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Will Congressional Autism Hearings Be Different This Time?

Blah_blah_blahBy Anne Dachel Autism pose

On November 29th a congressional hearing will again address autism.  The simple truth is, we can’t afford to bring up the issue, let lots of people talk and then go home with nothing resolved. Something needs to be done about an affliction that is decimating our children and that officials seem unable to understand or to stop.

The advocacy group SafeMinds asked parents to contact their Congressional Representatives and urge them to attend the hearing. 

SafeMinds also asked us to consider four questions regarding how the government is dealing with autism:

1) Do you think the federal government is doing enough about autism?

2) Do you think the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee has helped your family?

3) Do you think federal policies have prevented new cases of autism?

4) Have you seen results from the government's hundreds of millions of dollars in research spending?

Please remember we’re asking these questions in 2012. The autism numbers have been steadily
increasing over the last two decades to what can only be described as an epidemic rate while
mainstream medicine and U.S. health officials have stood by helplessly, unable to tell us the cause
or the cure for autism.  There’s nothing a mainstream doctor can tell a new mother whose baby
was born healthy and is developing normally that will ensure that this child won’t also end up on
the autism spectrum by age two. On a daily basis we’re given news reports where experts
solemnly tell us that all the autism is merely better diagnosing and an expanded definition of a disorder that’s always been around. 

In 2006, the Combating Autism Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President
George W. Bush.  This legislation authorized nearly a billion dollars over five years for screening,
education, services and research. The act created the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee
chaired by Dr. Thomas Insel.  The act was reauthorized in 2011.

Here’s what the advocacy group, Autism Speaks, had to say about the reauthorization:

“The new law continues the federal government’s commitment to autism research, services and
treatment at current levels, authorizing $693 million over the next three years. The original act
provided nearly $945 million over five years. Since its passage in 2006, significant advances have
been made in determining potential causes for autism as well as promising new early intervention
behavioral treatments. By signing CARA into law, President Obama has ensured the federal
government’s commitment to autism so that crucial research can continue unimpeded for the next
three years.”

So how concerned is Congress about autism?  Besides the CAA, what have they done to address
a disorder that has claimed a million children in the U.S.?   How interested are they in
the heated controversy over vaccines and autism?

This is some of history of how the Congress has dealt with autism.

In 2000, Representative Dan Burton held a six hour hearing on autism and childhood vaccines.
Burton talked about his grandson’s regression following his routine vaccinations.  Other legislators sounded equally concerned about the possible role vaccines could play in the development of autism.  Parents testified about the difficulties of raising an autistic child and about the link they saw between vaccines and their child’s autism.  There were calls for adequate studies to discern any causal relationship.  Dr. Andrew Wakefield was there presenting a report on his discovery of a new bowel disease he had observed in autistic children.  Dr. John O’Leary from Coombe Women’s Hospital in Dublin Ireland testified on the presence of measles virus in the children with autistic enterocolitis.



Other well-credentialed experts raised serious concerns about vaccines and autism and the failure of health officials to address vaccine safety thoroughly.  Wakefield had his critics at the hearing and representatives of the Centers for Disease and Prevention were there too attesting to the benefits and safety of their vaccines. Dr. Paul Offit was in attendance and he criticized the committee for even holding the hearing because it could shake public confidence in vaccinations.  Offit was put on the defensive about his financial ties to Merck.  Other notables in the autism community included Dr. Bernard Rimland. Numerous aspects of the controversy were discussed at length.  It was clear twelve years ago that there were experts on both sides with strong arguments for each of their positions.   Back in 2000, the autism ratewas one in every 500 children. 

On August 5, 2009, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee chaired by U.S. Senator Tom
Harkin held a hearing on the state of autism research, treatments and interventions.

Dr. Insel testified that he still wasn’t sure if more kids actually have autism and he denied that vaccines were a factor.  Insel showed no interest when Harkin brought up the idea of a comparison study of vaccinated and unvaccinated children.  Insel was firm that the topic of vaccines and autism had been studied enough.

