Note: Anyone, from political activists, to celebs to "Real" Housewives to actual housewives who question vaccine ingredients and/or safety is shunted into the "anti-vaccine fringe category." In 2014 there's more "fringe" (those who study and learn and report) than rug, as Americans question vaccine safety like any other product, thus the desperate push to denigrate, disassemble and deny by pharMedia.
By Anne Dachel
July 21, Jeffrey Kluger--TIME: RFK Jr. Joins the Anti-Vaccine Fringe "Most fundamentally, Kennedy does not get chemistry. Thimerosal is an ethylmercury product. Mercury in general may be a neurotoxin, but it's in its methylmercury form that it does its damage-and only in particular concentrations. The quantity of ethylmercury that was once in vaccines was so small that it was actually within acceptable limits for the more toxic, methyl form-but it wasn't even in that methyl form to begin with."
TIME actually went further than the others in slamming Kennedy's thesis with Kluger's defense of methlymercury, along with the ethymercury used in vaccines. He wasn't afraid to say thimerosal is mercury. He just doesn't see a problem with it.
I would like to ask all the reporters writing on this subject, not just Kluger, Sanders, Salzberg, and Helmuth, do you know anything about the history of thimerosal?
The truth is, officials don't want to research just how dangerous thimerosal is when injected into children and mothers-to-be. Ten years ago, on June 4, 2004, acting director of the FDA, William Egan, was called to testify before the House Committee on Government Reform about thimerosal.
U.S. Rep. Dan Burton: "Mr. Egan, has thimerosal ever been tested by our health agencies?"
William Egan: "Its been only those early tests that you know of that were done by Lilly."
Burton: "That was done in 1929....
"And lets just follow up on that. In 1929, they tested this on 27 people that were dying of meningitis . And all of those people died of meningitis. And so they said, there was no correlation between their deaths, and the mercury in the vaccines. That is the only test that has ever been done on Thimerosal, that I know of. Can you think of any other?"
Egan: "No, in people, no. Except for accidental exposures over the."
Burton: "So we have mercury that has been put into people's bodies in the form of this preservative ,and has been since the thirties, and it has never been tested by our health agencies. And yet, you folks come here , and you testify that there is no 'conclusive evidence,' conclusive evidence, and the IOM says 'they favor,' - get this - they don't say they are sure, they say they favor rejection of a causal relationship between mercury and autism and other neurological disorders. Mr. Egan, can you tell me right now that that amount of mercury injected into a baby will not hurt it?"
Egan: "It's.. You know, it's, it's , it's impossible to make those categorical statements that one hundred percent .."
That is the inescapable truth about the safety of thimerosal.
It's hard to understand reporters who are so willing to risk their reputations by ardently defending the use of toxic mercury in vaccines when the science simply isn't there. Mercury has been used in vaccines for eighty-five years without ever being tested by the government for its toxic effects. Steven Salzberg's may cite "study after study" as proof that thimerosal is safe, but the truth is these studies are merely easily flawed and manipulated population studies--the weakest kind of science. The fact that our health officials keep doing them and yet they never settle the question, should tell reporters something.
Examine the science behind vaccinations, the return of preventable diseases, and the risks of opting out. Airing September 10, 2014 at 9 pm on PBS
Diseases that were largely eradicated in the United States a generation ago-whooping cough, measles, mumps-are returning, in part because nervous parents are skipping their children's shots. NOVA's "Vaccines - Calling the Shots" takes viewers around the world to track epidemics, explore the science behind vaccinations, hear from parents wrestling with vaccine-related questions, and shed light on the risks of opting out.
"Risks of opting out"? Will we also hear about the risks of "opting in" or will PBS just pretend that vaccines carry no side effects?
Will the producers at PBS include a clip from their series, Autism Now, from 2011? Veteran newscaster Robert MacNeil interviewed autism expert, Dr. David Amaral from the MIND Institute at UC-Davis about the link between vaccines and autism. While Amaral didn't think vaccines are the only cause of autism, he said this about a child who might have a predisposition or be ill at the time of vaccination,
"Vaccinations for those children actually may be the environmental factor that tipped them over the edge of autism. And I think it is incredibly important, still, to try and figure out what, if any, vulnerabilities, in a small subset of children, might make them at risk for having certain vaccinations."
That was a pretty amazing comment. It certainly means that parents who worry about vaccine side effects have good reason for their concern.
You can see the PBS interview with David Amaral on YouTube. (PBS no longer has the video available.) 9:12
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism and author of The Big Autism Cover-Up: How and Why the Media Is Lying to the American Public, which goes on sale this Fall from Skyhorse Publishing.
By Teresa Conrick
I have been reading and writing about the microbiome quite a lot so it was inspiring to be able to hear Dr. Andrew Wakefield discuss vaccine safety issues, autism and the microbiome here in Chicago earlier this year. Dr. Wakefield was presenting along with Dr. Ashly Ochsner, BS, DC, a popular, local Chiropractor, whose practice, Health From Within, treats many patients with an autism diagnosis. Marcella Piper-Terry, parent, activist, FB friend to many, and the heart and soul of VaxTruth, was also a presenter, discussing her own personal journey and the many parents along the way who have had children injured by vaccines.
We listened about the epidemic numbers of kids receiving an autism diagnosis and other chronic diseases. We cried when Dr. Wakefield showed a photo of a boy, bloody and bruised by his own self-injurious behavior (SIB), who had the most severe case of autism that Dr.Wakefield had ever seen. He described how the boy received a GI scope and lesions were seen everywhere. The amount of pain would have had us all on the floor screaming for help, Dr. Wakefield described, but the boy was nonverbal and he could not tell of his plight. His SIB was not some kind of psychotic display but his reaction to pain -- “the amount of pain probably had this boy almost suicidal.” He then explained how the boy was put on a special diet and received medical treatments and medications to stop the inflammation and pain. He was getting better but then the local doctors stopped it. We have heard this scenario before. An autism diagnosis often means psychotropic drugs and for a child like this, often restraints. The word, AUTISM, historically has meant a BRAIN issue, thus PSYCHIATRIC only and that’s what happened to this boy. They stopped his medical care, and his pain and SIB returned. The insanity of that is just too horrific.
Dr Wakefield also described how for years parents were told that there was NO CONNECTION to GI issues and autism. Many were treated as if they were crazy or had munchausen syndrome by proxy, the most bizarre excuse that psychiatry ever invented. Yet here we are now, with study after study showing that there is MUCH EVIDENCE of GI issues and autism:
You should probably know I worship at the altar of The Lord of the Rings. As a cinematic evocation of loyalty, friendship, and courage I believe it has no equal. I tell my son that if someday in the distant future I am not around and he wants to explain to his children or grandchildren what his father hoped to be, he should pop in the DVD and let them view the trilogy.
When I watch I imagine myself as Aragorn, taking the Dimholt Road under the mountain, clutching the sword, Anduril, Flame of the West, offering a deal to the souls of the dishonored dead if they would join me in battle. I picture myself as Aragon, astride my horse in front of the Black Gate, telling my troops, I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down, but it is not this day! This day we fight! Then I jump off my horse, and with the setting sun behind me, a reckless, almost manic glint in my eye and a crooked grin, I am first to charge into the enemy army.
Aside from my heroic Aragorn fantasies the most inspiring part of the story to me is how the different groups of Middle-Earth come together to form a Fellowship and fight a common enemy. The scene in which a council of humans, elves, dwarves, the wizard Gandalf, and hobbits discuss what to do with the One Ring reminds me of the problems faced by so many disparate groups today. Among the groups under threat today are the autism parents, those with chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), and the Lyme disease sufferers, to name just a few of the most prominent.
One of the reasons I love the scene at the council table is because it shows how much each group is mistrusted by the others. The humans are distrusted because they had a chance to destroy the One Ring and failed to do so. The dwarves are mistrusted because they care so much about treasure and tunnel too deep into the earth where they risk awakening dark forces. The elves are distrusted because they so often stand back from the fight, as if they are not part of their world.
Lyn Redwood wrote this post on the Safeminds website. For those of you who do not know who Lyn is, her son is what I would consider "Child Zero" for Thimerosal/mercury poisoning. Lyn is a nurse, a lone voice of reason on IACC and one of the first people to ask about mercury in vaccines back in the 1990s - and count the micrograms - and having realize there were hundreds of mcgs in the pediatric scheduke, sounding the alarm bell. A bell that CDC, AAP, AMA, Slate, Wired, Washington Post, New York Times, LA Times, Paul Offit, Nancy Snyderman, Dorit Reiss and so many others can NOT UNRING. We all owe Lyn a debt of gratitude for pursuing medical safety for our kids and ourselves (flu shots contain mercury).
You can purchase Robert Kennedy's book Thimerosal: Let The Science Speak today.
Several months ago I received a call on my cell from a number I didn’t recognize. Usually I let such calls go to voice mail but for some reason I picked it up. A friendly raspy voice alleging to be Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. requested to speak to me. At first I thought it was a hoax. But after a few seconds I recognized the voice from the Ring of Fire talk radio program and realized this was not a prank.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. was calling to invite me to attend a high profile meeting that he had arranged with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and officials from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to discuss the continued use of thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative, in vaccines.
He also asked if I would be willing to read a research paper that he had commissioned reviewing the science regarding thimerosal, and to accompany him on a meeting with colleagues to call on select members of Congress for help.
I was more than glad to help out. I have spent the last 15 years of my life researching mercury. I have been involved in countless meetings with high levels officials at the CDC, the FDA, the NIH, and the HHS urging them to remove thimerosal from all medical products, including vaccines. I was honored to be a part of this effort and to work with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to protect other children from what happened to my son over 20 years ago.
