Current Affairs Feed

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Is Pfizer's Neurontin Effective at All?

Snow-White-Mirror Editor's Note: Just when you think the drug companies can't look any worse, along comes a new analysis showing Pfizer played fast and loose with studies to make Neurontin look like it worked way better than it did. Pfizer just paid $2.3 billion, including an unprecedented $1.2 billion criminal fine, for overhyping other blockbuster drugs. Maybe Pfizer should be spending some research money on how to treat self-inflicted black eyes (it will probably turn out that a piece of raw steak is still the best treatment, but they'll fix the results to show some new wonder drug works twice as fast, unless it makes you blind).-- Dan Olmsted

Read the story from MSNBC HERE.

Age of Autism Comment of the Week: 11/14

AOAF"Hands-Offit" is our commenter of the week. Please email me at with your T-shirt size (M-XL) and mailing address. Congrats! Here's the comment from  Dan Olmsted's post on Michael Specter: "Are Michael Spector, Amy Wallace, and Amanda Peete happy they met Paul Offit?"

Continue reading "Age of Autism Comment of the Week: 11/14" »

IACC Releases Request for Information Results: Respondents Demand Answers.

Empty boardroom' By Teresa Conrick

The IACC Request for Information (RFI) results were sent out today at 2:30 Chicago time.  (See sample comments below the jump.) 

"In 2009, the IACC issued a Request for Information (RFI) to solicit public comment on the 2009 IACC Strategic Plan for Autism Spectrum Disorder Research.  Almost three hundred responses were received.  These public comments are now available for viewing on the IACC website. The RFI home page, which provides background information on the RFI, can be found at: The responses to the RFI can be viewed at:"
The IACC appreciates the effort made by members of the public to share their thoughts on the 2009 IACC Strategic Plan through the RFI.  The Committee has reviewed the responses and has used them to inform the 2010 update of the Strategic Plan, which is currently underway. Thank you to all who contributed!

It is always interesting that Friday is chosen for a day to distribute any kind of information that might be important so I spent some time looking through the responses to see if that was true -- that a late Friday afternoon mass email from the IACC committee held some nuggets of importance that they hoped would not be seen -- and sure enough they were in there.

Over 500 comments were sent to the IACC committee expressing anger, hope, confusion, and a piercing message - drop the sole genetic research and pick up the environmental/gene research - especially concerning vaccines!  Over and over again, with eloquent and pertinent facts, these respondents, many who are definitely parents to children with an autism diagnosis, posted the need for researching the reason for their child's regression, their child's abnormal labs and their child's medical issues, that's right MEDICAL issues, not DSM, psychiatric issues.

Continue reading "IACC Releases Request for Information Results: Respondents Demand Answers. " »

Making Healthy Babies, Raising Healthy Children: Living Well in a Toxic World Symposium

Newborn1 Saturday, November 21, 2009 from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM (PT) Berkeley, CA: Click Making Healthy Babies Symposium for more details.  Dr. Andrew Wakefield is presenting.

The 2009 CIA World Factbook ranks the USA 45th among nations for infant mortality— the worst among all industrialized countries.  The autism rate in our country is now 1 in 100. How can we understand and take appropriate steps to ensure healthy mothers, births and children?

Take a unique look at the entire system that affects our future generations. 

This symposium brings together scientists, doctors, researchers and professionals for a compelling conversation about environmental influences around birth and childhood. It features plenary speakers, panels, audience questions, and film clips.

Revolutionary new software will also be introduced to help parents assess and monitor their own environment before, during and after a child is born.

One: Preparing for Childbirth

Sharyle Patton, Director, Commonweal Health and Environment Program, presents several new biomonitoring studies documenting the ubiquity and complexity of chemical and environmental exposures that people experience every day, and how those exposures could influence pregnancy and the health of our children. Exciting new software will be introduced which gives parents-to-be the opportunity to evaluate environmental exposures, and the effect they may have, so lifestyle changes can be made to ensure healthier outcomes for families and children. This session concludes with an expert panel including Ms. Patton;  Dr. Joanne Perron OB/GYN who will correlate the environmental science with her own personal experience; and Julie Matthews, Certified Nutrition Consultant, who will describe the best diet for pre-pregnant women

Session Two: The Birth Experience

Continue reading "Making Healthy Babies, Raising Healthy Children: Living Well in a Toxic World Symposium" »

Autism Coverage and The Military

Military ribbons Read the full article, Military Families Battle Autism by Tisha Thompson MyFoxDC.

..Major Andy Hilmes says his son Drew was diagnosed with autism six months before his second deployment in Iraq. To help Drew learn basic skills like speaking and interacting with other children, Major Hilmes put Drew in a special clinic near Ft. Hood, Texas that offers intensive treatment called Applied Behavioral Analysis, better known as ABA therapy. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends autistic kids get at least 25 hours a week of ABA therapy.

“Without those services, they’re not likely to develop the skills to reach their potential,” says Wilczynski.

But Drew’s mother, Nikki Hilmes, says that’s hard for military families because the military caps how much therapy it covers.

"The military now, with the funding that we get, we are able to provide between 10 and 14 hours," she says.

Military families get their medical benefits through a government-run program called TRICARE. TRICARE refused FOX 5’s request for an on-camera interview, but says its coverage is competitive with other commercial insurance providers.

Karen Driscoll says TRICARE isn’t telling the truth. She says she and her husband paid for their son’s treatment by emptying out their savings, mortgaging their house and finally borrowing money from their parents...

What If You Threw a Pandemic And No One Showed Up?

Office_party Dr. Nancy "They've hijacked the message" Snyderman had better start working overtime. (Mind you, we're not being glib regarding the citizens who have become gravely ill or passed away following complications from H1N1 virus.) From the New York Times:

Perhaps it was fear of crowds that kept the crowds away on Sunday from the clinics offering free swine flu vaccinations to schoolchildren. Or, maybe, as some of the few who did show up suggested, the small numbers could be attributed to wariness about the new vaccine or a lack of knowledge about the clinics.

Whatever the reason, the seven clinics across the city were, depending on how you looked at it, puzzlingly underused or puzzlingly overprepared.

While the city’s health commissioner, Dr. Thomas A. Farley, said the clinics had the staff and enough vaccine to accommodate about 500 middle- and high-school students per clinic per hour — or as many as 31,500 vaccinations a day — a department spokeswoman put the total vaccinations administered on Saturday at 1,701...


