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David Kirby: What I Said at the Vaccine Forum

DavidkirbyBy David Kirby

Several people have asked me about an article that appeared in the Newark Star Ledger which quoted me as saying that thimerosal was no longer the “smoking gun" in autism.

The article, about the recent vaccine forum sponsored by Deirdre Imus in New Jersey, went on to say that, “Several national studies have found no connection, and a California study found that, even after thimerosal was removed from vaccines, diagnoses of autism continued to rise.”

The term “smoking gun” comes from Sherlock Holmes and it refers, of course, to the person found holding a still-warm firearm at the scene of a murder. To this writer’s mind (though interpretations may vary, I am sure) the term means the “one and only cause,” since only one person can pull a trigger.

I do not believe that thimerosal is the one and only cause of autism. I wish it were, because I think the whole world would be much better off dealing with such a simple, and removable, etiology.

Does that exonerate thimerosal as a suspect on the list of possible perpetrators (to continue the Holmes motif) that might conspire in different ways to cause, trigger or somehow exacerbate the symptoms of autism in at least one subset of susceptible children?

Not in my mind, and I said so at the forum.

Allow me to place my “smoking gun” comment firmly in context, (and perhaps in more context than some readers will appreciate).

In my opening remarks, before the slide presentation, I stated that:

“It’s possible that something has gone wrong with our vaccine program, whether it is individual ingredients, such as MERCURY, such as live viruses, such as aluminum, and/or the larger vaccine program, the schedule itself. Are there some children with genetic susceptibilities who simply cannot handle the schedule as it is now? It may be a small percentage, but we need to identify them and vaccinate them separately.”

And a bit later, this:

“There has been so much debate over ‘What is THE cause?’ And for a long time in this country, we were fixated on thimerosal, the vaccine preservative, and I share some of the blame for that because my book focused mostly on thimerosal. In the UK, they have been focused mostly on MMR. But you can’t make the model work. You can’t make every case of autism be caused by thimerosal. You can’t make every autism case be caused by MMR. So I think what we need to do is, step back and look at the bigger picture, by starting with the children who got sick, examining them, and work our way backwards. If we see common symptoms, in these very different cases of autism, well, what types of things might cause those symptoms? What types of environmental triggers might combine with what types of genetic susceptibilities, to cause the different outcomes that we see in autism?”

At this point, I turned and referred to my very first slide, titled “MAIN POINTS,” which included the following bullets:

● Look at genetic susceptibilities: immune, metabolic, mitochondrial, metal metabolism. What percentage of the population is born “at risk?”

● No single type of autism and no single cause – Look at many different combinations of genes and environmental “triggers.”

● Possible triggers include mercury & other heavy metals in food, air and water, thimerosal, multiple vaccines, pesticides, viruses, etc.

And this is what I said:

“There is no single type of autism and there is no single cause. We have to look at the combinations of genes and triggers. The triggers, as I mentioned, might include, unfortunately, everything, and when I wrote my book I was hopeful that maybe thimerosal was the smoking gun. And if we just got mercury out of vaccines, autism would rapidly reduce. And we haven’t seen that happen yet. But I did say if that does not happen then that’s bad news; now we’re back to square one. It would have been so much nicer, and easier, and cleaner to say, gosh, it was the mercury in the vaccines and now we can take it out and the case is closed. That didn’t happen, and we need to look at everything. And as I said, not only the individual vaccine ingredients, but also the cumulative effects of so many vaccines at once.”

More than one-third of my slides made reference to thimerosal, and I hardly think I exonerated the neurotoxin as a possible contributing factor to some cases of autism in my discussion.

As for the California study, that particular exoneration of thimerosal appears to be based largely, though not entirely, on one year’s data, from a single year’s birth cohort.

Why? The last thimerosal (preservative) containing vaccines on the childhood schedule reportedly expired in early 2003, though parents have also reported that their children received thimerosal-preserved vaccines, sold in multi-dose vials, after that time.

The most important cohorts to look at, then, would be children born in 2003 (when the last mercury-containing vaccines, except for the flu shot, were expiring) and those born in 2004 (when all mercury preservative, except for the flu shot, was out).

The 2003 birth cohort would have made up the three-year-olds inside California’s Department of Developmental Services (DDS) receiving services for autism (though not for milder spectrum disorders like PDD and Aspergers) in 2006, when the study was nearing completion.   

There were more three-year-olds with autism enrolled in DDS in 2006 than there were in 2005. That is indeed a severe blow to the thimerosal-as-the-cause theory, as I predicted it would be. (The study ended in the 1st quarter of 2007; we have only limited data on the 2004 cohort).