Autism mom Dana Halverson testified about her daughter’s autism and the link to vaccines. She
spoke about the lack of oversight and the serious conflicts of interest among health officials and in
their agencies. 

Then on August 3, 2010, the Senate Subcommittee on Children's Health held a hearing entitled,
"State of Research on Potential Environmental Health Factors with Autism and Related Neurodevelopment Disorders."   I listened to the testimony and wrote this piece for Age of Autism.

In 2010, it still seemed that lawmakers were taking autism seriously. It looked like they wanted answers. They had experts come to testify. They talked about the cost of autism. Environmental triggers were discussed. We were told that there are around 80,000 possible untested chemicals that could be involved.

Dr. Bruce P. Lanphear from Vancouver BC was most notable because he criticized the lack of oversight. "We know enough to require premarket testing. To continue to experiment on our children is no longer tenable."

Dr. Issac N. Pessah from UC-Davis talked about a longitudinal study on expectant mothers who already had an autistic child and studying flame retardants as possible triggers.

One senator asked Pessah what he’d look at if there were no constraints. Pessah’s answer: “Because of the complexity of autism spectrum disorders, our lesson learned at UC-Davis is that you need a multi-disciplinary approach. You need to have immunologists talk to neuroscientists, talk to toxicologists and pool their efforts, integrate their efforts in understanding this very complex disorder. And so granted, very large science will address more global issues, I think concerted studies of specific populations will give you valuable answers that could lead to mitigation of autism.”

Has any of this happened? In 2010, the autism rate was one in every 110 children, and today it’s one in every 88 kids.

At the end of my story on the 2010 hearing I wrote this:

What was disappointing was the lack of urgency in all this. Lanphear made it sound like we could take years conducting research on autism. The word mercury came up several times, but I didn't hear about vaccines even once. Autism seems destined to continue as the interminable mystery. The environment may be at fault, but with 80,000 possible triggers, who knows when we'll have any answers. I wondered who set up the panel reporting to the health committee. Why weren't there other experts and parents there? Everyone had pretty much the same message: We know it's due to toxins but no one knows anything else for sure. Where were the parents whose children were perfectly normal until they received certain routine vaccinations? I could imagine stunning before and after videos to highlight their accounts.
We could have also heard about the levels of toxins like mercury and aluminum found in these kids.

Why didn't anyone ask why millions and millions of dollars have gone into genetic research when clearly the answers aren't there?

Where were the DAN doctors? Why didn't we hear about biomedical treatments and recovering autistic kids? There could be some great before and after videos there too.

Where were the expects who've done the vaccine research? Why weren't people from SAFEMINDS testifying?

Why weren't we told that untested chemical additives are nothing new? Deadly mercury is still allowed in vaccines and declared to be safe even though it was never tested or approved by the FDA….

My biggest concern is over the tone of the hearing. I'd like to hear people call autism a health care emergency. I'd like it if they were going to call in more experts for more opinions on causation. Why are we hearing about long range children studies instead of an immediate look at the kids who got sick that Dr. Bernadine Healy called for two years ago?

Finally, we've officially declared autism to be an environmental disorder. Beyond that, there was little new in this hearing. It's seems we're still happy to leave autism a mystery.

One thing’s different today in 2012, we have the knowledge that while the federal government denies Lou conte that there’s any evidence that vaccines cause autism, a federal program created by Congress has compensated dozens of families of children for vaccine damage that included autism. http://www.ebcala.org/unanswered-questions  These findings were summed up in a report called, “Unanswered Questions.” Louis Conte, father of triplets, two of whom have autism, was instrumental in this project. He was interviewed on HDNet TV about the unanswered questions out there.

I asked Louis about the upcoming hearing and about what he wants to see happen in Washington this time.  Here is his response:

I can understand why Congressional hearings on autism would start with this generalized approach. The Autism Epidemic is a complicated story and you have to start somewhere and then drill in.

However, make no mistake, Congress needs to drill in.