My son’s story: poisoned by mercury
When he was born, my son weighed close to 9 lbs. He was a happy baby who ate and slept well, smiled, cooed, walked, and talked all by one year. But shortly after his first birthday, my son began to regress physically and developmentally, losing speech, eye contact, and social interactions. He no longer slept through the night and suddenly refused to eat foods that he had previously enjoyed, gagging and spitting them out. He started suffering bouts of bloody diarrhea.
By Anne Dachel
Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump. The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and their OurKidsASD brand.
Try to imagine the New York Times criticizing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for anything, especially anything involving infectious diseases. I wouldn't have thought it was possible--until I saw their story, After Lapses, C.D.C. Admits a Lax Culture at Labs, on July 13, 2014.
This involved a stunning public admission by the agency head, Dr. Thomas Frieden, that mishandlings at the CDC had potentially exposed employees to some of the most deadly infectious agents on the planet, including anthrax and avian flu virus.
The Times story was by Richard Fauseet and Donald G. McNeil, Jr., and McNeil's name was one I immediately recognized because of his past reporting on the vaccine/autism controversy
In 2010, McNeil wrote the piece, Thimerosal, a preservative containing mercury, does not cause autism, about rulings from the Federal Court of Claims affecting 5,000 pending cases where parents sought compensation for vaccine injuries that involved autism.
In that story, McNeil called on Dr. Paul Offit and several moms from the autism community for their reactions. (And like almost all member of the mainstream media, he failed to cite a single expert who could challenge the court's ruling that it is safe to inject mercury into human beings.)
McNeil had done the same thing in another Times story in 2009 called, U.S. court says vaccine not to blame for autism. Here he pitted the American Academy of Pediatrics against parents who claim that vaccines caused their children's autism, seemingly unaware that hundreds of independent studies by well credentialed experts raise serious concerns about side effects from our ever-expanding vaccination schedule.
By Teresa Conrick
It’s happening again. The onslaught of studies and articles to try and persuade you, dear citizen of the USA, that AUTISM is a genetic ONLY disorder. Why, you may ask? Well, it could be that the back-to school flu vaccines are right around the corner, and your money and your health are about to be bamboozled, but my bet is that a book on the SCIENCE of Thimerosal, that darn mercury preservative in vaccines (especially flu shots), is coming out in 12 days. Did I mention that Robert F. Kennedy is the author and it’s all about the science and the studies, showing how toxic Thimerosal is and the damage it can cause, even in small doses? He is the same passionate Kennedy that is fighting for many other environmental causes. His involvement appears to come with a price as the media (and those who are paying them) are trying to dismiss his research on the dangers, as well as try to paint him as a mercury betrayer. He won’t budge (good for him!), which leads us to their Plan A, unfolding as the days go by, to try and annihilate his book and the research.
The article I want to share about a new gene study has these bizarre quotes:
The source of autism in children is in majority the result of the desire of parents with defective genes to have children. The study included the contribution of environmental causes of autism and found that genetics trumps any environmental cause for autism. The study was based on the genetic analysis of over 1.6 million Swedish families and compared 3,000 people with autism with a group that did not have autism that was the same size.
As you keep reading in disbelief on how ridiculous it sounds, you then see the glowing, neon message:
This discovery that included the National Institutes of Health in the United States and several experts from U. S. universities brings into serious doubt previous claims that vaccinations or any environmental source caused autism. The 2010 U. S. Court ruling that the use of thimerosal in vaccines was a cause of autism is now suspect of being invalid. Likewise the books that claim vaccinations caused autism are now considered to be less than factual…..In light of the facts produced by this new research, one must seriously consider how flagrantly greedy or desperately needy people that have autistic children may have been.
“SERIOUS DOUBT?….that vaccinations or ANY environmental source?….U.S. Court ruling invalid on thimerosal causing autism?....BOOKS that claim that vaccinations caused autism are now less than factual?..... flagrantly greedy?
What a crock! Where the heck did this come from?
There are many, many studies showing that TOXINS are involved in autism. Whether they come in a pesticide:
“Pesticides linked to autistic disorders” Mon, 23 Jun 2014 12:33:00 EST
The main findings of the study were that living near (within about 1.25km distance) to where pesticides were used at any point during pregnancy (compared to no exposure) was associated with a 60% higher risk of the child having ASD.
Or in a vaccine (with Thimerosal):
“Hepatitis B vaccination of male neonates and autism diagnosis, NHIS 1997-2002.”
Boys vaccinated as neonates had threefold greater odds for autism diagnosis compared to boys never vaccinated or vaccinated after the first month of life.
We have excerpted this article from Sharyl Attkisson's website.
This is an interesting article written several years ago by UPI investigative journalist Dan Olmsted. It asks “Where are the autistic Amish?”
After the article was published, back when more reporters were covering the scientific links between vaccines and autism, I asked an official from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) about the supposed lack of autism in the unvaccinated Amish. She said that there could be many other reasons besides the community’s aversion to vaccines. For example, “They don’t use electricity, right?” she told me. In other words, she seemed to put lack of electricity on equal footing with lack of vaccinations when it comes to what could be responsible for the apparent lower than average autism rate in the unvaccinated Amish.
The obvious difference is there are many scientific studies supporting a link between vaccines and autism–often unreported, under-reported or dismissed by pharmaceutical interests and vaccine activists who have long fought a PR campaign to falsely portray the studies and researchers as “anti-vaccine.”
I told the CDC official that it would seem that a survey of the unvaccinated population could be a good first step in further dispelling or further confirming the possibility of a vaccine tie to autism. The CDC official acknowledged to me that the information would be worthwhile. I asked whether CDC would attempt such a survey.
Such a survey wouldn’t necessarily cost a penny because the CDC already conducts regular telephone and mail surveys to monitor childhood immunization coverage. It could just add a question: has your child been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder? Read the full post at Ms. Attkisson's site here.
By Anne Dachel
Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump. The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and their OurKidsASD brand.
July 21, 2014, Slate.com: Autism Linked to Common Genes--Environmental causes and specific mutations aren't as much to blame.
July 20, 2014, WebMD: Common Genes Implicated in Autism Study
Two weeks to go before the publication of Robert F Kennedy jr’s book about vaccine mercury and we all know where we are headed: the same place as last year when Jenny McCarthy was given a job on ‘The View’ and Katie Couric scheduled a program in which the safety of HPV vaccines were questioned: the unspontaneous howls of pain are starting. It does not matter that the book is apparently couched in the most diplomatic language or that its claims have been diluted, it will be too much for the sensibilities of the vaccine lobby. I am sure we have often referred on these pages to Hans Christian Andersen’s tale ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ but this time I have been thinking of an even more succinct and ironic tale ‘The Princess and the Pea’. A prince wants to marry a princess but the only way it can be confirmed that she is a real princess is because the candidate is so sensitive that a pea hidden under a pile of mattresses causes her to lose a night’s sleep. I think we can be sure that the vaccine lobby is according to this definition “a real princess”, and that there is no criticism so slight that we will not be told about the terrible pain it has caused.
There is no doubt either that the voice of the princess is about to be heard in the land. There is no criticism so gentle or diplomatically couched that the princess can withstand the pain: the outraged opinion pieces will appear in every newspaper, the sage doctors will emerge from every corner on the TV saying “Get the damn vaccines”, we will have wall to wall Dorit Reiss: the princess will tell us how painful it all is. Of course the moral of Anderson’s story is that it is not princesses who have to endure a lot, it is ordinary people: the princess is a great deal more trouble than she is worth. She has also arranged that ordinary people cannot be heard, or they are brusquely pushed to the side. Only the princess’s pain really matters in the great scheme.
Of course, the argument will be that all this sensibility is for the benefit of ordinary people, but if this was so the princess would listen to ordinary people when they tried to express their pain rather than trying to shout them down or shut them up, hiring a mob to help her. The princess is highly manipulative and knows how to get her own way.
Unfortunately, Robert Kennedy will not be able to appease the princess any more than Jenny McCarthy or Katie Couric. Instead we will just have another great tantrum and the usual hysterical, unhinged display of self-righteousness.
The Princess on the Pea
By Hans Christian Andersen translated by Jean Hersholt
Once there was a Prince who wanted to marry a Princess. Only a real one would do. So he traveled through all the world to find her, and everywhere things went wrong. There were Princesses aplenty, but how was he to know whether they were real Princesses? There was something not quite right about them all. So he came home again and was unhappy, because he did so want to have a real Princess.
One evening a terrible storm blew up. It lightened and thundered and rained. It was really frightful! In the midst of it all came a knocking at the town gate. The old King went to open it.
July 21, 2014, Examiner.com: Largest study to date shows majority of autism is genetic
July 21, 2014, LA Times: Student filmmakers find themselves drawn into the vaccine/autism fray
July 20, 2014, Forbes: Robert Kennedy's Dangerous Anti-Vaccine Activism
July 20, 2014, US News: Common Genes Implicated in Autism Study
July 20, 2014, USA Today: Iowa puts $5 million into autism program
July 20, 2014, Wall Street Journal: Can You Really Afford a New Child?
July 19, 2014, Daily Pilot, Costa Mesa, CA: Danger of anti-immunization movement is real
July 17, 2014, ScienceBlogs.com: Andrew Wakefield is still at it blaming vaccines for autism
Many of us in the autism community have been eagerly awaiting the release of Robert Kennedy, Jr.'s new book, THIMEROSAL: LET THE SCIENCE SPEAK:
I am hopeful about the book--hopeful that there can be an honest look into the use of one of the deadliest ingredients possible in vaccines, namely mercury. (And seriously, the tired claim that it was removed from most children's vaccines over a decade ago, except for SOME flu shots, doesn't settle anything. It's still in unconscionable levels in the flu vaccine and this vaccine is recommended for pregnant women at all stages of pregnancy. Imagine the impact of an adult dose of 25 mcg of mercury on the brain of a developing fetus. AND A POINT THAT IS NEVER EXPLORED: The vaccine makers still sell vaccines to Third World Countries loaded with high levels of toxic thimeorsal. We may be protecting the children of the U.S., but the poorest of the poor in the world have no choice for their kids--they get mercury.)