IACC Full Committee Meeting Webcast Tuesday 11/10

Listen IACC Full Committee Meeting
Date: Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET
Agenda: To discuss recommendations for the annual update of the IACC Strategic Plan for Autism Spectrum Disorder Research.
Place: The National Institutes of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard
Neuroscience Center
Conference Room A1/A2
Rockville, MD 20852
Webcast Live:
Conference Call: USA/Canada Phone Number: 888-577-8995
Access code: 1991506 

Continue reading "IACC Full Committee Meeting Webcast Tuesday 11/10" »

Are We Becoming a Majority?

Diversity-Hands1-400x266 By Kent Heckenlively, Esq.

The pharmaceutical companies control the legal system (Vaccine Court), the media (try watching any news program without getting bombarded by prescription drug ads), and the politicians ($29 million to Congress in 2008 and $176 million since 1990).

But are they losing the people?

Last Saturday morning my attention was drawn to a small article on the bottom right side of page 11 of my local newspaper.  I'd later realize that the headline was even further downplaying the significance of the story.  The headline read "Many Californians won't get H1N1 vaccination, poll shows."

I'd read similar articles in the past so I thought I'd be getting more of the same.  I was wrong.  A threshold has been crossed in my home state.  In my opinion it should have been on the front page.

The article was taken from the Los Angeles Times (November 6, 2009) and had this as its lead paragraph.  "As concern spreads about H1N1, a new survey of California voters found that while most consider the vaccine safe, a majority had no plans to get vaccinated."

STOP!!!!  Did I just read that correctly?  "A MAJORITY HAD NO PLANS TO GET VACCINATED"????  Isn't this the pandemic that President Obama declared a "national emergency" a few weeks ago?

I couldn't help but continue reading. 

Continue reading "Are We Becoming a Majority?" »

Age of Autism Contest: Free Nutritional Consult with Autism Help From Home

Autism help at home We're pleased to provide a contest for a one hour phone consultation with Kathleen Reily of Autism Help at Home, a Certified Holistic Health Counselor and Nutrition Consultant with a degree in Natural Health Sciences.  Leave a comment to enter. You can choose your consult time.  Here's what she does for her clients:
I have over 20 years experience working with children and parents in the capacity of teacher, specialized caregiver and special diets cook. I also am a Board Certified and Accredited Member of The American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP), with affiliations to The State University Of New York (SUNY). Further, I am a trained professional and personal chef having cooked in restaurants and homes worldwide. 

I use a holistic and biomedical approach with children (and adults) based on the most effective healing modalities known today. I will provide for you an innovative and effective system that will radically improve your child's symptoms and well-being. In my years of experience working with children facing similar challenges, I have developed an effective, individualized protocol to immediately address even the most severe issues. As we work toward healing your child, I also will guide you in a holistic health and nutrition program for your own h
ealing. Parents (rightly) focus on the urgency of addressing their child's needs but often forget themselves in the process. In order to optimally heal, a child needs physically and emotionally healthy parents. You as a parent need to be fully available to your child and I can help you to achieve that.

Continue reading "Age of Autism Contest: Free Nutritional Consult with Autism Help From Home" »

Age of Autism Commenter of the Week Hopes Our Kids Die of Viral Diseases

AOAF"Dr. Pissed" is our commenter of the week, on the Desiree Jennings Viral Video post and the winner of our Dr. Demento award. The award is not a T-shirt, but perhaps we could get our logo onto a product from Massengill for him? Sounds like someone is a little too attached to his prescription pad.

He said: "Jesus, you people are insane. I am a neurologist, sub-specializing in movement disorders such as dystonia. I can tell you with absolute certainty that this woman's symptoms are nothing like a true neurological disorder, and are exactly lie those of hundreds of neurotic (crazy) patients I see every year. Furthermore you idiots, she is now magically "cured" (it's a real pain in the ass to fake those ridiculous bizarre symptoms for too long) which simply does not happen in true cases of dystonia. Finally, the gross prostituion of her case to the press and to "causes" like yours will only serve to fuel myriads of whackjobs with newfound psychogenic symptoms, crowding out genuinely sick patients from our already overtaxed healthcare system. I hope you and all of your progeny die from otherwise easily preventable viral diseases. 

Didn't win but still want a T-shirt? Taking a page from public television, we'll happily send you one as our thank you for making a donation to A of A via our PayPal donate button.  You choose the donation amount. OK? Please tell us on the PayPal form if you want an adult M, L, XL or 2XL and include your mailing  address in the comments box at PayPal. Click below to  to see the back of the shirt.

Continue reading "Age of Autism Commenter of the Week Hopes Our Kids Die of Viral Diseases" »

Boston Globe Sends The Horse Boy Film to the Glue Factory

Horse boy movie No one wants to say that a movie about two parents’ wish to alleviate their son’s autism is a bad idea. But when that wish produces an arduous trek across Mongolia in search of a shaman and when the movie about that trek is called “The Horse Boy,’’ my eyebrows go up. And up they stayed for most of this well-meaning but trying documentary. Parents of autistic children might recognize more than a bit of themselves in Rupert Isaacson and his wife, Kristin Neff, and their struggle to find some tranquillity for their 6-year-old, Rowan. Traditional medical treatments haven’t done much to reduce the intensity of Rowan’s tantrums. But Isaacson takes a detour from what most parents might try... Read more at

The Seattle Times was a bit kinder to the movie:  ...Resolutely unvarnished ("I didn't expect an urban slum," Isaacson remarks on arriving in the capital city, Ulan Bator) and astonishingly intimate, "The Horse Boy" chronicles a couple in emotional and physical extremity.

Though experts are on hand — including Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen, a Cambridge University psychologist — to tell us how little they know about autism, the film is not a primer on this heartbreaking condition. Instead it recounts a deeply personal, highly subjective and inarguably thought-provoking story of one family's quest for a certain kind of peace.

NFL Cheerleader Disabled by 2009 Flu Shot On Road to Recovery

Desiree Ashburn, Virginia - November 5, 2009: After having her life turned upside down by a routine influenza shot, and discharged by three major hospitals after four visits - despite worsening symptoms - Desiree Jennings is finally making great strides in her recovery. The vibrant, 25-year-old Washington Redskins Cheerleader Ambassador has a website to tell her story and keep well-wishers from around the world informed of her progress as well as to promote "true informed consent."
Jennings was training for a half marathon in August 2009 when she received her seasonal flu shot, something she had done several years before.  This time, however, her reaction was severe and debilitating.  Over the course of several weeks she lost the ability to walk or talk normally, and began to suffer violent seizures and recurrent blackouts.