First of all, the work that Brian Hooker has championed regarding the 2004 IOM decision through his FOIA requests really needs days of questioning by Congress. There are thousands of documents to review and a number of individuals who need to explain their conduct in suppressing real science while facilitating the publication of research of dubious quality (as in the case of Poul Thorsen).

As many are aware, I have been part of a team of people who have focused on the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP). This focus lead to the peer reviewed publication of Unanswered Questions from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program in the May 2011 Pace Journal of Environmental Law. We found 83 cases of individuals compensated for vaccine injuries for brain damage and seizures that also included autism. These were only the cases we could find and it is likely that there are hundreds more. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) didn't provide this information. We had to find the cases through available public records after an extensive investigation that took over two years.

We ended Unanswered Questions with two requests. The first request was that Congress hold hearings on the NVICP and, second, that there be an independent assessment of health outcomes of cases that the federal government has compensated for vaccine injury. It is time to finally determine what a vaccine injury looks like.

The existence of so many cases involving autism was never disclosed by HHS, The Division of Vaccine Injury Compensation, the Department of Justice Attorneys or the Office of the Special Masters to the 5000 petitioners in the Omnibus Autism Proceedings (OAP). Why not? The entire program acted as though autism was a disorder that had landed in their program from outer space when, in reality, vaccine injury cases involved autism from day one. The existence of autism as a result of vaccine injury is of enormous importance to the entire country and should never have been regarded as the property of the Division of Vaccine Injury Compensation. Withholding this information from the public has had disastrous public health consequences and can be viewed as having allowed the autism epidemic to occur. Further, it also amounts to government sanctioned discrimination against the petitioners who used the word "autism" to describe their child's vaccine injury.

Congress has never held hearings on the NVICP. The response of the federal government to autism is epitomized by the injustice that occurred - and continues to occur - in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. If Congress really wants to know what the federal government is doing about autism, they need look no further than at the program they created in 1986

It’s impossible to have an in-depth discussion about autism without bringing up vaccines.  Twelve years ago vaccines and autism were the subjects of a six hour congressional hearing.  And then they adjourned.   There were more hearings, but nothing was done.

For their part, officials have never waivered from their claim of no connection to the ever-expanding vaccination schedule.  They’ve produced study after study all showing no link and all tied to the vaccine industry. On the other side, independent research is piling up, raising serious concerns about vaccine safety.  Both sides can’t be right.  Either vaccines are culpable or they’re not.  In my opinion, if this issue is to be resolved there has to be an independent comparison study done looking at fully vaccinated and never vaccinated children.  There is no excuse for not doing it.  There are thousands of unvaccinated kids to study.  If never-vaccinated children have autism at the same rate as fully vaccinated ones, this question would be answered once and for all. 

Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.




Comments

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The U.S. Government will never admit the vaccines/autism link and here's why. It's big business and produces many side industries and jobs- jobs - jobs. It's good for the Republicans because they are the producers (Vaccine manufacturers and their ties to the American Medical Association, the CDC, FDA, WHO, etc.) It's good for the Democrats because they are the takers needing more and more taxpayer dollars in supports for those that can't produce (more votes for Dems) The only remaining answer therefore is "Just say NO". If you are a parent and still vaccinate your children you either are not educated or simply don't care about the risks.

AD: Excellent commentary, as always. Just to correct one point, Congress has held at least two hearings on NVICP, since its passage in 1986. One was on 9/28/99 before Cong. Mica's Subcomm. on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources, "Compensating Vaccine Injuries: Are Reforms Needed" [http://www.casewatch.org/hearings/burton/106-136.pdf]. Barbara Loe Fisher's [NVIC, http://www.nvic.org/nvic-archives/testimony/congresstestimonysept281999.aspx] typiccally excellent testimony provided a detailed critique, for example eviscerating the presumption of causation for most cases contained in the Table of Injuries, and recommended necessary changes, especially tolling the absurdly short statute of limitations. Thanks to the excellent analysis of Dr. Yazbak ["There Goes That Argument," http://www.vaccinationnews.com/20110301ThereGoesThatArgumentYazbakFE] that the Government gutted the Table of Injuries shortly after VAERS reports of autism began to repidly increase in the 1990's.

