House_of_cardsBy David Kirby

CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding has delivered a potentially explosive report to the powerful House Appropriations Committee, in which she admits to a startling string of errors in the design and methods used in the CDC's landmark 2003 study that found no link between mercury in vaccines and autism, ADHD, speech delay or tics.

Read the original post HERE at HuffPo.  Read David's revised post HERE.



The more I think about this and read the crap from Orac and Epiwonk, the more pissed I am getting. This whole CDC deal is reminiscent of the car industry when something bad happens with a design..say a gas tank blows up on impact.

So all of these epidemialogical studies everyone cites are like Pintos, they have an underlying flaw (a real bad one). The 2003 CDC analysis is like a Pinto with new tires. The NIEHS comes out and says that the Pinto design is probably not very good and may be horrible. Gerberding concurs. Then she says that the CDC won't make any more Pintos. She does not start a recall though, so the remaining Pinto are still on the road, exploding gastank and all.

Orac and Epiwonk will tell you that the old pintos are just fine, since Gerberding and the NIEHS did not actually mention the older models specifically. How very clever guys. Your Pharma buddies would be so proud.


From what I have read, it looks like Dr. Gerberding is just agreeing with something that she agreed with all along, the fact that ecological studies do not tell you anything about autism, as they do not examine population subsets. This is nothing new, but the kicker is that the VSD database actually has individual data, so it is possible to do that kind of analysis. They may *claim* to have done it in their 2003 paper but they did not even touch subsets (unless you count 1% of the data as a subset) - they actually cut them out and turned a perfectly good individual-level dataset into a psuedo-ecological dataset and bascially said that the *general public* was safe from mercury in vaccines. Well, maybe that is true, but who the f*k cares, except for public health agencies and PR spin machines. What people care about is who actually is in danger of having autistic kids.

Anyone who says the CDC has actually done a real individual-level analysis of autism and mercury is lying. They may have the dataset but they have not done the proper thorough analysis of population subsets - lazy and corrupt, thats the CDC way.

A punk like Orac or Epiwonk may actually agree that the individual-level analysis is not complete, but their end reply would always include something to the effect that "there is no subset of mercury susceptible kids". Probably the worst cop-out around.

So where does this leave news agencies with their dim-bulb science reporters? Probably confused, but they will stick with the published papers unless there is a retraction.

Leanne Veitch

I have concerns about the current vaccination schedule.

For instance, on this document (www.nelapho.com/Images/user/docs/Pneumococcal%20Vaccine%20and%20Flu%20Vaccine.pdf) it is noted that the pneumococcal vaccine "is not
recommended in infants and children under 2 years of age." Yet it is prescribed on the Australian schedule from age 2 months! (see http://www.mydr.com.au/default.asp?article=3271)

It seems to me that the drug companies and hospitals' own guidelines are not being followed in the safe dosage of these drugs.

Interesting to note - and possibly useful for any lawsuits or arguments against vaccination for parents.

I hope this is useful. I will also send this info through to the eds of this website, in case it is missed here.

Rachel Ford

For Mr. Kirby's repost, you can google "Vaccination News"--it is one of the most recent entries "CDC: Vaccine Study Used Flawed Methods".


Anyone who thinks the CDC doesn't hide things from the American people should revisit the history of the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment which, according to James Jones's book, "Bad Blood," was conducted from 1932 to 1972 and "involved more than 400 black Alabama sharecroppers and day laborers" who "were subject in a government study designed to determine the effects of untreated syphilis."

The CDC is a political organization. Yes, it is involved in science and medicine. But it is a political organization first and foremost.

When Peter Buxton, a social worker and the whistleblower of the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, tried to expose the experiment in 1966 by writing to the CDC, the director of Venereal Diseases failed to do anything about it for two years. Only in 1968 when Buxtun wrote another strongly worded letter that was shown to David Sencer, the Director of the CDC, was any action taken. And the CDC's initial response was troubling. In his book James Jones reported that the CDC authorities "did not think that they were doing anything wrong, but they were worried that people who did not understand medical research might make trouble if the press became involved. They saw the experiment as a public relations problem that could have severe political repercussions."

The CDC actually then convened a "blue ribbon panel" to decide what to do, rather than immediately treat victims of the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment. The "blue ribbon panel" decided against treating the patients and in essence let the experiment continue.

The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment only ended in 1972 when Peter Buxtun told a friend at Associated Press about the story and subsequently an investigative reporter in Washington broke the news to an outraged public and Congress.