When I made my prediction back in 2005, I was unaware of, or regretfully failed to take into account, several potential confounding factors that might – alone or in combination – have increased the number of three year olds with autism enrolling in DDS in 2006 (a number that rose by 327 cases in a rapidly growing state of 36.4 million people).

I believe that several legitimate questions about the imperfect “California experiment” need to be investigated and answered before we can give thimerosal a complete clean bill of health:

1) Could recent, aggressive early intervention programs in California and a falling age of diagnosis have increased the number of three year olds with autism entering the DDS system from 2005 to 2006?

The CDC waits until children have reached 8-years-old before doing autism prevalence studies in birth cohorts.

2) Could thimerosal in the flu shot be a confounding factor?

Mercury exposures from flu shots could include 25mcg prenatally (up to 70% of which – or 17.5 mcg  - could have reached the highly susceptible fetus), 12.5 mcg at 6 months, 12.5 mcg at 7 months and another 25mcg at 18 months, for a total of .67.5 mcg. In the 2004-2005 flu season, nearly 60% of the infants enrolled in one huge California HMO were vaccinated for flu. I do not have data for 2003-2004.

3) Could rising immigration rates to California since 2001 be playing a role?

One-in-four California residents was born in a foreign country, (mostly in Asia and Latin America). High rates of autism among children of immigrants have been reported in Minneapolis, Montreal, Sweden, Ireland and elsewhere. According to California DDS data, since 2003, the rate of autism increased by more than 80% among Asian and Hispanic children, compared to about 50% among black and white children.

4) Could rising levels of background mercury in the environment be contributing to autism cases?

At least three peer-reviewed studies (including one funded by the CDC and published in an NIH journal) have shown an association between environmental mercury levels and an increased risk for autism. Recent Federal data show that the percentage of Americans with detectable levels of inorganic mercury in their blood increased eightfold between 2000 and 2004.

Does any of this incriminate thimerosal? Of course not. But it doesn’t fully exonerate the highly toxic preservative, which has the potential to cause “constriction of visual fields, impaired hearing, emotional disturbances, spastic movements, incontinence, groaning, shouting, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and constipation,” (HERE)  (otherwise known as every afternoon at the Redwood house, circa 1998 in my book).

It’s tempting to write off thimerosal as a perpetrator in the autism epidemic, based on the California study. But it is just too early to do so.

According to Medical News Today, the authors of the study, “Cautioned that the evaluation of the trends needs to continue in order to confirm their findings for the children born more recently.” (HERE)

So, despite all the cries of innocence among mercury supporters, the California study authors insist that this trend has not been confirmed. Researchers need to go back and look at the 2004, 2005 and, soon, the 2006 cohorts, to see what happened to those kids. (They should also try to account for other sources of mercury, such as diet and air pollution, according to a panel of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.). (HERE)

Ironically, sadly, incredibly, that will never happen.

As of January 1, 2008, entry criteria for receiving free autism services from DDS were expanded to include, “more current diagnostic standards and updated evaluation questions.” In other words, more children with ASD are now eligible for services - a wonderful thing for California families, indeed.

On the other hand, DDS autism data can no longer offer us a continuous window into autism epidemiology in California. Now that the standards have been altered, the department’s website (HERE) warns us: “Many data items are changed or new. Information from these items will not be comparable to prior information.”

Meanwhile, keep your eye on those immigrant kids in Montreal. Something interesting seems to be happening up there.

David Kirby is author of Evidence of Harm and a contributor to Age of Autism.

Comments

Maria

David,

I agree with you that there is more than one potential trigger. My child did not go through the classic regression most do. He was doomed early on. Hep-B in the hospital, IV antibiotics at 3 weeks of age for UTI, subsequent prophylactic dosing of antibiotics for a whole year of his young life for a kidney issue. My child had documentable GI issues as well as periods of "lethargy" and lack of eye contact from this point on. Despite the lack of regression we have been able to treat him and he is recovering. I think we need to look at what we are doing to our infants. Not all of whom are able to handle vaccines and none of whom should receive antibiotics without pro-biotic support. Thank you for your article.

Terri Lewis

Media Scholar,

You report that, "Nationally, there are any number of school systems that have gag orders in place effectively silencing special education departments."

Can you tell us more about what they won't say?

Terri Lewis

Media Scholar

As of January 1, 2008, entry criteria for receiving free autism services from DDS were expanded to include, “more current diagnostic standards and updated evaluation questions.”
-----------------
This isn't exactly like claiming we faked the moon, but given the billions of dollars already spent obfuscating Thimerosal it's not much of a surprise to see California is skewing ASD numbers. They have been fudging for years by not accounting for the influx of ASD kids and even maintaining rates by recruiting south of the border.