Continue reading "NFL Cheerleader Disabled by 2009 Flu Shot On Road to Recovery" »

Shelley Hendrix Reynolds on HuffPo: A Decade of Questioning Harm and the Autism Vaccine Connection.

At what price For over a decade, I've relentlessly searched for answers to the connections I believe exist between my son's autism and vaccines he received. Historically, autism has been considered a genetic condition so I am constantly told I just imagined things. Surely his autism was always there...always evident...from birth. Liam must not have been engaged the way that I remember prior to that summer when he received his MMR. He didn't really play peek-a-boo with me. He didn't really talk. He just disappeared at the same time he got his shots but the vaccines didn't do it.

It was coincidence. Coincidence is not the same as causation.

None of those people lived in my home. None of those people knew my child personally when he was a baby. None of those people saw my bright-eyed son disappear into the abyss of autism right before them.

Recently, I dusted off an old videotaped copy of a story that aired on CNN in October 1999 called "A Question of Harm?" - the first nationally televised piece linking a vaccine to autism. I hadn't watched it in a long time. It's painful for a number of reasons. But I took a deep breath and pressed play...

Read more, watch the video and please comment at: HuffPo.

America (Catholic) Magazine on Autism Rates

Jesus_with_kids_1 Managing Editor's Note: America, The National Catholic Weekly, ran a piece about autism recently. Teresa Conrick sent a letter to the editor in response. From the piece, ..."If an alarming increase in autism is indeed occurring in our homes, and not just on statistical spreadsheets, then we need to confront this problem as the major health care crisis that it is. Discovering more about what provokes this puzzling neurological syndrome and how it can be treated effectively should be a major C.D.C. priority. Much of the institutional debate surrounding autism spectrum disorder has revolved around its suspected connection to the increasing vaccine load required of U.S. children. More research needs to be done to confirm or deny this hypothesis about the origins of autism before faith in the entire vaccination enterprise collapses. Clearly genetics plays a primary role, but as the numbers pile up the possible effect of so-called environmental triggers like vaccines cannot be ignored. Read the piece HERE.

By Teresa Conrick

Thank you very much for this on target opinion piece.  As a Catholic, a special education teacher but more importantly, as a parent of a teen with severe autism, I applaud your viewpoint as well as a much needed call for help and acceptance.

My daughter was a healthy and happy baby who began to regress after a series of vaccinations before her 2nd birthday.  Many of those were with thimerosal, the mercury preservative that has been around since the start of autism in the 1930's. After a triple live virus vaccine, the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine, my daughter broke out in a rash, lost all language, began to have chronic gastrointestinal pain, cried all the time, lost eye contact, and was ill with fevers then was subsequently diagnosed with "Idiopathic" (of unknown origin) autism.  Not one medical professional who dealt with her then (pediatrician, neurologist,psychiatrist) told us that these were signs of vaccine injury. 

Continue reading "America (Catholic) Magazine on Autism Rates" »

Citizens Demanding Vaccination Choice Carry Chris Christie to NJ Governorship

Life health choices logo November 3, 2009, Middletown, NJ – In an unprecedented and historic move, Chris Christie put pen to paper last week and made an official campaign promise to citizens of New Jersey in support of vaccination choice. He further cemented his position on live radio with Don Imus, by becoming the first gubernatorial candidate to utter the words vaccines, autism and parental choice in the same sentence. Vaccine choice supporters showed up in record numbers tonight to cast their vote for Christie.
“Tonight, vaccine choice advocates in New Jersey are proud to announce that vaccination choice is officially a voting block,” says Life Health Choices Founder, Louise Kuo Habakus, who met with campaign leaders last December and kept the lines of communication open. “This election is a wake-up call to politicians nationwide. Vaccine choice belongs in the parents’ house, not the Statehouse or the White House.”

After receipt of the official Christie campaign promise on Friday, vaccination choice and autism advocates mobilized in force on the internet. They alerted tens of thousands of supporters, who in turn took to Facebook, Twitter, and their own support group networks to reach hundreds of thousands more. News of Christie’s now famous statement spread like wildfire through the state and across the country:

“I stand by them now, and will stand with them as their governor in their fight for greater parental involvement in vaccination decisions that affect their children… Ending waste in government in order to improve care and services for these unique children and adults, as well as giving parents the choice they deserve in their children’s health care decisions, will be top priorities.”

Continue reading "Citizens Demanding Vaccination Choice Carry Chris Christie to NJ Governorship" »

Generation Rescue Supports Desiree Jennings, Washington Redskin Cheerleader Disabled by Flu Shot

Desiree Los Angeles, CA: The parents of Generation Rescue, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing and reversing autism, wish to express their hope and prayers for the complete recovery of Desiree Jennings from the injuries she suffered after receiving a flu shot.
Desiree’s tragic story has become a national sensation, with multiple news stories and more than 5 million viewings of her heart-wrenching journey on YouTube. We’re grateful that Ms. Jennings has had the courage to share her story with the world, and we’re hopeful that even more Americans will wake up to the reality that vaccines can prevent disease, but also have side effects. For certain more sensitive individuals, and as evidenced through Desiree Jennings’ experience, these side effects can sometimes be devastating.

Continue reading "Generation Rescue Supports Desiree Jennings, Washington Redskin Cheerleader Disabled by Flu Shot" »

Short Notice IACC Conference Call Today: Changes to "When Should I be Concerned?"

White rabbit last minute At the request of members of the IACC, the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) Scientific Workshop Panel 1 will be holding a conference call today from 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET, Tuesday, November 3, 2009 to discuss the updating of Question 1 of the 2009 IACC Strategic Plan for Autism Spectrum Disorder Research.  (Details to call in below the jump.)