If anyone thinks the CDC finally found religion in 1972 it is because they don't know the real history of AIDS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the virus HHV-6. Just as the 400 sharecroppers were not told the truth about their syphilis, the entire public has still not been told the truth about HHV-6, AIDS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

When Kent Heckenlively was tipped off by the HHV-6 Foundation that scientists think HHV-6 is involved in autism, it was a little like Associated Press being tipped off about the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment.

Your organization has basically been informed that the complicated autism-vaccine issues you have all diligently uncovered in your personal lives may connect to a far bigger viral scandal, the scandal of untreated HHV-6 in AIDS, CFS, and a growing list of neuroimmunological disorders. You've been given clue to the vaccine-mitochondrial dysfunction puzzle that is now on the table. Autism-HHV-6 issues may be the key to the autism-vaccine mysteries.

Vaccines are a dicey matter for the immunocompromised. HHV-6 compromises the immune system and harms the brain. HHV-6 is a problem in children all over the world. Just connect the dots and when you think about the CDC's role in all of this, never forget the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment. The autism epidemic is only the CDC's most recent "public relations problem."


Well, I see this as a huge slap in the face. How dare JG sit and write this to Congress to prevent them from using the VSD. Maybe it is time that we start writing Congress (again), but this time to express our concerns on her manipulation of true info within the VSD. I've already started.
PLease remember...no one with a heart would have ever travelled this road. There is almost NO WAY that JG has had a change of heart. PLEASE....she is about to hang us all, imo, by what she is trying to do. There is no better vaccine info than a data base that is exclusivley vaccine info. Per doctos...blah, blah blah...she is about to put the nails in our coffin:(

Riley's mom

I would love to read the repost but I can't seem to find it. Would you please point me in the right direction? I'm not very computer savvy, this is about my extent of computer genius.
I think that the media could have at the very least mentioned it. Maybe I was grasping at straws, hoping this is finally coming to a head. That finally, people aren't going to think that I'm insane for thinking the CDC and the powers that be are hiding something. Maybe I'm insane for lack of sleep, yep that's it.

Rachel Ford

Before we shout this information from the rooftops--please read David Kirby's corrected repost on the Huffington Post, dated July 21.
It is still very signficant but not QUITE as inflammatory as before.

Riley's mom

Ok it's 4:28 am and I can't sleep. I have another question though. Is it just me or did the news I thought went !!!BANG!!!! only go *ping* in the media? What's going on?? It has been almost 2 days since Mr. Kirby's article and NOTHING? NOTHING? Come on!!!!

Riley's mom

I wonder why I haven't seen it on CNN or Fox News or any other news oganization.....

Dan, tx

I wonder what cnn's sanjay gupta will think of this...

Rachel Ford

Its curious to me that Gerberding is using the word "ecological" in reference to Verstraeten's study instead of "epidemiological" which has always been the word used heretofore to describe these types of studies. In true Gerberding style, it appears to be a (weak) attempt to obscure the incredible significance of what she is admitting.

Kelli Ann Davis

"Something really bothers me here. I thought the CDC refused to let the 'general public' look at the VSD database. I thought most believed a thorough and unbiased look at this database would reveal a correlation between vaccines and autism. Now she is saying its 'worthless'? Is it possible she just doesn't want anyone to look anymore closely at this database?"



So, now that we're putting on the pressure, and we want a hard look at the *chronic* data contained in the VSD -- it's not a reliable database?

Could that be because now we would see *outcomes* which would mirror the gradual elimination of mercury from the vaccine supply? Hummmm....

Perfect reason why we need Obey to conduct hearings so that we can ask Dr. Julie those questions under oath.

He's Anne's Congressional Rep. and the Chair of the Appropriations Committee (where the letter was addressed) and Chair of the Subcommittee that oversees HHS issues.

I think we need to put the pressure on them to conduct a hearing as follow up to this letter.

Depending on what Anne hears back, this may be a logical next step (at least for this Committee)....

My .02

Pamela Felice

As posted on my blog The Educated Parent.

Is the American Academy or Piadatrics in an Ackward Position after CDC Takes Thimerosal Safety Studies Off the Table?

This afternoon I sent the following letter to the AAP and Dr. Bradley Dyer, in light of the newly released position by the AAP regarding parents who have vaccination concerns and the report submitted to Congress by Julie Gerberding, Director of the CDC reporting that the VSD data, by which the CDC based their studies claiming Thimerosal in childhood vaccines does not cause Autism, was "Uninformative and Potentially Misleading."