Of course it also matters how the media reacts to Kennedy's book. If reporters present this as one man's baseless opinion in the face of an army of experts, it'll be easy to discount his work as simply "anti-vaccine."
(Most of the time, the press tackles this subject as if there were no debate. Whoever contends the vaccines have serious side effects has to be wrong.)
If it's honestly covered with due consideration given to "THE SCIENCE" that Kennedy cites, then this book could lead a real improvement in health care for children.
I have my own problems with how willing members of the press are when it comes to challenging the medical establishment. It's so much easier and safer to just go to the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or ask a top expert in the mainstream medical community for their opinion on the safety of injecting mercury into humans. According to officials, all the science is in: studies show no link to things like autism and other neuro-developmental disorders.
I have yet to see a reporter ask anyone from the CDC how they can justify allowing mercury in vaccines when the only test on thimerosal was done eighty-five years ago by the vaccine maker, Eli Lilly. That ridiculous study was conducted on a couple dozen patients who all died from meningitis by the end of the research. STILL--Eli Lilly said it was safe and after the creation of the FDA, its use was grandfathered in.
And please, those population studies, done decades after the fact where the results could easily be flawed or manipulated, don't count. News people love to cite the "no link" studies, but I've yet to see a single one of them ask, "Who funded the study?" or "Were there any conflicts on the part of the researchers?"
In 2006, David Kirby's book, Evidence of Harm--Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic, was published.
In 2011, Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill gave us The Age of Autism: Mercury, Medicine and a Manmade Epidemic.
Both of these books were filled with the experts and the science on mercury in vaccines; they didn't have just the opinions of these three writers. I marveled at the fact that reporters don't ever seem to read the books that are out there. If they actually did, they would have a lot to ask health officials about.
Of course the one really important question that never comes up is a simple one: "Who will be held responsible if it's clearly shown that an unchecked, unsafe vaccine schedule is behind the explosion in brain disorders in our children?" And even though it's not openly talked about, it's always there in the minds of those defending the safety of vaccines.
So what can we expect from reporters writing about Kennedy's new book?
The first mention of Thimerosal--Let the Science Speak that I've seen so far was on July 16 in the Washington Post: Robert Kennedy Jr.'s belief in autism-vaccine connection, and its political peril, by Keith Kloor.
First of all, that's a rather disingenuous title. Kennedy's subject is the use of MERCURY in vaccines. To reduce that to simply a "vaccine connection" leaves out the essence of the book. If a reader just looks at the title, it's pretty clear where this article is headed. We're told it's Kennedy's belief--there's no mention of all the scientists backing what he says. And incredibly, Kloor writes about what this means "politically," not morally or socially.
Steven Salzberg has attacked Robert F Kennedy, Jr. in Forbes for even raising the question of vaccine safety, but how can vaccine safety be credible if every critic is mechanically censured? Salzberg writes: 'Robert Kennedy is obsessed with the notion that vaccines cause autism. He's particularly obsessed with the discredited idea that thimerosal, a preservative used in some vaccines, causes autism. Now Kennedy is about to publish a new book on this topic, and he's promoting it both in the press and, as described in today's Washington Post, in the halls of Congress. He's recently had personal meetings with U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski and Bernie Sanders to try to convince them to take action based on his claims. Why is it that a scientifically unqualified anti-vaccine advocate can get a private audience with a U.S. Senator? Because he's famous, that's why." Meanwhile Salzberg himself showed himself to be woefully lacking in factual mastery when responding to the congressional autism hearing in November 2012. AoA re-publishes UK editor John Stone's critque of Salzberg on that occasion.
By John Stone
One of the few public responses to the Congressional hearing into autism by a vaccine programme advocate was from Steven Salzberg, professor of medicine and biostatistics at Johns Hopkins University Medical School on Forbes.com. While Prof Salzberg’s blog was open to comment he has unfortunately not only ignored serious criticism but most disturbingly - for a senior scientist and academic - correction of basic facts. Here are a few points, some taken or adapted from my comments.
(1) Salzberg criticises Congressman Burton:
“Bang bang, two false claims in 10 seconds. First he claims that mercury from vaccines “accumulates in the brain”, a statement with no scientific support at all … Unfortunately, some quack doctors have experimented with chelation therapy on autistic children, despite that fact that it can cause deadly liver and kidney damage, and one of them caused the death of a 5-year-old boy in 2005.”
However, Burton had presumably read the Burbacher paper (NIH funded). Here is and extract:
““There was a much higher proportion of inorganic Hg in the brain of thimerosal monkeys than in the brains of MeHg monkeys (up to 71% vs. 10%). Absolute inorganic Hg concentrations in the brains of the thimerosal-exposed monkeys were approximately twice that of the MeHg monkeys. Interestingly, the inorganic fraction in the kidneys of the same cohort of monkeys was also significantly higher after im thimerosal than after oral MeHg exposure (0.71 ± 0.04 vs. 0.40 ± 0.03). This suggests that the dealkylation of ethylmercury is much more extensive than that of MeHg.”
I normally play a movie for Ronan once he’s buckled into his car seat, but I turned the radio on instead.
There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold
And she’s buying a stairway to heaven.
When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all close
With a word she can get what she came for.
Ooh, ooh, and she’s buying a stairway to heaven.
Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven had just started. “Nothing’s glittering with gold around here,” I grumbled. Sweat, tears and frustration were more like it.
Ronan had just had a 15-minute meltdown. It began right after he’d woken up. It intensified when he refused to get out of bed. It became physical when he decided he didn’t want to leave his bedroom. It worsened when he resisted getting into the car for school.
Wake up time is not usually difficult. Thursday morning would be like other mornings. Or so I thought. Ronan began to stir just after 9am. I let him slowly wake. At 9:15 I pulled the covers back. It was time to get up, change, grab a bite to eat and head to school.
Our morning started out peacefully, but the peace and calm lasted for only about 30 seconds.
I sat on Ronan’s bed as he stirred awake and greeted him with a smile saying, “Time to get up!”
He signed NO and put a blanket over his face.
“Come on, Buddy. Let me change your diaper and get you into play clothes,” I continued.
A hand emerged from the covers. NO.
Still buried under blankets and now his pillow, I managed to get Ronan’s diaper changed and his shorts on. Trying to get his socks on wasn’t going to be as easy. Ronan began to kick his legs and pull them under the covers. It took a little bit longer, but I said to Ronan cheerily, “One sock on. Now the other one.”
Ronan was not pleased. He signed NO, NO, NO. Then he rolled over.
He usually offers some assistance in getting dressed, but he didn’t want to help Thursday morning. “Almost done!” I sang out.
What usually takes less than five minutes took just over ten. We had no time to waste—it was Ronan’s last day of school.
“Come on, honey. We need to go,” I pleaded. Seeing that he wanted to stay snuggled under his covers I promised him he could bring his favorite blankie when he got up. I also said he could pick a movie to watch on the way to school if he would cooperate with me.
NO, NO, NO!
Everywhere I look, one kind of metal or another seems to be implicated in modern environmental illnesses. You’ve all heard the discovery Mark Blaxill and I made that places organic mercury via both vaccines and pesticides at the start, and heart, of the autism epidemic in the 1930s. Clearly, ethylmercury is deeply implicated in the roots and rise of autism.
It’s important to remember that vaccines and pesticides are merely vectors, not causes. What they deliver – the toxic exposure -– is the heart of the matter. For instance, metals delivered in quite another way – through emissions from coal-fired power plants and other sources of environmental mercury – showed up as a powerful connection to autism in the two Palmer studies at the University of Texas. And coal contains not just mercury but arsenic and lead – both metals.
“We suspect low-dose exposures to various environmental toxicants, including mercury, that occur during critical windows of neural development among genetically susceptible children may increase the risk for developmental disorders such as autism,” according to the authors.
Another study, by Windham and colleagues, found a similar correlation by linking “the California autism surveillance system to estimated hazardous air pollutant (HAP) concentrations compiled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. … Our results suggest a potential association between autism and estimated metal concentrations, and possibly solvents, in ambient air around the birth residence, requiring confirmation and more refined exposure assessment in future studies.”
Noted autism researcher Isaac Pessah, who wasn’t involved in the study, told the L.A. Times, "Clearly this suggests that there may be correlations between autism onset and environmental exposures, especially as it relates to metal exposures."
Combined with the Palmer studies, and our own research on the first cases and their links to mercury, any honest effort to figure out what’s causing autism would by now have zeroed in on metals and their mechanisms of delivery, whether through coal, air pollution in general, pesticides, vaccines, or what have you. But because one of the delivery mechanisms – vaccines – is protected by a moat of official denial, the entire field is blocked and diverted into unrewarding Groundhog-Day style churning of topics like genes and strictly pre-term exposures. Post-natal? Metals? No way!
One thing I’ve always remembered from that Windham study is that the highest correlation with autism came from three different metals: mercury, cadmium and nickel (as well as two solvents, trichloroethylene and vinyl chloride).
Cadmium. Interesting. This week I’m back in my home state of Illinois, and the Chicago Tribune (hardly a friend to the environmental theory of autism) reported on a new study comparing organic and regular produce. The conventional wisdom is that there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between them, except that organic costs more. This study did find important differences – including the fact that organic foods offer more antioxidants, which is the main reason to eat your kale in the first place. Plus, the researchers found more pesticide residue on regular produce (duh!) and much higher levels of … wait for it … cadmium. The level was still below official limits, but cadmium, because it’s a metal, is one of those things that can build up in your system. (Kind of like mercury and lead and arsenic.)