Continue reading "Short Notice IACC Conference Call Today: Changes to "When Should I be Concerned?"" »

Teri Arranga on The Boy Who Caught Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Listen On the VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Channel (HERE)

Tuesday, November 3
12noon ET / 9am PT

Autism One: A Conversation of Hope
Host: Teri Arranga

Saving Sammy: Curing the Boy Who Caught OCD with author Beth Alison Maloney

What would you do if your previously normal child suddenly refused to bathe, burst into fits of rage, slithered along walls, and wouldn't walk out the front door? Beth Maloney's son, Sammy, was diagnosed as an adolescent with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and Tourette syndrome. Beth rejected the doctors' prognosis of lifelong mental illness and uncovered the cause: Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcus Infections. Following appropriate medical intervention, Sammy fully recovered. Please visit

Larry King Live Tonight on H1N1 Includes Guest Dr. Jay Gordon

Dr. jay gordon and baby Read the transcript from CNN: HERE   

Nineteen children dead from the H1N1 virus last week alone! As the death toll rises, why some doctors are saying "no" to vaccinations! What you need to know to protect your loved ones -- now!

Dr. Jay Gordon is a featured guest on Larry King Live tonight as they discuss H1N1. HERE to email your questions. Check your local CNN listing for time.

Desiree Jennings Vaccination Injury Video Goes Viral: Over 3,000,000 Views

You may recall the story of the Washington Redskins Cheerleader Desiree Jennings, who was neurologically impaired following a seasonl flu vaccination.Take a look at this video now at Video Viral Chart, which has gone "viral" and had over 3,209,962 views, 148 blog posts, 16,489 comments and 622 tweets.

School Children Receiving H1N1 Vax without Parental Consent

Parental consentA child in Brooklyn, New York was given the H1N1 vaccination without her mother's written consent. There is such a  thing as a a vaccine exemption (HERE). Even if you're completely in favor of H1N1 vaccination, it seems these school based clinics have much room for error, and children could be put in danger.

A swine flu vaccine mix-up has sparked outrage and concern.

Two children were given the vaccine without their parent's consent. One mother said her daughter ended up in the emergency room after getting sick.

It's a major mistake that could've cost one little girl her life.

It will be a long weekend for 6-year-old Nikiyah Torres as a result of an H1N1 vaccination she received Thursday morning at PS 335 in Brooklyn.

"He just gave me the needle, without asking me what is my name," Nikiyah told CBS 2 HD.

Without her mother's consent... Click (HERE) to read the full story from Jay Dow NEW YORK (CBS).

Autism Awareness Week at Brandeis

Brandeis By Jake Crosby

Autism Awareness Week will be held from November 9th to November 11th at Brandeis University,in Waltham Massachusetts. Numerous events will be held to raise awareness and funds for autism advocacy and research.  Several exciting events will be taking place, including a screening of the Sundance ’09 hit: “Horseboy” based on the best-selling book of the same title by Rupert Isaacson. The event will include a Q&A with the author. There will also be screening for the critically acclaimed HBO documentary “Autism: The Musical”. Proceeds from the screenings will go to the Horseboy Foundation and Autism Speaks respectively.
AAW will include panel discussions on causes and treatments of autism, which will include Age of Autism’s own Mark Blaxill as a guest speaker, as well as the social impact of autism and it’s rise over the last 20 years. There will also be a personal experiences panel, giving the audience a look at what life with Autism is like.
I’d welcome any feedback on how to make Autism Awareness Week at Brandeis the most productive it can be, and would especially appreciate attendance by as many people who will be able to conveniently make it to campus during those days as possible. In the meantime, new updates will be made about the latest installments for the planning of Autism Awareness Week here at Brandeis on Age of Autism on a weekly basis. I look forward to an exciting and enriching experience during Autism Awareness Week at Brandeis! 

Jake Crosby is a history student at Brandeis University, a project manager for Autism Awareness Week at Brandeis, and a contributing editor to Age of Autism.

Age of Autism Comment of the Week 10/31

AOAF"The combined personalities of Doctors Snyd-Off-Ins" is our commenter of the week. Please email me at with your T-shirt size (M-XL) and mailing address. Congrats! Here's the comment from  Dan Olmsted's Clueless in DC postWhy is it that all you educated people won't shut up? You keep citing logic and reason when we tell you what to think, yet you won't stop Tweeting or updating your FB page! Don't you realize you're reaching out to people on a personal level and they no longer relate to me as their trusted doctor? UGH! I don't have to read the studies myself. I know what I'm talking about because my boss told me it's what I'm supposed to say. And NO! I won't let you talk to me. Or ride in an elevator with me. And I won't see you as a patient, either.

Didn't win but still want a T-shirt? Taking a page from public television, we'll happily send you one as our thank you for making a donation to A of A via our PayPal donate button.  You choose the donation amount. OK? Please tell us on the PayPal form if you want an adult M, L, XL or 2XL and include your mailing  address in the comments box at PayPal. Click below to  to see the back of the shirt.

Continue reading "Age of Autism Comment of the Week 10/31" »

No Coke! Pharma!

Fat kid Managing Editor's Note: I actually agree with the doctors' protest. Coke isn't quite healthfood , although I have no problem with older children and adults drinking it in moderation. You might recall last year the AAP expressed  outrage at the sugar content in organic baby formula. Anyone else hear fiddling while Rome burns?

Nearly 20 doctors have resigned from the American Academy of Family Physicians after it accepted a grant from Coca-Cola to pay for education about the dietary role of beverages and sweeteners.  "...I am appalled and ashamed of the partnership between Coca-Cola and the American Academy of Family Physicians. How can any organization that claims to promote public health join forces with a company that promotes products that sicken our children?  “...We need as much help as possible to get our communities to see past the false claims of companies like Coca-Cola."  Click HERE to read more. 

Meanwhile, AAFP has a grant from Merck to train "Vaccine Experts:" 

Herbert Young, M.D., director of the Academy's Scientific Activities Division, said the AAFP needs more family physicians to be "significantly involved" with immunizations, science and policy.

"We need a pipeline of family physicians with special knowledge about immunizations for a variety of reasons, including research, policy creation and education," Young said.

The AAFP will select two fellows each year for one-year commitments. The program, which is slated to last three to five years, is funded by a grant from Merck & Co. Inc., but the vaccine manufacturer will have no input or control over the selection of fellows or content of the fellowship program. Read that one HERE.

Smashing Pumpkins and Propaganda: Billy Corgan Speaks Out

Smashing_Pumpkins_The_Zeitgeist Amanda Peet, Meet Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins.