The next hearing was held on 12/12/2001. [https://house.resource.org/107/org.c-span.167082-1.pdf]

Among its highlights was Cong. Waxman supporting [p. 147] transparency: "I want to comment on the point that Mr. Burton made a minute or two ago about the fact that after some settlements, people were told not to discuss their complaint. I don’t know the facts of the case he cited, but I do know that there are many, many lawsuits for tort that are settled with the demand by the defendant that in
exchange for the settlement, that all the facts be kept quiet. I think that’s wrong. I don’t think facts ought to be kept quiet. I don’t think they ought to be under seal. After all, to keep facts from getting out means that other people won’t have the benefit of the information that could prevent the same thing happening over and over again to others. Litigation may be a lawsuit between private parties, but there is a broader public interest, and we shouldn’t allow the records to be sealed and information withheld when that information can benefit other people." He also seems to support the Adminitration's agreement to lengthen the statute of limitations [which still hasn't happened].

GAO wrote a critical report on the program, December 22, 1999 [http://www.gao.gov/new.items/he00008.pdf]. Several bills have been introduced in Congress to, e.g., reform the vacccine injury program [Parents VICA], require an independent Vaccine Safety Commission, and fund an independent program of research on unvaccinated children. None of these have had much support, in part because the Government cannot do anyting to admit the true extent of the "collateral damage," i.e. children injured in the ongoing war against infection, much less truly "have their backs."

The QUESTION of whether vaccinnes cause autism has been ANSWERED yes. The Government has paid hundreds of millions in judgment and settlements of vaccine-cuased autism cases in Vaccine Court since at least 1991. But the true number of actual cases remains unknown because the Government has done everything to NOT compensate such claims, from gutting the Table of Injuries, to opposing scientific "stays" in Vaccine Court, to blocking access to the Vaccine Safety Datalink, to quickly dismissing the remaining cases in the Autism Omnibus Proceeding, to hiding data and blocking research into the health status of unvaccinated children, to directing the IOM NOT to review mercury science in its latest adverse events report, all while still claiming there is "no evidence" that vaccine cause autism and that it is "not known" how much of the autism epidemic is real.

Having watched as autism barely existed prior to our right to sue vaccine makers in regular courts were removed and children went from a few vaccines to more than 70 with no vaccine liability, while 1 in 6 children became Developmentally Disabled, I am wondering why it is still not,"The shots heard round the world?" We need Action not 20 more years of studies.

The USA might not like this but the place to do the vaccinated vs unvaccinated study is the UK. Firstly, because there are over two millions unvcaccinated since 1966 and my ad hoc researches reveal exactly none who are wholly unvaccinated and autistic. Ten years of searching via personal contacts, hundreds of letters, four thousand replies to my one time website www.autismobserved, radio broadcasts and letters published in multi million circulation national newspapers. Secondly, the UK maintains really good medical reporting, vaccine uptake, autistic diagnoses, the answers are there just for the looking. Thirdly, they are generally the same vaccines as used in the USA supplied by the same producers. I believe it will be done in the UK one way or another.
Tony Bateson, Birmingham UK B1 1SR

Dr. O,
I think most parents would agree that young children and even some infants are overexposed to electronic media. However, that is a very far cry from stating a link exists between electronic media and autism. To make such a claim is irresponsible. There's no simply evidence for it. No studies correlate autistic children with greater exposure to TV, videos, etc. Such a correlation would be very easy to show if it existed.

Your "theory" is a distraction and is probably intended as such.

Stagmom-

It is time to take Mom out the refrigerator and look carefully at the social experiences of babies and infants today in our very electronic world. In the last 50 years our culture has rushed to embrace these alien elements into the lives of our babies without really considering the possible consequences.

Babies are born looking for eyes,faces and voices to bond with and to interact with. Some babies and infants especially boys when given a choice seem to prefer the electronic variety to the human variety. The catch is the electronic variety are decoys and can not interact socially. This is a path to ASD.