Cadmium, number 48 on the periodic table, is chemically similar to two other group 12 metals, zinc and … wait for it … mercury. Cadmium (like mercury) is no longer allowed in pesticides in the United States.
But it’s sure interesting to see mercury pop up in a study of coal emissions and autism in Texas, mercury and cadmium in air pollution and autism in California, and cadmium in a study of produce in general. And recall that pesticides have recently been linked to autism – in mothers who live near pesticide-sprayed fields in California. This conclusion is being resisted mightily by the mainstream autism epidemic deniers; as I argued last week, it is dangerous because it ultimately points to the heart of the matter – a non-genetic, man-made, environmental disaster in which food and medicine are deeply implicated via pesticides and vaccines.
July 17, 2014, KTAR TV, Phoenix:Gilbert gets new school for students with autism
July 16, 2014, KING5, Seattle: Metal fillings in your teeth could make you sick
It's been a while. I used to come and plead at the microphone for help for autistic children and families. Up until a couple of years ago, I submitted public comments under my name or with organizations for nearly every IACC meeting - going all the way to back when you took over the National Institute of Mental Health in 2002. Gosh, I've met with you in person more than a half a dozen times to talk about the science, what conditions we were seeing in kids on the spectrum, and the research that was needed to find the answers to help. But not anymore. I realize now that I was wasting my time. You haven't listened to anything I - or the thousands of other heartbroken parents - have been telling you.
Tom, as I know you know, twenty-five years ago, autism was a little-known, uncommon disorder. Today, autism is more common in America than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes, and pediatric HIV/AIDS combined.
The increasing numbers of children being diagnosed with autism has created a national health emergency.
In a speech at the National Institutes of Health on September 30, 2009, President Obama specifically cited autism, along with cancer and heart disease, as one of three health conditions targeted for major scientific research investment through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Obama expressed his hope that research into genetic and environmental factors would result in strides in early intervention, treatments, and therapies to help people affected by autism achieve their fullest potential.
That has not happened.
Instead of seeing any kind of improvement, or any kind of progress, the numbers of autistic children have continued to rise.
Now 1 in every 68 children in America has autism. My prediction for what you are going to do about it? The same old thing! Tweak the strategic plan, talk about it a lot, do the same old science anyway regardless of the plan, choose to promote the science you like, dismiss the science you don't, move on.
One of the biggest obstacles to doing meaningful research and to seeing any kind of real change, has been the fact that you, Tom, have turned a deaf ear to parents. We've been telling you about our children and their challenges for years. Read more at the Safeminds site.
I would not be convicted by a jury of my peers
Still crazy after all these years.
(Paul Simon, 1975).
“Bill Welsh is a fruitcake”.
The above remark, was posted on the internet in 1998 by an American troll shortly after I had contributed to a UK newspaper item on vaccine safety (or lack of it). I was reminded of this episode only recently when I was informed by another anonymous troll “You are out of your mind and dangerous!” It made me think that my long held strategy* is not working.
A) Never get angry (passionate Yes, but angry No)
B) Ignore the ill informed
C) Deal only in hard facts.
Sounds a great strategy, dontyathink?
Frankly, it has not worked, so it’s back to the drawing board for me. But first let us look at one main strand of the original strategy:
A) Hard facts.
1) The autism epidemic CANNOT be genetic in origin.
2) Epidemiology is NOT appropriate as a tool to prove vaccines are safe
3) In the UK there are now over 100,000 schoolchildren with an autism diagnosis. (From rare to common in 20 years!).
4) Recent official research puts the annual cost to society of autism in the UK at over £34 billion.
5) 10 Years from now the number of UK schoolchildren with ASD will have doubled if present rate of diagnosis merely stays the same (based on Scottish government figures).
6) This rise in incidence is not and never has been as a result of “better recognition”.
7) No one in officialdom is earnestly seeking to identify the environmental factor causing this public health tragedy.
I recently published on the internet my personal hypothesis on the likely cause of ‘regressive’ autism and why so many parents associate their child’s withdrawal into ASD with the vaccination programme. The more I researched the issue the more I have come to believe that the manufacturing process using ‘Cell Culture Technology’, introduced in the thirties in the USA, (Autism was identified as a new condition in 1944), the more I am convinced that this is where the answer to the autism enigma lies.
Parents from over 46 countries have visited my web page and read my theory including parents in Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Burma, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Federated States of Micronesia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Singapore, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, the UK and the USA.
The folks at TIME Magazine have outdone themselves promoting the idea that no matter how bloated the current vaccination schedule has become, it's never a problem. Markham Heid, (someone TIME says, "writes about health, nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle topics for TIME.com and other national magazines and media outlets,") presents a jumbled assortment of experts and their claims about the safety and efficacy of vaccination.
In the July 16 story, Spacing Out Kids' Vaccines Can Hurt Their Health, Experts Say, Heid lines up three experts who fully support vaccines:
Dr. Michael J. Smith, a pediatrician at the University of Louisville, Dr. Jessica Brian, a developmental psychologist at the University of Toronto, and Dr. Simon Hambidge, a professor of pediatrics and epidemiology at the University of Colorado.
Heid writes, "According to Brian's research, those children who did not receive their shots on time or altogether were slightly more likely to develop autism. 'I don't want to suggest that vaccines offer some protection against autism," she says. "But our data show that there's no increased risk of autism among kids who are vaccinated on time.'"
What is that supposed to mean? How can an expert make this claim and not give us the details that support it? Just how ignorant and gullible are parents expected to be?
Both Dr. Smith and Dr. Hambidge are worried about unvaccinated children getting measles.
Hambidge downplays sides effects like febrile seizures and cautions that getting the measles is far more risky.
Smith: "Vaccines are one of the most rigorously tested and effective health products on the planet. Nothing involving them is done lightly."
Heid cites false information from the Internet as the reason parents are leery of vaccinating their children. "Brian, Smith and other vaccine researchers repeatedly point to the Internet as a source of misinformation and, in some cases, unsubstantiated fear mongering when it comes to vaccines."
NOTE TO MARKHAM HEID, DRS. SMITH, HAMBIDGE, AND BRIAN AND ALL THE EDITORS AT TIME: The public can easily see this ridiculous article for the propaganda piece that it clearly is. Yes, the Internet is a threat to the medical community and members of the media who only give us pretend science on vaccines.
Senator Richard Blumenthal is my Senator here in Connecticut. My first reaction to this article, which appeared on my FB wall, was proably the same as yours: does this include vaccines? Then the beer I was drinking shot out my nose and I had to take a break from reading..... Vaccines, as we know, live in a magical land of twirly swirly candy canes and unicorns who fart rosewater. YOYO friends, and I don't mean Duncan. You are ON Your Own if you or a loved one is vaccine injured. You could educate a few folks by commenting with facts and figures over at Automotive News, which ran this announcement. Below is what Senator Blumenthal wrote on FB (you can follow him at FB here) and the article he references. Here is the comment I left on his wall: You must include vaccines - they are exempt from American tort law. CT is paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for the schooling of vaccine injured children, and will continue to pay throughout their lives. It's called autism in many... Including my own children. PLEASE. KS
From the Senator on FB:
Concealment can kill – and corporate officers should be held accountable for it. That’s why today, I’m introducing the Hide No Harm Act along with Senator Casey. Unfortunately, prison time may be the only deterrent to misconduct that a corporate officer understands. This bill would make it a crime for a company to knowingly conceal the fact that a product poses a danger to consumers or workers, and corporate officers would face criminal charges of up to five years in prison for deliberate concealment.
Hiding harm can be horrifically costly:
The Automotive News article:
7/16/14 1:45 pm ET -- updates announcement
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Two U.S. senators today unveiled a bill prompted by the General Motors Co. recalls over defective ignition switches that would make it a crime for corporate officers to conceal dangers posed by their products.
Democratic senators Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania said their proposal calls for up to five years in prison and fines for officers who know their products could cause death or injury to consumers or workers and hide that information.
"Corporate concealment can kill, and corporate officers who engage in concealment must be held accountable," Blumenthal said at a news conference.
Federal prosecutors are building a criminal fraud case based on whether GM made misleading statements about a flawed ignition switch in some of its vehicles, which has been linked to at least 16 deaths and 61 crashes.
It is not clear whether prosecutors will bring cases against any individuals.
July 16, 2014, Washington Post: Can running help autistic children?
July 15, 2014, NJToday.net: $2.5 million awarded to research, treat & prevent autism
July 15, 2014, WRAL Raleigh, N.C.: Autism advocates 'beg' for Senate vote
July 15, 2014, Disability Scoop: White House Adds New Disability Advisor
July 14, 2014, WXOW, La Crosse, WI: Medical Monday: Vaccinations
July 14, 2014, KETK, Tyler, TX: Facing autism in East Texas, families share their experience
July 14, 2014, AZ Republic: New Phoenix housing complex will cater to autistic adults
By Anne Dachel
You can't bring up the link between vaccines and autism without hearing about a paper published in The Lancet, a British medical journal, in 1998. The author was the much vilified doctor, Andrew Wakefield, and for the sixteen years, the media has blamed the controversy over vaccines and autism on Dr. Wakefield, (and of course, "former Playboy bunny," Jenny McCarthy).
(I just finished my book, The Big Autism Cover-Up, and the second chapter is all about how the press made Wakefield into the fall guy for linking vaccines and autism.)
The media loves to tell us about how Wakefield produced a fraudulent study and lost his medical license, conveniently leaving out the details--like the fact that parents came to him for help because he's a gastroenterologist and their kids had bowel disease--which they developed along with autism after receiving the MMR vaccine. I have never seen coverage where a member of the press actually talked to even one of the 12 parents Wakefield wrote about. No one wants to hear the truth about his work. No reporter ever mentions the fact that the British government indemnified the MMR maker, so it would be the government that would have to take responsibility for the damage done, something that would be a huge incentive for them to attack this man.