Nationally, there are any number of school systems which have gag orders in place effectively silencing special education departments. Aren't there always reports of ASD parents having to call police into investigate crimes of abuse, neglect, etc. ?

Teachers and department heads all say the same thing when you ask...I can't comment and/or I'm not allowed to talk about it.

Nope. The only way to stop the mickey mouse is to douse the fire.

Michelle Wandrack

It's Michelle again. I just wanted to add my personal e-mail address so that if anyone who read my comments and has any answers for me about mitochondrial issues and Noah's cellulitis and bacterial infections can e-mail me directly. I would be SO grateful. My e-mail is mwandrack@sbcglobal.net. Thank you.

p.s. I read this blog every day and LOVE it. Thank you to Kim and Dan for all that you do for our community. I feel as if I know you personally. Though we haven't met, I feel a friendship with you.

p.p.s. Thank you also to David Kirby for your courage in taking on such a divisive and yes, CONTROVERSIAL, (take that Nancy Snyderman!!)topic. I heard you speak in San Diego awhile back and now my dog eared, signed copy of Evidence Of Harm is making the rounds of my friends from church who have small babies and lots of concerns and questions about vaccinations.

lCherry Sperlin Misra

I hope that Jennifer and others will keep giving us info about immigrant experiences. I think it is so troubling that these individuals come to the US with hope for a better life and we destroy their children. Most of these kids are probably vaccinated as infants with mercury laden vaccines , but when it comes time to move to the U.S., they get vaccinated again, and when they reach the U.S., perhaps yet again in order to enter schools or daycare. Meanwhile, some populations are heavy fish eaters and they are delighted to find that the tuna which may have been costly in their own country is cheap in the U.S.- also easy to prepare- so you just eat it every day!
I would like to urge parents of autistic kids to step up and speak to immigrant parents whenever you have a chance- even to strangers. Americans often think that one cannot give advice to a stranger on topics like this, but in many others cultures it is considered a kindness to offer advice and it is customary in many cultures to listen respectfully to older people, even if secretly you think they are talking nonsense! Everyone needs to know about the flu vaccines and most immigrant people need to know about the dangers of fish- especially people from Korea, China, Japan, Philippines, Sri Lanka. Experience has taught me never to assume that someone does not eat a lot of fish. People from some of these places are in fact familiar with autism and familiar with mercury being dangerous, but they do not know that fish and vaccines are sources of mercury.To start with, keep some Safeminds brochures in your bag when you go the the supermarket or a public park.

Michelle Wandrack

I'm just wondering... My 7 year old son, Noah, was diagnosed at age 3.5 with PDD-NOS (let's be real here, he has autism, but it doesn't have him :)). He hit all his developmental milestones for the first year. I still have the first year calendar with all the milestone stickers on it. It makes me cry to look at it. He would eat any and all food I gave him (LOTS of variety). Now he eats maybe four food items only. He's always been relatively healthy or at least outwardly appears that way. But since last November he has had three hospitalizations, first one was a localized bacterial infection under the skin in the webbing of his left hand. Doctors had found no cause for it. They ended up telling me that "these things just sometimes happen...". Then Noah has to be hospitalized for cellulitis twice. Again the doctors told me they honestly didn't know why he keeps getting sick and that, again, "these things just happen". Actually, they used the exact same phrasing all three times. I'm wondering if maybe Noah has an underlying mitochondrial disorder? (we don't know my husband's genetic make up as his natural dad was a sperm donor) No autism on my side of the family. However, my NT 5 year old, Micah, hasn't had this. Does anyone know anything about this? Thanks for any feedback you can give. Also, I was an advanced maternal age mom (39) but his dad is not. 8 years age difference between us.

Ben's Dad

As the parent of a thimerosal free* 6yr old with autism, I appreciate your efforts to probe for answers beyond this one point. Thank you AoA for hosting a variety of points of view. Nobody has the answer yet, but I have learned a lot from this site on where those answers might be.

*mom & dad had a recommended flu shots

Twyla

Thank you for clarifying this, David. I was surprised to read that you seemed to be letting thimerosal off the hook. It's terrible how people misquote or partially quote to fit their propaganda agenda.

I agree that autism does not have only one cause. It seems to me that there are many substances in vaccines that could knock the developing immune system off track, thus causing inflammation in the brain, autoimmunity to the myelin basic protein which coats nerves, inflammation in the GI tract which can affect cognition -- all of which have been found in people with autism.

