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News of the Day ... in Perspective


Hearing to examine role of vaccines in autism cases

A congressional hearing scheduled for Feb. 9 will examine two questions: (1) Could thimerosal, a mercury-containing component of childhood vaccines, trigger autism in genetically susceptible children? (2) Could the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, which has never contained thimerosal, trigger autism?

Rep. Dave Weldon (R-FL), a physician, has argued for postponing the hearing because “it does not appear to be a serious effort to examine these critical issues.”

Lyn Redwood, President of Safe Minds, said that numerous investigations now underway would shed more light on the topic. Safe Minds, after obtaining documents through a Freedom of Information Act request, found that a CDC researcher revised his methodology after a study showed a statistically significant association between thimerosal exposure and development delays. The revised results, reported in 2000, showed no association. (Sandy Kleffman, Contra Costa Times 1/26/04).

Additional information:

Studies on thimerosal and neurodevelopment disorders. J Am Phys Surg, spring 2003, fall 2003.

Autism in the United States: a Perspective, J Am Phys Surg, winter 2003.

Autism: a Public Health Disaster? Civil Defense Perspectives, November 2000.

AAPS opposes mandatory vaccines.

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