In 2008, well-known pediatrician, Robert Sears had a story published in Mothering Magazine titled, Is Aluminum the New Thimerosal? Sears had become concerned about the level of aluminum (Al) children were being exposed to in the ever-expanding vaccination schedule. Al, another known neurotoxin, is used in vaccines because it makes the vaccines work better. Sears went on a search for the science to prove that exposing infants and small children to more and more Al in wasn't harmful. The Mothering article made it clear that just as the mercury containing preservative thimerosal was allowed in vaccines without any official safety testing, the same is true for the use of aluminum. Here's how Sears described the main point of his article: "No one has measured the levels of aluminum absorption by the bloodstream when it is injected into the skin and muscle of infants, or the levels of excretion from the body via urination. All of the FDA and AAP documents that I've read state that aluminum might be a problem, but that they haven't studied it yet, so we should limit the amount of aluminum included in injectable solutions. But, again, no one is talking about the levels of aluminum in vaccines."
It's amazing that four years later, more people aren't questioning what Al is doing to our children. Officials like to pretend that the only vaccine ingredient anyone is worried about is mercury and they eagerly tell us that it was removed from all vaccines in the childhood schedule ten years ago (except of course the flu vaccine, recommended for pregnant women at all stages of pregnancy and for babies as young as six months).
Actually Al is coming into its own in the vaccine safety debate thanks to research by Chris Shaw, PhD, at the University of British Columbia. Shaw has stunning credentials that make it clear he is overwhelmingly qualified to study this topic. He's a professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the UBC and he holds cross appointments with the Department of Experimental Medicine and the Graduate Program in Neuroscience. He is the author of more than 100 peer reviewed articles as well as numerous book chapters and special reviews and has edited four books on neuroscience themes. He has done extensive work on the link between Al and ALS, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's. Now he's also addressing how exposure to Al could be linked to the autism epidemic.
In August, 2011, the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry published a study by Lucija Tomljenovic, and Chris Shaw and the title asked the question that demands an answer, Do aluminum vaccine adjuvants contribute to the rising prevalence of autism?
The research took a close look at the amount of Al kids are getting and at what age. Several statements are hard to forget:"To the best of our knowledge, these results are the first to show that Al, a highly neurotoxic metal and the most commonly used vaccine adjuvant, may be a significant contributing factor to the rising prevalence of ASD in the Western world."
." The researchers went on to say, "It is also of note that the FDA requires limits on Al in parenteral feeding solutions and requires warning labels about potential Al hazards while setting no safety limits or issuing warnings for Al in vaccines."
Tomljenovic and Shaw note the correlation between more and more vaccines with Al and the epidemic increase in autism and while this doesn't prove causation, it should at the very least send experts scrambling to look at the possible connection. There's no dismissing this information on Al. Lots of questions need to be asked and answered. I was able to interview Dr. Shaw about his research and even people with no medical/scientific background, like myself, can see we have a serious problem here.
Dr. Shaw, the mercury-containing vaccine preservative thimerosal was never officially tested or approved and its use was just grandfathered in by the FDA. What did you learn about the practice of adding various forms of aluminum to vaccines?
Shaw: As far as I know, the same holds true for aluminum. The initial studies of aluminum as adjuvants were conducted by scientists at Burroghs in the 1920s. I think this was well before the FDA was created and hence was likely grandfathered as well.
How prevalent is Al use in the vaccine schedule?
Shaw: It depends on the schedule, but the majority are, particularly in the pediatric schedule (see our JIB paper for the actual numbers).
Your research on Al originally involved adults suffering from ALS, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's. How does this relate to Al exposure and children with ASD?
Shaw: Our original paper dealt with ALS and aluminum hydroxide by injection. Others have looked at AD with various in vivo studies in animals, the latter mostly exposure in water. Re ASD: our focus has been on the pediatric vaccine schedule, primarily in the US, hence all injected subcutaneously or intramuscularly. These are so-called "ecological" data sets. We are now using a mouse model to try to duplicate the pediatric vaccine schedule with a series of behavioral tests and, after sacrifice, histological assessments.
In your paper in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, you note, "Al is an experimentally demonstrated neurotoxin whose ability to impact the human nervous system has been known for decades" yet, "the safety of Al adjuvants [in vaccines] appears to rest largely on assumptions rather than experimental evidence." What does this do to the claims by health officials that vaccines have been proven to be safe and not linked to the epidemic increase in autism?
Shaw: I question how they can make this statement, particularly in light of the Puerto Rico meeting on aluminum adjuvants in which the summary paper admitted just how much they really don't know.
The Hepatitis B vaccine, given within hours of birth, contains 250 mcg of Al. Why is age and weight concerning when discussing Al exposure for newborns?
Shaw: First, neurotoxins can have a larger impact on a developing than a mature nervous system. Second, the amount of aluminum, in relation to body weight, is going to be much higher. An average newborn weights about 8 pounds. An average adult male somewhere in the range of 150 to 200 pounds. The amount of aluminum in a dose of Hep B is thus far greater/weight and hence potentially vastly more toxic.