On a recent airplane ride I sat next to a pediatrician who was on her way to an infectious disease conference. Interestingly, she nodded her head to everything I said about vaccine problems, and she said, "We really know very little about the immune system." Although publicly we are chastised and condemned, what we are saying is common sense, and consistent with a track record of vaccine reactions including encephalopathy, seizures, and Guillain-Barre Syndrome -- all of which involve malfunction of the immune system.

One of the problems with research on autism is that the study design often seems to be based on the assumption that we are looking for one cause and one cure for autism.

Do secretin, chelation, or the GFCF diet help EVERYONE with autism? No. But these treatments help some people greatly.

Is ALL autism caused by thimerosal or by the MMR? No. But at the same time as mercury has been reduced (not eliminated) in vaccines, the number of vaccines has continued to grow, and the amount of mercury in the environment has also continued to grow.

Although I believe that much autism is caused by mercury, and the parallels between mercury poisoning and autism are quite compelling, it also appears that some people's autism was caused by other toxins, and/or by the vaccines containing live viruses which can also derail the immune system and cause chronic infection in susceptible individuals.

Since this is a complicated picture with many factors, it is difficult for statistical studies to tease out causes and effects.

There should be more focus on studying individual children, as Dr. Bernadine Healy has said. But there is a reluctance to do this, even dating back to 2004, when the IOM looked at the vaccine issue (as quoted at www.putchildrenfirst.org/chapter6.html):


4. The committee refused to look at hundreds of case reports showing the relationship between vaccinations and autism.

Dr. Johnston: Barbara Loe Fisher [NVIC] could give you names. Mrs. Fisher said she had cases. I think she came up to say if you needed any cases to demonstrate the points, you could have them.

Dr. McCormick: She was demonstrating causality. She was taken by your case series that you did-the Guillaume Barre (sic) and whatever, the tetanus. She was all ready to get you cases to prove causality.

Dr. Wilson: Well, let's see them.

Dr. McCormick: Let's not do that. Do you have a free weekend that you want to plod through them?

- IOM Committee Meeting, 1/12/2001 Closed-Door Meeting Transcript, pp. 149 & 150

Jerri

Just as thimerosal was starting to be phased out in infant vaccines, it was being phased in in terms of pressuring pregnant women to get the flu vaccine. Initially it was not recommended at all, then for 3rd trimester and finally for all trimesters. Who is more vulnerable to mercury than a fetus? Even if incidence of autism is rising after removal of most thimerosal from the infant schedule, it seems that prenatal exposure to mercury via flu vaccine could account for that. Is it possible to do a study on current 4 year olds with autism and see if their mothers received the flu vaccine, just as the Holmes study did with Rhogam containing thimerosal?

Jack

I agree that "autisms" might be creating a slippery slope that some could use against us, but I also think it is true. And it addresses the "moving goalposts" arguement.


Identifying these different subsets and naming them will go along way to treating kids appropriately and as mentioned in other posts explains why some kids respond to some treatments and others don't.

Rachel Ford

Following up on Dan's earlier comment here, thinking of or using the term "autisms" is a slippery slope. For one, it gives people a way to minimize or dismiss the incredible recovery that we are seeing in so many of our children with dietary and biomed treatments. (When my son recovered from autim, one of his speech therapists said he didn't think Matthew really had autism--or he might have some "as-yet-unidentified subtype".) Secondly, it makes the water so murky that no one is taking responsibility. There is a principle in Psychology called "diffusion of responsibity" (ie. when people in a city walk by someone who is being attacked without any offer to help)and we are already seeing plenty of that as it is.
The bottom line is that very strong evidence has and continues to show that vaccines trigger/cause autism, most likely in the vast majority of cases. Until we get more safety data on vaccines and until we know whether the true rates of autism are going up, down, or sideways (when and if thimerosal is ever removed), parents and doctors need to be avoiding or delaying and spreading out the vaccines. Donald Miller, MD (Harvard-educated surgeon) recommends waiting until children are two and then giving only the 4 "most important" vaccines one at a time with six months in between to watch for any reactions and give the immune system a chance to regulate itself. This sounds reasonable to me as an immediate place to start for new parents to consider in the current crisis of vaccine safety, at least until a *lot* more research is done.

biomedmom

I am sorry, I posted that with the wrong story.

biomedmom

Threats?

Didn't Pauly Profit himself say - to a REPORTER, "Tell Geier he won't live to see Thimerosal removed from vaccines." ??

Sorsha

Just lending more support for David...I agree its not just the mercury..I think a lot of it has to do with the unnatural manipulation of the immune system. The MMR (always thimerosal-free) has been the final trigger in so many children - mine included. That being said, we still need to get the toxins out of vaccines, especially metal toxins. Children are at enough risk from their every day living environment as it is, they don't need more of the stuff injected into their tiny bodies.