Dr. Wakefield is a hero to the autism community. He does not quit. There are lots of doctors who know what vaccines are really doing to our children, but they remain silent. It takes a special kind of courage to stand by the truth and have your career and your reputation destroyed. Wakefield has been a constant presence at the annual Autism One Conference in Chicago since its beginning and this year's talk, the Legacy of Vaccine Injury, was empowering for the parents who were there.
While the media continues the pretense that all the science is in and parents should have no fears about vaccinating their children, Wakefield is out there challenging both the claims of vaccine safety and efficacy. And he's not going away. Despite the fact that, as he said, he's a "disenfranchised" scientist, he talked about his current work in filmmaking. He's out to educate parents who are new to the controversy, but none-the-less worried. He has, as he said, "the most extraordinary stories to tell." Films are a most important medium because, according to Wakefield, the story of just one person has more of an impact than talking about what happened to a million people. It "can persuade the agnostic."
Wakefield made it clear that while the vaccine makers continue to promote their products, the tide is turning against them.
"The pharmaceutical industry has spent $30 billion a year on promoting vaccines. They should have saved their money because they've failed. They've failed. In a recent poll, U.S. adults who believe vaccines cause autism rose from 18 percent in 2011 to 29 percent today. There's 33 percent of all parents with children under 18. In polling terms, . . . that is a massive proportion of the American public. In a National Consumer League poll, 76 percent believe that it was their prerogative to decide how and if their children should be vaccinated. And the harder the other side pushes, the more mandates they impose, the more things they take away, such as exemptions, the more they force the people of this country to bow to their will, the more resistance they will meet. And they don't understand that. They do not get yet that they have wasted their time and money. . . . They've paid a fortune to public relations companies."
July 15, 2014, Autism File: Meet Lou Conte, author of the blockbuster novel "The Autism War": A Must-Read!
July 13, 2014, WDRB 41 Louisville: Local salons fundraising for Bluegrass Center for Autism
July 12, 2014, Belleville (IL) News Democrat: 'A way of life': Belleville educator creates summer program for kids with autism | Education
July 11, 2014, Montreal Gazette: Misconduct by researchers can have lasting effects
July 11, 2014, National Geographic: The Sexual Politics of Autism
You can read all of Teresa's posts on The Microbiome and our other series reports in our EXCLUSIVES category.
By Teresa Conrick
I continue to read and piece together facts about the microbiome because it seems very much involved in my daughter’s regression into the abyss of autism. Megan is twenty-one and has both an autism and autoimmune diagnosis. She regressed in her second year of life. Antibiotics, called both good and evil if you read on the internet these days, are being named a connected culprit in the damage being seen in the microbiome:
Scientist Martin Blaser argues that we are suffering from new wave of 'modern plagues' such as obesity and asthma because we have destroyed the naturally occurring bacteria in our bodies….Over the past 150 years, most countries have been getting healthier. Chalk it up to improved sanitation, rat control, clean drinking water, pasteurised milk, childhood vaccinations, modern medical procedures and, of course, 70 years of antibiotics….Yet recently, just within the past few decades, amid all of these medical advances, something has gone terribly wrong. In many ways, we appear to be getting sicker. You can see the headlines every day. We are suffering from an array of what I call "modern plagues": obesity, childhood diabetes, asthma, hay fever, food allergies, oesophageal reflux and cancer, coeliac disease, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, autism, eczema. In all likelihood, you or someone in your family or someone you know is afflicted. Unlike most lethal plagues of the past that struck relatively fast and hard, these are chronic conditions that diminish and degrade their victims' quality of life for decades…These disorders suggest that our children are experiencing levels of immune dysfunction never seen before. And then there's autism – a much discussed and debated modern plague that is a focus of my laboratory…..
….we need to look closely at the micro-organisms that make a living in and on our bodies – massive assemblages of competing and co-operating microbes known collectively as the microbiome….The microbes that constitute your microbiome are generally acquired early in life; surprisingly, by the age of three, the populations within resemble those of adults. Together, they play a critical role in your immunity and ability to combat disease. In short, your microbiome keeps you healthy….And parts of it are disappearing.
The reasons are all around us, including overuse of antibiotics in humans and animals, caesarean sections, and the widespread use of sanitisers and antiseptics, to name just a few…..In the presence of antibiotics, the resistant organisms are the ones more fit; it is the pressure of intensive antibiotic use that is increasing the presence of these resistant organisms.…….
If that is true, should we not worry about MERCURY as well?
The following scientific studies tell the story and a history that should be included as we look at the microbiome:
“Is exposure to mercury a driving force for the carriage of antibiotic resistance genes?”
…we analysed mercury resistance in collections of strains from various populations with different levels of mercury exposure and various levels of antibiotic resistance. The first population lived in France and had no known mercury exposure. The second lived in French Guyana and included a group of Wayampi Amerindians with a known high exposure to mercury. Carriage rates of mercury resistance were assessed by measuring the MIC and by detecting the merA gene. Mercury-resistant E. coli was found significantly more frequently in the populations that had the highest carriage rates of antibiotic-resistant E. coli and in parallel antibiotic resistance was higher in the population living in an environment with a high exposure to mercury, suggesting a possible co-selection. Exposure to mercury might be a specific driving force for the acquisition and maintenance of mobile antibiotic resistance gene carriage in the absence of antibiotic selective pressure….This confirmed the well established link between mercury and antibiotic resistance (Edlund et al., 1996; Liebert et al., 1997; Pike et al., 2002, 2003; Ready et al., 2003, 2007; Summers et al., 1993; Wireman et al., 1997).
Managing Editor's Note: Active Healing joined AofA as a sponsor earlier this year. I would be remiss if I did not share that Sarge Goodchild was the very FIRST professional to explain to me that my girls had treatment options beyond the early intervention and speech therapy recommended by the Neurologists who diagnosed them. He has spoken at Autism One and sees clients from coast to coast. He told me about diet, biomed and has been an active advocate for my girls for over a decade. (We're old, Sarge!) He has teamed up with a company and.. well I'll let him tell you below. Kim
By Sarge Goodchild
It’s summertime! Before we re-opened the pool for the season, we had to deal with any water which has remained from the past season. It is always shocking to see what has become of that water left without maintenance. It has stagnated and become filthy. Of course, this doesn’t happen during the season of use because we make sure to maintain proper flow of the pool water. If the water is circulated through filters the water maintains its health. In essence, where there is healthy flow there is health. I mention this because the same thing happens within our bodies.
To maintain the health of the body it is crucial to maintain proper flow. Flow consists of absorbing nutrients and expelling of waste products. When the body fails to maintain flow waste products and toxins sit in the body where they are absorbed deeper into the cells. Of all the interventions pursued by parents of children with autism detoxification ranks highest in efficacy with 74% of children improving according to the Autism Research Institute - ARI Publ. 34/March 2009. Homotoxicology has done a great job laying out why detoxification is so important. If we are unable to expel waste products the following sequence occurs.
This was surprising to see today.
Alisyn Camerota is a hero to the autism community because she provided some of the best coverage of the vaccines/autism topic when she was at Fox News.
In 2010, she was recognized as Journalist of the Year at Age of Autism.
(You can find links to her reports on the Age of Autism story.)
Her move to CNN naturally raises concerns for us. Will she be allowed to honestly and thoroughly report on the continuing controversy surrounding vaccines at a network that has produced some of the most biased and vindictive coverage in the past?
I've always believed in the power of nicknames to reveal truths about a person. My grandfather nicknamed me "the little professor" because I could usually be found with my nose in a book. Indeed, one of the favorite images I have of myself is a picture taken by my fourth grade teacher and given to my parents. In the picture, class is over, the chairs are up on the tables, and yet I'm still sitting there reading a book.
After two years working on the book, "PLAGUE - One Scientist's Intrepid Search for the Truth about Human Retroviruses and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Autism, and Other Diseases", I have a greater appreciation for the nickname given to my distinguished co-author, Tsunami Judy. Dr. Judy Mikovits certainly can talk. Sometimes I'd interview her for an hour and a half and when I did a word count we'd be at well over fifteen thousand words. "Judy, they wanted a hundred thousand word book. With just one interview we're fifteen percent of the way there!" (Update - It's probably going to be a hundred and fifty thousand word book.)
I like the image of my co-author as some elemental force of nature, because to a great extent it's true. And yet, there's also a gentleness and an unshakeable devotion to the betterment of humanity in her. For those of you familiar with the story, you'll know that after a civil dispute with her former employers went in a really "bizarre" direction in the words of Jon Cohen, a writer for Science, she was jailed for five days. I wanted to write in some joke about how the staff at the jail hadn't improved much since the days when they hung horse-thieves.
"Oh, no," said Dr. Mikovits, "They were really very professional." Who thinks to compliment the professionalism of their prison guards? My co-author, that's who! And as she was waiting to be released, one of the other prisoners told the guards that Dr. Mikovits was a cancer researcher. A few of the guards had family members with cancer and came up to ask her questions. They gave her their cards and she promised to review their cases and offer her opinion as to what they should ask their treating physicians. Who does that?
And it reminded me why I was attracted to this story in the first place.
I want to be inspired by scientists. I've heard enough double-talk, wilful ignorance, and outright lies from scientists in the autism struggle that it's blinded me to many of the couragous people who are trying to fight our battle. I want to be inspired by scientists who care about humanity, not whether a certain line of research will affect their lab's funding.
The below surveys are being conducted by Beth Clay, Hawk International.
The purpose of the first survey is to compile opinions about the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) from petitioners who have filed claims in the program. Your participation is needed in order to more fully understand how the program is working, what messages legislators should receive, and what messages those working in the program at the Department of Justice, the Federal Court of Claims, the Department of Health and Human Services as well as the lawyers who represent petitioners should receive.