Just days after Blink-182's Mark Hoppus penned his own medical missive, Billy Corgan has released a scathing 800-word communiqué about the H1N1 -- aka swine flu -- vaccine. In his blog-itorial, the Smashing Pumpkins' mastermind spoke out against both the virus and the "propaganda machine" that accompanies it.

"I do not trust those who make the vaccines, or the apparatus behind it all to push it on us thru fear," Corgan explained in his critique, which can be read in its entirety here. According to him, the virus is not yet an emergency and he believes it's ridiculous that "our American President Obama" has declared it so....

CDC Press Conference on H1N1 Vaccine and Antiviral Update

Cdclogo 2009 H1N1 Flu Vaccine Distribution and Antiviral Update

WHAT: CDC will host a press conference to provide an update on 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine distribution and antivirals.

WHO: Anne Schuchat, M.D., Director, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases

WHEN: Thursday October 29, 2009 at 2 p.m. ET (Webcast info below)

Continue reading "CDC Press Conference on H1N1 Vaccine and Antiviral Update" »

CBS News Sharyl Attkisson: Freedom of Info Stalled at CDC

FOIA CBS News Sharyl Attkisson
Freedom of Information Stalled at CDC and DC Government

In August 2009, CBS News made a simple request of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for public documents, e-mails and other materials CDC used to communicate to states the decision to stop testing individual cases of Novel H1N1, or “swine flu.” When the public affairs folks at CDC refused to produce the documents and quit responding to my queries altogether, I filed a formal Freedom of Information (FOI) request for the materials. Members of the news media are entitled to expedited access, which I requested, since this was for a pending news report and on an issue of public health and interest.

Two months after my FOI request, the CDC has yet to produce any of these easily retrievable materials. Sadly, this is of little surprise. This has become standard operating procedure in Washington… read the full story HERE.

Age of Autism Contest: A Dozen Allergy Friendly Muffins from Sean's Food!

Sean's FoodManaging Editor's Note: I had to add Katie Wright's comment on this post: You name it I have tried it. I have followed the recipes, read the books, etc but NOTHING I have done has ever come close to Jennifer Becker's SCD or GFCF food! Jennifer is an incredibly talented chef who comes from a family of chefs. She is like a walking encylopedia of autism and dietary interventions. Jennifer lives this everyday with her son Sean who has made significant progress since Jennifer basically taught herself how to care for his damaged GI system by feeding him the right foods. Of course Jennifer knows our kids need good quality therapy as well but she makes the food part easy. I have no financial interest in Jennifer's company but when something works for my son I want to tell everyone.

I met Jennifer Becker of Sean's Food at the NAA NY conference earlier this month. When I tasted her yummy muffins I asked her if we could please run a contest for our readers.  Leave a comment to enter. The winner will receive a dozen fresh baked muffins - you choose the FLAVOR. The muffins contain NO gluten, casein, dairy, soy, egg, refined sugar, rice, corn.

“Sean’s Food” is committed to producing the freshest, most wholesome foods that support the dietary restrictions often associated with autism, aspergers, adhd, celiacs disease, crohns and colitis. Founded by Jennifer Becker, Sean’s Mother. “It all started when I realized how nutrition and diet played a significant role toward healing my son, Sean’s autism. ” We will personally prepare baked goods for those on restricted diets. All products are organic as well as free of gluten, soy and casein. Additionally, many are free of egg, sugar, corn, rice and potato. At “Sean’s Food,” we are dedicated to making things available that would otherwise require hours spent in the kitchen.

Visit Jennifer's Sean's Food website HERE.  Leave a comment to enter. Good luck!

Without Vaccine, Australia Shrugs Off Swine Flu.

Kangaroo By David M. Burd

With no vaccine available for H1N1 flu, Australia recently ended its 2009 "Flu Season" (their Winter in our Summer), with 186 flu-associated fatalities of 36,991 Aussies confirmed having H1N1.
The Australia 2009 stats for regular 'seasonal flu' are not final yet, but their Health Dept literature cites annual flu-associated mortality historically has been between 2,500 and 3,000  in spite of universal  vaccination programs for regular flu long being established.  A logical review of these results strongly suggests next year Australia should initiate a "flu vaccination holiday," promote vitamin D supplements, long known to be effective for preventing Wintertime flu disease, and then compare the outcomes.  
Pertinently, experts have also stated that H1N1 was probably already in Australia for their 2008 flu season, but not tested for (which is the nature of the testing world; a great percentage of "flu" cases being presumptive, never tested).  In light of Australia clearly showing the pussycat nature of H1N1, can somebody explain why America's media willfully ignores the news from Australia?  However, despite the derelict media, I would think U.S. Health Generals would certainly be up on Flu news from Down Under, and certainly from Canada right next door.
Canadian front page news on flu vaccinations has transfixed Canada health authorities, prompting official suspension of regular flu vaccination programs until further notice.  This comes from a sweeping study of Canada by research Doctors Danuta Skowronski of the British Columbia Centre of Disease Control and Gaston De Serres of Laval University in Quebec concluding Canadians receiving flu vaccinations have twice the risk of coming down with the flu, compared to those who do not take the shot.

Continue reading "Without Vaccine, Australia Shrugs Off Swine Flu." »

Winners of the Age of Autism Contest: Glow Gluten Free Cookies!

GLow Our five winners are: Manuela, Ayden's Mommy, Carrie Elsass, Susan, and Teresa Conrick.  I'll send each an email.  Congrats!  The contest is closed. But we have another contest for GFCF muffins this week.

Earlier this month I met the folks at Glow Gluten Free at the NAA NY Autism Asperger's conference and sampled their yummy cookies. They kindly have given us FIVE cookie gift sets to offer to you, our hungry, cookie loving readers. Leave a comment to enter! You'll win a four pack of each flavor. The cookies are really yummy and just in time for Halloween treats! (Please go to the Glow site (above) to make sure the ingredients meet you or your child's dietary needs.)

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AoA Contest: Saving Deets! A Brother's Tale of Autism Acceptance, Recovery and Making a Difference

Saving deets Cathy M. is our winner.  The contest is closed.

By Kim Stagliano

Zack Gonzalez is a 16 year old whose brother Ethan, aka "Deets" has autism. Countless siblings are dealing with the issues of having a brother or sister with autism. Few are able convey the gravity of that experience, their hope for some form of recovery, engage in charitable work and offer advice to families the way Zack has done so well in Saving Deets.