John Stone

The thimerosal issue is apart from anything else a great indicator of institutional negligence. There was never any doubt about the toxicity of mercury and yet "they" still allowed it to accumulate grotesquely in the schedule. It demonstrates that before there was any public pressure there was no interest at all in the mass surveillance of the adverse effects of the programme as it was and is extended. It was an is just "hit and run".

The question remains, if they are genuinely interested in product safety, why are they not listening to parents? Every time they fail to listen they demonstrate their negligence, and their bias.

sdtech

David:

Geier et al looked at the VAERS data base but did they look at the IDEA database? That also seems to support a risk correlation between vaccine /mercury dose levels and autism and speech impairment.

And still confusing the issue is the fact that, although the Thimerosal doses are lowered in some non-flu vaccines, mercury exposure in vaccines continues. According to the package inserts Thimerosal remains in “trace” or “below detection limits” at levels of 25 nanograms or more. A nanogram of Thimerosal contains 1 ½ trillion atoms of mercury.

Keep up fighting the battle for our children. Thank you for the clarification.

Patrick

No, I didn't like that David Kirby felt guilt that he isolated mercury as the cause of autism. All toxins are part of the cause. I would have liked him to stand behind this toxin as a major contributor, but understood where he was going. I have respect for him and his open mind. He is right.
In my situation it was my mother who was exposed at age 7 to something called cadmium zinc sulfide. It was in the the 50's and the government felt they were in a state of emergency. They picked several major cities to spray various chemicals for bio-warfare. This chemical caused infertility in half the women that were sprayed during recess in first grade. It caused my Aunt's 3 boys to have severe neurological dysfunction including her first born having autism-like symptoms.
My mother was not on that playground, but they did spray the town. My Mother also had 3 healthy GIRLS. The boys on my Mother's side did not fair so well. I'm the youngest girl, but I have a brother 5 years younger and half brother of twins 20 years younger (1 twin died of ear infection (Down's Syndrome)). They were over all healthy.
My son and my sister's son both have had seizures + speech issues + neurological difficulty. My sister and I also have first born girls whom are healthy.
Anyways my point is that our prior toxin burden has nothing to do with the liability that the pharmaceutical companies have of adding to that toxic burden.
Why would we inject neuro-toxins into developing babies?

Lisa Sigismondi

Thimerosal is a great starting point and i'm sure one of the triggers. And I agree there is no 'smoking gun' - oh lucky us. But that is a part of our puzzle for certain. My son was loaded with arsenic (did you know that it has been a common component of chicken feed at many mass farms?) and cadmium and uranium. Who knows where from. As Dr. Gupta has been famously quoted....'genetics load the gun and the environment pulls the trigger'. Thimerosal is without a doubt in my mind one of the bullets.

Teresa

Boy, you guys are busy over here today!

Anyway, I have to post my 2 cents. We do not yet know the full 100% of thimerosal aka ethyl mercury's fingerprints but I think we know enough to see all the damage it can do. I have the same thoughts as Dan as the big bang of autism came from an epicenter (2 as he described so well). I also agree that the kids of today are not much different from the Kanner and Asperger kids yet our kids today have a hell of a lot more toxins in their vaccines, air, food, etc so that can make some of their symptoms appear exacerbated, but the core issues are the same. Kids today also have MORE vaccines which can then add to the symptoms and perpetuate the synergy.

I think David's book hit the nail on the head as to why we have this epidemic of autism. Here's a thought too that I have wondered. How many of us used thimerosal contact fluid twice daily for YEARS before and maybe during pregnancy before it was banished? Do we have any idea what the cumulative effects are? If you did not have thimerosal in vaccines for your child are there other exposures in your family, in your life? Thimerosal alone or in tandem with the subsequent vaccines (viruses, bacteria, yeast, proteins/food antigens)may be the link for many kids.
Don't be so quick to dismiss thimerosal just because the wackosphere said "your time is up" on this theory. There is just too much science saying **keep going with this theory.**

Bob Moffitt

David, my friend, you did not WANT nor ASK to become THE "authority" on whether or not thimerosal/mercury remains a potential contributing factor to the epidemic of autism.

Like it or not....YOU...have earned MY trust and I am quite willing to accept YOU as the "expert" who examines any toxicological evidence that "rules out" thimerosal (ethylmercury) as a "causative" factor in my grandson's "regression" and eventual autistic diagnosis.

I would respectfully suggest YOU owe NO ONE alternate explanations until THEY provide the toxicological research that proves there is "NO EVIDENCE OF HARM" from thimerosal!

Until you are provided that toxicological "evidence"... stand fast and
demand the CDC,IOM or Dr. Offit produce it!!!

