all want whats best for all of us!! The article is not dishonest. It relays information (whether true or not) presented to the author, who is allowed to give their opinions and take sides if they want(free speech an all). Plus the article was about very disturbing information if true, which needs to be looked into. I’m pretty sure you don’t have autism, or have a family member with autism, or you would have a very different approach to it. And i read the first quarter of the article you attached, just before I got bored. It nit picks, uses unlogical thought paths (probably to try discredit people without discrediting what they are stating, because they cant), and takes the research probably funded by the people implicated as completely true and unbiased. Are you willing to take that chance without any proof. The author of that article is probably directly or indirectly connected to the pharmaceuticals involved, just trying to protect themselves at the detriment to other people.

    Medicine is a constantly evolving process, of which we still know very little. People try something out, get it wrong, and then modify it to get a better result. Then it happens over again until it is satisfactory.

    And for all and sundry, there is nothing wrong with anti-all things activists, even if sometimes they are very wrong. If there were no anti-vaccination activists, who knows how dangerous the vaccines might be. And the same goes the other way. Unfortunately conflict is one of the best ways of ensuring progression.

    Is there anyway of notifying the other comment writers of my comment. I would be interested to know what they think about what Ive said.

    Comment by Clinton

Leave a comment

Subscribe to comments on this post

CURRENT ISSUE

Cover of Issue 28

Issue 29 of Biophile is going electronic and will be available soon. It will also be available to our international readers. Stay tuned or contact us for more details! find out more

EDITORIAL

I was just checking the website of the SEXPO which has just visited SA, this is what the Cape Town site says. . . . “The world’s largest Health, Sexuality and Lifestyle expo is coming back to Slaapstad and it’s bigger and sexier than ever! continue reading

ABOUT BIOPHILE

Biophile magazine is published every two months by Biophile cc. The magazine is edited by Chris Lautenbach, while subscriptions and advertising are managed by Lindsay Mitchell.
The telephone number is 076 9055 004 and you can send faxes to 086 514 9668.

ECOTELLY

Visit Ecotelly.com for more videos

AWARD

Award Web

Biophile recently received recognition for its contribution to the print & internet category at the 20th SAB Environmentalist & Environmental Journalists of the year Awards. Congratulations to a dedicated team!

SPONSOR