Any identifying information will be kept private and not connected to your responses. (Your state and email will be collected in order to (1) insure we do not get spammers in the petition, (2) share opinions with legislators specific to their state, (3) be able to email you a copy of the report when it is finished.
Neither the government, nor the attorneys involved in the NVICP will see identifying information connected to your responses.
The purpose of the second survey is to compile opinions about the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) from the professionals who work in the program (lawyers, life planners, expert witnesses, etc.) Your participation is needed in order to more fully understand how the program is working, what messages legislators should receive, and what messages those working in the program should receive.
Two of my friends are pregnant. Both are in their 40s. Both have a typical child. Both also have a child on the spectrum. Both have been enthusiastically congratulated. I was happily shocked to learn of each of these pregnancies. Then I was excited. It’s almost as if these pregnancies are a first-time pregnancy. With all that these Moms have already gone through, they sort of are first-time pregnancies.
No longer will Mom be timid about what typically happens in a regular OB office.
She is so much more informed!
No longer will Mom let one person dictate all that she must do.
She knows she has other options!
No longer will Mom allow a medical professional trump her mother’s intuition.
She now has experience, knowledge and confidence on her side!
In each case, Mom knows so much more. She knows how to ask for certain things. She also knows how to politely yet firmly decline others. Mom wants so many things to be different and better. Yes, better. Better for her and better for her unborn child.
Part of me is worried for my friends. Being pregnant now, compared to ten or fifteen years ago when youth was on their side, will surely be different. According to literature, they’re OLD. Old means tired, exhausted, fragile. But, knowing these women and their personalities, old is just an adjective, and would never be the first one I’d use to describe them.
Both Moms are active in their other children’s lives. They are both movers and shakers in their own communities. They are both looked up to, respected and sought out for advice. Who better than an already inspiring woman to bring new life…and hope to our world.
Sure, I’m a little worried for my friends, but I’m downright giddy that these two women are pregnant. I’m more excited for these pregnancies than other. They will be far different than that of the younger people in my life. The younger people are having their first and second children and are clinging to every word, statistic and procedure their medical provider tells them. Then, their children are taken to every appointment that the powers that be have dictated. When pictures are shared, I see darkened circles under baby’s eyes and hear of food allergies, eczema, early speech problems and endless sleepless nights. Red flags are waving violently behind baby but Mom has yet to connect the dots or see the destructive path her children are walking.
I've been talking a lot about pesticides lately. In fact, one of our readers left this comment this week. "I'm not in any way stating that pesticide use doesn't pose health ramifications to the outside populous - it does. But I still believe that overall, the biggest 'environmental factor' re: the autism increase we're seeing today, is the continued and prolific use of the bolus doses of vaccines our kids are receiving." (So do I, bear with me just a bit longer.)
It's not the first time someone has wondered where I was going with this topic. When I spoke at Autism One in 2006, this is the impression I left on Teresa Conrick:. "He had been up on the stage in a plaid shirt, talking about mercury, seeds, and Ceresan. I didn't understand why this 'lumberjack guy' was talking to all of us parents about trees, Lignasan, and ethylmercury. Dan seemed to me to be on the wrong trail. It took me a while to connect the research and see that these clues Dan, along with Mark Blaxill, had been discussing and writing about for quite some time were the first "puzzle" pieces to autism." (Thanks, Teresa!)
But why are seeds and soil and Ceresan relevant to the current autism epidemic? Because they were an independent vector for the delivery of the same toxin, ethylmercury, that in vaccines triggered the current crisis, and keeps it spreading worldwide (shots are a much more efficient vector than pesticide dust). Critics toss out the "correlation is not causation" truism to try to discredit the vaccine-autism connection. (A better version would be "association is not necessarily causation, but it is a possible clue worth aggressive follow-up."). But when two totally independent delivery mechanisms -- pesticides with ethyl mercury and vaccines with ethylmercury -- starts flashing the same signal -- autism -- at the same time -- the 1930s -- in 11 families with clear connections to both those uses ... Well, truly independent observers ought to sit up and take notice, because they are getting a glimpse of autism's Big Bang -- the roots and rise of the preeminent disorder of our age. And when you know how an epidemic started, you have the key to ending it.
This is always worth repeating even at the risk of coming across as a one-note Johnny (see our book and blog and the video of the same name on our home page). But today I'd like to mention further evidence that links pesticides with neurological and developmental mayhem, including but not limited to autism, especially along the "left coast" of the United States, stretching from the San Joaquin and Central Valleys of California up through Napa and the orchard and wine counties of Washington State. This temperate and fertile arc, sometimes referred to as Ecotopia, began blooming with fruits and vegetables when industrial agriculture, pesticides and irrigation started taking hold at the end of the 19th Century. It now accounts for a large percentage of the nation's food supply -- and increasingly, a number of unusual outbreaks that point to toxins.
July 10, 2014, AShotOfTruth.org: Autism Speaks Flip-Flops on Vaccines and Autism, Walks Away From Prevention
July 10, 2014, WIBW, Topeka, KS: Rash Of Measles Illustrates Importance Of Immunization
July 9, 2014, Fox 13, Salt Lake City: Charter school aiming to meet needs of students with autism nearing completion
Update: 7/15: Autism Enterprise Roundtable CANCELLED Due to low registration, Appleseed Ventures Autism Enterprise Roundtable, which had been scheduled for Saturday, July 19, at McKinney Roughs Nature Park near Cedar Creek, Texas, is cancelled. Instead, we’ll turn the event into a family picnic. All autism families and their friends are welcome to attend. Bring the kids! PS. As an alternative, consider attending “The Brookwood Way” Network Days Conference, especially the Saturday afternoon AUGUST 21 Seminar on “How the Pieces Fit Together in Brookwood’s Enterprise Program.” See details at www.brookwoodcommunity.org/about/center-for-learning/network-days/
We are grateful to Dan Burns for his leadership in crafting a full and meaningful life for adults on the spectrum. Here is a great opportunity to meet others to talk about employment and autism for all of our children, like my daughter who is turning 18 today. Thank you, Dan.
By Dan Burns
Appleseed Ventures is hosting an Autism Enterprise Roundtable at McKinney Roughs Nature Park, Cedar Creek Texas (between Austin and Bastrop) on Saturday, July 19, for autism families and advocates. You’re invited!
Overview and purpose. Job opportunities haven’t kept pace with the autism epidemic. The Appleseed Autism Enterprise Roundtable 2014 will focus on creating home-grown businesses to employ our transitioning kids. Dan Burns will facilitate this informal, workshop-style event. All who attend will be invited to share information about the enterprises they envision or have built. The purpose is to cultivate a network of resources to employ our young adults on the autism spectrum.
Agenda and Program. The Roundtable will convene at 10:00 AM Saturday, July 19, in the Verbena Room at McKinney Roughs Nature Park. Invited participants include:
• Peg Pickering, mother of an 18-year-old son with autism and author of Prioritize Organize: The Art of Getting It Done
• Jennifer Kaut, autism specialist at The Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS)
• Jackie Schlegel-Polvado, Founder and Executive Director at Ashlyn's Hope
• You. This is an open, audience-participation event, and you are invited to share your hopes, concerns, and tips on enterprises you are currently managing, organizing, or envisioning.
We plan to conclude the formal workday at 3:00 PM with informal conversations continuing in the beautiful shaded picnic areas overlooking the valley as desired.
Pre and Post Events. Dinner Friday August 18 (5:00 for drinks, 6:00 for dinner) at Viejo’s Taco and Tequila on Main Street in historic downtown Bastrop near a scenic bend in the Colorado River. Saturday after the Roundtable, look forward to a catered event on the river bank near the Crossing. For directions call Dan at 214-914-0845. Bring your own instrument or purchase an inexpensive kazoo from Larry Land Music and join us for “Pickin’ on the Porch” (anybody can play) for a good time. Optional tubing is available through the Bastrop River Company.
By Kim Stagliano
Today we celebrate my middle daughter's 18th birthday. She is beautiful. Funny. Bright. Anxious. Vaccine injured. Autistic.
Gianna had been "ex utero" fewer than 24 hours before a nurse at Doylestown Hopsital injected her with a vaccine for the sexually transmitted disease Hepatitis B. A disease I did not have. That vaccine had 12.5 mcg of mercury in it. I had opted for natural childbirth so as not to put a single chemical into my infant. And then I signed a piece of paper authorizing that toxic vaccine. I gave my consent, but it sure wasn't informed consent. I have the paper in a file.
Gianna's Apgar scores were high. She nursed within moments of birth. She slept. By the time we brought her home she was screaming a high pitched cry. She could nurse, but her mouth worked "funny." I called LaLeche so many times - she was biting me raw. Gnawing at me with an underbite that did not exist during her first feedings. I bled every time she nursed for months. When I read the infant primate study my jaw dropped. Baby primates lost their ability to suck after birth dose Hep B. So did my baby human.
Here are the phone numbers to call:
Senator Harry Reid - 202-224-2158 Senate Majority Leader
Senator Tom Coburn, 202-224-5754
Senator Ted Cruz, 202-224-5922
Senator Rand Paul, 202-224-4343
Senator Mike Lee, 202-224-5444
Senator Jeff Sessions, 202-224-4124
Senator Ron Johnson, 202-224-5323
Senator Jim Risch, 202-224-2752
We are hearing rumors that are scaring parents - telling them that if the bill sunsets, all the money will be lost. This is just wrong. This bill only "authorizes" money to be spent - it does not "appropriate" a dime. What we are fixing here is a failed policy that has ignored the needs of our community and not resulted in a single new treatment. Please make the calls and keep calling. And don't forget to send this far and wide on social media to get your friends and family to help.
July 9, 2014, WPTV West Palm Beach: The Autism Channel in West Palm Beach is trying to reach an international audience
July 9, 2014, Chicago Daily Herald: How should police handle people with autism?