Monica

David, thank you so much for this article. Ever since we were dumped into the world of autism, I too have felt there are many causes, and many "autisms".

Perhaps underlying many cases is our toxic environment altering DNA and suppressing our immune systems, but we can no longer blame all autism on thimerosal containing vaccines!

My child never had a thimerosal containing vaccine! She did however, have a severe adverse reaction to the live virus vaccinations she received at 17 months.

I especially want to thank you for making this statement.

"Are there some children with genetic susceptibilities who simply cannot handle the schedule as it is now? It may be a small percentage, but we need to identify them and vaccinate them separately.”

Yes, yes there are these children! In 2000, 75 various forms of primary immunodeficiency had been identified. In 2005, 150 had been discovered. This year, the count is at 200.

According to the CDC, NIH, ACIP, WHO, etc (even Offit couldn't argue this fact) these kids should not have any live virus vaccines!

As for how big that percentage of children is, here is a study regarding the prevalence of Primary Immunodeficiency in our country.
http://www.primaryimmune.org/publications/surveys/Population_Prevalence_of_Diagnosed_Primary.pdf

Birgit Calhoun

I agree. The problem with autism cannot be solely attributed to mercury from Thimerosal. My website started out purely form a dental amalgam viewpoint, which then expanded to all kinds of sources of mercury. Often lawsuits are designed to only attack one single cause. All other possible causes of mercury related autism (fish, paint, light-bulbs, paper-mills, acetaldehyde manufacturing, water, dental amalgam etc.) are carefully avoided to keep things simple. Autism isn't simple. There is also the problem of synergistic effects. The manufacture of vaccine is a dirty business. What happens in the process of making vaccines, is one problem that has not been exposed. It must also be pointed out that, excepting in MMR vaccine that is made from live viruses, mercury is used in the process of vaccine manufacture and then removed. What happens to the toxicity of aluminum, formaldehyde and so on in the process is not known. My hope is that mercury is being taken seriously. As long as that is not being done, I am going to keep working towards removal of mercury from our immediate environment.

Joel Meltzer

David,

Everyone is fixated on autism,but maybe our kids(my son is 18, diagnosed PDD NOS at 28 months-really autistic) are the focal point but what about all the other kids, with asthma, allergies, ADHD, ADD, Seizure Disorders,Reading
Disabilities. When you add up all the percentages it becomes a very significant number, and it would explain that there is something going on in the environment and the vaccines trigger it in different ways. Meanwhile everyone, CDC,NIMH, NIH, are desperately looking for genetic causes instead of studying all types of stresses on the mothers and the babies.You are a great voice of reason in this argument. Thanks for listening to me

Rachel Ford

David,
I appreciate your comments to clarify what you actually stated. But I am in agreement with Dan--I think mercury IS the smoking gun.
My son Matthew (my story is posted here on AoA under "Parent Warriors") never received the MMR (I had enough info. to avoid that one) but he did receive thimerosal in his DTaPs (2 mos, 4 mos. and 6 mos) and in his flu shot along with the DTaP at 15 mos. Three months after this last batch of shots he developed full blown autism and 8 mos. later his blood tested positive for mercury and he was depleted of glutathione. At age 2.8 he tested as having autism and an "IQ" of 50. Now at age 6, after diet and detox. he is at the top of his class and has no symptoms of autism. I am sure that having several shots at once created problems as well but I think the main insult for Matthew was the mercury. That said, I do think the MMR could be the culprit for others with or without mercury.

Its like Dr. Deth said during the Omnibus proceedings, the reason these "small" amounts of mercury are a problem is because they only have to attach to certain proteins in the body to completely deplete the (usually abundant) reserves of glutathione. So its like playing thimerosal roullete. If the mercury attaches to these proteins, the child is then not only vulnerable to the remaining mercury (etc.) in his/her body, but also to a host of other toxins in the environment.

A.F.

Mr. Kirby:

Thank you very much for your hard work in behalf of our children, who cannot fight for themselves. With regard to concerns about immigrants, why can't doctors draw blood for titers and then decide what shots may be needed, if any, instead of duplicating shots? By the way, did you catch the Today show this AM? I guess we can now all ignore the "man behind the curtain"; Dr. Snyderman says we are all imagining things and we can just go home. That will be the day. Thanks again!
Andrea

