NOTE: We're bringing you this series, re-crafted for 2017, by Richard P. Milner of Public Affairs Media. Dr. Paul Offit has led the charge against any and all in our community, doctors, scientists, parents, educators, film makers, who question vaccine safety.
By Richard P. Milner
MILNER: Then why do all these parents say we got a vaccine, then my child got autism right after?
OFFIT: They are perfectly reasonable. I mean, I think, you know, from a parent’s standpoint they—their child was fine, they got a vaccine and then they weren’t fine any more. The question is: Did the vaccine cause it? I mean, just because one event follows another, it doesn’t mean that it’s causally associated with the other.
HUMPHRIES: Infants are exposed to a multitude of events and substances, which can alter gene expression. Aluminum and thimerasol/thiomersal are very potent gene expression disruptors. So are other chemicals and many innocuous-appearing processed foods. Below is “normal” gene expression…
The fact is that vaccines affect gene expression which can drastically alter the diagram above, but that’s not something that concerns Paul Offit, because genetics and epigenetics isn’t within his orbit of consideration. Lahdenpera A I. 2008. “Kinetics of asthma- and allergy-associated immune response gene expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from vaccinated infants after in vitro re-stimulation with vaccine antigen.” Vaccine 26, 1725-1730. PMID: 18336961.
HALEY: What actually happened is that in all 50 states the autism rates went up shortly after the CDC mandated vaccine program. A big search for a ‘genetic cause’ turned up empty as any reasonable scientist would have expected, genetics don’t cause epidemics and autistics don’t often marry and have children. So we now think that an environmental toxin with a genetic susceptibility must be involved. However, this environmental toxin had to go up in all 50 states at the same time, and be something that affects males 4 to 8 times more than females. In my opinion, only the thimerosal exposure from the CDC mandated vaccine program can fit this description.
OFFIT: the vaccine-preventable diseases generally are independent of the state of hygiene in the country level of sanitation. Everybody gets them. Everybody gets rotavirus infection. It really doesn’t matter how high the level … of sanitation or hygiene is in the country. Everybody get those infections.
BLAYLOCK: His statement that the childhood infections are independent of the levels of sanitation (he omits state of nutrition) is nonsense. In fact, one wants to be exposed because that builds natural life-long immunity. Having good sanitation and nutrition improves the outcome of these natural infections, that is, that the infection will be mild and free of serious complications. We know for example, from a recent study, that vitamin C alone dramatically reduced the length and severity of whooping cough. Does Dr. Offit use vitamin C in his practice? Does he (and do the other vaccine promoters) suggest that every child and adult take vitamin C in higher doses? If they do—I have never seen or heard about it.
OFFIT: the fact is, is that mercury exists on this planet. And it’s in the earth’s surface in an inorganic form. It enters the biosphere by things like rock erosion, volcanoes, where it’s taken up by bacteria in soil, on seas, and converted to methyl mercury. And methyl mercury then has the capacity to cross the cell membrane. And so methyl mercury is in the water that we drink, it’s in the breast milk that we give our child, it’s in the infant formula that we give our child, at greater quantities than is contained in vaccines.
HALEY: This is just not true. The bolus dose of mercury from vaccines is more than any other source for an infant. We have laws that restrict the amount of mercury in infant formula. This guy really does not know what he is talking about when it comes to legal levels of mercury even in drinking water.
HUMPHRIES: Again look at the Hewitson primate study. Delayed Acquisition of Neonatal Reflexes in newborn Primates receiving A Thimerosal-containing Hepatitis B Vaccine: influence of gestational age and Birth weight from 2009 ……and Influence of pediatric vaccines on amygdala growth and opioid ligand binding in rhesus macaque infants: A pilot study, from 2010.
Mercury influences brain function, but I do not believe mercury is the cause of autism alone. What is more obvious to me is that children undergo a series of insults to their systems beginning during gestation and at birth and in infancy; some of which includes vaccines. Often the decline in function occurs after a vaccine, but the background of susceptibility was accumulating prior to that day.
OFFIT: A typically breastfed child will ingest 360 micrograms of methyl mercury, which does have a half-life in the sort of 43 day range, as compared to half the amount of ethyl mercury that was in vaccines before it was taken out.
HALEY: First, 360 micrograms in what period of time? We usually report this per day—I don’t know what time he is thinking of, but 360 micrograms of methyl mercury is about 14 vaccinations worth of ethyl mercury. Again, he talks about the blood half-life like it is the body half-life, which means he is not a trained toxicologist and doesn’t even get the message when presented to him.
OFFIT: And also, if—now that we essentially have removed ethyl mercury from vaccines, certainly to any vaccine that’s given to a less than two-year-old, they don’t receive preservative levels of mercury, the incidence of autism, if anything, has only increased.
So it never made sense that mercury would have been a problem and—as a cause of autism or subtle signs of mercury poisoning—and it hasn’t been.