Continue reading "AoA Contest: Saving Deets! A Brother's Tale of Autism Acceptance, Recovery and Making a Difference" »

Age of Autism Comment of the Week 10/24

AOAFElizabeth is our commenter of the week. Please email me at with your T-shirt size (M-XL) and mailing address. Congrats! 

She commented on our IACC reminder post yesterday: I have been listening to this all morning (west coast) while doing my college homework and this is the most boring thing I have ever heard. It is like people having a meeting about a meeting about a meeting...ugh.  This isn't about autism, it's about the lack of continuity between ABA studies, the "panel", the "committee", the "issues", the "concerns", the "refinements", the "changes", the "clarifications", the "sub-committee meetings"...GOOD LORD GET TO THE POINT!!

Didn't win but still want a T-shirt? Taking a page from public television, we'll happily send you one as our thank you for making a donation to A of A via our PayPal donate button.  You choose the donation amount. OK? Please tell us on the PayPal form if you want an adult M, L, XL or 2XL and include your mailing  address in the comments box at PayPal. Click below to  to see the back of the shirt.

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Junk Food for Autism?

Trix By Kim Stagliano

Autism Speaks has teamed up with Bachman, makers of the puzzle shaped pretzels and the neon orange snack called Jax, HERE to raise money for themselves. Artificial colors, flavors and MSG to raise money for autism? Fabulous. Careful not to get that orange stuff on your PECS!

Hey, does the Trix rabbit have autism? He sure does perseverate on that cereal. Never talks about anything else. Maybe they can team up with him next?

Jax Ingredients: Enriched Corn Meal [Contains Iron as Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)], Vegetable Oil (Contains One or More of the Following: Corn, Canola, or Sunflower Oil), Whey, Cheddar Cheese (Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Salt, Maltodextrin, Buttermilk, Nonfat Milk, and Less Than 2% of the Following: Disodium Phosphate, Blue Cheese (Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Color (Annatto Extract, Yellow No. 6, Turmeric Extract, Red No. 40, Caramel), Sodium Caseinate, Lactic Acid, Monosodium Glutamate, Citric Acid, Silicon Dioxide (Anti-Caking Agent), BHA (To Protect Flavor), Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Sodium Citrate, Soy Lecithin, Natural and Artificial Flavors, and Spices CONTAINS MILK AND SOY INGREDIENTS

Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism.

Governor Paterson of NY Reverses H1N1 Vaccine Mandate

New york Rick Karlin reported last night in the CapitolTimes blog HERE that the Governor of NY has issued a press release reversing the Empire State's H1N1 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers in an effort to preserve limited supplies for at-risk populations.

Governor David A. Paterson today announced that State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., has suspended the mandatory influenza immunization requirement for New York health care workers so that the limited vaccine supplies can be used for populations most at risk of serious illness and death – especially pregnant women and children and young people between the ages of 6 months and 24 years.

“Over the last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledged that New York would only receive approximately 23 percent of its anticipated vaccine supply by the end of the month,” Governor Paterson said. “As a result, we need to be as resourceful as we can with the limited supplies of vaccine currently coming into the State and make sure that those who are at the highest risk for complications from the H1N1 flu receive the first vaccine being distributed right now in New York State...”

Age of Autism Contest: Episodes an Autism Memoir by Blaze Ginsberg

Episodes We posted Chantal's review of Blaze in August. Now we have a copy to give to one lucky reader.  Leave a comment to enter the contest.
By Chantal Sicile-Kira

Episodes: My Life as I See It
I love this book.  Disclaimer: I have known  Blaze Ginsberg for many years. In fact, he used to ride the special education school bus with my son, Jeremy. Blaze has always had a special place in my heart because of his  unique personality, and because of my friendship with his mom, best-selling author Debra Ginsberg, (she chronicled  Blaze’s early years in Raising Blaze). Debra and I used to meet once a week for coffee and discuss our trials and tribulations about our mutual ongoing struggles with the  school district.  Now we get together and discuss our trials and tribulations about our mutual ongoing struggles with life as a parent of a young adult on the spectrum.

Continue reading "Age of Autism Contest: Episodes an Autism Memoir by Blaze Ginsberg" »

IACC Meeting Webcast to Include ABA Presentation

Aba therapy(Managing Editor's Note: Why do the "experts on autism" require a tutorial on a basic therapy for autism that 99% of parents learn about in early intervention? And did we miss the presentations by Dr. Tim Buie of MGH on GI issues? Or Dr. Boyd Haley on Toxicology?)

IACC Full Committee Meeting
Date: Friday, October 23, 2009

Time: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET

Agenda: Includes a presentation by a panel of parents of children with autism, a presentation on Applied Behavioral Analysis by Dr. Tony Charman, and discussion of recommendations for updating the IACC Strategic Plan for Autism Spectrum Disorders Research.

Place: The National Institutes of Health, Main Campus
The William H. Natcher Conference Center
45 Center Drive
Conference Rooms E1/E2
Bethesda, MD 20892
Webcast Live:

Conference Call: USA/Canada Phone Number: 888-455-2920
International Phone Number: 212-287-1838
Access code: 3132846

Continue reading "IACC Meeting Webcast to Include ABA Presentation" »

CBS Determines That CDC Can Not Provide Accurate H1N1 Stats

Counting t shirt By Kim Stagliano

CBS News asks CDC for hard stats on H1N1 numbers: "Your office has stopped communicating with us...."   Is anyone at CDC counting actual H1N1 case numbers to back up the statements that we have a medical epidemic?  Read the full article at CBS News HERE.

...If you've been diagnosed "probable" or "presumed" 2009 H1N1 or "swine flu" in recent months, you may be surprised to know this: odds are you didn’t have H1N1 flu.

In fact, you probably didn’t have flu at all. That's according to state-by-state test results obtained in a three-month-long CBS News investigation.

Continue reading "CBS Determines That CDC Can Not Provide Accurate H1N1 Stats" »

NIH Director Francis Collins Blames Resignation of Top Health Official from Autism Panel on “Tension and Lack of Trust

BlameGame_cover_2x3 Managing Editor's Note: David has added significant info at the end of this post.

By David Kirby

On Saturday, Story Landis, PhD, director of the National Institute of Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Stroke, an agency of the National Institutes of Health, abruptly resigned from the federal government’s premiere autism research panel – the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) – citing embarrassing notes she had left behind at a recent meeting.
But now, the Director of the NIH, Francis Collins, has come forth to blame “tension and a lack of trust,” (presumably among autism parents) for forcing Dr. Landis’s resignation.