The public is often told that there's more mercury in a tuna sandwich than in a mercury-containing vaccine. What about the argument that children receive more exposure to Al in their diet than from their vaccines?
Shaw: It may be true in terms of amount, but the route of exposure is absolutely critical. This is a key principle of toxicology and it never ceases to amaze me that the argument equating dietary to injected aluminum (or mercury) is made at all. Most dietary aluminum (or mercury) will be excreted. Injected aluminum is not easily removed, hence one reason it is used as an adjuvant in the first place
Your work has sparked a heated debate over the safety of Al use in vaccines and the link to autism. Will officials be able to dismiss the issue with epidemiological studies showing no harmful effects like they've tried to do regarding the use of mercury in vaccines?
Shaw: They can certainly reexamine the data sets we have used as well as the statistical methods and Hill analysis. Given that the data sets are both from US government it will be hard for them to claim that the primary data are wrong. However, they are free to reanalyze these data and see if they get different results. Indeed, they should do so before dismissing what we have shown.
What are your concerns regarding the vaccine safety data sheet that comes with each vaccine?
Shaw: They don't report, in most cases, the actual data, statistics, etc.
What's been wrong with the way that we study the safety of vaccines?
Shaw: Pretty much everything. For example, animal studies are not typically adequately powered, do not look in relevant areas of the CNS, don't control for age or gender, and, indeed, often have no real placebo controls at all. The latter plagues the human studies, in addition to which the selection criteria are often designed to remove exactly that part of the population that might be most susceptible to adverse effects.
How willing are officials to recognize research that raises concerns over their vaccine schedule?
Shaw: In my experience, not very.
END OF INTERVIEW
This brings us to the incredible new movie The Greater Good, an in-depth look at the vaccine controversy. Both Sears and Shaw were featured in the movie making jaw-dropping statements about their concerns.
Robert Sears: "You would think that the FDA would take each of those [vaccine] ingredients and study them in human infants to make sure that each of those ingredients is safe. They haven't done that. They've never taken vaccine quantities of each of those ingredients and done any sort of safety testing to confirm that each one of those ingredients is safe."
Chris Shaw: "So, if you're not doing that kind of detailed analysis and it's not that expensive to do, you simply can't make any statement about the safety of these compounds on the nervous system." Shaw explained his research and the impact of his study.
He said he was expecting a certain backlash when his study was published, but, as he revealed, "It actually triggered a lot of silence. Pharma and the regularly agencies largely ignored it which is a very safe position to take because if they wanted to counter what I've said with my studies, they should have just reached into their file folder and come up with their own study and said, 'Doctor Shaw is simply wrong because we did this study and look what we found.' And after four years, they haven't done that."
So if the science isn't there, why does the government and the American Academy of Pediatrics and mainstream medicine keep insisting that their vaccines are safe and we should just keep on exposing kids to more and more of yet another toxic vaccine ingredient?
It was surprising in my research to find the headline in the Vancouver Courier, Responses to UBC vaccine paper a problem for free scientific inquiry and expression; UBC researchers raise questions, experience backlash.
Writer Tom Sandborn's piece about the Al study was rare. It asked why a "carefully parsed and thoroughly peer reviewed paper on vaccine safety ,,, seemed to inflame angry and punitive responses in some quarters." One of the respondents was Dr. Paul Offit, long time vaccine defender, described by Sandborn as "a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, a strong proponent of vaccines and the developer of a successful new vaccine that has made him a multi-millionaire."
Offit showed no interest in the UBC findings, in fact, he was quoted as saying that the paper 'should never have been published.'
That clearly sounds like a call to sweep this under the rug. Sandborn summed up his reaction to what Offit said:
"These calls to silence critical discussion of a still open scientific question are troubling. Science progresses by investigation, debate and full discussion, not by fiat and censorship. ...
"Many of us welcome the fact that independent scientists like UBC's Shaw and Tomljenovic are willing to fly in the face of received wisdom and pursue their findings wherever they lead. We would like to see rigorously peer reviewed research continue, and public discussion and debate promoted. It is doubtless true, as Offit argued to me when I interviewed him last year, that rumors of vaccine dangers spread in the verification free zones of the internet can do harm. But the proper response to bad science is good science, not censorship. No area of research should be out of bounds for free minds, and received wisdom, whether positive or negative, about vaccine safety should never substitute for real research."
For those of us who've endured years of the corruption, collusion, and cover up surrounding the issue of vaccines and autism, the Courier piece was refreshing. This issue isn't going away and the safety claims are collapsing everywhere. There should be a massive outrage over Offit's call for censorship. What is more important here, the health and safety of our children or protecting those with a stake in an out-of-control vaccination schedule? Officials have not given us honest and thorough vaccine studies and the UBC research is not going away. At every turn the pathetic record surrounding vaccine safety only gets worse. How many U.S. health officials share Paul Offit's view that this type of research shouldn't be made public? It seems that the many experts who've spent years denying that there's anything wrong with our children are just as eager to ignore the growing science calling their safety claims into question.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism. Subscribe to her newsfeed at AnneDachel.com.