BLAYLOCK: It would only not make sense to someone who knows little about neuroscience and toxicology. Ethyl mercury also crossed membranes and the Blood Brain Barrier. It is also neuro-toxic and there is compelling evidence that the most toxic form of mercury is ionic mercury. Studies have shown that in the body, 30% of the ethyl mercury is converted to ionic mercury, where as only 7% of methyl mercury is converted. It is virtually impossible to remove ionic mercury from the brain. As for the study that showed a shortened half-life for ethyl mercury—what it demonstrated was that the excreted mercury entered the bowel and was re-circulated. With each cycle a portion is deposited in the brain.
The major culprit, based on my own extensive studies, is three fold—a genetic sensitivity to autoimmunity, glutamate receptor dysfunction and sequential exposure to multiple vaccines. There is a considerable amount of neuroscience to back this up as I discuss in my 7 articles published in peer reviewed journals—each having hundreds of references. But then, Dr. Offit knows nothing of this and understands even less. Despite this he makes the incredible statement that he is “absolutely sure there is no connection between vaccines and autism.”
AYOUB: Of course you know that kids by the age of 5 get over 50% of the total Hg from just the flu shot and by 18y will be getting more than ever in US history. In my community almost no one gives infants Hg free…the majority use Hg preserved, even though the free form is available.
TENPENNY: Take out the mercury, there are still mg amounts of formaldehyde, aluminum, polysorbate 80, 2-phenoxyethanol, etc. There is still toxic chemical soup there.
OFFIT: So it never made sense that mercury would have been a problem and—as a cause of autism or subtle signs of mercury poisoning—and it hasn’t been.
MILNER: Have we really taken thimerosal out of vaccines?
OFFIT: Yeah. There are multi-dose preparations of influenza vaccine which are given to greater than two years old
HALEY: NO, also to 6-23 month olds, totally a lie.
OFFIT: which may contain thimerosal at preservative levels. And I think there’s a preparation of diphtheria/tetanus containing vaccine which contains thimerosal at preservative levels, but that’s it. But in terms of—if you look at children less than two years of age, prior to 2001, it was possible for them to have received 187.5 micrograms of ethyl mercury. Now since the spring of 2001, they—a less than two-year-old child will receive zero micrograms of ethyl mercury.
HALEY: He forgets mom who get flu shots and he also forgets about aluminum.
OFFIT: Before 2001 it was possible for children to get 180—children less than two years of age to get 187.5 micrograms of methyl mercury. Today there is not a vaccine that is given to children less than two years of age that contains ethyl mercury as a preservative
It is possible, however, for children between two and five years of age to receive a multi-dose preparation of influenza vaccine that contains ethyl mercury at a quantity of about 25 micrograms.
HALEY: This level is recommended for 6-month-old babies and mother more than 6 month pregnant.
HOOKER: Thimerosal has always been in vaccines, and was not removed in 2001. There was a gradual phase-out of thimerosal, but it has been shown that thimerosal-containing infant vaccines were on pediatricians’ shelves through 2003. Then in 2004, the flu vaccine (which still contains thimerosal in multi-dose vials) was recommended on a yearly basis for children as young as 6 months old. Thimerosal-containing flu vaccines are also recommended for pregnant women, meaning that thimerosal exposure is now occurring in utero. Thimerosal is also still in the tetanus toxoid vaccine.
OFFIT: But again, I mean, the concern was the infant because the infant has a developing nervous system and therefore that nervous system’s more susceptible to the harmful effects of mercury.
HALEY: Doesn’t Offit know that the two to five year old brain is still developing? Does he not know that most autistic children are under oxidative stress and cannot produce the glutathione to protect them at levels that are protective as found in neuro-typical children?
OFFIT: I mean mercury certainly is a toxin. There’s no doubt about it. But as Paracelsus said, you know, in the 16th century, the dose makes the poison.
HUMPHRIES: The dose sometimes makes the poison but some poisons like snake and bee venom are highly noxious in low dose. Lypopolysaccharide, the protein in gram-negative bacteria is very toxic in miniscule doses. But what is more important when it comes to the toxic effect is the health of the person being injected, their antioxidant stores, their liver function, their bowel health. These things are important in dealing with any toxin. And not only does the dose make the poison, but the point of entry has a big effect. I would much rather eat my mercury in tuna fish than have it injected.
HALEY: Yes, and mercury is known to inhibit several biochemical pathways at 1.0 nanomolar levels, and the vaccines with thimerosal as a preservative were either 125,000 to 250,000 nanomolar. This is more than adequate to cause the infant to have toxic levels of mercury for several biochemical pathways. Mercury on the face of the earth (if not messed with by man) is in the form of mercury sulfide, which is not bioavailable and not that toxic. It is when man or volcanic activity releases mercury from the sulfide that it becomes toxic and a problem.