The number of hours infants are in the presence of TV and video has skyrocketed along with incidence of ASD. And do not forget the Amish who have largely been spared from this epidemic not only shun vaccines but they also shun TV's and the like.
And yes, I think there is a world of difference for the baby and infant between a talking Elmo and corn cob doll.

The trouble with the vaccinated/unvaccinated study is that I simply don't trust our government to do it. Data is manipulated so easily by the CDC when it comes to their sacred cow-think Brick Township autism rates, etc. Even the 1:88 is a disgracefull statistic when you consider how outdated it is and the CDC's exclusion of California from the group. I'd be willing to wager that Utah will be excluded next because their numbers scew the rate. But I digress....

We need a truly independent entity doing the research. Know any billionaires who aren't in big Pharma? I keep thinking that maybe Donald Trump will make it a pet project, but he's pretty out there, so who would believe it?

Sigh.

This got bumped from my prior post to Leonard Oestreicher-

My daughter's IgE* blood test is 300 (reference range < or = 114.) She is also positive on the antinuclear antibodies test. Her Measles, Mumps and Rubella titers are highly elevated though she had the vaccine 18 long years ago. It is interesting and perfectly placed that you have the CDC positioned on your website.

Leonard Oestreicher-

I read with utter disbelief your bio and your rationale for the 'pied pipers of autism.' TV, video and talking toys - ? I am deeply offended regarding this ridiculous notion and complete denial of the TRUE medical issues involved with these children and their families SUFFERING - seizures, bowel disease, mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation of gut, joints and brain, immune and autoimmune dysfunction,ie chronic viral, yeast, and bacterial infections and food allergies.

My daughter's IgE* blood test is 300 (reference range < or = 114.) She is also positive on the antinuclear antibodies test. Her Measles, Mumps and Rubella titers are highly elevated though she had the vaccine 18 long years ago. It is interesting and perfectly placed that you have the CDC positioned on your website.

*http://kidshealth.org/parent/system/medical/test_immunoglobulin_e.html

IgE antibodies are found in the lungs, skin, and mucous membranes. They are associated mainly with allergic reactions (when the immune system overreacts to environmental antigens such as pollen or pet dander) and parasitic infections.
Why It's Done

The IgE test is often performed as part of an initial screen for allergies. Symptoms of allergies may include hives, itchy eyes or nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, tight throat, and trouble breathing. Symptoms may be seasonal (as with allergies due to pollen or molds) or year-round (as with food allergies). They can range from mild to severe, depending on the child and the allergy.

IgE levels may also be elevated in children with parasitic infections.

To No-vac, This is a bit off topic , but I will respond to your comments on HRT: No one has been able to explain to me WHY the study of HRT was apparently done only on the method of HRT which gives Progesterone every day of the month. The other method, which gives estrogen half month and estrogen and progesterone half month and then both are stopped- was apparently not studied. This truly baffles me. I have taken the second method for 20 years and Im 65 and Im not stopping. I have no health problem of the ones you mentioned, and have an angiogram and some ultrasounds to attest to that. When I got an incredibly painful arthritis of the hip after playing tennis a few years ago, that healed on its own, When they could make so much money, why dont they study the second method of HRT. Am I missing something? Just curious.

These autism hearings should be re-named, "why-the-hell-do-some-crazy-parents-keep-thinking-it's-the-vaccines-when-we-keep-having-these-hearings-to-tell-them-that-it's-not-and-can-we-have-some-more-money-to-study-new-ways-we-can-tell-them-it's-not-the-vaccines?"

Oh my. Bernie Rimland just rolled over in his grave.
Sorry, doc, but the only TV and electronic toys my son encountered in his first years were the ones in the pediatrician's waiting room, where we patiently awaited our turn to get him vaccinated into autism.

The only reassuring thing about your comment is that clearly there is in fact a functioning time machine somewhere out there, since you seem to have landed back in the 1950s. And when I find that time machine, I'm going back twenty years to just before I had my children. And this time around, you can bet your life I won't be vaccinating them.