By John Stone
In a CDC study of the adverse effects of MMR:
Above 1 in 17 toddlers in the study developed a temperature of 39.5C (103F) or greater post vaccination, and 1 in 5.6 a raised temperature
Nearly one quarter of toddlers in the study (23%) were routinely vaccinated despite being unwell prior to vaccination with fever (7%), diarrhea (12%) and rash (7%)
It is all too revealing to look at this 2006 study by LeBaron et al ‘Evaluation of Potentially Common Adverse Events Associated With the First and Second Doses of Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine’ which was apparently designed to be reassuring that the effects of a second and third dose of MMR at pre-school and mid-school age are milder than the first in infancy or toddlerhood.
But if so, we might ask, what about the first? We learn that it is quite routine for an infant to develop a raging fever with unknown long term consequences. Again LeBaron et al are frank about some of the limitations of their study:
‘Our study suffers from a number of limitations. Data on adverse events were based on unverified, family recorded symptom diaries. We had no unvaccinated control group. The baseline period for the study subjects lasted only 1 week and was relatively close to vaccination when the “healthy vaccinee effect”14 may well have been present. A 17% attrition rate occurred, mostly during the baseline diary period. The sample size was inadequate to examine rare adverse events or common adverse events with less than a twofold increase over baseline. The study population was atypical of the overall population of US children, in that they were almost all white, rural, healthy, and received vaccinations at the recommended ages. Other vaccines were administered simultaneously with MMR for >80% children in the 2 younger groups and <1% in the oldest group, making attribution of adverse events and comparison of groups more difficult.’
July 9, 2014, Lincoln (NE) Journal Star: Vaccination fears put to rest : Opinion
July 8, 2014, Chicago Tribune: Study paves way for simple blood test to predict Alzheimer's
July 8, 2014, Fox 28, South Bend, IN: Investigation: Indiana pesticide oversight inadequate amid study
July 8, 2014, Autism Daily Newscast: Half of all children will have autism by 2025
July 8, 2014, Charlottesville (VA) Tomorrow: Autism spike leads to school changes
One of the funniest things I’ve ever read – and I’ve referred to this before, so forgive me – is this item that ran in the New York Times:
“Correction: December 3, 2008 An article last Wednesday about Gael Greene’s dismissal as a restaurant critic for New York magazine misidentified the news service she was reporting for when she had an affair with Elvis Presley in 1956. It was United Press, not United Press International, which was formed in 1958 when United Press merged with the International News Service.”
Perhaps my own journalism background, which included a stint at UPI, adds to my amusement here. But I mean, who really cares what United Press was called in 1956, before it merged with the International News Service in 1958, to form United Press International, when it’s part of the same paragraph that tells you a prominent (recently fired) New York restaurant critic somehow ended up having an affair with Elvis Presley half a century ago. Now that’s a merger worth hearing about!
It is in that spirit that I bring you news that the Gray Lady has goofed again. Basically, in its latest paean to vaccination, an article last week on the rising cost of vaccines, it managed to get things so wrong as to raise concerns about its fundamental understanding of the subject. And as you know, we are the ones the Times believes are irredeemably erroneous.
I sent the Times this e-mail last week:
this statement is flatly wrong:
“For most prescription medicines, the crucial hurdle to marketing is to win Food and Drug Administration approval. But for vaccines, the prize is the imprimatur of the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Once a shot is on the committee’s schedule as mandatory, every child has to get it before entering school and insurers have to cover it, at least nominally. (Many states require home-schooled children to be vaccinated as well.) ‘We have to give it to every kid, so it’s a golden ticket,’ Dr. Irvin said.”
(My e-mail continued:) In fact, the ACIP recommends childhood vaccines to the CDC, which uses that input to determine the childhood immunization schedule. that schedule is not a mandate. states consult it in adopting school entry requirements, which often do NOT include all vaccines on the CDC's schedule. also, "many" states do not require home-schooled children to be vaccinated, as i understand it -- only virginia and north carolina do so. regarding the first point, contrast it with this statement by the pro-vaccine Shot of Prevention website:
“There are no federal vaccination laws. However, just as the government requires immunizations for those who volunteer to join the military, and health providers may require employees to be vaccinated in a medical setting, immunization requirements for public school enrollment are determined by individual states. Parents are not forced to vaccinate their children. Rather, they’re given a choice as to whether they want their children to attend public school and therefore be vaccinated according to state admission policies.”
(my e-mail ends here)
On Tuesday, the Times printed this correction:
July 7, 2014, Disability Scoop: Validity Of CDC Autism Rates Questioned
July 7, 2014, WPTV West Palm Beach: British newspaper reports "breakthrough" in finding what causes autism
July 7, 2014, San Jose Mercury News: California must improve vaccination rates
9:00 a.m. Welcome, Introductions, Roll Call and Approval of Minutes
Thomas Insel, M.D.
Director, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Susan Daniels, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC), NIMH
Executive Secretary, IACC
9:15 OARC/IACC Update
Susan Daniels, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC), NIMH
Executive Secretary, IACC
Thomas Insel, M.D.
9:30 Science Update
Thomas Insel, M.D.
9:45 Neuroimaging the Full Spectrum of Autism
Sharyk Attkisson has been a watchdog journalist and a "friend of ours" for a long time. Anne Dachel has covered Ms. Attkisson in her news updates. And C-SPAN recently interviewed Ms. Attkisson. NPR interviewed her about her departure from CBS and the changes she has seen in mainstream media's changes over the years. Please read the full story at NPR. You can follow Ms. Attkisson's work at her new website - SharylAttkisson.com. Her new book, Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama's Washington is available for pre-order now. It debuts in November.
When the investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson left CBS this year, she did not do so quietly. She contends the network refused to run stories that might damage President Obama.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
When investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson left CBS this year, she did not go quietly. She contends, the network refused to run stories that might damage President Obama. And her claims have become a flashpoint in arguments over ideological bias in the media. NPR's David Folkenflik has more.
DAVID FOLKENFLIK, BYLINE: Attkisson joined CBS News two decades ago and covered medical issues in Congress before becoming an investigative reporter. In recent years Attkisson says, CBS News started to shy away from controversy. And here's the claim that stirs real debate.
SHARYL ATTKISSON: You know, times I've been encouraged to begin covering stories about the Obama administration but then mid-stream I've been clearly discouraged from continuing to pursue them as the stories seem to start to get dicey, or as I seem to be able to turn up very good information and sources.
FOLKENFLIK: Attkisson has aggressively chased stories that bedevil the Obama White House, such as the deadly attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya and the botched Fast and Furious gun investigation. Attkisson says, she felt CBS wanted reporters to accept the government statements at face value.
Single Dose Reverses Autism-like Symptoms in Mice Old drug used for sleeping sickness may point to new treatment in humans
In a further test of a novel theory that suggests autism is the consequence of abnormal cell communication, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report that an almost century-old drug approved for treating sleeping sickness also restores normal cellular signaling in a mouse model of autism, reversing symptoms of the neurological disorder in animals that were the human biological age equivalent of 30 years old.
The findings, published in the June 17, 2014 online issue of Translational Psychiatry, follow up on similar research published last year by senior author Robert K. Naviaux, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, pediatrics and pathology, and colleagues.
Naviaux said the findings fit neatly with the idea that autism is caused by a multitude of interconnected factors: “Twenty percent of the known factors associated with autism are genetic, but most are not. It’s wrong to think of genes and the environment as separate and independent factors. Genes and environmental factors interact. The net result of this interaction is metabolism.”
The American media will NEVER HONESTLY ADDRESS AUTISM'S CAUSE.
Here we're told that THERE'S NO PROOF it's vaccines, pesticides, cow's milk, or labor-inducing drugs. The only "safe" claims will continue to be things that point to the parents---ESPECIALLY THE MOM: old moms, moms who marry old dads, fat moms, drinking moms, smoking moms, moms on anti-depressants, and moms who live too close freeways.
Salon.com closed their eyes to the damage being done a while ago.
HOW COINCIDENTAL THAT SALON.COM REMINDS US THAT VACCINES DON'T CAUSE AUTISM JUST BEFORE ROBERT KENNEDY'S BOOK ON THIMEROSAL COMES OUT.
The Forbes piece goes further than just blaming non-vaccinating parents for outbreaks of measles. The controversy over vaccines and autism now forces vaccine makers to conduct massive trials involving hundreds of thousands of children to show vaccines are safe. This causes the cost to increase dramatically and some doctors can't afford to buy them for their patients. Forbes will not allow me to post comments any longer. (Their idea of freedom of speech doesn't include evidence that directly contradicts their claims.)
July 6, 2014, Salon.com: Autism blame game: The dangerous rush to blame everything from vaccines to dairy
Note: Read Teresa Conrick's full series on the Microbiome in our AofA Exclusives category.
By Teresa Conrick
Research on the microbiome is booming. I recently read that smartphones could be used as a sensor for personal mirobiome analysis demonstrating that the microbiome is becoming a mainstream concept. “Our cell phones actually reflect the personal microbial world of their owners, with potential implications for their use as bacterial and environmental sensors, according to new research….University of Oregon researchers sequenced microbes from the dominant-hand index fingers and thumbs of 17 subjects…The study found smartphones closely resembled the microbiome sampled from their owner's finger, with 82 percent of the most common bacteria on participants' fingers also found on their phones.”
I continue to read and write about the relationship between the microbiome and autism for some very important reasons. First, I have a very ill daughter, called autistic yet affected by infections and now, an autoimmune diagnosis. In addition, there are thousands like her around the world. The significance of the microbiome and this first symposium is tremendous. Whether you have a child who has a diagnosis of AUTISM, PANDAS, PANS, IMMUNE DYSFUNCTION, or a combination of these, the studies of the microbiome are showing how the puzzle pieces may fit. I want to thank John Rodakis and N of One for organizing this first symposium on autism and the microbiome.