I really think the American Academy of Pediatrics might want to reconsider the gross disrespect they've shown parents interested in making the best decision for their child.

To: Renee R. Jenkins., AAP President

Considering that the CDC, in an official report to Congress, has just taken every study they had to offer regarding the safety of thimerosal in vaccines off the table I am wondering if you shouldn’t reconsidered the vaccine policy written by Dr. Bradley Dyer and recommended to all other pediatricians in your May ’08 newsletter.

The CDC says vaccination saves 33,000 lives per year, that’s 1 in 10,000. Autism is currently at a rate of 1 in 150 and Julie Gerberding says in her report to Congress "CDC concurs," Dr. Gerberding wrote again, "that conducting an ecologic analysis using VSD administrative data to address potential associations between thimerosal exposure and risk of ASD is not useful."

Read that sentence one more time. The head of the CDC is saying that its most powerful and convincing piece of exonerating evidence for thimerosal is, in effect, "useless.". This is in reference to the Verstraeten study. Full text of David Kirby’s article here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby/cdc-vaccine-study-design_b_108398.html

1 in 150 only accounts for autism and does not include the shocking increase in autoimmune diseases we have seen over the past 2 decades. In absence of sound scientific safety studies, we have no idea what the true risk/benefit of the current vaccine program is. A sound vaccination program is critical to public health. The problem is that the CDC is not offering us a sound, scientifically validated program. We may well have traded rare devastating outcomes in acute illness for common chronic disease and neurological disorders.

Parents who are concerned about vaccination are neither selfish nor emotional. They are well informed and have logical and reasonable concerns; and they know they may be playing Russian Roulette with their child’s health with either decision, to vaccinate or not.

You should be ashamed of yourself for ridiculing parents for doing the thing that is most instinctual…protecting their own. As a parent, it is my responsibility to put my child first. And your responsibility to “do not harm”

With due disrespect,

Pamela Felice

Riley's mom

Let me first start by saying I had that ***HOLY SHIT*** moment too. My lawyer called yesterday (we have filed our VICP months ago)He said that the original add of Thimerasol his office had done was wrong. It was standing at 150 mcg before Riley was 6 months old. He says now that they added it all up again and found that he had 265mcg before 6 months. I cried myself to sleep last night.
Our lawyer was excited about this news coming from Mr Kirby but he is not one to get all twitter paited (his words not mine) about this because the CDC will only find something else to cover their ass. He said that we still have a long rode ahead of us.
I forwarded David's article to anyone and everyone I can think of. I even sent it to our local media (just in case they hadn't seen it, haha) to different reporters and have gotten no response from anyone. Not even my family or friends.
I've been posting on the parents.com magazine site in the ask the moderator section and the hot topics section. I put the link in my latest post to read the article and no one has anything to say. I don't know if the general public is saying OMG what have they done? Or if they just feel stupid now.
This is wonderful news to me at least. It tells me that the CDC and Gerberding are feeling the heat. It's been lapping at their ankles and knees for so long that they just got used to it. Now it's risen and is going up their asses and they are finally starting to feel the REAL heat!!!


Wow! David Kirby is going straight to heaven!!!


something really bothers me here. I thought the CDC refused to let the 'general public' look at the VSD database. I thought most believed a thorough and unbiased look at this database would reveal a correlation between vaccines and autism. Now she is saying its 'worthless'? Is it possible she just doesn't want anyone to look anymore closely at this database? I've become way too cynical.

K Fuller Yuba City

Someone out there must know how to get the mainstream media to do more coverage of this admission by the CDC. Pediatricians everywhere should be up in arms that they have been lied to, but then we would all see that many of them do no study on their own. How frightening to know that our childrens health,and adults too for that matter, is being controlled by pharmacy salespeople handing out brochures.

Dan, tx

"CDC concurs," Dr. Gerberding wrote again, "that conducting an ecologic analysis using VSD administrative data to address potential associations between thimerosal exposure and risk of ASD is not useful."

The CDC has two vaccine safety databases (VSD and VAERS) and the director of the CDC has just admitted that the VSD is ‘not useful’ at looking at vaccine safety. We have long known that VAERS is worthless with only 1% events reported and 20% errors of the events that are reported. What post market vaccine safety surveillance system does the CDC have that IS useful? The answer now appears to be nothing.

The level of incompetence at the CDC is mind boggling. It just smokes me.

As always thanks David Kirby.

Tanner's Dad

From the CDC website...