Like most of you I want to know what is causing Autism so that future generations of children can be saved. For now however the fact is that the millions of the dollars the government is spending could be funneled into treatment centers that would be accessible to parents wanting to help their kids NOW.. for us there is no tomorrow, we cannot afford to wait another week, never-mind another 5, 10 or 20 years for answers. By then our children will be adults. Adults without independent lives, adults that will require round the clock care, training, and housing. At the rate the budgets are being cut for support of developmental disabilities our children will be lucky if they can get a meal, the likelihood of them being able to count on government support is unlikely without serious increase in funding and at a higher cost to tax payers.

Is congress going to consider where the 1 in 88 kids are going to live, work, or be housed? The upcoming numbers of people needing support are staggering. We are caring, loving parents who advocate for our kids - but we are not going to live forever, and with the stress some of us live with today some of us will have our lives shortened significantly. Retire? forget it!

I want an answer, honestly I do, but right now I am sick to death of the 10,000 feet up in the sky back and forth arguments played out in government offices, and in the media without anything being done for those of us here, now fighting on the ground, with our kids trying with every dollar we have, every ounce of passion and love to just help our kids, to make some difference in their lives. Our kids are sick, TODAY! Five years from now is too late.... too damn late. Shame on the officials and medical professionals that have sat back and let so much money be spent on so much wasteful research. Old Dads, fat moms? REALLY? If congress does not spend at least some time reviewing and questioning the decisions of the IACC and any other groups receiving funding on the funneling of this money to wasteful research then any proceedings from here on are just another waste of our precious time.

Dr. O = that's just another version of the "Refrigerator mother" theory - something prevented our babies from bonding with us. I disagree and take offense. We all held and loved our babies - as had our mothers and grandmothers - in fact, we likely held them and interacted MORE than previous generations when A) wealthy Mothers only saw their babies a few moments a day while nannies tended to the nursery or B) Women had to work to find and prepare food and spent less time doting on their children. A corn cob doll is hardly different from the talking Tubsy doll I had as a tot in the late 60s or the Tickle me Elmo my now almost 18 year had as a toy.


There can be little argument that environmental factors have contributed to the explosion of Autism and ASD in the last 50 years but I doubt vaccines are the culprits. Likewise, all the genetic expertise in the world has not changed the lives of the thousands of families touched by this pervasive disorder. The environmental culprit in my opinion is unlikely to be some exotic chemical the fetus is exposed in utero. It is much simpler than that.

There is a toxin causing ASD and Autism that is so prevalent in the lives of babies and infants today, that it is practically invisible. It is a part of virtually every household around the world. And 50 years ago it was non-existent.

The toxin is not ingested or passed through the skin but enters the brain directed through the eyes and ears of babies and infants.

This toxin mimics the faces, eyes, voices and movements of living people and deceives vulnerable infants into bonding with objects that are social dead ends. These objects lead the babies away from social interactions with their caretakers. By the end of the first year of life, the infants are mired in internal self-communication setting the stage for ASD and autism.

These objects are TV, video, and talking toys---

Leonard Oestreicher MD
Author 'The Pied Pipers of Autism'

Jake,
you are right and smart parents don't vaccinate anymore, but to change the vaccination policy (which is necessary) a big govt sponsored study needs to be done. Without it, the CDC will always cite the fraudulent Danish and similar studies, which still deny vaccine-autism link.

"In my opinion, if this issue is to be resolved there has to be an independent comparison study done looking at fully vaccinated and never vaccinated children."

I agree on the merits of doing such a study, but frankly this debate has already been resolved. Even the vaccine industry's own shoddy epidemiology including that by indicted fraudster Poul Thorsen has connected vaccines to autism.

The study comparing vac-unvac children must be done without a delay. It would have the same huge impact as Women's Health Initiative study (WHI), initiated when Dr. Bernardine Healey was the NIH director. That study showed conclusively that HRT (hormone therapy) in postmenopausal women induces all kinds of reproductive system cancers, strokes, heart attacks, thrombosis, early deaths etc. Before that study it was assumed by most doctors (due to pharma propaganda), that giving reproductive hormones to aging women is healthy and a fountain of youth. It turned out to be a path to early death.