For me, leaving town is not an easy feat. Like many of you who live with a child who is chronically ill, a departure from their care can be difficult. I told Meg, who has had GI issues since regression at age two, nonverbal since that regression, seizures starting at age sixteen and then positive for antinuclear antibodies at eighteen, that I was going to go on this trip to learn how to get her feeling better. She smiled and smelled my hand, giving me a tiny kiss as she ran off to her favorite swing. That day was a good one for her but there are too many not good. She deserves a pain-free life where GI pain, vocal tics, OCD and self-injurious behavior disappear. Leaving gluten, casein and soy-free meals plus 3 days of medications and supplements, I left Chicago for Little Rock. I decided to drive as I wanted to stop in Missouri after the conference and visit the cemetery where my parents are buried, along with my maternal grandmother. My parents had bought land in the Ozarks years and years ago as a serene goal for retirement. My father died in 1993, the year Megan was born and my mother died in 1996, the year Megan was diagnosed with autism. Not an easy time for me. I had not been to the cemetery since then, as Megan’s many medical and behavioral issues made life challenging. There were some connections in my family history that the microbiome research may help answer, including Meg’s autism, which seemed to be infections and behaviors that trapped her. More about that connection on the return trip.
Managing Editor's Note: We brought you a post last month describing one possible outcome of genetics tests for autism and a request to slow down the Autism CARES bill until critical details are reviewed. Please HELP Restrict Autism CARES bill from Funding Abortion Research :
A press release sent out on July 3rd talks about the genetics of children diagnosed with autism, constipation, GI issues and sleep disturbance - which sounds like many of our vaccine injured children, doesn't it? Perhaps the genetics is about which kids are susceptible to vaccine injury that results in autism, constipation and sleep disturbances? This is a slipperty slope. A topic fraught with controversy. And worth considering and discussing.
SEATTLE, July 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A researcher at Seattle Children's Hospital and Research Institute has found a genetic identifier for autism that includes physical features that may eventually allow clinicians to identify babies who are at risk for autism before they are born. This is the first time a genetic mutation has been linked to autism.
Dr. Raphael Bernier, clinical director of Seattle Children's Autism Center and Associate Professor at the University of Washington, who led the research in collaboration with 13 institutions worldwide, has discovered a mutation of the CHD8 gene that, in addition to significantly increasing a child's risk of developing a specific subtype of autism, also causes several physical traits and symptoms that are unique to children with the same subtype of autism.
The physical traits – subtle facial features, such as larger heads and prominent foreheads – are features that, combined with confirmation of a CHD8 gene mutation, could allow clinicians to screen babies still in utero for a higher risk of developing autism, much like clinicians now screen for physical and genetic indicators of disorders like Down's Syndrome.
"This is a big leap forward in our insight into the causes of autism," said Bernier, who led the study published today in the scientific journal Cell. "It's possible we may be able to look at features in utero and determine a higher risk of autism, possibly even early detection."
Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/2034136#ixzz36czZV6xa
Ronan had a spectacular Fourth of July this year. Because his day was good, mine was too.
Instead of being disappointed like I was this time last year, we, meaning me, had already taken it down a notch as far as holiday expectations were concerned. In past years I would have wanted to cram as much fun as possible on a day off. This year, we picked one thing that Ronan could do and that he could do well.
Our family had a few options— play tourist in the big city looking at the sights, hang out with friends across town, or stick around in our own neighborhood joining other families down the street for a block party. All were equally exciting opportunities for us, but we decided that staying closer to home would be the best option.
Being steps away from the amenities of our own home (and all of Ronan’s ‘must-have’ like his iPad, allergy-free foods, favorite movies and such) gave us the chance to celebrate our nation’s birthday with ease. Being well prepared for whatever situation presented itself once we arrived to our neighbor’s house, and the fact that Ronan was willing to do something different, played a big role in the success of our day. Ronan had fun. He played in the pool with the big kids. I had the freedom to actually sit and visit with people. Ronan was melt-down free. He ate a full meal without any fuss which means I ate a full meal with hardly any interruptions. I even had a few conversations with neighbors that I was able to start and finish. I didn’t need to pull out any of our Plan B, or C, or D tricks because Plan A was working so well!
Off to celebrate! Ronan had his headphones, his safe foods and a means to get there and back without tiring.
A couple of recent court cases have me convinced that the religious exemption from childhood immunizations is in big trouble.
The first case is one I somehow missed when it was decided last month. It’s a bit convoluted, but the gist is that three New York parents said their unvaccinated children were denied their rights by being kept out of school because another child had a vaccine-preventable disease. The judge said no.
To tell you the truth, I am not terribly concerned about that. Most parents I know who forego vaccines say that a better solution to disease control is informal quarantine – keep your kid home when they’re sick, or if you don’t want them to catch a disease they’re not vaccinated against.
But the scary part – especially in a state with no philosophical exemption and a nasty habit of trying to make parents prove the sincerity of their religious convictions -- was this comment in the federal judge’s ruling. “The Supreme Court,” he wrote, has “strongly suggested that religious objectors are not constitutionally exempt from vaccinations.”
I couldn’t find a link to the judge’s ruling, but according to the Times, he was pointing to Jacobson v. Massachusetts, which in 1905 (!) found that if Mr. Jacobson wanted to skip being vaccinated during a smallpox epidemic, he had to pay a $5 fine. More broadly, “Jacobson” has been cited as proof that the state’s police powers trump personal choice when it comes to a battle over vaccine mandates.
I don’t see it. He objected, he said, because both he and one of his children had bad reactions to earlier vaccinations. And all he had to do was pay five measly bucks, which even accounting for inflation is not much. How that undercuts religion as a basis for declining vaccination – especially absent a raging, deadly epidemic – is beyond me.
But just as I was digesting this, along came this week’s Hobby Lobby ruling from the Supreme Court itself, which said closely held companies whose owners are opposed to contraception don’t have to pay for insurance coverage. Regardless of what one thinks of that ruling, logic dictates that such firms might now be able to decline to cover other medical interventions to which they have the same objections – to wit, vaccination. To me, that case seems stronger than it does for contraception. After all, a personal religious basis for opting out of vaccination is already established in 48 states, excepting only Mississippi and West Virginia.
Nothing doing. On the contrary, the opinion emphasized, “Our decision should not be understood to hold that an insurance-coverage mandate must necessarily fall if it conflicts with an employer’s religious beliefs. Other coverage requirements, such as immunizations, may be supported by different interests (for example, the need to combat the spread of infectious diseases) and may involve different arguments about the least restrictive means of providing them.”
Managing Editor's Note: Excerpted from the HealthChoice.org site.
By Sylvia Pimentel
Our nation’s Pledge of Allegiance – most school kids learn those words at a very early age. We in the United States are taught to appreciate living in a country that has liberties many people around the world can only dream about. We are taught that we have a voice in public discourse. We are taught that we are part of a political system that allows for justice for everyone, not only the elite few.
But over time, many of us learn that one unfair exception to personal liberty exists in this country within health and medical choice. Regarding vaccines, freedom does not necessarily apply.
If you or your children are injured by a vaccine, you no longer have a voice. And in many instances you may not even have a choice. Not only are parents ignored when they say their child suffered an adverse event from a vaccine, they are also ridiculed, bullied and belittled – though victims’ families feel ethically compelled to speak out in the hope that vaccine injury will not destroy others’ lives.
Parents are told by industry, government and society that they only imagined the vaccine injury, or that it was a coincidence that their child became ill and regressed developmentally after the vaccination appointment. Parents are shouted down by vaccine bullies, and told that by speaking up about vaccine injuries they are harming society because other parents may fear getting their own children vaccinated.
So especially when it comes to vaccines, America is no longer the Home of the Free. To the contrary: Free speech is not only discouraged, it is vilified. It is attacked. It is muzzled.
All this public hostility and censorship comes as a great shock to average folks who have grown up with the secure feeling that they live in a free and just society. As taxpaying citizens we expect truth, transparency, fairness and service from our government agencies. But the reality is a much different story when your child is injured by one or more government-mandated vaccines, and your family now faces multimillion-dollar expenses for a lifetime disability.
This article is written for HealthChoice.org
I have always been drawn to United States history so I hope it will not be taken amiss if I offer an Independence Day perspective of a British citizen: we are, of course, all heirs of that revolution one way or another across the globe: more so today than ever perhaps. Immediately speaking there are two striking facets (I just had to correct the typographic error “strifing”): the incredible historic dynamism of the nation created by this event but also the great amount of thought that the founding fathers went into trying to prevent the re-emergence of the tyranny which they had just escaped. Perhaps never has so much thought gone into avoiding “oppressive government” even if many of the leading participants in the new republic still regarded it as their right to own slaves.
Nearly two and a half centuries on it is possible to see that powerful interests can buy their way into every aspect of a nation’s life defying almost every measure that was ever laid out against oppressive government. Just over half a century ago, as he left office, President Eisenhower famously warned about the military industrial complex and the domination of intellectual enquiry by commercial interest:
Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades. In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.
Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.
The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.
Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific/ technological elite.
As a commentary on this whistleblowing scientist David L Lewis recently bluntly wrote in the “prologue” to his book Science for Sale: How the US govern uses powerful corporations and leading universities to support government policies, silence top scientists, jeopardize our health, and protect corporate profits:
During my thirty-plus years as a research microbiologist in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) and the University of Georgia, I experienced the far-reaching influence of corrupt special interests firsthand. As this book will describe, my dealings with civil servants, corporate manager, elected officials, and other scientists expose the ease – and disturbing regularity – with which a small group , motivated by profit or personal advancement can completely hijack important areas of research science at even our most trusted institutions.