Dr. Landis resigned from the powerful panel on Saturday after the Age of Autism blog published handwritten notes – assumed to be written by Dr. Landis – speculating on the motives of an autism mother and IACC member, Lyn Redwood – who wanted research into autism as a multisystem biological disorder, as opposed to a purely mental health disorder.

For more details on Dr. Landis’s resignation from the IACC, please see HERE.

Meanwhile, Dr, Francis Collins, head of the NIH, has spoken out on the resignation of Dr. Landis from the IACC, in a video clip posted by the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative: HERE.

Dr. Collins called autism a “disease” (as opposed to a disorder) that “ravages” children with autism, and that parents have “understandably” been left frustrated and impatient. He also rightly stated that we need to “poke around in every possible way” and not assume that there is just “one path” to solving the riddle that is autism.

But, some parents also wonder, was the NIH Director admonishing them for making Dr. Landis feel it was “necessary” for her to resign from the IACC? Was Collins also demanding that parents “step back?”

Continue reading "NIH Director Francis Collins Blames Resignation of Top Health Official from Autism Panel on “Tension and Lack of Trust" »

Autism Chair Thomas Insel Refuses to Ride in an Elevator With an Autistic Child

Thank you to Ginger Taylor of Adventures in Autism  for sharing this post.
"I'm not riding up with them" - Dr. Thomas Insel

On April 17, 2007, Holly Bortfeld attended an autism hearing in the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee run by Senator Tom Harkin. At that hearing Dr. Thomas Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, now current head of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, was there to testify.

Beforehand, Ms. Bortfeld, was waiting with her 11 year old son Max, who has autism, at an elevator on the way up to the hearing. When the doors opened they got on.  After they did, Thomas Insel and a female companion approached and entered the elevator just before the doors closed. Ms. Bortfeld reports that once they were on the elevator together...

"...Max stimmed. Insel looked at him, looked at me (yes, he had his little name tag on, so he knew that I knew he was) then he hit the open door button and ushered his coworker off. As the doors were closing, he said "I'm not riding up with them", looking at my son."

The head of the National Institutes of Mental Health refused to ride an elevator with a child with mental health issues.

...again for clarity and perspective on this episode...

The chair of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee will not share an elevator with a child with autism, on the way into an autism hearing.

This odious behavior is not one of a healer committed to the well being of the disadvantaged or disabled, it is the behavior of a bigot.

It is just one more example of the pattern of astonishing contempt that Insel shows towards the autism community, as he routinely leaves IACC meetings early, dismisses the input of the autism community, and chairs an autism committee with some completely inappropriate appointments, like...

Continue reading "Autism Chair Thomas Insel Refuses to Ride in an Elevator With an Autistic Child" »

Vaccine Injury Isn't Just for Babies: The Desiree Jennings Flu Shot Story

Des1 Managing Editor's Note: As part of their vaccine safety and injury outreach initiative, Generation Rescue brings us the story of Desiree Jennings. Click (HERE) to learn how you can get involved. A Dr. Vincour, from the U. of Maryland has called Ms. Jennings's symptoms, "psychogenic," which means originating in the mind, not in true physiological illness. In fact, they are going to use her case to teach students about crazy women who think a vaccine could injure them. Psychogenic is akin to the word, "hysteria" which comes from the Greek word, "hyster" for uterus. Hysteria is a female disease. Psychogenic too, in this case, according to the "experts."

My name is Desiree Jennings and I am twenty-five years old. I work full-time as a Marketing Communications Manager for a major Internet company. I am currently working to finish my bachelor's degree in Finance and Economics this fall and hope to continue on to a Masters in Economics in 2010.

In my spare time, I enjoy running and training for races from 5Ks to marathons. I also lead a local run club, training beginning runners for 5K and 10K races. I am training for the National Marathon in DC in March and recently became a member of the Washington Redskins Cheerleader Ambassador team. That was the life that I used to know.

On August 23, 2009, I received a seasonal flu vaccine at a local grocery store that drastically, and potentially irreversibly, altered my future. In a matter of a few short weeks I lost the ability to walk, talk normally, and focus on more than one stimuli at a time. Whenever I eat I know, without fail, that my body will soon go into uncontrollable convulsions coupled with periods of blacking out. 

Continue reading "Vaccine Injury Isn't Just for Babies: The Desiree Jennings Flu Shot Story" »

Dear Jon: An Open Letter to America’s Favorite Hypochondriac.

Jon Stewart hypochondriacBy Adriana Gamondes

Dear Jon,

You don’t know me, but we may be breaking up. I don’t actually have time to watch your show, so you won’t be losing a viewer—maybe just an occasional Youtube-clip-watcher, but an avid one. Like so many, I’d once held you up as a sort of icon of independent media in a sea of embedded shills— even if you were once led into “by puppets making prank phone calls” as you put it (oh such good times we had—sigh).

But recent events have left me wondering—are you…could you be… somebody’s monkey after all? And do you dance? Or are you really truly squarely scout’s honor a wincing, cringing, emotionally crippled hypochondriac? Please let it be the latter, Jon, for then there is hope. 

After seeing your recent interview with Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano (HERE) which came off like a giggling plug for Sanofi Pasteur, my heart sank. I’m an autism parent and laughter is like a tourniquet to someone who just lost an arm in a wood chipper. In my case, both arms: my once healthy boy-girl twins began disappearing after flu shots at one year of age. It’s laugh or die for parents like me, but I’m no longer sure if you’re the kind of man I can click on in times of need. 

I’ve had to think it through. On the one hand, if I myself were a clever pundit making umpty millions on cable and my parent network, which happened to have pharm-friendly ties, was hinting that I should make nice about flu shots in the midst of a marketing frenzy (and my extraordinary survival barometer was telling me that if I made the wrong noises in this instance, even if I didn’t jump on a couch or subscribe to an alternative church and was careful to never repeat my “mochachino” quip in earshot of a women’s basketball team*,  something else I did or said could easily be turned into an excuse to make things far worse for me than all the other times I’d “bucked the pressure” combined),  I might take a vague dislike of having people spray snot in my face and whip it into a full blown case of hypochondria in my own mind if it made me feel better about “assuming the position”. On the other hand, I might be Monk.

