By DR. DAVID AYOUB
Editor's note: Dr. David Ayoub, a radiologist from Springfield, Ill., gave this speech at the rally Wednesday in front of the American Academy of Pediatrics in Chicago. Age of Autism is pleased to help it reach the wide audience it deserves.
I thought I would share with you some of my personal experiences with the American Academy of Pediatrics.
My experience with lobbying for safer vaccine laws in Illinois and Massachusetts gave me some insight into the heart and soul of the AAP.
As most of you know, after joining the Public Health Service in a joint statement in 1999 supporting the immediate removal of Thimerosal from vaccines, the AAP has in effect, completely reversed its precautionary position by 1) endorsing and promoting the expansion of routine influenza vaccinations to pregnant women, infants and young children without a stated preference to Thimerosal-free formulas, 2) joined public health departments in strongly opposing state and federal legislation that would prohibit the use of Thimerosal, 3) oppose legislative requirements that would require informed consent before Thimerosal containing vaccines are administered, 4) failed to notify its own pediatrician members to preferentially deliver Thimerosal-free shots even after state bans such as the one in Illinois were signed into law and 6) has consistently mislead legislators, journalists, parents and professionals by adhering to the outright lie that all mercury in childhood vaccines, has been removed or reduced to trace amounts when in fact, children today adhering to the flu vaccine schedule will be receiving well over 50% of the total dose given before 2000, a dosage that is likely to continue to increase with further adjustments to the doses and target ages of flu vaccine recipients.
It is perplexing that the AAP has so strongly endorsed these new flu vaccine recommendations yet overlooked the glaring fact that the greatest threat to the supply of the influenza vaccine is not state Thimerosal bans, but ironically is the vaccine industry's ill advised reliance upon mercury as a preservative. Not only are there numerous scientific reports from decades ago that concluded thimerosal was an ineffective and toxic preservative, but as recently as 2004, Thimerosal again failed after the bacterial contamination of Chiron's 2004 flu vaccine stockpile--- the largest scale contamination of any pharmaceutical product in history. This failure resulted in the temporary loss of over half of the US flu vaccine supply. It has become painfully obvious that the silence of the AAP and public health officials to demand a better preservative or use of nonpreserved single dose preparations clearly and unequivocally indicated that these agencies are incapable and uninterested in making sound healthcare policies for Americans. Is it any wonder that the US infant morality rates rank a dismal 32nd of 33 industrial nations worldwide according to a recent Save the Children Survey. This statistic speaks volumes and no one in that building should be proud of this statistic or the utterly deplorable situation we have with escalating incidences of a multitude of chronic illness.
The AAP has played an important role in perpetuating the misconception that current research refutes the thimerosal-autism link. Three key papers have been published in the AAP trade journal Pediatrics: Madsen (Danish epidemiological study); The Verstraeten study, of Simpsonwood fame, and Fombonne (Quebec epidemiological study). The editor-in-chief Dr. Jerald Lucey received numerous, substantiated criticisms of each of these studies, but has created an effective roadblock in disallowing any criticisms to be published in the letter to the editor section of the journal. His response to thoughtful and reasonable criticisms has been unprofessional, illogical and insulting. My own letter to Lucey criticizing the Fombonne study was not even allowed to be published on the less publically visible online forum, even though we had obtained a copy of the Fombonne database and vaccine records from,several parents proving Fombonne's work fraudulent.
Why would the organization most influential in pediatric healthcare in America turn its back to our concerns and pleas? That is not a challenging question. The AAP reports annual revenues of about $70 million, but only 1/4th comes from membership dues. Their website lists extensive corporate donors, none more generous than the vaccine makers. Their journal Pediatrics generates about $10,000 per page for a drug ad, translating into $200,000 monthly. Even more money is generated for reprint orders, often 6 figures, that are distributed to pediatricians without of course the criticisms.
When I attended the AAP's National Convention in Washington, D.C., in 2005, I attended as many talks I could on 2 topics that interested me -- diagnosis and treatment of learning disabilities and 2) vaccine safety. From the meeting brochure I made the following observations:
First, 16 speakers contributed to 18 lectures in these categories.
According to the AAP's meeting brochure and my own knowledge of the presenters, 15 of 16 speakers had strong connections to the pharmaceutical industry, including the CDC. One Harvard physician claimed 42 different financial arrangements with 14 different pharmaceutical companies! My, when does he find the time to vaccinate anyone?
It is no wonder that the message delivered by AAP and industry influenced professionals to attending pediatricians was crystal clear: THERE IS NO VACCINE LINK!
Let me conclude by making the obvious conclusions about how I feel about the AAP. The politically correct statement would be to say that key individuals from within this organization have gone to great extents to obscure the vaccine-autism connection and by doing so are protecting profits and liability for one of the world's largest and most dangerous industries.
In reality, let me be blunt and politically incorrect. The AAP leadership knows very well that vaccines cause autism. We need not waste anymore efforts in trying to educate them, we need to indict them.
They may me morally bankrupt, but they are not stupid. They have lied to legislators, they have lied to journalists, they have lied to pediatricians, and worst of all, they have lied to you and your children.
The theme at the 2005 annual meeting was a celebration of "75 years of caring." It was not clear exactly what they cared most about, their corporate sponsors or protecting their leadership status over our nations' pediatricians. One thing is abundantly clear, the don't give a damn about scientific truth and they don't give a damn about you or your children.
I hope the autism community continues to move forward and expose all those involved who have put millions of children in harm's way.