Cherry Sperlin Misra

One thing that this autism epidemic should have taught us is to keep an open mind, unlike some people we know ! But having said that, what I have personally seen with my own eyes tells me that we are looking at mercury, well, certainly in India. When many new doses of Hib and Hep B came into the schedule of the private doctors in India (The govt has a different schedule)- just 3 years later I began to see 4-5 kids consistently every year with symptoms from the mercury /autism list and occasionally a fully autistic child. After a few years I began to have 7 or 8 each year and I noticed that delayed speech was becomming more common even in girls. I thought I must be imagining the increase- and then last year I discovered that somewhere between 03 and 07 the pediatric association had again changed the schedule. From 7 mercury vaccines by 6 months they had gone to 8 or 9 by three and a half months. Also,some of the obstetricians had begun giving the mothers three and even 4 tetanus toxoids during pregnancy rather than one or two as it had been earlier (50 mcg ethylmercuryin each). Through all of this I and other people who had autistic kids in their schools noticed a preponderance of Bengalis, a community of Indians who often eat fish twice a day, 7 days a week. Actually Bengalis are not a high percentage of Delhis population, but they were providing most of the fully autistic kids. Later I discovered another factor- Autism would be more common in kids who had been vaccinated at government clinics- which use only vaccines from Serum Institute of India. This company puts 25 mcg ethylmercury into all their pediatric doses. (Some others use 12.5 and there is one type of Hep B with no mercury) Yesterday, I spoke to a friend who has a nursery school in another part of Delhi and her experience is just the same as mine. She, like me has 2 autistic kids in a school of just 50 kids- and many others who show the usual speech delay/clumsiness/lack of interest in other kids syndrome. I am now of the opinion that we probably have just not recognised all the sources of mercury and we still dont know what is the effect of low doses of mercury at certain ages- for example at 6 months gestation or day of birth. I doubt if we know,for example if a Bengali mother, with her own body full of mercury, might give birth to an autistic child even if she stopped fish during pregnancy. I also notice that we do not hear in India about autistic kids having these terrible bowel problems (though perhaps some do have and I have not heard about it) This may be due to a different timing of the MMR and/or combining it with mercury laden vaccines.
I also notice, when I visit the US that almost no one seems to be avoiding anything but perhaps tuna. I was shocked to learn that my daughter had been told that she could have one can of tuna per week during pregnancy. (I had been under the impression that it was one can in the whole pregnancy!)
While, believing in keeping an open mind, I fear that talk of many kinds of autism could be playing into the hands of those whose chief motive is to delay exposure of the truth. The idea that autism is "Multifactorial" could keep us all on the research carousel for plenty long years, much to the glee of certain forces.

Craig Willoughby

And of course, over on Disrespectful Idiocy and the rest of the vaccine-mafia sites, they've completely taken David's words out of context, cherry-picking his quotes. Yes, the hypocrisy is astounding.

We haven't lost faith in our cause, David, and we haven't lost faith in your work. Keep it up, please, for the sake of our children!

Gatogorra

Thanks for continuing the discussion. Because of your reporting on the science and because of the reports of a precious few others, I'm starting to be able to at least intuitively grasp the shape of what might be triggering autism. Kind of like we understand things in dreams but it's becoming clearer. I do think that mercury along with its synergists are at least a key. The effects on the brain of certain drugs which the govt. now admits cause autism are just so similar to the effects of injected ethylmercury, creating such a specific kind of inflammation. But what tips kids over the edge to create the slew of symptoms and ailments represented by so many sick children? I feel there must be a kind of "grandma" recipe of key triggers and then many facilitors-- some of which can be replaced with other "helpers" to create similar "perfect storm" conditions (if you don't use cardomon for the cake, you have to use more cloves, etc.) whereby the inflammation destroys certain sensitive functions in the brain.

I'm dying to know the truth. Someone's going to figure it out soon and I'm sure you'll be reporting on it ahead of the game, Mr. Kirby.

nhokkanen

Interestingly the online nitwits who jumped to incorrect conclusions based on third-hand misquotes handily illustrate similar miscommunication problems in our public health administrators. Not enough of them make time to investigate original sources, preferring rather to rubber-stamp memos and press releases and send them down the information chain for further dispersal (e.g., "36,000 flu deaths annually").

Stagmom

How fortunate are we to have David and Dan working on behalf of our kids, while so many others, including those who took an oath to "first do no harm" are actively working against us and our children?

David and Dan, thank you.

