News of the Day ... In Perspective6/30/2005
Parents battle vaccine industry over autism
More than 4,800 lawsuits have been filed by parents, alleging thimerosal-induced damage to their children. They are also pushing for both state and federal legislation to ban vaccines containing this disinfecting agent. One such bill has passed the New York state legislature (Gardiner Harris and Anahad O’Connor, “On Autism’s Cause, It’s Parents vs. Research, New York Times 6/25/05).
“We’re not looking like a fringe group any more,” said Minnesota state senator Becky Lourey.
“It’s really terrifying, the scientific illiteracy that supports these suspicions,” said Dr. Marie McCormick, chairwoman of an Institute of Medicine panel that examined the alleged vaccine-autism connection in February 2004.
Scientists and health officials have been bombarded with threats and accusations of a cover-up. Some officials say that fears for their safety have caused them to look for other jobs.
The controversy heated up when environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., wrote an article entitled “Deadly Immunity” in the June 16 issue of Rolling Stone magazine (www.salon.com).
Kennedy quotes Mark Blaxill of Safe Minds: “The damage caused by vaccine exposure is massive. It’s bigger than asbestos, bigger than tobacco, bigger than anything you’ve ever seen.”
The New York Times warns of “unproven, costly and potentially harmful treatments”—including chelation—that are being sold to desperate parents as treatment for “mercury poisoning.”
One Chicago physician, Dr. Robert Filice, states that about half of the 20 autistic children he has treated with chelation have shown dramatic improvement (Des Moines Register 6/26/05).
One conclusion is clear, states The New York Times; “The debate over autism and vaccines is not likely to end soon.”
Commentary in Australian magazine with many links to documents: www.byronchild.com/vacc.htm
CDC, FDA experts on vaccine toxicity: www.aapsonline.org/vaccines/cdcfdaexperts.htm
Correspondence from pediatrician F Edward Yazbak to IOM President Dr. Fineberg - May 11, 2005