After the WHI study millions of women stopped taking hormones, hence the breast cancer rate in the US dramatically decreased. Pharma lost billions on sales of HRT pills. The result of vac-unvac study will be probably the same, and this is the main reason why the pharma and their FDA/CDC cronies are aggressively fighting it.

Government policy is not set by legislators but by the bureaucracies they have set up to implement them. Those folks are the foxes who raided the chicken coop and the chances they will ever 'fess up and do something about the disaster they have helped create are infinitesimal. You're on your own.

2000-same year I got into this when joshua was diagnosed.
So long ago and we're still in the same hole. Thanks, Anne. Your hard work in getting the information out knows no bounds.
Maurine

I agree that a large-scale vax/unvax study must be done under federal auspices, to insure credibility. Dr. Robert Sears (The Vaccine Book, The Autism Book) says that all that would be necessary would be to have the examining doctors blinded, not knowing the vaccination status of the children they examined. The parents, of course, would have made that decision. The vaccine spokesmen at Shot of Prevention say that this would not be a scientifically valid study, that the children must be vaccinated at random and not even their parents know what vaccines they had received. This, of course, is nonsense, a way to ensure that the study could never be carried out, but it is presumably the line the industry would take to block the study. If the parents knew the child was or not vaccinated for pertussis, but the examining doctor did not, and the doctor diagnosed asthma or failed to do so, would this not be a reliable statistic to add to the data base? Why would it not be scientifically valid unless the parents were blinded too? Could the parents produce autoimmune disease or brain damage just by their knowledge of vaccines received? Or is this just another smoke screen like Dr. Proffit's saying no such study could ever be ethically done because it would deny the unvaccinated children of "valuable disease protection"?

The comparison between. The vaccinated and the unvaccinated : It is too late. There is something going on with mother's immune systems .

Speaking as a former goverment employee, I do not have high hopes for what the federal goverment can do. They can regulate and watch vaccines closer. But what they can do for the cases already out there.... People are looking to cut funding for programs that serve people on the spectrum. Cut them, not add more revenue so we can actually help the kids! I know because I have been fighting to keep what little funding these programs have so they can continue. Other programs, such as those that have to do with alternative treatment isn't even brought up unless of course, I do it, and I do. And I get the deer in the head lights look every time, if not the downright condscending ones. Even if I can proove with my own life what supplements and teas and other things can do. (Ginko Bilaboa has been a life changer!) Sorry to be cynical, but it is what it is. We are fighting an uphill battle. But that's alright, up with the barricades! Maybe if we bust their doors down with evidence they will buy a clue!

Congress should also know what little attention Secretary Sebelius has given our children and our families. 1/2 hour speech and then bolts from an IACC meeting. She needs to go!!!

Anne .. it is truly depressing to be read the 2006 Combat Autism Act (CAA) authorized nearly a BILLION dollars to be spent over five years .. and .. the 2011 reauthorization of the CAA authorized ANOTHER 693 MILLION dollars.

Simply throwing money at the problem absent any direction in how that money should be spent is not only wasteful .. it is plain stupid.

In my opinion .. as a requirement for authorizing continuing funds to combat autism .. Congress must demand public health officials support pending federal legislation that seeks to fund an independent, scientific study of "vaccinated v. unvaccinated" populations .. to ascertain .. once and for all .. if BOTH populations have suffered the same, inexplicable, dramatic increase in "chronic autoimmune disorders" that have become the "new normal" for a child born in the United States.

Make no mistake about it .. the CDC has the data, expertise and resources to conduct such a study .. they lack only the will to do so. Indeed, if vaccines are as "safe" as the CDC claims them to be .. it would be in their own best interest to conduct the study and PROVE IT.

If cutting off funds is required to strenghten their will to conduct the study .. SO BE IT.

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