Kim

dan olmsted

david my friend (i must be listening to john mccain too much -- "my friends...")

anyway, david my friend, i disagree with you, but in a good way. i think thimerosal -- aka ethyl mercury -- IS the smoking gun of the autism epidemic. why? because it's fingerprints are on the trigger of the early cases. mercury is the single most convincing element (so to speak) demonstrating autism is an environmental disorder, meaning something coming from the outside in, in vulnerable kids. thimerosal doesn't have to cause every case, but do environmental toxins explain the roots and rise of autism? and does thimerosal demonstrate that? and does that make it the smoking gun? you betcha! (wink, wink) and these gol darn hoity-toity scientist and medical and public-health types in washington there, they know it, by gosh. joe six pack understands mercury toxicity better than they do (see jb's post!).

the second point i disagree with you on flows from the first. i don't think there are autisms, i think there IS autism. what leo kanner and hans asperger described in 1943 and 1944 fully characterizes the variants of autism that we see to this very day. and the reason they both noticed them at the same time on two separate continents in the middle of a world war in which they were on opposing sides was because the same new thing was happening. a new disorder was attacking kids. new means environmental. and the new thing was ethyl mercury. Maybe we shouldn't call it a smoking gun -- how about, Evidence of Harm!

there may be more and more new things, but that does nothing to take away from the fundamental issue.

anyway, my point in disagreeing with you is in the service of a larger agreement -- you were right, you are right, and you will be shown to have been right that mercury launched the autism epidemic and is keeping it rolling along quite nicely.

your friend, gosh darn it,

dan

Christine Heeren

David has been speaking about different causes of autism for years. I think that's why certain treatments (like diet or chelation) work with some kids and not with others. The trigger is different.

Thanks David for again speaking the truth.

Heidi

David,
It appears that some people have been harassing you and I am sorry to think that would be so. You are a voice of reason and logical analysis and dove into this arena for all the right reasons. Thanks for sticking it out wherever this takes us.
xo,
Heidi

Petra

Ditto (to David Kirby and Jeanne).

And especially on this bit:

“There has been so much debate over ‘What is THE cause?’ And for a long time in this country, we were fixated on thimerosal, the vaccine preservative, and I share some of the blame for that because my book focused mostly on thimerosal. In the UK, they have been focused mostly on MMR. But you can’t make the model work. You can’t make every case of autism be caused by thimerosal. You can’t make every autism case be caused by MMR. So I think what we need to do is, step back and look at the bigger picture, by starting with the children who got sick, examining them, and work our way backwards. If we see common symptoms, in these very different cases of autism, well, what types of things might cause those symptoms? What types of environmental triggers might combine with what types of genetic susceptibilities, to cause the different outcomes that we see in autism?”

There is no ONE cause, there is no ONE smoking gun. Hell, if that were the case we would have figured out "autism" eons ago. We need to focus on researching and understanding ANY AND ALL contributing factors, and we need to give EQUAL WEIGHT to these contributing factors.

While I know many kids for whom vaccination seemed to be THE "trigger", it wasn't for my child (for him vaccines were simply one of the many many 'nudges' that it took to have him fall off the cliff). But that doesn't mean that I don't think that vaccines CAN be a contributing factor to some autisms. But let's pay attention to the variety of OTHER factors too, shall we?

jennifer

David,excellent points. I just read about the autism epidemic in Montreal amongst the immigrant population. This does not surprise me at all. As someone who works with special needs kids in the public school system, I can tell you there are LOTS of kids who seem to be ESL/ autism, ESL/severe ADHD, etc. It's getting crazy out there!!! We talk about it -speech therapists, ed assistants, OT's. Those poor ESL parents don't stand a chance. I'm sure they are bombarded with shots when they arrive (probably receive a lot of vaccines in one go-since they are "behind"). I went to an HPV meeting a a health centre recently and one of the few parents there was obviously ESL (english as a second language) and didn't even know the diff between HPV and hep b or Hib. The nurses were concerned that he had in fact intended to get yet another hep b shot when that was not warranted for his poor kid. Someone needs to be on top of this- checking pre and post vaccinations for this population. It's not rocket science to see this pattern.
Good work!!!!!

Maggie

Here's my theory - vaccines cause immune suppression which causes ear infections which get prescribed antibiotics then more vaccines and more ear infections and more antibiotics and around and around until you end up with autism. At least that's how it worked for us.

biomedmom

Mr. Kirby, please do not forget about this, re: CA mercury containing flu shots in 2006:

http://www.chhs.ca.gov/News/Documents/Thimerosal%20Exemption%20Belshe%20Statement%2011-2-06.pdf

Keith

just to let you know

I got your point David.

It's kind of like a broken leg. Not all broken legs occur in the same spot. Not all broken legs are caused by ski accidents.

But they are all being called broken legs.

Jeanne

Anyone paying attention to what is going on with our kids should not be shocked by Mr. Kirby's comments. Besides, he's been using the word "autisms" for some time now - and rightly so.

Does anyone really believe there is ONE cause of autism? Look at how many different treatments we're all using, and how some treatments work for some kids but not for others.

Personally, I am glad to see the spotlight taken off of one single possible trigger. We need to open our minds to the idea that there is a long list of triggers at play.

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