Since 1990, investigators from the VSD project have published more than 75 scientific articles. The VSD project has addressed the following immunization safety concerns:

A study that quantifies the risk of seizures after receipt of whole-cell pertussis or measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine
An investigation of MMR and other measles-containing vaccines, which found no increased risk for inflammatory bowel disease
An examination of the safety of revaccination with the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine
An evaluation of the VSD data to examine the safety of thimerosal-containing vaccines
The VSD project has proven to be a highly effective tool for evaluating immunization safety.

Harry Hofherr

David, this is stunning news.

It's going to take a while to digest. But it's sweet going down.

Thanks for reporting this, and so much more.

Harry Hofherr


Thanks so much, David!

And Dan, thanks for your input too. The Glenn Nowak statement makes me see red! "well, we're working to eliminate thimerosal anyway..." (Just pay no attention to those poor kids who got over 200 mcgs. of the stuff before they were 2yo)! Arrrgh!!!


WAIT!!! Does page 12 indicate an upcoming release of date that compares vaccinated with non-vaccinated???

BTW - I've been lurking for a few weeks. I am former military and was diagnosed with ms after receiving 5 anthrax shots.....loaded with mercury I'm sure. Along with that I received the JE (Japanese Enchephilitis) shots for 7 years (even CDC reports high mercury in those) while stationed in Okinawa.

My son is not vax'd. My DH has a degree in biology and initially fought me on this due to years of textbooks saying how the polio vaccine wiped out polio. When he could argue no further on why Hep B was given at birth, he began to question too.

The stories of toddlers/babies/children regressing into autism are heartbreaking and absolutely terrifying to me. The thought of my son being taken mentally but still here physically makes me want to rip my heart out and hand it to anyone that could prevent it from happening.

Please keep doing what you are doing AOA. It's a great service.


Okay, I'll be the first to say it...


David Kirby... there are no words (well, there are, but because I always seem to come off as a stalker.. I'll keep them to myself!) LOL

Thank you Mr. Kirby!

dan olmsted

thanks for breaking another hugely important story, david. there is now exactly nothing behind the claims that science has disproven a link between vaccine mercury (and vaccines in general) and autism. it seems to me the inexorable logic of the situation demands the IOM revisit this issue. I know a lot of folks in the enviro-bio community have been working on that and it seems to me that a mass clamor for a new iom review, or at least a simple declaration that their previous findings are no longer valid, would be a good idea. perhaps even more important is to rub the noses of the mainstream press in this until even they can smell what a load of crap they've been reciting. the nih panel's findings should have started a re-examination, but the media's misguided and self-appointed role as guardian of the public health agenda blinded them once again. this is what happens when the press decides it "knows best" and needs to protect "the little people" from their presumed inability to weigh the data, and the risk-benefit ratio, for themselves. as bobby kennedy said, the press has let the american people down terribly on this issue and the day of reckoning is coming.
for the record here is what the cdc spokesman said about the nih report when i asked him about it at the time: "We actually just got the report and haven't had a chance to assess it," CDC spokesman Glen Nowak said Monday. "Our Office of Science will be working with our Immunization Safety Office in terms of where and how this fits into our research agenda. We've got a couple of other studies under way." Nowak said that the agency is working to eliminate all remaining thimerosal-containing shots as soon as possible, "so it wouldn't change where we want to go there, either." He added that limitations of the study were acknowledged by Verstraeten -- who subsequently said its findings were "neutral" and required follow-up. Nowak said several studies support the safety of thimerosal, and he noted the expert panel suggested other ways to look for a possible connection using the database, including comparisons of siblings of those diagnosed with autism."
i think we're at the point now where we were in watergate where ron zeigler, nixon's press secretary, said that all his previous comments about the subject were "inoperative," because the truth was coming out despite the stonewalling.

Anne Dachel

The House Appropriations Committee Chairman is Dave Obey (D-WI). And he's also Chairman of that committee's subcommittee on Labor, Health and Education. Best of all, Dave Obey is MY REPRESENTATIVE!

Rep Dave Weldon (R-FL) is also on this subcommittee and he has long been an advocate for our children.

Since I've been in contact with Obey's office for years and have twice gone to Washington to try and get someone there interested in the autism crisis, I'm hoping that after hearing this information from the CDC, he's wising up. The information that I've provided didn't seem to impact his office. Barely any attention was paid to me in the past when I challenged the official denials. Maybe, just maybe, now they'll realize the mom from WI wasn't wrong.

Anne Dachel
Media editor

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