Continue reading "Dear Jon: An Open Letter to America’s Favorite Hypochondriac. " »

Doug Flutie Speaks out on Autism and Insurance Coverage

Flutie Doug Flutie speaks out on the travesty that is autism insurance coverage. Read the full editorial at HERE. Thank you, Doug.

...Parents will learn that, with early intervention, children with autism can make significant strides - a fact backed up by extensive studies. They’ll find that their pediatricians and neurologists will prescribe intense one-on-one speech, occupational, physical, and behavioral therapies. And then they’ll be dismayed to discover that, though they’ve always paid their health care premiums, their health plans will not cover these services.

Why don’t health plans cover treatments for the fastest-growing health threat to children? There is a contradiction between the role of schools versus that of medicine and health plans. Federal law stipulates that schools provide services necessary to allow all children to “access the curriculum.’’ While critical to helping children with autism excel in the classroom, this in no way replaces their need for therapy to improve long-term brain functioning - not only to get through an average day, but to lay the foundation for the rest of their lives...

FTC Issues Warning Letter To Dr. Weil for H1N1 Products

Cut it out Tsk, tsk, how dare Dr. Weil promote natural treatments for H1N1 instead of vaccination? He's been issued a warning letter by the FTC.

HERE to see the warning letter.

Weil Lifestyle LLC 10/15/09



FROM: The Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission

RE: Unapproved/Uncleared/Unauthorized Products Related to the H1N1 Flu Virus; and

Notice of Potential Illegal Marketing of Products to Prevent, Treat or Cure the H1N1 Virus

DATE: October 15, 2009


This is to advise you that the United States Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") and the United States Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") reviewed your website at the Internet address on October 13, 2009. The FDA has determined that your website offers a product for sale that is intended to diagnose, mitigate, prevent, treat or cure the H1N1 Flu Virus in people. This product has not been approved, cleared, or otherwise authorized by FDA for use in the diagnosis, mitigation, prevention, treatment, or cure of the H1N1 Flu Virus.

Continue reading "FTC Issues Warning Letter To Dr. Weil for H1N1 Products" »

Age of Autism Comment of the Week

AOAF Laura Kay Berry is our commenter of the week. Please email me at with your T-shirt size (M-XL) and mailing address. Congrats! She commented on our Saving Deets book contest. Just last week my 11 year old daughter had a classmate at school making fun of an autistic high school kid who had visited her house. She called him retarded and made fun of everything he did and everything he said. My daughter didn't even know how to respond. Her 9 year old brother scripts constantly, can speak only in short rehearsed sentences and still wears a diaper; but is cute, funny and intelligent and she adores him and accepts him completely. As parents we often think we are shouldering the burdern alone, but autism affects every member of the family. Kudos to Zack for sharing his story so that other siblings will know they are not alone!

Didn't win but still want a T-shirt? Taking a page from public television, we'll happily send you one as our thank you for making a donation to A of A via our PayPal donate button.  You choose the donation amount. OK? Please tell us on the PayPal form if you want an adult M, L, XL or 2XL and include your mailing  address in the comments box at PayPal. Click below to  to see the back of the shirt.

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The Atlantic on Flu Vaccination

Atlantic Managing Editor's Note: Shannon Brownlee was just on MSNBC talking about the need for vax/unvax studies, to which the interviewer asked, "Why aren't these studies done?" Why indeed.

Whether this season’s swine flu turns out to be deadly or mild, most experts agree that it’s only a matter of time before we’re hit by a truly devastating flu pandemic—one that might kill more people worldwide than have died of the plague and aids combined. In the U.S., the main lines of defense are pharmaceutical—vaccines and antiviral drugs to limit the spread of flu and prevent people from dying from it. Yet now some flu experts are challenging the medical orthodoxy and arguing that for those most in need of protection, flu shots and antiviral drugs may provide little to none. So where does that leave us if a bad pandemic strikes?

By Shannon Brownlee and Jeanne Lenzer (Shannon Brownlee is a senior research fellow at the New America Foundation and the author of Overtreated (2007). Jeanne Lenzer is an investigative journalist and a frequent contributor to the British medical journal BMJ.)

Does the Vaccine Matter?

Read the full article in The Atlantic
HERE.  You can buy Ms. Brownlee's book, Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer HERE.

But There's Mercury in the H1N1 Vaccine! Curiouser and Curiouser.

Madhatter Tom Insel Thank you to the very talented AoA contributor Adriana Gamondes for this photo and the link to the National Institutes of Health's "Mad as a Hatter" campaign HERE.

As you may already know, the majority of the new H1N1 injectible vaccines contain mercury.  In fact, the recommendation to remove mercury from childhood vaccines has been put on hiatus for the H1N1 pandemic vaccination campaign. Is there no "satisfactory alternative" to the mercury laden vaccine? (See below.) Perhaps someone from the NIH mercury free campaign can enlighten us. Dr. Insel? From the NIH site:
The Mad as a Hatter Campaign is a voluntary pollution prevention initiative intended to improve awareness of mercury hazards and eliminate unnecessary uses of mercury at all NIH facilities.

This effort builds on the successful mercury reduction campaign in the mid - 1990's conducted by the Warren G. Magnuson Clinical Center (CC) at the NIH. John E. Porter past chairman of the House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations, noted that the CC Campaign was an example of the leadership that NIH was taking in reducing the use of environmentally damaging chemicals and that such efforts should pervade the entire research community.

Paris Glendening, past governor of Maryland cited the campaign as setting "a high standard for environmental outreach and education."

We invite all members of that community, within and outside NIH, to join us in this effort.

What do we mean by "mercury-free"?

There are some uses of mercury in biomedical research, medicine and facility infrastructure for which there are presently no satisfactory alternatives. The intent of this campaign is to eliminate all unnecessary uses of mercury and reduce human exposure to potential releases of mercury to the environment from unavoidable uses to the lowest level that can be reasonably be achieved.

Mercury is a dangerous, often unrecognized hazard, commonly found at work, home and schools. The Campaign for a Mercury Free NIH seeks to eliminate all unnecessary uses of mercury in the NIH facilities; encourage use of safer alternatives in biomedical research; increase general awareness of mercury hazards; and prevent mercury spills and pollution.

Continue reading "But There's Mercury in the H1N1 Vaccine! Curiouser and Curiouser." »