Mike Frandsen Interviews Olmsted and Blaxill Authors of The Age of Autism Mercury Medicine and a Manmade Epidemic
Below is an excerpt from Mike Frandsen's interview with Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill. Please click over to The Examiner HERE to read the full interview and to comment.
In their new book, The Age of Autism: Mercury, Medicine, and a Manmade Epidemic, Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill make a convincing case that the autism epidemic is largely environmental rather than genetic. They argue that mercury from pollution, commercial products, and vaccines has contributed greatly to the rise in autism over the last 70 years.
In doing research for the book, Olmsted and Blaxill investigated the backgrounds of the parents of some of the first children identified with autism by Leo Kanner in the 1930s. Olmsted, a reporter who has devoted his career to writing about autism, and Blaxill, a parent of a girl with autism, found links to mercury in the backgrounds of some of the parents of the children who were the original cases of autism.
Olmsted and Blaxill also state their belief that the rise in autism is related to the use of mercury in childhood vaccines. They point out that they are not anti-vaccine, but are pro-vaccine safety.
The co-authors also write about the damage that was done to patients who were given mercury as treatment for various medical ailments throughout the last few centuries.
They call for more research by the medical establishment into the environmental causes of autism.
Olmsted and Blaxill also edit and write for the web newspaper Age of Autism. An interview with the authors of the book, which goes on sale September 14, is below.
Mike Frandsen: In writing this book, you researched the backgrounds of the parents of the original children Leo Kanner identified with autism. What did you find?
Dan Olmsted: Just to set the stage a bit, Leo Kanner was a child psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins University and in 1943 he wrote a paper called Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact. It was a case series describing 11 children and all of them had what he described as a uniquely and markedly different disorder, which became known as autism. We decided to go back and look at those cases very carefully and when we did, we found enough clues that we were able to identify seven of those 11 children.
As we looked more closely at their family background and where they lived, we saw what we thought was a pretty remarkable pattern of background exposure to a new commercial mercury compound called ethylmercury, which was used first in the 1930s in fungicides, agriculture and in vaccines as a preservative. So what we believe we see is a strong pattern, not proof, but a strong pattern that the age of autism really began when this kind of mercury reached commercial use and affected children.
Can you give an example?
Dan Olmsted: Case 2 was a child named Frederick W. We identified his family. His father had the same name, Frederick Wellman, who was a plant pathologist at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center near Washington working for the Agriculture Department. We found his archive, which is quite extensive, and the very first paper in the very first folder, in the very first box is about experimenting with mercury, which I think is quite significant.
Not only that but when we looked more deeply we were able to track the fact that he was working with the new ethylmercury seed disinfectants at the same time his son was born and we know that the dust from those can get onto clothes and carried into houses and that sort of thing. The child was born early because his mother had kidney problems, which is often a sign of mercury toxicity and then it’s very stark, very vivid. There’s even a pamphlet in his archive on the exact mercury fungicide that contains ethylmercury, so we think this is more than chance and that it is something that needs to be looked at seriously. If people want to disagree with it and dismiss it, I think they’re going to have to engage with what we’ve found here.
You trace the medical establishment’s use of mercury to treat illnesses in the last several centuries. Why did doctors continue to use mercury even after they discovered it was toxic?
Dan Olmsted: I think one answer to that is that it seemed to work when nothing else really did. Mercury is a biologically active compound. If you have sores on your body, which you would get from syphilis, and you rub a mercury salve on it, the sores would clear up and seemingly that was a good thing. Unfortunately, the side effects were longer to show up and more obscure.
And what we see is a pattern where because it seemed to be useful to doctors in treating desperate patients, they would do it for a while and then when a better treatment came along they would quit using it and never look back and realize or acknowledge that they might have been killing people by the thousands even as they were treating them. It just kind of kept going, where we are still at a point where although we wouldn’t use arsenic or plutonium or lead or any toxic compound in medicine or as medicine, we still use mercury. And it has gotten a free pass for several hundred years and that we think really needs to stop.
Mercury was used to treat syphilis for hundreds of years. What happened to those patients?
Mark Blaxill: Mercury was used from the beginning of the syphilis epidemic in Europe from the late 15th century. Mercury was used as an ointment, a skin treatment, but over time, the idea was to try to get mercury closer to the infection or the site of the infection and not just on the skin. In the 1700s and 1800s people first started the practice of internal administration of mercury, specifically mercuric chloride, and doctors first began encouraging patients to drink it, and then not longer after, they started injecting mercuric chloride into syphilis patients.
Interestingly enough, when they started this internal administration approach to treating syphilis, a new, invariably fatal form of neurosyphilis, brain syphilis, began to emerge as well, something called general paralysis of the insane (GPI). These patients would go stock raving mad, wild and crazy with delusions and they would generally die quite quickly. These cases of GPI occurred in places where mercury treatments were common, and where the practice of treating patients with mercury chloride and mercury in general was not used, you would never see these cases of GPI.
If mercury is one of the causes of autism, and syphilis patients and children given teething powders were exposed to mercury, why didn’t they get autism?
Please click over to The Examiner HERE to read the full interview and to comment.